Southsider Voice correspondent
As a child, Terry Locke was crazy about Sunday evening Disney movies. But she never dreamed that she would ever actually visit Walt Disney World.
As an adult with college-aged sons, that dream finally came true.
Locke remembers well that she gazed in awe at the place she had only dreamed about.
“You walk through those gates and see that castle and you are a kid again,” she said. “I just wanted to do everything. I didn’t want to miss anything.”
That was more than 40 Walt Disney World visits ago.
Yes, you read that correctly.
This quiet woman with an easy laugh makes Walt Disney World her vacation destination four or five times a year.
Sometimes she and her husband, Rick Locke, leave their Center Grove home together to visit the magical world that Locke loves so dearly.
Sometimes, she makes the trip alone.
“It’s so fun to watch magic happen all around you,” Locke said.
Don’t assume though that she is strolling from one park to another, passively taking in the sights of nearly 28,000 acres of magic, visited by more than 52 million people annually.
Locke has a wild side as she happens to be a huge fan of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. “Every trip I make to Disney World I ride that roller coaster,” she said proudly. “And Aerosmith is blasting the whole time.”
While Locke happily settles into her roller coaster seat, her husband decides that is a perfect time to get ice cream. He is definitely not a fan of thrill-seeking rides, especially that one, which weaves upside down and high in the air, mostly in darkness.
“Rick loves Disney,” Locke said. “But he probably doesn’t love it quite to the extent that I do. He indulges me a lot.”
Visiting Animal Kingdom is Rick’s favorite pastime. There are plenty of places to sit in the shade and relax while enjoying the animals.
Identifying herself as a ‘Disner,” Locke explains that hard-core Disney World fans participate in an activity called “Disney bounding.”
“You wear normal clothes,” she said with a laugh. “But you dress with a theme to a certain character. Last summer, on the hottest day ever, I bounded as Donald Duck.”
Anxious to share their love for Disney World, the Lockes introduced their only grandchild, Jenson Locke, 4, to the place they cherish when he was 2. The family has also visited Disney Land in California.
Of course, Jenson has many Disney-themed toys and clothes. Nearly every room in the Locke home is adorned with a Mickey Mouse character of some type.
“I just tolerate Minnie,” Locke said with a laugh.
Bright colors and laughter, surprises and childhood magic found at Disney World are only a few reasons why Locke collects shoes, purses, tote bags and 17 pairs of decorated headbands, all with Disney themes, especially her beloved Mickey Mouse. These are happy things to collect and share with others.
“When we go to Disney World, Terry always says, ‘I’m at home now,’ ” Rick Locke said. “It makes her very happy to be there. And I like that.”