Time-warp Disney – 1988 and 2015

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The Richmond Campbells at Disney

This week our Richmond family – Naomi, Craig, David, and Beks – traveled to Central Florida to spend a few vacation days having fun at Disney World in Orlando.

Rebekah and I first took our kids to Disney in 1988 – they were six and almost four. We did one long day in The Magic Kingdom – including the fireworks – and wore ourselves out completely. Somebody got scared in The Haunted House; I went partially insane halfway through It’s a Small World; Naomi wanted to be carried the entire time; it was 98-degrees most of the day; and I’m fairly sure it wasn’t even vaguely close to “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Disney 1988

It’s been a little different this week for Naomi and Craig. They’re staying five nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which means they can come and go as they please, schedule in nap-times, divide their week between several different parks, scoot over to Downtown Disney for dinner, and plan their day without going bananas!

Oh, and did I mention, the high temperatures in Orlando this week have been in the low 80’s!

When we took our kids to Disney the grandparents got a postcard – if we remembered – and maybe some snapshots stuffed in an envelope. In 2015, Grandaddy Derek and Grandmama Rebekah are following the action on Facebook, in real-time, at the rate of a dozen or so pictures per day.

We even got to enjoy instant video of three-year-old David reading the Disney World exit sign as they were coming off Interstate 4: “Look, letters,” David says, “We’re almost at Disney World!”

Beks and David in the Magic Kingdom (2015)
Beks and David in the Magic Kingdom (2015)

TECHNOLOGY ROCKS! Technologically, this 21st Century is an entirely different world than the one we raised our kids in – and from my point of view the progress is nothing but good. And I say that because the way we’re using it is not only keeping us connected, it’s actually developing real relationships.

I read complaints all the time about people who retreat into their devices at the expense of relationships; but smart-phones and tablets and computers are nothing more – and nothing less – than what we make of them.

  • Skype keeps us in easy conversation with Andrew and Alicia in Italy, and it solidified our relationship with the grandkids when they lived in Connecticut.
  • Facebook is helping us to enjoy David and Beks and feel a part of their adventures at Disney.
  • This blog keeps me in conversation with almost 3,000 followers throughout the world.
Disney 2015
Disney 2015

The point is, it’s up to us how we use the gifts we’ve been entrusted with; it always has been.

So enjoy the pictures from Disney 2015, and have a chuckle at the vintage prints from 1988. And, while you’re smiling, grab whatever technology you have at hand and update your relationship with the people you love…

…They may simply be in another room in the house.

Simply grateful – DEREK

(more images, from 2015… and 1988)



  1. Really exciting your article . I thank you, because as I write this comment , away from my family that resides in another region , I want to pick up the phone and remind my dear how much affection I have for them .


  2. Disney is such a magical place and a wonderful place to create family memories! Such a cute family you have. Glad they had a magical time! Thanks for sharing with us!


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