Mine was a total surprise. It was way back when my kids were 3 and 1 and was our first time going as a family. I wasn’t even a Disney lover back then, we were there for a day, not staying on property. Anyway, I remember arriving at MK and seeing the Let The Memories Begin sign with all the flowers and I just started crying! I have no idea why I felt so emotional, but there was just something so magical about being there together. I have been back to Magic Kingdom several times, and it gets me every time
I have been to Disney about 4 or 5 times, but the last time I went in 2016 was the first with my daughters. I had a few moments that were completely magical and I still get emotional jsut thinking about it. The first was the “Where Dreams Come True” Sign as we got there. I said “I see something” and my daughters started cheering. I got chill bumps. They didn’t know what it was all about yet, but they knew it was going to be fun. The next day, on our 2nd ride (the first was Jungle Cruise and I rode that with the oldest of my twins) we rode magic carpets of Aladdin. I rode that with my youngest. Side note about her is she is mildly autistic. She doesn’t like to make mistakes and gets very scared about doing new things because she doesn’t want to mess up. So I told her I would let her raise us up or lower her down and she shook her head no. I said “Ok, well I’ll do it then.” I raised us all the way up to the top and looked over. She had the biggest smile I have ever seen her have before or since. No joke, they could have come and said “Mr. Dad, we know you’ve spent several thousands of dollars to be here, but your time is up.” and it would have been money well spent. The third was a couple of days later, we went to Enchanted Tales with Belle. My oldest got picked to be the Beast and my wife and I were picked to be the knights. As Belle came in the room, my daughter scared her and then got to dance with her. At the time she didn’t know they were really just people dressed up like the characters. To her, that really was Belle.
I have talked about that trip since almost the day we left. We are going back in November, but my daughters don’t know that. My oldest asked me which trip I liked better, the cruise we went on last year or Disney World. I said I liked both, but would choose Disney. She told me she didn’t really remember the Disney trip that much, so she would have to choose the cruise. When we break it to them that we are going to Disney, they will be so excited!
Mine was seeing “Wishes” for the first time with DS (9) and DD(7). I really miss that show because it was such a special moment in our kids’ childhood. It was our first trip to WDW as a family, and as anyone who has traveled there with younger kids knows, the trip was full of ups and downs. Sometimes as parents, when we spend a lot of money and time planning this type of trip, we build up our expectations for how much our kids are going to enjoy it. Needless to say, our kids were often tired and cranky through the week, and it left my husband and I wondering if it was all worth it. At the end of the trip, we stayed in the MK to watch “Wishes”. Seeing the look of awe in their faces, and hearing that incredibly touching song made me cry and realize how fortunate we are to have healthy and happy children, when so many families are struggling with problems that we can’t even imagine. I will always remember that moment and I am so grateful that we are able to continue experiencing WDW with our children, for as long as they want to go.
I think this is a big part of it. I get overwhelmed sometimes when I think about how fortunate we are that we have healthy kids, and can afford to take these amazing trips.
My personal magical moment was walking into the ballroom in Be Our Guest for the first time. Beauty and the Beast was my favorite, and it looked so real! I was 30-something and standing there all starry-eyed. Then we sat by one of the windows where it’s snowing. happy sigh
I have so many…but one of my top memories has to be during the Frozen Sing-Along a DHS. My 3 yr old daughter who is a HUGE Frozen fan was loving the entire show and all of a sudden it starts snowing during “Let it Go” and she was just mesmerized! I just loved the pure and genuine happiness and wonderment of that moment…something I will never forget!
Maybe I’m “insensitive”, but I have never gotten the whole "magical moment: thing. But there are several memories that I will never forget. (1) My first time walking through the tunnel onto MS and seeing the castle; It was 1975, I was 16 and had been dreaming of going to “Disneyland” for as long as I could remember. (2) My first trip to EP in 1983; I was completely blown away by the rides in FW, and walking around WS was one wonder after another. (3) The first time I saw WOC in DCA; Wow, just wow - I have never seen anything before of since that was as spectacular.
There are probably more, but these are the first three that came to mind, so they must be the most memorable.
I don’t know if I could pick one. But @bswan26’s description of his first trip to Epcot does make me realize how life-changing that first time in Epcot was.
Going to Disney wasn’t so much a “lifetime experience” thing back then, but Epcot had recently opened when we went (I think it was 1982) and seeing that giant golf ball (as we called Spaceship Earth) was a magical moment. But even moreso was the experiences in Futureworld. I mean, I was a major sci-fi kind of guy. But to see doors that automatically opened as you approached then, and touch-screen computers that allowed you to build your own roller coaster designs, etc? It was like science fiction had become a reality. Even though I was already on the path toward an interest in computer science (before I ever knew that was what it was called) I think seeing the “impossible” become possible at Epcot eventually helped to solidify that path.
I still feel something special about the giant golf ball. In fact, for me, the Magic Kingdom castle doesn’t do much for me. But seeing Spaceship Earth always does!
I was there is '83 too and have a similar memory. The FW pavilions and rides were so different from any other attractions I had experienced. I am sorry my kids will never get to see that Epcot.
This brought tears to my eyes I am taking DD(almost)3 and DS1 in May and can’t wait for this exact moment!
Last June we were eating lunch in The Plaza at MK, and my son was picked to be the Junior Mayor of the day complete with a “swearing in” ceremony, photographer, and a golden fast pass! Then, the next day at HS, he was individually called out by Phasma in the storm trooper parade as being a traitor and member of the resistance!
