Top 10 (or 5) Magical Moments

If I can divert people temporarily away from the loss of magic thread … reading that thread has me thinking of my most magical WDW moments/experiences/memories over the past 40+ years. Here are my Top 10, not necessarily in order. What are yours?

  1. Riding the Epcot extension of the monorail for the first time shortly after Epcot opened. I was so excited to explore all I could see from above. Epcot in the 80s was so unique, and seeing it today, it is hard to imagine how amazing it was back then.

  2. RD’ing Dumbo (the things we do for our kids!) and the CM letting everyone stay on for a second ride in a row. DD (then 4 years old) turned to me and said “Pixie Dust”.

  3. Riding in the front portion of the monorail with the driver. Bummed that you can’t do that anymore.

  4. The first time my parents let my brother and I go alone to MK at night. Towards the end of the evening SM was walk-on. We rode over and over.

  5. DD (then 3 years old) accidentally hit her head on the Chef Mickey’s buffet (the metal part where people put their trays). A CM saw DD crying and ran over with the light up pin of Tinkerbell (along with a Buzz pin for DS).

  6. Being picked to ride on the back of the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Bee during the Backlot Tour at MGM.

  7. EMH at DHS back in 2012. ST was walk-on. My Dad, my brother, my niece (then 8 years old) and I rode again and again.

  8. Walking into SW:GE for the first time. I had been waiting for a Star Wars Land at a theme park for over 40 years.

  9. A 1 night WDW visit for my 1 year anniversary. Dinner at Cali Grill, Custom Cake for dessert, and then MVMCP. [Confession: We were at Universal with my brother’s family for 4 nights before DW and I stayed an extra night for our anniversary and MK visit.]

  10. The first time my kids were at WDW, the first attraction for us was the Tinkerbell meet and great. When it was our turn, DD ran up to Tinkebell. I was holding DS (then 13 months old) because I thought he would be scared. Instead, he indicated he wanted me to put him down, he crawled up next to Tinkerbell, and started spinning in circles on his tush with a smile on his face the whole time.


These are all great. Some are ours, too. Monorail front cabin for sure.

10 most magical requires some thought and sorting.

Memorable might be easier and maybe funny or even awful.

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  1. Fireworks at DLR with DD who was 4 at the time.

  2. Same trip just Me and her for some father daughter time for an evening in the park. So many walk on rides.

  3. Daughters first trip, she was 2.5, met Minnie at a character meal and was so excited she fell out of her seat.

  4. my first WDW trip ~1993 Star tours, the queue, the ride, i was too young to have seen any of the films in the theatre. Star Wars in real life!!!

There’s probably a 20 way tie for 5th.

  1. At the Magic Kingdom for the first time at age 5 in the 80s, I saw Minnie Mouse while we were in line for Hall of Presidents, and I bolted under the ropes and left my parents in the dust. I had dreamed of meeting Minnie, and I was going to do it!
  2. Watching HEA for the first time. When my kids were finally old enough to stay awake that long, we did the dessert party and watched from the fenced off section. We had a perfect view. The projections were so stunning the first time we saw them.
  3. Walking into Be Our Guest for the first time as a big Beauty and the Beast fan.
  4. Meeting Darth Vader.
  5. One year we walked into the POR lobby, just arriving at WDW, and Ariel walked right past us and waved to my girls, and they were really wowed. Instant magic upon arrival.
  6. Walking through Galaxy’s Edge for the first time. We were Disneybounding Star Wars characters and we got a lot of attention from the roaming characters and cast members. It was so fun to play along.
  1. Walking on to Main Street for the first time and starting to cry.
  2. Watching my then 13 month old DGD trying to catch the bubbles in the Finding Nemo Show.
  3. Watching my DGDs 13 months and 3 years old watch Festival of the Lion King while I cry.
  4. Watching my DGDs watching the Frozen sing along while I cry.
  5. Crying on Main Street while the Citizens of Main Street and the Dapper Dans perform.
  6. Seeing the amazing interaction with Jasmine and Aladdin with DGD3.
  7. When my DGD3 joined in the princess procession around Akershus and having a young girl walk up
    and take her hand when my DGD looked nervous.
  8. Being at WDW in October 2019 with the Extra Extra Magic Hours entering HS 3 hours before the
    park opened and the other parks an hour before opening.


