Dan Smith: Disney World remains big hit with young, old

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 12:24 AM

As I’m writing this, I’m in Orlando, at a time-share unit. Part of my family flew in from England, and the other part from Washington State.

It’s a very nice vacation complex that sits right on the Disney property, and it is in fact the only private resort on the Disney property.

One thing I noticed as I drove down here on I-95 was the number of cars from New York and Ontario, Canada. They far outnumbered all the other states combined. I noticed that the New York drivers also drove much faster than anyone else.

I usually set my cruise control at 72 mph and feel comfortable with that speed. I didn’t risk a ticket with that speed in any state, and still arrived on time at my destination. There were three South Carolina Highway Patrol cars on one stop at one point. You can guess what state the car was from that had attracted the attention of South Carolina’s finest: yep, New York.

As I entered Georgia, here they came again: New York and Ontario, passing me in a New York minute. As I came to the end of Georgia, that state’s finest had several cars pulled over, and yes, they were from New York.

I can think of better things to spend my vacation money on than speeding tickets; like maybe the grandchildren. This is their first trip to the world famous mouse house, and one they will never forget.

We took their mother — our daughter — there back in the ’80s for her first trip there, and so another generation gets to appreciate the wonders of this magic land.

If I ever win big on the lottery, I’ll make it possible for other kids to go there that might never have that opportunity. Of course Disney World was not around when I was growing up. We did have our own amusement parks, but nothing like this. Disney is like a living organism that grows and changes yearly.

You can’t keep up with the changes that take place. Here’s a thought that I had while visiting: Many of the kids of this generation never grew up with Indiana Jones movies. They may not know who he is. Disney might want to think about phasing him out and replacing him with a character of this new breed of kid. In most areas, Disney has done just that.

Wherever I go, I always meet interesting people. I met a man who works at the facility we are staying at who was from Vietnam. He was able to escape along with others from his country many years ago and make it to America. He is a well-educated man and very smart.

He was able to adapt to his new surroundings and make it in a foreign country to live comfortably. I admire him for that, never-say-die attitude. On his name badge it had his name and the country he was from.

Another lady was from Trinidad and had made it in this country as well. They both were good at numbers and spoke with their native accents, but were able to communicate very well. I would personally have a difficult time with language and culture if I moved overseas and tried to make it there, other than Scotland or Ireland.

Americans love their vacations. Ever since the automobile was made for the masses, we have traveled to places to relax and enjoy. We love to travel.

I stay in the East when I vacation, only venturing out west once, a long time ago. I’m not a world traveler, like my wife, but keep to two-day trips usually. I don’t like the hustle and bustle of flying any more, which limits me on what I get to see.

Vacations create lasting memories to share for a lifetime. That is what you do without realizing it. We think back on the good times that our memories store up and we relive them again and again.

We plan for the next vacation and think of what we want to do and where to go. We think of all the places there are to visit and we start narrowing the list down until we settle on that one great place.

Get busy, vacation time is almost here!

— Dan M. Smith is a Cincinnati native and Gatlinburg resident. He is the author of two novels. His son is serving in the Air Force. E-mail to dan0729@yahoo.com.