ORLANDO, Fla. — In 1971, Bill Kroll's parents just happened to be visiting Florida when they heard about Disney's new park opening.
They decided to check it out and even snapped a photo in front of Cinderella Castle. Now, 50 years later, the mother-son duo recreated the moment deemed to be "years in the making."
In the first photo, Bill was only 18-months-old so he doesn't recall too much of the visit to the Magic Kingdom but says that his mom told him he had a lot of fun.
As the theme park's milestone anniversary grew closer, Kroll says he and his mom joked about doing a remake at "The World's Most Magical Celebration." Once 2021 came around, that joke became more of a reality when Kroll's mom set up a reservation.
Once inside, Kroll and his mom made their way down Main Street, U.S.A., and stood in the same spot they did 50 years prior. Bill held the 1971 snapshot in his hands for their remake, while his mom wore a nearly identical outfit.
They even brought the "A/B/C/D/E tickets" Disney used to sell for each ride and got a kick out of showing them off to others in the Magic Kingdom.
The rest of their time was spent people watching and reminiscing about rides of years past, like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
Disney runs deep with the Kroll family.
"My family, mostly at my mom’s inspiration, was always into Disney- movies, cartoons, toys, games, and of course because we lived in the Orlando area since the mid-1970s, the parks themselves," Kroll wrote.
For years he says they had Florida resident passes and would pop into Disney World on weekends, for concerts and to attend holiday events. They were even at the opening of EPCOT, according to Kroll.
To this day, Kroll says his mom often frequents the parks once or twice a week. They both also have a history with the theme park giant, given Kroll worked as a seasonal employee for the Mouse and his mom performed during the EPCOT Candlelight Processional.
"I can’t help but think that a lot has changed since 1971, but what is the same is that families still need a place to come and unplug from the real world and experience some magic and delight in Walt’s World…that hasn’t changed at all," Kroll wrote.
And while a lot has changed when it comes to Disney's queues, food, security, and more, Kroll says one thing has always stayed the same — Walt Disney's dream.
"Walt’s dream and conception of the world is still alive and well today and that’s thanks to the amazing cast members out there who make the show go on every day," he wrote.
Kroll says he and his mom are happy to share a bit of light and make people smile during a time with "so much often going wrong."