I have to give this more thought.


This has to be the coolest of ours…

1 Disney did a year to magic or called something like that. Think it was our first family trip 2008. As we walked out of TSMM, CM gifted us with after hours pass. Told us to come back just before park close and go to Indy theater. We sat through a performance as they cleared the park. The theater was 2/3 ish full maybe. Kids 7 & 5 at the time. They picked TSMM as what they wanted to do, we stood in line for about an hour. Still a cool way to spend our special time.

The rest in no particular order…

2 Same trip. Stayed at Poly theme park view. Magical to have kids in their pjs, open sliding door, hear the fireworks and watch them as the kids fell asleep.

3 Ran the princess 1/2. CM at resort notice my friend and I wearing our medals and asked if we had gotten our buttons. He gave us the “ My Magical Triumph” buttons.

4 SSR boat captain giving kids transportation cards.

5 Walked in the EP international gate and told family I wanted to try some of the festival booths. DS (10ish) asked why couldn’t we do them all. So we did! Got a dish at each and shared.

6 Getting up at 4am for Dec 2019 BG rush for ROtR. Getting one and helping a father and daughter get one. Thanks to info learned here! And family deciding they wanted to do it another morning.

7 Walking by the Stave Chapel and telling family to open the door. They didn’t think you could go in. We were the only in there

8 In 2000, pre kids, DH and I stayed at Poly. Enjoyed some quiet time in the hammocks.

9 NYE2019- DS16 didn’t like the crowds at EP so he headed back to resort early. DH, DD and I stayed for a bit but started to get cold and also wanted to get out of the crowd. Headed back to AKL. We watched fireworks on tv and saw a few out our window.

10 Joined DVC. Invited my parents on a trip. Great to give them back the time at Disney like they used to give me.

Edit to add our 4 parks in one day. Visited in January (kids did year round a school). We were in MK and planned to go EP later. Kids said they wanted to go back to AK to get hats they saw. DH said, let’s go ahead and do 4 parks today. ….as we were walking from HS to EP that night, a CM at BWV said hello and asked how our day was going. We told him about our 4 parks day and he showed us the cut through to shorten our walk.

Which now reminds me of the time we stayed at BWV. DS was 7ish. He looooved that creepy clown pool slide. He would be to the top and older kids would let him pass. He want up and down soooo many times.

I can go on and on with good memories and the magic. We did UOR one year and just didn’t feel the magic there. Thanks for starting the thread @davej!


Do 8, 9,and 10 including crying?

I’ve shed a few happy tears.


Probably. The first 7 popped into my mind right away.
I have cried so many happy tears at WDW.


I just added #8 No tears.

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I was there too!

This was picture in the AM rope drop! The rest of the fam was on TOT and told my daughter to smile. Told her she may never get a pic like this ever again. That was one of our favorite trips. They also did the jedi trainimg 3x in one day…cause why not.


By the 9 a.m. park opening, we had done most of the attractions in HS and we were sitting at Woody’s having breakfast.


It was the wonderful! WDW will surely never make that mistake again :rofl:


We’ve had four glorious trips since WDW reopened. (One of those was even before the parks reopened!)

My husband and I stayed at VGF and were upgraded to a one bedroom from a studio. We ate at Kona, (lots of special attention by the chef,) GFC-again, stellar service, sat in the lobby of Grand Floridian, (had it to ourselves,) and even had the feature pool to ourselves at one point.

They were testing the monorail and ferries and everything was perfect!

I jogged the oath in the mornings from the Poly to GF and back.

The cast members truly shined.


