What was your perfect Disney moment? What Disney memory always brings the biggest smile to your face or happy tears to your eyes? What Disney Parks trip will always have a special place in your heart?
In this post, our team of Disney fans has contributed each of our perfect Disney moments, the times that remind us why we love the Disney Parks so much. Whether it’s riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad during the fireworks or sharing a magical moment with a Disney Cast Member when we needed it the most, perfect Disney moments can often come at the most unexpected times. Here are some memories that we will always hold onto so we can be reminded what makes Disney the Happiest, Most Magical Place on Earth.
People ask me all the time, “Why do you keep going to Walt Disney World? There are other places to go to!” But they just don’t get it. One year, I went seven times, guiding friends, family, and besties around the Parks. Each visit is different, getting to experience new things as well as attractions through their eyes. The visits, run-cations, BFFs trips and Festivals all have individual memories and defining moments. They are all special, empowering and are what keep me returning over and over. Oftentimes, I’m seeking that personal comfort and escape that only Main Street U.S.A. can provide.
As far as one perfect moment? There is one that peeps out a little further than the rest in a millisecond that took my breath away. When attending training for the Disney Parks Moms Panel class of 2017, 12 of us went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on an extremely unseasonal Florida night. It was 34 degrees, and we were warm from newly purchased Mickey Santa hats and uncountable cups of hot cocoa. Bailing on a fireworks show, we dashed from attraction to attraction, taking advantage of low crowds and lines in Frontierland. Choosing a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, we stood in line, laughing and recounting the day, later loading into our train car. As we climbed the highest peak around Chimney Rock, the fireworks shot up and illuminated our cars. Our class was treated to the BEST ride while fireworks boomed overhead, and we cheered. That ride still stands out as a highlight of our time together.
For me, every Disney day is filled with a plethora perfect Disney moments. So, a perfect Disney moment is carpool karaoke on the drive up I-4 (blasting “Circle of Life” as we watch the sun rise over the central Florida countryside), the walk from the parking lot to the TTC and a monorail ride to the park.
A perfect Disney moment is the shady, early morning walk from the gates to my first fastpass when the characters are out in force. A perfect Disney moment is when silly dreams can come true, like when I got chosen to try and pull the sword from the stone, when I got a perfect score on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and when I secured last-minute fastpasses to Flight of Passage.
A perfect Disney moment is dinner in the perfect spot, be it getting seated in the Ontario section of Le Celier, a window seat at the California Grill, or a square of the grassy knoll keeping the ducks away from my hot dog and fries from Casey’s Corner.
A perfect Disney moment is standing in my favorite spot to watch “Happily Ever After,” and a perfect Disney moment would be to leave the parks, get back on the monorail, and get off at a resort to check-in for a last-minute reservation. But none of these moments are truly perfect unless I’m with someone–be it the Jasmine to my Aladdin, or the Genie and Abu–who will play along, sing along, and get lost in the magic with me. My only Disney wish now is to get back to those moments.
When someone asks me of what I think my “perfect Disney moment” was, I have trouble. I almost become stumped. Simply because I can’t just pick a single Disney moment or memory from my past. The best part of the Disney Parks is the fact that no Disney vacation is ever the same. I have had family vacations, solo trips, couples getaways, and was even part of the Disney college program back in 2016 — But each and every visit has been unique in its own way.
From being comforted by Chip (the chipmunk, not the teacup) when I was only about 3 years old for crying over something really silly to now being a 26 year old riding The Magic Carpets of Aladdin during Happily Ever After. There is also that special moment of receiving a free ice cream cone from Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies for my 16th birthday along with just recently getting the ultimate VIP treatment from the Haunted Mansion Cast when my fiancé got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
There are so many special Disney moments from my Disney Parks vacations over the last 26 years — I don’t think I can just pick a single one. But that’s exactly what makes Disney hold such a special place in my heart, even as an adult. It is why I continue to visit the parks year after year. It is why I am a Walt Disney World annual pass holder living in New Jersey. It is all thanks to those “perfect Disney moments”, which I will cherish forever.
Growing up, a trip to Walt Disney World never seemed achievable for me. It wouldn’t have been affordable to travel all the way to the other side of the U.S. when I was a kid. And my college days were spent working to pay for school and an annual day trip to Disneyland with my long-term boyfriend since we were California locals. But Chris and I decided our senior year of college that we’d try our hardest to make a Disney World vacation happen. We put down a $200 deposit for a vacation for a few months after college graduation, took advantage of booking during a free dining promotion, and paid for it little by little every month.
