Your Disney Memories.

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What’s your favorite Disney memory or even your worst?  Some things that happen in Disney parks that are universal: The first time you saw the castle, eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table, watching the fireworks at night. All of these make for special memories but sometimes it’s the odd moment that you don’t plan or one that doesn’t even seem important at the time that sticks out in your mind as something special.  Perhaps it’s even something that isn’t so pleasant.

I remember once when my twins were babies sitting next to an older couple on a bench in Liberty  Square.  They were easily in their 70s and local passholders, so they’d seen everything and frankly, they were bored. While my twins napped, a rare moment in itself, the couple started to bicker in the most amusing way about what they were going to see next and I couldn’t help but start laughing. We started talking and it turned out they were there with their grandchildren, who were visiting from someplace halfway across the country.  It was one of those moments where you connect with a stranger, something I find happens a lot in Disney parks. It wasn’t one of those big memories, like when my children saw the castle for the first time, but it was something small and lovely that has always stood out in my mind.  I’ve often wondered what they did next. Did they go home? Stick it out for the grandchildren’s sake?  Who knows?

In my job, I often hear from clients about trips they took as kids or those that were momentous because they were “good-bye” trips to loved ones, even trips where they celebrated new beginnings, like honeymoons or being cancer-free. Today I’m wondering about you. What are some of your most special memories, big and small?  How about the not-so-great ones?  Did these times take on a greater significance as the years have passed?  Please share with us in the comments.

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About Christina Wood

For more travel planning articles by Chris, check out her Disney travel blog, Everything Walt Disney World. Chris is also a member of the Mouse Chat podcast team and an authorized Disney travel planner with Pixie Vacations, and visits the parks about 55 days each year. To get free planning and assistance with your next Disney vacation, please call her at 919-889-5281 or email at ChrisW@PixieVacations.com. You may also fill out a quick Disney Vacation Quote form here.
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11 Responses to Your Disney Memories.

  1. Chris says:

    We took our 10-month-old to Epcot for the first time and, after a long, tiring day we settled into our spots for Illuminations. It was well past my daughter’s bedtime and she was clearly tired and grumpy. I was not anticipating that the addition of loud noises and bright lights would make things better. But then, the lights around World Showcase went out and the fire started. As the fireworks began to light up the sky, our corner of the Showcase was filled with the giggles of a baby who had just spent her first day st Disney and gave her dad a memory he won’t soon forget.

  2. Kaz says:

    One memory that I always come back to was when we took my daughter to Disney World when she was 2 1/2. She was really into princesses then and when we were watching the nighttime parade, I remember when I said, “I think I see Cinderella coming” and her eyes got big and she sat up straighter trying to catch a glimpse.

    She is 9 now, and is more interested in older kid Disney shows and shopping at Justice than princesses, so I hold onto that memory of a.. not better, but different period of her life.

  3. amanda says:

    We took our 10 year old daughter and our 20 month old son to Disney world for 11 days, coming from Wisconsin. We spent the whole day open to close at magic Kingdom. The baby was great the whole trip took naps in his stroller through out the day. But I decided that we would see the 2nd parade on this day at the Kingdom so my daughter could ride space mountain a few more times during the 1st one. The baby stayed awake for the fireworks and the 1st few floats of the parade then fell asleep siting up in his stroller. That’s when The Seven dwarfs came by Doc came over to him and motioned to us how cute he was sleeping but as he moved away there was snow white she came and gave him a kiss right on the forehead. it all happened so fast I missed the photo op but we do have a pic of him with the bright red lipstick kiss. I

  4. Heather says:

    My earliest Disney World memories are of trips with my grandparents in the 1970s. My grandma and I were so smitten with If You Had Wings that we rode it over and over and over! We still reminisce about that and have a giggle. Two days ago, my gram turned 90. I sent her a video of If You Had Wings as part of her birthday celebration!

  5. Lizzie says:

    Oh boy that’s a hard question!

    My honest to god earlier Disney memory was when I was around three years old. I don’t remember much, mostly images really, but I was sitting in Hollywood Studios (then MGM) at Mama Melrose’s and there was this blue balloon just outside the window. There’s a bit of video footage of me sitting there, but not of the balloon. That’s why I know it’s my earliest memory.

