Welcome to the letter “R” with Heidi’s Head!
Thanks to Donna from DisTherapy and Beth from Pursuing the Magic and creator of The Magical Blogorail for hosting this trip through the past 40 years!! You can visit DisTherapy to find out about key events that happened at Walt Disney World from 1971-2011 from various Disney Bloggers.
I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately about our past trips to Walt Disney World. My mom gave me some of her albums of our Disney photographs. These pictures have sparked so many wonderful memories!! One memory I had, but could not find any old photographs from the inside to go along with the memory, was the Millennium Village at Epcot.
I can’t remember when I visited the Millennium Village- either December 1999 to ring in 2000 or June of 2000. This was a part of the Disney Millennium Celebration. You could find the pavilion between The United Kingdom and Canada. While you were there, you could learn about 50 countries from all over the world that were not already present around the World Showcase. This was an interactive exposition where ambassadors from each country would talk about their homelands- similar to the cast members at the countries in the World Showcase. There were interactive exhibits, artisans from different countries, food samples and entertainment. I remember seeing information about how many of the countries had projects that would better the lives of the local people- growing healthy crops, women selling their artwork to raise money for health care, finding creative ways to attain safe water and finding ways to learn about weather to keep people safe. I remember in the Israel exhibit seeing a tour of the history of Jerusalem and being able to send a message to the Western Wall. This was especially exciting to me since I had been to Jerusalem in 1991!
One thing I do remember is that I didn’t spend enough time exploring this amazing pavilion. I remember “blazing through it” and not taking the time to soak it all in. I’m sure I was in a hurry to get back on Test Track or something! I wish I could go back in time and do this pavilion the right way!
When visitors left the Millennium Pavilion they were asked, “What is your gift to the World?”
What an awesome question! Each person has a gift to share with this world, but not everyone takes the time to discover what their gift is to share.
I’ll close by challenging you with the same question-
Do you remember where you were on December 31, 1999? If you were alive and older than, let’s say 6, you probably remember that night. The whole world was terrified of the Y2K bug. Some believed that all technology as we knew it would cease. They thought everything that ran on a computer would shut down at midnight because the computers would go crazy and not know how to handle the date changing from 1999 to 2000. There were some people who stockpiled food, water and basic supplies because the world as we knew it was going to change.
My family didn’t stockpile or even worry about what would happen. If all technology was going to fail at midnight, then it would fail. If the world was going to change, then it would change. We really didn’t think twice about it. In fact we thought, “If the world is going to cease and technology is going to go berserk, where would we want to be?… WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!” So we made plans to head south the week after Christmas.
The Disney resorts had a three night minimum stay for the week of New Year’s Eve and we only needed 2 nights. We ended up staying at a shady Quality Inn on International Boulevard. Since we weren’t staying on property, we had to choose which park we wanted to visit on Dec. 31. Our original plan was to go to Epcot. We got to the park at opening and it was already closed and so was Magic Kingdom! We freaked out a tad bit and sped to MGM Studios. Luckily we got in without any problems. We spent the entire day at MGM. I don’t remember how many attractions we were able to experience but I remember it being cold and crowded. I remember thinking we needed to be in the streets at midnight and not on Tower of Terror at midnight- Just in case the computers did go hay wire!
At some point early in the day (before noon) we were near a TV screen and saw the New Year, New Millennium celebrations in Sydney Australia. When we saw the celebrations in Australia and the TV cameras were still working after midnight we figured things would be OK in the USA! Throughout the day we saw coverage of countries celebrating as the time zones reached midnight. At 11:59 EST, we were on Sunset Boulevard in front of the Beauty and the Beast Theatre counting down to Y2K. Everyone was happy, cheering and excited to see what the next year, decade, century and millennium would bring.
Where were you to ring in 2000?
Don’t forget to vote in my poll on the right side to help us decide what we will be for MNSSHP!!