Seventy-two students from Evansville, Henderson, and Princeton schools are having the time of their lives at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. They were chosen by their teachers to be a part of the Cops Connecting with Kids Disney Adventure.

Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin says 'It's all about building relationships with the kids. We ride the rides with them, eat with them, and we make memories that last a lifetime.'

56 Students from EVSC, 8 from Henderson, and 8 from Princeton

PHOTO: LIBERTY
PHOTO: LIBERTY
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And they’re off! We caught up with the 2022 Cops Connecting With Kids Disney Adventure before their flights. Chief Bolin talks about his favorite memories, Taylor Merriss introduces the Lodge girls, we chat with the Princeton group & Assistant Chief Smith explains why these trips are important.

Disney Magic can Last a Lifetime

I remember my first trip to Walt Disney World. It was April 23, 1984, Epcot wasn't even two years old yet, and Hollywood Studios and The Animal Kingdom were not built yet. I was with my grandparents, Nana and Reggie.

My grandpa Reggie documented everything that we did on our vacation. I love that he did that so I can refer back to exact dates, and even the order of the rides. I specifically remember riding Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I was terrified in the Haunted Mansion's moving room and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride also scared the bejesus out of me.

PHOTO: LIBERTY
PHOTO: LIBERTY
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Who knew that later in life, I would actually live ten minutes from Walt Disney World! We lived there in 2009, and we've been back several times since then to visit.

Walt Disney World Resort Then and Now

My very first trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida included a visit to The Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. That trip was in 1984. Take a look at the changes in the landscape, characters, and Cinderella's castle from then to now.

Vintage Disney: Step Back in Time Inside Retro Disney Store

Most of the retail Disney stores have closed. Luckily we have these photos from the Louisville, KY store that was in Oxmor Mall.