More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

D23 Asks, When Did It Start For You?

Jeffrey Epstein

by , Director, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

When did you know you first loved Disney? It may not be your first Disney memory—and it may not even be your favorite Disney memory. But when was the first time Disney made your heart sing and your spirit soar?

When did it start for you? That’s the question D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is asking fans, celebrities, Disney luminaries, and even cast members!

Imagineer Vinny Logozio recalls his experience visiting Epcot for the first time when he was just six.

Disney Legend and founder of the Walt Disney Archives Dave Smith remembers going to Disneyland and meeting Walt Disney himself!

These are just a few of the memories people are sharing with us — plus there’s Lance Bass, Disney Legend and animator Floyd Norman, Disney Archivist Kevin Kern, “Cinderella” star Lily James, and a bunch of fan-tastic Disney fans.

And we want to hear your stories too! Post them below and share them on social media using the hashtag #WDIS4U and maybe you’ll see your story on!


  • It began when I was 8 years old and my Dad took the family to a new place called Disneyland in CA that had just opened. 60 years later all our six children and most of our twenty grandchildren all enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth!

  • It started for me at a young age in the early 60’s. we always sat down to watch Disney’s Wonderful World of color on Sunday night. I remember Minado the Wolverine and I was hooked. I knew about Disneyland but very little. I made it a point to read everything I could about Walt and Disneyland.I never got a chance to go to Disneyland, it still alludes me to this day but I will make it there one day. Walt was a topic I used all through school when I had to do a report. I always had a dream to work there but entered the military instead. When WDW opened I asked many times for my father to take us there but he never would. I now have 2 kids and I have taken them to WDW many times, they grew up with Disney and we have all kinds of memorabilia over 200 movies and I am also a stock holder and a member of many of Disney’s clubs I know that Disney will always be in my heart and I look forward to taking my grandkids when my kids give me some. Until then I will continue to learn as much as I can about this wonderful man and his words of never stop dreaming. God Bless

  • Well, I grew up in a Disney home. When my father was young, his parents took him to Disney every summer (they had a timeshare), so the magic of Disney always existed in the home. However, my first park visit when I was seven made me a true believer. I have loved Disney ever since, and the movies always transported me to a magical place.
    I lived in Orlando up until 2013 (I am now working in Japan) and would visit Disney often. It’s magical every time. I actually cried when I was able to see Beast’s Castle in the “sneak peek” before it opened. Now living in Japan, I visit Tokyo Disneyland from time to time, but will head back to WDW when I return for the summer. I can’t stay away!

  • James wife here – I watched his show every Sunday on our little black and white TV. Being a little child, my Dad had to break the news to me that Walt passed away, but the magic and wonder didn’t go away, for me was/it’s eternal.
    So it started for me well before I ever got to travel to WDW, apparently the pixie dust Tink sprinkled at the show, lingers for a lifetime! 🙂

  • In 1989 I stepped into a movie theatre to see The Little Mermaid and stepped out a changed human being—a 7 year old transformed. The influence of captivating ‘Ariel’ has impacted my life in the most beautiful way. I left that movie theatre and sat in front of the television, watching Disney movies, pausing them, and sketching out my favourite scenes. I never stopped doing this and I am now a professional Artist. I am also a Performer in Musical Theatre and sing Alan Menken songs. I am a living example of how connecting with The Little Mermaid literally transformed a little girl into becoming her dreams. I haven’t grown a fish tail yet!

  • My first visit to Disneyland was in 1992. From the moment I read the sign “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday…..” I got a lump in my throat and realized that Disneyland was something unique and special. I get that same lump in my throat with each and every visit.

  • My very first Disneyland visit in 2001 (I was 33!) – the moment I walked through the entry turnstile and heard the magical wand noise I was hooked 🙂

  • Disney has been a part of my life since birth. My late grandfather started the Disney tradition in 1976, and since then, my family has had an undeniable love. But for me, it really started in January 2013 with a trip to Walt Disney World. I had just had the worst 4 months in my first semester of college. It was terrible, to say the least. When I finally arrived at the Magic Kingdom with my mom, all of my worries went away. I felt like I had learned a lot about myself for the past 4 months and I had finally found my happy place, my passion. That’s when I knew Disney had a special place in my heart. Since that trip, my love has only grown deeper, and I have a feeling the passion will never fade.

