My Earliest Memory Was at Disneyland

Everyone remembers their “earliest memory” of when they were a child, that memory of doing something or being somewhere that they know they were only X-years old and they can’t remember back farther than that.

But do not, under any circumstance, think of yourself as “old”… Unless you want to recite Lewis Carroll’s poem “You are old, Father William…”
If anything, we’re lucky to have seen a truly long view and maturation of the Disney Company and their theme parks and their evolution. We have the advantage of having been alive when Walt and his original Imagineers were and actively creating, and we have life perspective. We can see things, know history and background, that enhances our Disney fanship experience. And seeing how things go, sometimes you experience an aspect of Disney parks for a relatively short time, and the next renovation period comes along and that great experience gets scrapped for something else. Value this!

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Walt Disney walks through Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. © Disney

Baby Boomer generation were the first to be marketed to about Disney since the medium of television came along and prospered when we were mere tykes. Our generation is what Walt used to tweak his ideas in the parks, consequently our generation were his first collaborators in the public, so to speak. That’s a proud memory and a proud generational partnership! Cherish it!


And today, I find “Wall-E” a profoundly moving, masterpiece film, touches raw essential human nerves and touches the heart of what it truly means to be human. And that’s a 2008 product of Pixar with Disney’s backing and support. I still choke up at the end of that movie, and it’s a contemporary film.


Proving it’s about the story, the characters, the “good character” in characters’ souls, and touching people’s hearts. If Disney succeeds in that, they “have you” not just for a moment, but a lifetime, and you willingly expose future generations to it because it’s a good thing, and a humanly connecting unifying thing among peoples, families, and nationalities and time.

-Carol Koster

This is what the construction wall outside the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough looked like in July when we were there. The wall will come down when the attraction reopens later this year, better than ever.



I remember the Castle Walk Through at Disneyland from when I was at the age of 3. I’m now 54, so this is only a couple of years after DL opened in 1955! My parents took me out there from Alabama. Honestly, this is one of my very earliest memories.

Well, the place went on, then closed and stayed closed, and Disney plans to reopen it to celebrate “Sleeping Beauty” coming to home video this October 2008. The attraction is very beloved and engrained in many people’s fond Disneyland memories for generations. It will be a true moment of joy when that reopens and people can relive this again and take their children to see it who might never have known of it before. And my anticipation of this reopening is very great, indeed.
It’s truly a connection of a bit of my past history, my parents who are now both deceased, and reliving fond memories of youth but updated for today’s times, just like how Walt dedicated Disneyland when it opened in 1955.

Going through Fantasyland at Disneyland last March, which is when we really actively saw that part of the park, I saw truly familiar things I hadn’t seen in years, not since I used to live in California 1965-1972, or revisits in the early 1990s for Disneyana Conventions, and then my very early childhood. It was all wonderful! But I was peeking in on times of my life, too.
I was glad my son could experience it. And I was glad when he had the independent insight that some of it in fact was better than similar attractions at WDW.
Shirley Temple and Walt Disney dedicate the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through attraction. Courtesy

Shirley Temple and Walt Disney dedicate the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk Through attraction. Courtesy

My parents brought me there long ago, and for the first time I could bring their grandson… And though no longer alive to see those days, I think maybe in heaven they were pleased they and me and their grandson and son-in-law all had a similar vacation experience, even though it spanned over decades for it to happen.


I find it’s touching really far deep into my emotions and memories of my parents and childhood. At the age of 54. And if I could go, how would I feel to be there? What would this stir up? Would I see it as wonderful, as I did at the age of 3 in the 1950s? Or differently as an adult?

It really means something to me. I too get a bit emotional, because if I ever get to see the Walk Through, it’s like coming face to face with me, then and now.


1 Response to “My Earliest Memory Was at Disneyland”

  1. 1 disneyecho August 15, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Want to feel old? I sure did when I read something tonight on

    First, some background. Remember how Walt Disney was so nostalgic for his childhood years that he created Main Street U.S.A. as a recreation of the best of that era’s small-town America, putting into it what he remembered as the good times of his youth in Marceline, Missouri?

    It is a “turn-of-the-century” view of America, first created at Disneyland in California and then again in WDW’s Magic Kingdom.

    Imagine how old I felt when I read the following on about the upcoming Donald Duck DVD, one of the 3 DVDs in the upcoming “Walt Disney Treasures: Wave 8″…

    “……while it practically goes without saying, Donald Duck’s CinemaScope cartoons will be presented in their wide original aspect ratios on Chronological Donald, Volume 4. We’ve also gotten unconfirmed word that some of the duck’s shorts from turn-of-the-century Saturday morning cartoon “Mickey Mouse Works” will also be included on that set.”

    I’m sorry, but even though it is literally true, I do not consider “Mickey Mouse Works” to be “turn-of-the-century” entertainment!!

    -Rich Koster

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This website is not affiliated with any part of The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney Echo at is your interactive online magazine to discover new wonders and share magical Disney memories.

The display on this page is set up to show the posts in reverse chronological order of when they were posted originally, so if you want to read the reports from the beginning, go to the last post on the last page and work forward. The first entry about the Koster family's July 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by clicking here and the first entry about their Easter 2008 Disneyland trip can be found by selecting this link.

That link goes to the very first travel-related article on this website: Welcome to our Trip Report.

The entry made after that first one is found after clicking the link named "Our Vacation Plans At-A-Glance" and that link is found above and below the first entry.

The third entry is similarly found after clicking the link above and below the second one, where the link is named "Packing Up"

One can read all the travel-related entries in the order they were posted by going to the next entry and the next entry the same way. Otherwise, this website defaults to displaying the most-recently-posted entries followed by older entries below it on the page as well as on the pages after it.

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FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Unless otherwise noted, Rich Koster did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in these articles. He pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

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