Yes, several of these are from the “before times” but some are also from 2021- the magic is still there! These are in no particular order:

  1. Riding in the front of the monorail with the driver as a child.

2.Being chosen as the “family of the day” for Lion King and getting special seats, and the kids being chosen for the acting rolls.

  1. Ferrying to MK for the first time from the Polynesian with my own family. The look on the kids faces were pure joy!

  2. Our first viewing of the FoF parade. It seemed every character stopped to hug/ talk to us!

  3. Getting an upgraded savannah room at AKL. My kids were in heaven every morning on that balcony.

  4. Rope dropping MMRR and being the first family to ride. The cast members lined the queue, high fived the kids, and clapped for us. It was like we were VIPs!

  5. Getting ushered through the FPP lane at FOP when we didn’t have a fp on our first visit.

  6. Viewing Happily Ever After for the first time.

  7. Riding the skyliner for the first time! DS4 was over the moon!!

  8. Trattoria Al Forno Character breakfast. The princes were so fun with DD5 and the princess with then DS1 and DS 11.


I would have to sit and think about this for a bit, but off the top of my head…

  • Pulling into the parking lot of EPCOT and seeing the “giant ball” for the first time before EPCOT officially opened. It was like catching a glimpse of the future, since we had been watching the construction progress being shown on the Wonderful World of Disney

  • Experiencing EPCOT for the first time, and the “magical” technology it had to offer, like touch screen computers and doors that opened automatically as you approached then (without a pressure plate!)

  • Star Tours! Finally, seeing Star Wars come to life

  • Riding Space Mountain for the first time, where I accused my mother of hating me for making me go on it as I was crying…only to get off it so excited I ran (along with my older brothers) to go ride it again. I have loved roller coasters of all types ever since

  • Seeing the Flight of the Navigator spaceship during the Backlot tour! It was…real!

  1. Riding Splash Mountain twice on a soft opening on our first and what we thought would be only trip.
  2. The CM at TSI on that same trip who saw me and my sister sitting around bored and took us all over the island to show us how cool it was.
  3. Seeing DSthen7 fight Darth Vader at JTA, it was the first thing we did on the first day of his first trip.
  4. Later the same day discovering he was definitely a thrill seeker like me when he got off RnRC (his first ever coaster) and begged to go straight back on.
  5. The excitement of DH and DSthen11 meeting Chewbacca.
  6. Meeting Mickey for the first time, I was 17 and nearly lost my mind. My parents still have the 1992 Unofficial Guide that he autographed for us.
  7. When DSthen11 was the rebel spy on Star Tours! My dad was also the rebel spy on our last trip.
  8. Riding EE at night during RoL over and over again with DSthen14.
  9. When my mum met Piglet at CP, she was like a little girl again.
  10. Watching HEA for the first and sadly last time, I loved it. There were tears.

I’m a bit sad that none of these involve our older son. He went aged 5 and aged 17 (when younger was 7) but he pretty much hated it both times.

Next trip is in July, just me and younger DS who will be 17. I’m sure there will be many more magical moments.


Here are a few of ours (all pre-pandemic):

  1. Chatting with CMs in World Showcase, especially our wonderful server at Biergarten.

  2. DDthen7 drawing each princess and then giving her ‘art’ to princesses during the meet and greets. I felt like princesses truly appreciated the effort DD put into this.

  3. Walking into HS before 6 am, in the dark and getting our first ever boarding group.

  4. On the same day - DSthen12 hiding his green lightsaber from CM in the interrogation room.

  5. Sitting by the pool after a long day in a park and watching kids make friends with another family.

  6. Exploring the carvings on the Tree of Life. If I look back and think what sparked my passion for Disney - it is this moment.


I love the cavalcades. I hope they stick around.

Jeal. Ous. !!!

I do not remember that. That would’ve been fab to see. Backlot tour was amazing!!

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It wasn’t necessarily highlighted, but there was a section that was kind of a “graveyard” of large prop pieces…vehicles used in movies, etc. One of them was the spaceship, which I recognized immediately since I loved the movie as a kid.