Editor’s Note: In celebration of Mother’s Day, the WDW Radio blog team gathered to reflect on our favorite Disney memories with our moms. For so many, Walt Disney World is a place for families, and our moms have added that extra dose of pixie dust to our vacation. From the WDW Radio blog team, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Blake Taylor: “Disney requires guests to be at least 16 years old to take the Keys to the Kingdom tour in the Magic Kingdom, and my mom and I looked forward to taking it together for years. We went 4 days after my 16th birthday, and it surpassed all our expectations. What a great day! We had some time to ourselves after the tour was finished, so we watched the parade, taking sharp note of all the things in place that we had learned about (like the windows on Main Street rising for the parade speakers!). After the parade, my mom suggested something that has since become a family tradition: why enjoy the parade once on Main Street when you can sprint through Adventureland to make it to Frontierland in time to see it again?”
Richard Bernato: “Neither my mother nor my father were particularly Walt Disney types. But I do remember that Sunday night was always Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, even though we did not have a color TV then! One thing about Disney and my mother, was their devotion to imagination and literature. It was my mother who fostered my love for learning and for books. She gave me tons of books, but the first ‘real’ book I remember that she gave me was Tom Sawyer. It was not lost on me that Disneyland had a whole island devoted to him!
Again, since I am the senior citizen of this group I can also (although only vaguely) remember being brought to any first-run Disney animation spectacular. I guess sometimes they weren’t always the first-run,but to us, seeing Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, and Dumbo certainly were pretty impressive. Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Snow White were certainly first-run when I saw them. And there was Davy Crockett, which I have alluded to in several previous blogs.”
Caitlin Corsello: “I have so many great memories in Walt Disney World with my mom, ranging from when I was a child to recent trips where just the two of us would take plenty of time to explore the parks and soak in those great Disney details. My favorite memory, I suppose, isn’t technically a memory as I was only two years old at the time and have no real recollection of it. We had arrived in Disney excited to start our vacation…only to discover that I had come down with the chicken pox. I was sequestered to the room and my mom was pretty much stuck at the resort with me for the entire vacation. My mom got me through the disappointment of not being able to go out and meet Mickey or ride Peter Pan’s Flight by introducing me to ‘Mickey’s doctor’ and supplying me with a small rubber figurine of a Disney character every day. Those small figurines (anyone else remember them??) ended up being the beginning of a long time collection, always reminding me of my mom and the time she took care of me in WDW.”
Makena Wolcott: “I have many cherished memories with my mother, but my favorite is a very simple one. In March of 2011, I wanted to complete the ‘Mountain Range.’ What is this you ask? Well there are three very famous Mountains located in the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. If you look at a picture of Magic Kingdom from above, you will notice that the mountains form a line. To successfully complete the mountain range, you have to ride all three of these rides in a row. My mother was the only one willing to do this challenge with me. We started out on Space Mountain, and it was my first time on this ride. The line was only ten minutes long, so we hopped on almost immediately. Then we went to Big Thunder Mountain next, because everybody in my family loves that ride. That had about a 20 minute wait, but we sucked it up and hopped in line. Once that was over, my mom and I were down to one more ride: Splash Mountain. This was my first time on this one also. As I got off, with a big smile on my face and soaked to the bone, I realized that my mother and I conquered the ‘Mountain Range.’ This is a moment with my mom that I won’t forget anytime soon.”
Don Myers: “I have so many special WDW memories with my Mom. But my favorite took place during our 2009 trip. We went to WDW several times in the 80s and 90s when I was younger, and on those trips I was quite little so I still rode Dumbo and the Astro Orbiter with Mom or Dad. When we went back in 2009 I was 27, obviously more than old enough to ride alone. But as they say, when you walk through those gates you check your age at the door. And when we ventured into Tomorrowland and boarded the Astro Orbiter, me and Mom rode together just as we did when I was a kid. It may have been a little cramped, but I’ll never forget the smiles and laughter we shared on that day. I love you Mom!”
