Creating Disney Generations
Natalie Duke’s first memory of Disney was as a child, growing up in Brownsville, Texas.
“My first Disney memories were fairy-tale stories read to me by my mother and grandmother.”
These early experiences of Disney stories, have followed Natalie into adulthood and are now being passed onto her son Adam, whose room is filled with the underwater magic of Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
“Disney became a big part of my life when I was young. I loved all the characters and movies. The Lion King and The Little Mermaid were for sure a big part of my childhood!”
For Natalie, Disney -particularly its demonstration of life under the sea - struck a chord, and at 21, now a new mother of a baby boy, she is making sure that Disney is a part of her son’s life too.
The Nemo Room
Being a big fan of the film Finding Nemo, Natalie was naturally attracted to the idea of incorporating it into her home.
“I LOVE the movie Finding Nemo. I NEVER get tired of it. I've seen it a ton of times. I even have a TV in the “Nemo” room with the movie recorded so I can play it for baby and I and it can feel like you're there.”
The Nemo room was further born out of Natalie and her husband Randall’s love for ‘under the sea’ themes.
“I chose Nemo because I was already looking into an ‘under the sea’ theme for my baby's nursery but at the same time I wanted to make it fun for baby and for myself, since I know I'll be spending a lot of time in there once he arrives! I decided to incorporate Finding Nemo into it and in the finished product it ended up just being ALL Nemo!
What the pair also found, was that once the room was finished, it had become a world all of its own, and was even more enjoyable than they could have anticipated. What they have created, is not just a room – it was a world in which you are immersed as soon as you enter.
‘I'm extremely excited and proud of how it came out because going in there, it feels like you're in Disney world. I had a friend come over and when I showed it to her, the first thing she said was "wow it feels like you're in Disney world." So hopefully when my baby's a little older, he feels the same. It's like bringing a little piece of Disney world to our home with us for our baby to enjoy in the meantime! (and me of course!) It's honestly an amazing feeling being in there.”
The room, which features vibrant colours in a relaxed, subaquatic atmosphere, provides not only a practical space with all of baby Adam’s belongings, but embodies the magic of Disney – and the happiness and optimism of the film’s characters.
Nemo and Beyond
While Finding Nemo is one of Natalie’s favorite films, and the Nemo room her favorite place, other bits of Disney have worked their way into her life.
“I own a few shirts, some mugs and a giant Disney shirt which features various characters that I sleep in every night. I've had it for years and it's my go-to sleeping shirt.”
However, there is one stand-out piece for Natalie, which has become a precious momento of a beloved DisneyWorld trip.
“My favorite Disney item is a notepad that was purchased for me at DisneyWorld. It holds the memories of that day when I was about 7 years old. I walked around the park with my family and just looked for all the characters so they can sign it. It really means a lot to me and when I look at it, I get flashbacks of that amazing day -an unforgettable experience.”
This Disney vacation when Natalie was seven years old, has shaped so much of who she is today, and is still one of the dearest, and most nostalgic experiences of her life.
“When I was younger I would LOVE visiting Disneyworld. It was one of a kind, and one of my favorite places to visit. The rides are amazing and the castle is something I'll never forget. They really mean it when they say it's a MAGICAL place!”
A Family Affair
Not only do Natalie and Randall love all things Disney, but this passion is also shared with Natalie’s father who loves the Disney-Pixar film collaborations.
But, more than anything, Natalie wants to share her love for Disney with her son Adam.
“I plan to visit more Disney events and theme parks as our son gets older. We hope to take a Disney cruise when my son is maybe seven years old. It's our dream. I want my little boy to be raised on Disney.”