Where It All Began…..

Rather than subject you to another few hundred words of banality surrounding my dislike for going to work, and joyous news of more stuff breaking and going wrong, I thought I’d go back, way back in time to where this very unhealthy obsession with Florida started.

I’ve told the story many times about being talked into a Miami holiday rather than Majorca by a high street travel agent, and he does have a lot to answer for. Whilst at my Mum and Dad’s earlier today I had a look at some old photo albums from that trip, and whilst this is no attempt at a trip report, as I can barely remember last week never mind 1980, here are some of the highlights.

We flew (I think) with Air Florida, which of course is now long gone. The US air crew were our first real exposure to real life Americans, and they blew our minds with their service and film star looks. For a boy of nine they probably started my puberty!

(By the way, these photos, are actually photos of photos so please excuse the quality)

Hot Damn!

During the flight those old enough to, partook in the Miami Whammy.


Those not old enough simply practiced their Jimmy Osmond impression. My collars actually cut our flight time by about an hour.

This photo is at the end of the flight and includes some tired travelers and a tank top.

My own Florida fringe

We actually stayed in Miami for almost all of our holiday, but crucially we drove up to Orlando for two nights to visit what was at that time the only theme park on Disney property. Epcot was being built at the time. Whilst much of the trip is now long forgotten, something obviously stuck with me, and rooted itself deep within my subconscious. Much of what we saw and did is still there today, but it is also lovely to look back and see how things have evolved since.

Driver, we are clear.

Some things are no longer available. This was taken inside the castle, which I think is still inaccessible.

The Williams brothers.

You don’t see this guy wandering about so much either.

Not in Nottingham.

If you are below a certain age then this next photo won’t make any sense whatsoever. I can still remember going on this one….

Under the sea

For some reason we seem to have bumped into Earth, Wind and Fire in the Magic Kingdom.

More wind than earth or fire.

Back in these days, my Dad was the party leader rather than myself. You can tell that as he has the balloon of authority.

Is that you Clark Griswald?

Another ride that is no more is of course the Skyway thing that you could go on over the park. It closed many years ago amidst rumour and urban legend all around folks losing life and limb trying to get it to stop.

I did not spit on anyone!

We did of course meet some characters, and in those days you could do so just wandering around. There was none of this waiting in line for three hours, or Fastpasses. Donald might just walk right by and be grabbed for a picture like this.

I have a big neb.
Hot Dog

Of course, like all future Williams trips, ultimately everything began and ended with food. We started as we meant to go on.

I’m not happy at having to stop eating to have a photo.

Having spent a few hours looking at these photos, I have to say it hasn’t eased any of the pain of not being able to go this year. However, that is no reason not to look back on lovely memories whether they are from 1980 or just last summer. That is after all much of the reason that we all go is it not?

The place was very different back in 1980 as indeed were we. More parks and resorts have sprung up, expanding the World beyond recognition, but one thing is constant and that is the way the place gets into your bloodstream, infects you with the desire to return and makes you all misty eyed at the sight of a firework set to a Disney tune. I hope the break from the norm has been welcome, and that the old Disney stuff was of interest.

Rest assured next week I’ll be right back on the moaning bandwagon heading for nervous breakdown bay.

Till the next time…..



8 thoughts on “Where It All Began…..

  1. Lovely trip down memory lane!! Proper giggled at your ‘collar’ gag :). Emily’s not going to thank me for this, but you really look like her in the photo of you having just landed. Sorry Emily!!!
    As for going misty-eyed at Disney fireworks, I’m glad it’s not just me, that is if by ‘misty-eyed’ you mean full on sobbing…….
    Can’t possibly finish without mentioning your Mum’s short shorts, last seen on Kevin Keegan circa. 1977 🙂

  2. Wow I love those old photos, I have photos from 1990 and it has changed so much, I’m not as fortunate as you & it took me till 2012 to return.
    What I will say is since 2012 it has changed AGAIN!! Diagon Alley, fantasyland & transformers have all popped up so it’s ever changing and that’s why we all want to return it’s to see the old, the new and the ‘in progress’.
    I went on the 20,000 leagues too I thought it was amazing at the time & I remember going to a shop inside the castle, was full of pewter ornaments & things like that, oh the memories…. So thank you for your lovely trip down memory lane.

  3. Tremendous. Thank you. I never did get to go in The Nautilus. Broke the first time I visited. Dismantled thereafter. I’m sure it performed impeccably for Jules Verne though.

  4. Uh, that makes me misty eyed just reading it, but ooops lucky me I go in 93 days!! Your Dad is definitely giving off a national lampoons vibe!

  5. Omg I went on that ride, 20,000 leagues under the sea was it called?
    Emily does look like you in the just landed pic…

  6. I love seeing people’s old photos. Such lovely memories. 20,000 leagues under the sea was great!

  7. Isnt the nautilus now at dlp? Anyways I digress, you 1980 trippy not trippy was cool, I send this from sunny florida, and boy its been a nice day. Anyways hope to read more moaning soon

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