My 6 yo son developed a hernia at MK. After visiting first aid and following their recommendation to go to Celebration Hospital, we were seen by a doctor there hours later. By then the bulge had receded. The doc said to go on with our vacation, but to not let him “strain.” We were back at the park for the 3:00 parade, which I will never forget. I was SO thankful that he was okay, that we were back in “the world,” and that both my kids were once again entranced. I cried.
Completely agree about WOC at DCA. DH is not really a theme park guy (he enjoys Disney but tired of crowds pretty quickly.) Our first night of our first ever Disney Trip had our preschoolers (at the time) falling asleep beforehand, and we were questioning our decision. 2 minutes into WOC, and we were blown away. Haven’t seen a show that good since, even though we loved Wishes.
When we were on our first big family trip in 2010, my daughter got this (really horrid) plush Cinderella doll (I think they still have them, or a version of them). Anyway we were watching the Main Street Electrical parade (moment of silence please…) and Cinderella passed in the coach. As she did my daughter was waving the doll in the air like mad, showing Cinderella if you will. Cinderella pointed at her and said “I love your doll!” My daughter turned around and the look on her face was, well, I’ve got tears in my eyes remembering it all these years later. It was absolutely magical.
I think that’s the very moment when we fell down the rabbit hole, come to think of it
There are many magical moments, but the one that sticks out to me is taking my youngest daughter to Disney World for the first time. She was sooo excited to meet Cinderella, and had even had a Cinderella birthday party and worn a Cinderella costume for Halloween. She insisted on wearing it at Disney, even in the heat of July! So, I put her in the costume and we went to Cinderella’s Royal Table–just mama and her girl. She was over the moon to be inside the castle and to get her picture made with Cinderella. However, the moment came when we were waiting to be called upstairs for the meal. We were just sitting along the wall, looking around, when Cinderella came over to my daughter and held out her hand to her and asked her to dance. My daughter was speechless and stood up and took her hand, and they “waltzed” together in the middle of the room. It was magical-her little careful steps and her eyes gazing up at Cinderella the whole time! At the end of the dance, Cinderella knelt down and hugged her. My heart just melted. It was really and truly Disney magic!
In 1992 we took DS, then 2 to MK. At that time characters did not have meet spots – they would wander around. We had just entered Main Street and spotted Pooh. DS (now 28) had watched every Disney Pooh movie there was. He walked (toddled) up to Pooh with wonder on his face, tucked his head down in silence, and wrapped his arms around Pooh (well, as far as he could) for a huge hug. Fortunately I have the photo, but I actually don’t need it, as I will never forget the wonder and joy on his face, and that loving hug.
I feel the same way! I managed to remember to pull out my phone and take a picture right as Cinderella hugged my daughter, but I was so caught up in the moment that it is a forever memory, the best souvenir of her first trip.
I’ve told this story 1,001 times on Lines, so if you’ve already heard it, I apologize.
Husband and I were on our “first anniversary” trip so we were wearing our “Happily Ever After” buttons. This was in August of 2013, so the FP+ system was being tested and because we were staying onsite, we got to test the program.
We had a parade FP+ (RIP parade FP+) for the Main Street Electrical Parade (RIP MSEP). I was sitting on the curb, right in front of Cinderella Castle and the parade was passing by no more than 10 feet in front of me.
Dopey spots my button, points to me and makes a heart. I nod and smile. He then reaches back and pats the “gemstone” in his cart as if to ask “got the ring?” I nod, smile and wave my left hand ring finger to acknowledge. Dopey nods, flashes me a double “thumbs up” and proceeds down the parade route.
This is always the story I tell for my favorite moment. A lot of people ask “why do people without children enjoy Disney so much?” and to me, that’s what its all about. Disney can be special to anyone, at any point in their lives. We have two kids now, so I’m sure that memory will be replaced with an even better story in the future, but those trips will always we special to me, the ones my husband and I took just the two of us.
The magic for us is in the little things. This was the first year a WDW where my mom didn’t come with us. It made us realize one of our special moments was in the morning when she’d splurge and buy the chocolate popcorn to share with my DS. He really missed it this time, so we had to buy it in her honour.
Then we took photos of us doing all the things I know she’d like and texted them to her (her first year with an ipad, so she could get them). She loved it and felt included, even though she was miles away. She was able to show my dad, who was in the hospital, all our photos so he’d feel a little like he was there, too.
So it’s not one ‘magical’ thing, but a host of magic that went before all that to draw upon. From there, we made new memories, but made my mom’s and dad’s day by being able to share them and draw on their memories, too.
In 2013 my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and my mom with breast cancer. My father passed in 2014. My mom was placed in a nursing home. My sweet dear husband recognized I needed some happy memories to be made. Our first trip was in June 2014. We seriously kept it a secret. We told them we were going to Detroit where my husband travelled for business. When we boarded the plane, my kids gleefully claimed they were going to Detroit! The flight attendants and people on the plane around us went along with the whole ruse! Magically and thankfully, we kept our secret…until my smart DS recognized palm trees don’t exist in MI. When we got to the entrance of WDW, we did the whole “look at the signs” thing. That evening we rode Dumbo during the fireworks. So much magic and joy. My mom passed the next April. We did it all over again in her memory. Except this time, my kids weren’t so gullible. It was what my mom and dad would have wanted.