More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

One Fine Day

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.


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

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • Thanks for sharing this story

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

  • 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!

  • So wonderful. Thank you for the story – Jonas

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

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

  • 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!!!

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


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


  • Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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

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

  • 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!!!!!!

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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!)

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

  • 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!

  • 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))

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!!

  • 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!!!!

  • 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.

  • What a wonderful story!

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

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

  • 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

  • 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!!

  • Most Epic!… totally speechles

  • 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!!!

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