Top 10 (or 5) Magical Moments

Every magical moment with its context:

  1. First trip, 1990, as an overweight kid with little to no social skills. I remember dozens of CM interactions where they treated me so kindly, genuinely cared if I was having a great time, and interacted with me with no judgment. It set the tone for a lifetime of loving the feel of WDW.

  2. Seeing computer voice recognition, ride technology, and some modern computing takes for the first time at Communicore in Epcot.

  3. Watching the three musketeers being drawn on the Backlot Studio Tour - seeing an artist draw ‘real Mickey’ live for the first time.

  4. When my late sister worked there, seeing backstage for the first time and meeting CMs outside the parks.

  5. The first time eating at CRT (also my first deluxe dining). I had no idea there was so much more to the castle and to what Disney dining could be!

  6. Bringing my own kids into the ‘Disney bubble’ and the raw wonder at the scope of the magic.

  7. Recently, getting immersed in Batuu was magical for me, and I can’t wait to go back once wall-to-wall people in the area clear out slightly so I can appreciate all of the little touches.


Sure. But considerably more entertaining for the onlookers than the “lucky” family!

I’ll try for 10. There’s so many memories.

Like one of our FW stays when most of us were waiting at the internal bus stop and watching for the bus. And here it comes, s l o w l y because it’s following some old gent on a trike who’s pedaling sedately along enjoying all the attention - oh! wait, that’s DH! and he has no clue there’s a huge Disney bus on his bumper! :rofl:

Another memory, from June 1979. We’re walking thru the parking lot on the way to MK. DS says that’s a cool car - pointing to a station wagon. :astonished: Privately I told DH, he’ll be married in a year. DH says, he’s not even got a girlfriend. Me: doesn’t matter, he’s 22. Brings a girl home at Christmas and in June 1980 they’re married. Honeymoon in FL, first WDW trip with kids Dec 1994. Thank you MK parking lot for the heads up.

December 2020 memory. Driving to WDW, about 2 hours away, I notice one of our 2 SSR studios is gone. Canceled. Call Disney and speak to several people. First CM finds a ghost of reservation but no current reservation. No idea why the cancellation. Puts me onto CM at SSR. We can have a second studio in the Grandstand area; not great since our other studio is in the Paddock area. We opt to wait to resolve this when we arrive. After speaking with a great CM who works and works and works, we have a 2 bedroom in the Springs area! Beside the bus stop.

This memory still amazes me. We’re at CBR with a couple of karate kids and a brother for the big tournament at CSR. Checking in, CM says I’ve got your Armed Forces Salute tickets all linked to your bands. I’m like wait? What!?! Even after much questioning by me she’s certain this linking has been accomplished. I’m doubting her but Disney does occasionally switch things up. Even tho I intended to be safe and bring our paper tickets, I forgot - it’s our first morning, we’re headed to MK with a couple of first timer kids. And of course, our tickets weren’t linked to the bands. I have gone to WDW with a broken arm and at this point that arm is saying, I don’t wanna ride the bus to the resort for the tickets and ride back. All whiney. So I call some Disney number. I think WDW-RIDE and ask for a ride to my resort to rectify a problem of a CM’s making. I get transferred to the back office of CBR. That person says all our drivers are currently out. Can you hold? Well, yes . . . After a couple of eternities, she comes back to say she’s put 5 one-day park hopper passes on our magic bands to get us thru today. We’ll need to present the paper tickets at guest services in the morning. We did one better at Epcot that afternoon, stopping at Guest Services to activate the tickets and put in a good word for this CM. Back to the first morning, we still made rope drop with our magic bands. And that is why you arrive very early on your first morning. :sunglasses:

One last one involves a BIG major milestone birthday a few years ago, in February. I’m the person who makes things special for everyone else in the family. For my 50th a couple of family members wanted to do something special but, blame it on their DHs, didn’t get a chance. For my BIG major milestone birthday I wanted a big deal - went to WDW, stayed in a 2 br at Boardwalk, and wore my Birthday pin every day. I still get emotional about ALL the birthday greetings and wishes from everyone. I still have the little crane from Tokyo dining along with lots of wonderful memories.