Kendall Foreman: “The gorgeous climate and reduced crowds at Walt Disney World in mid-Spring help make it our family’s favorite vacation time. Though it was not intentional, one year our schedule resulted in our trip overlapping my mother’s birthday. You know I have to ask, does it get better than that? For Mom, celebrating her birthday was not the priority at all; our fun was her primary goal. Just so you know, it truly is not in my mom’s nature to put her needs or wants ahead of her family. Many times, I have watched her give of herself without expectation of return. Her birthday is no exception. I think most women would say that they would enjoy an intimate dinner with their spouse or a quiet meal with family or friends on their birthday. I know that has become true for me. That may have been true for Mom, too. If it was, she didn’t let on to us that trip. Instead of choosing to enjoy any of Disney’s numerous fine dining options, she chose the Winnie-the-Pooh Character Breakfast at the Disney Vacation Club (now Old Key West Resort). Far less than romantic or quiet, a character breakfast is boisterous to say the least. Looking back on it, I am convinced that she chose the breakfast because she could not conceive of my sister or me missing out on meeting our much loved Pooh Bear. As often happens, Mom made her day about us and our happiness, and I know she would say that she would not have had it any other way. It was wonderful, hilarious and quite memorable! At our prompting, she happily posed with Winnie-the-Pooh, which is one of those joy-filled, silly moments I will not forget. ”
Angie Carriero: “I think about this every time I’m about to board the log at Splash Mountain: it was me, my mother, and my cousin. My mother was a little nervous about riding, but playing it up to be funny.My cousin and I were telling her that she can sit in the middle of us (even though we knew it only sat 2 to a seat) and then we would say, just to each other, ‘Isn’t the middle where you fall out?’ She knew we were joking and played along with a terrified, ‘WHAAAAT!?'”
Christy Viszoki: “My favorite Disney memories of my mom are actually situated at home. I love reminiscing with her about Disney vacations gone by. A huge fan of vintage Walt Disney World, mom loves to re-tell stories of the time when there was only ONE Mickey Mouse to be found in all EPCOT Center, and how we found it… of staying at Disney’s Golf Resort and taking the ‘green flag’ bus to get there….of Figment and Dreamfinder (only the original Imagination Pavilion is acceptable to mom)… of the DVC logo that had three mountains (far better than the 2 mountain logo) and of Kitchen Kabarat, which always makes her break into song. She has such fun memories, and we live through our Disney longings by retelling the same tales. It never gets old, and now even my children tell them, as if they were there!”
Alyssa Wiseman: “Although I am the only one in my family who loves Disney, my mom likes that Brandon and I have a special place that we both enjoy. I think she (pretends) to listen to all of my Disney enthusiasm and be excited. However, when I was younger I did travel to Walt Disney World with my family and enjoy the parks with them.
While there are many memories I have of that time in the parks with my family, I do have one specific memory that involves my mom in the park. I come from a family of 6 and am the oldest of 4 girls, so there are not very many memories that do not involve another sister (which is normal and was never an issue as we are all very close). For some reason, my dad and other 3 sisters ended up going back to the hotel one evening and my mom asked if I would like to stay for the fireworks. I specifically remember that we were at EPCOT that day and were very excited to watch the fireworks over the water. This would have been in the 90s and should have still been a variation of Illuminations, but the actual show is something I don’t remember. What I do remember about the actual show is that it was windy that evening and we were standing in the direction that the wind was traveling. At some point during the show, we began feeling little pellets hitting us and discovered that these were the remains of the actual fireworks! We thought it was strange that we were getting “rained” on, but funny that they would have an issue like that. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the show or what else we did that evening, but I do remember that time that my mom and I had together that evening without the remaining 4 family members.
I love you mom and am very lucky to have you in my life. At some point I will get you back to Disney and we will watch the fireworks like we did before (maybe just without the falling debris!).”
Do you have a favorite moment you shared with your mom at Walt Disney World? Share your memory here and wish mom a magical Mother’s Day!