The September night when we arrived felt like a dream, and of course we were ecstatic to be there — but it didn’t quite feel like it was real yet. But the next morning — after waking up at Pop Century and hopping on the bus — we arrived at the Magic Kingdom gates, and it finally sunk in that this vacation was reality.
We strolled from the bus station to the entrance, and what happened next was pure magic: “When You Wish Upon a Star” started playing, an iconic monorail zoomed by, and my other half and I looked at each other dumbfounded that we had made it to truly the Most Magical Place on Earth. Everything felt real in the most pixie-dusted way. We had made it to the place where dreams come true. And in that moment, I knew that even if only for a little while, every moment could be perfect.
My very first experience visiting the Walt Disney World Resort was probably as perfect as any Disney moments go! I was 6 and my sweet grandmother took me and my sister to the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. I was instantly captivated! But that was just the first of MANY perfect Disney moments.
It’s tough to pick just one favorite, but this special Disney moment stands out in my heart and I know it’s one I’ll never forget.
I didn’t return to Disney World until I was 14; this time with my parents and siblings. My mom and dad didn’t show affection in public very often, but something about that Disney magic had them holding hands and being all kinds of lovey dovey. It was gross to me as a kid, but now I realize how magical those moments were for them!
Many years passed before they were able to return to the parks, so when my little crew moved to Orlando, we invited them to spend Thanksgiving with us. For that visit, I knew we had to have another magical family day at our happy place. We decided to take them to Epcot, their favorite park. I planned the perfect day, experiencing all the holiday festivities at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays and ended the night by enjoying the majestic Candlelight Procecional. They loved every second! Hand holding ensued. They cried. I cried. It was truly a PERFECT Disney moment.
Every trip I take to any Disney park is filled with perfect moments (Disney magic is real, folks!) For me, though, the nostalgic moments are the most meaningful. The Mad Tea Party was, and still is, one of my favorite rides. It was always one of the rides my dad, sister, and I made a beeline for when I was growing up.
The first time all of us were able to ride it together with my daughter was super special to me! Even though she wasn’t as fond of rides then as she is now (rides were not always her thing), the memory is one of my favorites. Although my youngest wasn’t born when this photo was taken, I love that both of my girls will grow up with Disney Parks memories for years to come!
If you ask me to pick a perfect moment from my times at Disneyland, I’m not sure I can do that. Every time I go is unique and something new. So instead, I’m going to talk about why every moment there is special and when is my perfect time to be there. When I think about Disneyland and what it means to me, I think family.
It started before I was even born. My parents went on their honeymoon at Disney World! They took me when I was four and since we are from Southern California, Disneyland is right in our backyard. My parents took me to Disneyland at least once every year growing up so I think of them a lot when I’m there. My dad and I spinning so hard on Mad Tea Party making my mom motion sick. My mom and I annoying my dad with Dumbo and It’s a Small World. Now that I’m older, I spend a lot of time in the parks alone because it brings be a sense of calm. Maybe because it makes me think of my family and that keeps me grounded.
But the time of year that makes my heart flutter the most is the holiday season at Disneyland. It just fills my whole being up with joy walking down the middle of Main Street U.S.A. The best time of day is when you can enjoy looking at the decor while it’s still light out until the sun sets and the tree and buildings light up, and you start to feel the magic. Then Wintertime Enchantment happens at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle which makes me tear up every time. And I end the moment with the It’s A Small World’s Holiday Lighting and the fully transformed to Holiday magic ride. Whatever your perfect moment is, I hope you hold it close to your heart.
There have been so many perfect moments at Disney Parks, but the day that stands out the last full day on the first vacation our family took with my daughter Abby who was 2 at the time. We thought it would be a perfectly timed trip before she turned 3 and we had to pay for her ticket, but at that age let’s just say she wasn’t overly brave.
For most of the trip we struggled to get a picture with her next to any Disney characters. One of the betters experiences is shown below in which she “tolerated” a picture with Daisy but as you can see she was still a little scared. This situation played out every single time we tried a character meet and greet.
But then on our final night at Disney World we had dinner at 1900 Park Fare and Cinderella created magic for Abby. Not only did she have this positive experience meeting Cinderella, but Cinderella also pointed out everyone else walking around visiting tables which helped set her mind at ease. After dinner we raced around Magic Kingdom getting every other meet and greet in before the parked closed. We must have visited 10 other meet and greets that night.