There’s bunches more - like Cinderella and the Prince dancing with 3 of our great grandaughters at the same time. But y’all are tired of my longwindedness (or I’m tired of typing :crazy_face:). Maybe more later. :hugs:

  1. Visiting Disney World for the first time as a teen, many years after our last family visit to Disneyland and all of us feeling like kids again. My dad rarely took time off from work and it was fun to see us all enjoy the nostalgia and childlike joy. My parents honeymooned at Disney World and we stayed at the Polynesian just as they had in 1974.

  2. Visiting a couple of years later with my family and my aunt’s family. Her children were much younger and my little cousin had endless fun playing in the jumping water fountains at Epcot.

  3. Epic extended family trip the summer after I graduated from high school. 10 cousins from age 7-22. A photo of all of us “kids” trying on pirate gear at the merch shop in Adventureland.

  4. Same epic trip, the 18+ cousins hitting Pleasure Island, one having a fake ID confiscated, test tube and Jell-O shots being surreptitiously passed to the under 21-ers. Good times were had by all.

  5. Same epic trip, our grandmother being given a dunce cap at 50s prime time! She was such a good sport.

  6. Many years later my aunt and uncle inviting me and my sister on a trip with them and our cousin. They are DVC owners and staying with them I fell in love with the possibility of it all. Walking to magic kingdom from BLT was amazing. The kitchen and laundry were so helpful. It was all so easy.

  7. Another trip with that same aunt & uncle, my sister, cousin and myself had imbibed in world showcase a bit before our Via Napoli ADR. We were a fairly large party that evening and my uncle was planning to order two pizzas. His daughter convinced him (and I agreed with her) that we needed 4 with our party size. We had no idea how large the mezzo metros were and once we saw them we committed to eat an obscene amount of pizza lest we admit we were wrong. We still laugh about it often.

  8. Evening extra magic hours in Magic Kingdom one night, watching the MSEP with a Dole Whip in hand, no crowds in sight and riding anything we wanted over and over again.

  9. Dreaming of and planning a trip for my own family as a new mom - realizing during this process that we could buy into DVC ourselves and ensure a lifetime of Disney magic for our kids.

  10. To be determined in 2022 🪄

This thread has been so fun to read and renews all of my joy and excitement about taking my kids. So much has changed but change is inevitable and we’ll find our family’s own version of magic. I can’t wait to see what my kids notice and remember as highlights of their trips.

  1. Getting picked to open Blizzard Beach by sliding down Summit Plummet while everyone else watching from behind the rope and it came with a cabana and medal for the teen

  2. The waitress of Vero Beach who gave the girls Disney pins

  3. Watching the zebra and spring bok playing from the balcony at Kidani (when we only paid for a standard view room)

  4. Going to Disneyland for Oogie Boogie Bash with DD right before teen angst phase. I’m so grateful for that trip.

  5. Getting chosen to sit in the special seats for Lights Motors Action at DHS.


So many memories just after 9/11 and before the economy crashed around 2008. WDW had a whole different vibe back then.

My ex and I arrived early for a round of golf. It was either Magnolia or Osprey. We checked in to find out we were the guests of the day. A CM picked us up on a Mickey themed golf cart we got to use. And they gave us a certificate. We felt like rock stars.

Grand Floridian- Castle view. I started crying …

Carriage ride along the Fort Wilderness area.

Parasailing - could see Spaceship Earth, Cinderella Castle and Everest.

Observing surgery on a skunk at AK Backstage Safari Tour.

Lunch at CHH during Keys to the Kingdom Tour. The tour was awesome and lunch sticks out for me because stories from the tour guide.

All the Hidden Mickeys pointed out on Secrets to World Showcase tour.

Pleasure Island/Downtown Disney. So much so when I visit now there are certain spots I can actually feel the vibration/magic that once was. Outside of Art of Disney and Cirque theater, for example.

More recent …

A not so stellar lunch at 50’s and Manager gave us an Anytime FP.