    But I think my absolute favorite memory is when I traveled to WDW in 2011 with my FBLA chapter for the National FBLA Leadership Conference (FBLA = Future Business Leaders of America). My chapter adviser has two sons, and her oldest, Gordon, came with us on that trip. I will never forget standing next to him when we watched the Castle Projection Show (then the Magic, The Memories & You) and watching his face light up when the top tier took off like a rocket. I don’t remember having a lot of experiences like that as a kid. Disney has always been a part of my life, so I never had a lot of “firsts” I can remember.

    But the other moment I do want to mention happened just a couple weeks ago, and it wasn’t at a Disney park. My band auditioned for Disney Performing Arts this past spring, and although I’m now a Freshman in High School, I was at the first High School Football game to help out with the band, and I’d be able to go on the trip. We were all on the field and as we walked off (I was carrying a ladder at the time for the Drum Major), our band director tried to stop us and began to play a recording over the loud system. It was our acceptance to DPA, and honestly it was the greatest moment of my life. Truthful the most magical moment and surprise I’ve ever experienced. I can’t ever thank my band director or my high school band for making my dream of marching down Main Street come true. Only 263 days until we hit the road to WDW!

  6. Becca says:

    I have been going to Disney at least 4 times a year for as long as I can remember, but there is one particular moment that I will never forget! I was there with my family for my 10th birthday trip, and it was when MK actually had tons of characters around mainstreet instead of 3…anyways. So we walked in, and the trolley show was happening, which I have always loved and so my family knew we had to stop and watch. When it was over, there was a tap on my shoulder, it was Alice coming over to wish me a happy birthday! She was JUST coming out from a break, and I suppose and we were standing around her post. Instead of starting her time, she grabbed me by the hand and took me literally skipping and running all around mainstreet! She grabbed her photographer so he could snap every picture possible. We went over to every character (close to 10 at least). Not only was this an amazing time, but Alice has always been one of my favorite characters, but my love for her really grew around this time because a monologue I had done from Alice in Wonderland had gotten me a final callback for Zoey 101…so this made it even better! To this day (I am almost 21) it is my absolute favorite Disney memory, and I feel like it always will!

  7. WookieeGunner says:

    My group had a very late reservation at O’hana’s one night and decided to ride the water taxi from the Magic Kingdom. As we were pulling in, the driver mentioned he was going to have to park there for a bit because of the Electrical Light Parade. We had never seen it and had time so we got a good seat outside to watch it. It turns out that we could also see the castle and the fireworks show was also about to start, so we got to watch them both at the same time.

  8. Michele Fata says:

    When we were young we would travel to Disney with my Grandparents every year from IL. It was my Grandparents favorite place. We would stay in Daytona and travel to Magic Kingdom, be there at rope drop and stay through the Electric Light Parade. Now that they are both gone, just walking into the Magic Kingdom reminds me of being there with them when I was a teenager and brings back so many memories. Now we take our children and I hope they keep their memories when they get older and bring their kids to Disney.

  9. Cecilia DuVall says:

    One of my favorite memories of WDW was when my two grown daughters and myself were in line at Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios. Some friends of ours had just returned from their trip and showed us pictures of when they rode Tower of Terror, and she and her two daughters were the only ones on their elevator. Well, as we approached our elevator, we were talking about their experience and were commenting how lucky they were, and wouldn’t it be great if that had happened to us. I guess the hostess heard us, because she told us to get on, sit wherever we wanted to, and we were so thrilled. We each sat in a different row, and that was one of the best rides we ever had on TOT. We laughed and screamed the whole time we were on it, and the picture was fantastic. We hammed it up really good!

  10. Merel de Graaf says:

    I’m from Holland so it’s really difficult for me to go to WDW.
    But this year because of a good friends plans I got to go. For four days and visiting all te parks.
    My biggest dream is to someday become a character designer for Disney or Pixar, and my love for Disney, already big in my childhood, began getting bigger and bigger every year of art school.
    So walking through those gates was especially great for me.
    But what I remember most was picking the brain of one of the in house artists at WDW.
    This one was working in MK and I loved talking to him, it made my whole trip there worth it.

  11. Christine V says:

    Just spending time together all laughing is the best memory I could ask for. Disney world never fails me in this respect.

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