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Mad Tea Party at Fantasyland

One Fine Day

posted on April 7th, 2010 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Reagan's First Steps Down Main Street, USA
Being chosen as a member of the famed Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an extensive process that involves an application, essay writing, and in the end a phone interview with Disney Destination executives. By the time a finalist reaches the phone interview, he or she knows they have made it past literally thousands of applicants. That call is often the final step to making it on the panel.

Needless to say, most panelists think long and hard about what they’ll say during the few minutes of the interview. What finalist Allison Valdes said when asked the last question during her interview brought the Disney executives to tears.

When asked what her favorite Walt Disney World memory was, Allison said that she had not had it yet. That was an odd response, given that many finalists usually have visited Walt Disney World Resort dozens and dozens of times. I asked her to elaborate. Allison went on to explain that her son 7 year old son Reagan was born with Cerebral Palsy. During those first few hours of his life, his parents were told that he would most likely not survive. And if he did survive, he would be unable to talk, walk or function in any substantial way. Well Reagan had other ideas. He did survive. He speaks sign language and says a few words. “Baa” is his word for his favorite attraction Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

A few years ago Reagan decided that through therapy he would walk and his first steps would be down Main Street USA. We’re sharing a photo of that day.

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Friend on April 7th, 2010 at 9:28 am

That is enough to bring a tear to any parents eye. That is a wonderful story of courage and strength.


Bryan on April 7th, 2010 at 9:59 am

That just totally made me cry some tears of joy. What a wonderful story and here’s wishing many more happy memories to Reagan and his family!


Cathy on April 7th, 2010 at 10:15 am

What a beautiful moment for your family! Thanks for sharing it with us!


Rosanne on April 7th, 2010 at 10:19 am

Wow. What a fabulous story. The magic is real for this family. Thanks for sharing, and for Allison and her family for sharing this special, intimate moment with us.


LISA from MA on April 7th, 2010 at 10:19 am

That’s what Walt Disney was all about… Making dreams come true!


Christine on April 7th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Way to go, Reagan! Keep up the good work!


Robert from PA on April 7th, 2010 at 10:26 am

Thanks for sharing this story


Kristin on April 7th, 2010 at 10:35 am

This is indeed the best memory of all, even for those who weren’t there to witness it. Congratulations Reagan!


Tameisha on April 7th, 2010 at 10:52 am

Oh my, that is such a wodnerful memeory. I did not expect to tear up from looking at the picture, but after reading. I couldn’t help it. Wow, is all I can say WTG Reagan!


Jonas on April 7th, 2010 at 10:56 am

So wonderful. Thank you for the story – Jonas


AJ from TX on April 7th, 2010 at 11:01 am

Awesome story! Rock on, Reagan!!! With some hard work and pixie dust, every dream can come true.


Doug from IN on April 7th, 2010 at 11:38 am

Amazing. What a great story to start off the day with.


David from GA on April 7th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

One of my customers just asked me why I had tears running down my cheek. I couldn’t share this story with them so I just showed them the picture and they read it for themselves. Thanks for sharing!!!


Anonymous on April 7th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I’ve got chills! Way to go, Reagan! Thanks for sharing Allison’s story, Laura!



amanda from GA on April 7th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Beautiful—I’ve got chills! Thanks so much for sharing Allison’s story. Reagan is an awesome and strong young man!!



Dorothy from ON on April 7th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this with us!


Gregory from TN on April 7th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

To say that this a great story is an understatement. This is conquering story!


Suzanne from IL on April 7th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

What a terrific story! It brought tears to my eyes! Way to go Reagan!!


Wayne on April 7th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Its a great story and Congrats to you and your family. I just would like to know why the Fathers do not have a Panel. We fathers love Disney also and should not be left out. Fathers unite!!!!!!


Jackie from WA on April 7th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

This is such a beautiful story! Walt Disney World is truly the most magical place on earth! Thanks so much for sharing, Laura, Allison, & Reagan! :)


Andi on April 7th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Oh, Laura! You did a fabulous job portraying such a special event in the life of this wonderful family! Way to go, Regan!!! You are precious beyond measure, and I’m glad that you strutted your stuff down Main Street. Now, pucker up, Big Fella…Auntie Andi wants a kiss from her favorite lil’ Georgia Bulldog! (Tears of joy!)


Diane from CT on April 7th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Reagan – thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us all. And thanks for sharing your mom with us too!


jennifer on April 7th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory with us! God Bless you, Reagan! Here is to many more wonderful memories for you and your family!


Kaylene from MA on April 7th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

This is truly what life is all about…sharing incredibly, magical memories together. There’s no better place on earth than Disney World for moments like this. Sending all my love to Allison, Reagan and the rest of their amazing family. ((hugs))


Kara from NE on April 7th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Found myself at Starbucks wiping away all those tears of joy reading Reagan’s story. Dreams really do come true!

Thank you, Laura, Allison, and especially the amazing Reagan for warming my heart today.


Traci on April 7th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

What an incredible & inspiring story! Thank you for sharing it!


Joy on April 7th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Thank you for sharing that wonderful moment. My youngest child, Becky also has CP, her time at WDW is always magical for all of us as well!


Brenda on April 7th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing it. Reagan your an amazing little boy with spirit and heart I can’t even imagine to have. God bless


CINDY from LA on April 7th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

That is a wonderful magical moment. I hope that your family has more magic in your “WORLD”. Sending Pixie Dust your way!! Keep up the good work Reagan!!


Rachele from NY on April 7th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

What a special moment! Congratulations Reagan! May the magic of Disney always be in your heart and in every step you take! God Bless you!!!!


Florence from NJ on April 7th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

What a great success story. That shows that you can never give up on these special kids of ours. I had a niece that had Cerebral Palsy and she never walked or talked,but she gave us 27 years of pure happiness.I am so happy for Reagan and I hope he continues to prove all his doctors wrong in everything he does in his life. Much love to all of you and keep up the great work with Reagan.


Jacqueline from IN on April 8th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

What a wonderful story!


vicky on April 9th, 2010 at 7:45 am

Here’s to hoping that Allison and Reagan and their family make not only one favorite memory, but numerous ones throughout the years.


Connie from TX on April 9th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Beautiful story! Yes, I would definitely think that would be the best Disney Park experience. Thank you for sharing.


Jill on April 13th, 2010 at 8:21 am

What a true blessing it is having Reagan as part of our family. He is proof God has a plan for everyone! Reagan you have inspired so are able to show other children there is HOPE. Allison & Ron you are an inspiration to other parents as well & Reagan & Jake both are blessed to have you both. Now I feel sure Allison can tell me “All of her Disney Dreams Have Come True”!
We Love You All & God Bless You!!!
Chris, Jill & Kalin


Cynthia from GA on April 13th, 2010 at 8:51 am

What a fabulous story and a wonderful photo! The look of pure joy on Reagan’s face and pride on Allison’s face made my day. I have a daughter with cerebral palsy not much older than Reagan and I’ve learned these kids really are miracles with so much to teach us :-) Way to go!!


Thomas on April 13th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Most Epic!… totally speechles


Beth from ON on April 13th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

AWESOME!!! Yea Reagan!!! I always knew you could do it – You have come such a long way!!! I am so proud of you and I miss you buddy!!!