For us, Walt Disney World is a magical place. It’s a place where we can play as a family and make many memories. It’s a place where we feel comfortable doing both familiar activities and trying new things. It’s a place where we leave the real world behind and become immersed in Disney—in magic.
So, it’s no wonder that we have had some incredible experiences while visiting the most magical place on earth.
We’ve been the Grand Marshals of the Family Fun Day Parade at the
during one of our visits—click here to read more. Magic Kingdom
One trip, we were picked to be the Family of the Day and open EPCOT—click here to read more.
The husband has repeatedly been selected from the crowd to be a part of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular—click here to read more.
The boy has been chosen to play along with Phineas and Ferb—click here to read more.
The Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom has been an interactive attraction for the boy—click here to read more.
The boy has been a padawan in the
on more than one occasion,
even when it was the random selection process to get participants—click here to read about his most recent experience. Jedi Training
The boy has played the part of Gaston during Story Time with Belle at the Magic Kingdom--click here to read more.
The husband has been IN the Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios—click here to read more.
Our family was in Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom—click here to read more.
And, many more, like when we were chosen to play instruments in the lobby at Mickey’s Philharmagic before the doors opened to the theater. Or, when the boy danced on
before Pixar’s Countdown to Fun Parade.
Or when I was in High School Musical at Hollywood Studios. Or, when the boy danced with Disney Channel
Rocks at Hollywood Studios. Or, when the
boy walked hand in hand with Peter Pan down the dock at the Contemporary. Or when the boy was throwing a grape in the
air for a bird to catch at Flights of Wonder in Animal Kingdom. Or when the boy was on stage on the Disney
Magic dancing with the dwarfs and Snow White during the Golden Mickeys.
All of our experiences might cause someone, like my friend and colleague, to ask, “So, how do you do it?” I’m translating that question into “So, how do you get picked?” or “How do you take all of Walt Disney World and make it so personalized and memorable for your family?”
Let me try and answer. Know that it is both a combination of luck, disposition, and strategy; a recipe that is not exact and contains secret ingredients such as pixie dust and Disney magic.
I’ll begin with strategy:
· Be in the right place at the right time. (I know, this is a bit of luck, too) For example, when we go to Indiana Jones and know that the husband wants to be in the show, we sit where he can be seen—preferably under a light.
· Be ready. Any hesitation to think or consider whether or not you want to participate will take you out of the running. When they ask for volunteers at Indiana Jones, the husband is one of the first to stand. He anticipates them asking and already knows he is ready. Same for the boy at Festival of the Lion King. He knows what is coming and is ready to say yes.
· Let loose! Who cares if you are dancing in the street or crying at a show? This is Disney. Chances are, others are doing the same, and you’re probably not going to see these people ever again. Be human, vulnerable, ready to accept the magic and experiences Disney has to offer.
· Say yes! When asked to do something by a Disney Cast Member, say “yes.” Don’t think about it, even if you’re not sure what it is going to be. Be willing to take a risk.
· Wear matching shirts. Well, they help. But more importantly than the matching shirts, is the willingness to play. (Click here to read more about our Matching Shirts.) Which brings me to disposition. . .
Disposition or attitude. This one is a little more elusive to explain, but I’ll give it a go. When we are at Walt Disney World, we try to maintain a playful disposition and positive attitude. We call it Disney flow--when things are going like clockwork and in our favor. We know when we’re in it and we know when we aren’t. Being tired, hungry, hot, overwhelmed, confused, or not knowing where you are going can make the Disney flow or positive attitude go away. Leave your troubles and your worries far behind. . .
Now to the luck. Hmmm. . . What we have found is that when our family is making its own kind of magic, Disney has a way of creeping in and making things even more magical!
We know families that have been to Disney and had a magical time and can’t wait to go back. We also know families that have had, in their opinion, not so magical times and don’t want to ever return. The husband would say, fine, makes more room for us when we go back in response to those who did not have a good time. I just feel bad, as they may have missed opportunities for magic and won’t get to try again. I attribute some of it to poor planning, etc.
If your family can make any other experiences fun, playful, and magical, then you can make a vacation to Walt Disney World, fun, playful, magical, and memorable. Go head, make some memories!