Wild Africa Trek

CM at Riviera gifted me a silhouette trading pin of Rabbit.

Security guard escorted me from GF to Poly on new walking path.


I do not miss The Great Movie Ride (sorry, not sorry) and much of the other stuff that most folks miss about the old HS, but I really miss this playground! I loved it as an adult!

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I had a fun morning there with the kids on an early family trip while DH was riding RnR. I was goofing around rather a lot myself.


I’ve been mulling this over and enjoying everyone else’s memories so much! I think I’ve settled on:

  1. My earliest memory: I was a teenager on my first visit, riding the ferry across to Magic Kingdom before rope drop- eating breakfast at Tony’s Town Square Cafe and feeling like everything was so fancy, lol. I was a poor kid and this trip was something I never thought we would get to do so just being there was magical.
  2. On that first visit, my sister and I turned around and there was Mickey Mouse! He had just appeared from backstage, there was no line and we were looking at the CM helper like “for real? Can we just walk up to him?”. My mom took a picture with a film camera and when it was developed we learned she had centered my sister and I- cutting off Mickey’s head, lol. That is a treasured memory- she still maintains that she got the important stuff in the pic, her 2 darling daughters.
  3. Coming back to WDW for the first time as an adult- I went with my sister- no kids or spouses, just the 2 of us and we had an amazing week. MVMCP was a highlight for sure, everything felt super Christmassy and all the rides were walk-ons.
  4. I brought my best friend and her daughter (who is autistic) and seeing the magic through her daughter’s eyes- I have 2 photopass pics of her daughter hugging Anna and Elsa, eyes closed, just looking so blissful- magic for sure.
  5. My first trip with my partner, who hadn’t been since about 1979 when he was a kid- he was skeptical of my Disney enthusiasm but when we did the Happily Ever After dessert party and he saw the show from the garden his mind was blown and he had a new appreciation for why I wanted to drag him to a kids park :slight_smile:

I’m saving the next half of my top 10 for future trips- going to do WAT next month and I suspect that will yield a few core memories, too!


There has to be more to this story …


Yes. And then there was the post-2008 - 2014ish period before the insane crowds and logarithmic increase in upcharges.

Lol! I asked him for directions because it appeared the walking path had cut off at a certain point. He said he was heading that direction and would take me it.

He asked if I was alone and I lied and said no. Told him my husband was back at the room. I think he knew I was lying. :laughing: And I think he was genuinely worried I was out walking alone at night. It was just really sweet and made a good impression.

I remember riding SM four times in a row. :weary:


Thank you for this.

We spent at least a solid hour - maybe 2 - at the window at the vet care place at AK. After you get off the train. The team was doing a well check on a komodo dragon. Our kid - maybe 8 or so? - stood at that window enthralled. DH got bored. But not the kid. It was a sizable komodo dragon, too.

Very interesting. We did nothing else AK that morning and got the first train to Conservation Station so we wouldn’t miss whatever the vet team were doing. Spent the whole morning there. This was about 2012 maybe.

Really glad to eat lunch after being glued to that window.

One of our highlights over the years.

Here’s another, from 1990 I think*. At HS, over by Star Tours, we encountered two Ewoks merrily jumping on popcorn they found spilled on the walkway. I have a photo of this somewhere in a box. We still refer back to that funny scene. “Like Ewoks stomping popcorn”

*Or 1988 but I really think it’s 1990.


Taking the boat from DHS to YC/BC, mobile ordering dinner for the kids on the boat, picking up the order on the walk back to BCV room…then…date night with husband in France.

First ones on FEA one morning, walking from from IG…those huge double doors opened, felt like royalty. The CMs greeted us with a huge “Welcome!”

Walking through Cinderella Castle at sunrise. I have some great oics!

Cast members telling the kids to stand up and turn around on the seats and see the characters at Garden Grill.

I saw Vacation Fun for the first time last spring. Nice afternoon going from Sci Fi for lunch, then Frozen Singalong, then Vacatuon Fun after a full morning in GE & TSL.