  • I have always loved Disney movies..they have always been my favorite to watch whenever I can through out the past 25 years. I went to Disney for the first time when I was 9..and I know I adored it, but when my fiance and I went this past September, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life thus far. To share such a magical, carefree time with my fiance was the best. I love every part of Disney World! Magic, Epcot, Animal, and Hollywood. Not to mention the amazing Downtown Disney!!
    It is great to have a place where it is ok for an adult to be a kid. 🙂

  • I’ve been a Disney fan since I can remember, yet it wasn’t a true Disney “enthusiast” until I was an adult. My parents took me to WDW one time in the early 1980s just after Epcot opened. My wife (and her name is Mickey), is a big Disney fan as well. We decided to take our three young children to Walt Disney World for the first time in June 2007 for Star Wars Weekends. We started our trip, naturally, at MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) and enjoyed a fun day with all the Star Wars characters. We decided to hop to Epcot through the International Gateway. As I was coming around the western side of World Showcase and Spaceship Earth came into view for the first time, it was as if I had reunited with a long-lost friend. It was at that moment that I knew that Walt Disney World was my second home and that we would be a Disney family. Now, 8 years later, we are regular visitors to both WDW and Disneyland. I just completed the Dopey Challenge in January and am heading to Disneyland in Sept. for the Dumbo Double Dare! I can’t think of anywhere else we would like to be! I will forever be grateful to Walt and everyone at Disney for bringing my family together at such a special place.

  • When I was just three years old, my parents took me to see the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks for my birthday. I was completely enchanted! Especially by the idea that an ordinary person could do magic.

    That night, I dreamt that I had a magical brass bed that could fly, and that we went on all kinds of adventures together. My life has been filled with dreams, imagination, and Disneyness ever since!

  • My Grandpa worked on 20,000 Leagues under the sea at WDW as a plumbing engineer. We visited in 1972. I’ve loved the parks ever since.

  • My first visit to WDW with my parents was in 1973! There was only Magic Kingdom and the start of Epcot. I have been going to WDW with my husband since 2003 and everytime we go, I recall the most beautiful memories I had with my parents! A Walt Disney World visit puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart each time I visit!!!!

  • The seeds were planted during Walt’s TV programs and the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950’s. They bloomed when I visited Disneyland in December 1970. The park was immaculate and I could not sleep that night due to It’s A Small World in my head. In the late 1990’s I fulfilled my dream and worked for the Disney Store for 12 years.

  • In 1956 I was 4 years old and my mother took me to Disneyland for the first time. I grew up in Burbank, Ca and lived near the Disney Studio. I attended Walt Disney Elementary School. I grew up watching the Micky Mouse Club and looked forward each week to watching The Disney Show hosted by Walt Disney. My family did not have a lot of money but my mother worked hard and made sure her children grew up with respect for others and pride in what we had. I not only learned about accomplishments and generosity from my mother but also from Walt Disney and what he stood for. I have carried the joy that Walt Disney created with me everywhere I have traveled and shared it with my own children. Thank you to those who carry on his legacy.

  • Watching tv in 1954 (I was 8) Walt Disney was talking about Disneyland. I was living in Massachusetts at the time and I looked up in an encyclopedia to find out how far away was California. When I learned that it was some 3000 miles I gasped and I knew I had to find away to get there some how some way. It wasn’t until 1974 when I was able to go to Disney World. I carried this love for Disney all that time and vowed that I would make it my life’s goal to visit often. Both Disneyland and Disney World. I have managed 5 trips since May of 2014. My wife, children and grand children call me Peter Pan. Thank you Walt Disney for making my life wonderful.

  • First time I saw Walt on TV talking about his Magic Kingdom and then saw the castle “growing” out of the orange grove just a few miles from my house. I was just a little girl back then but knew Walt understood me. First time we went to Disneyland (in the first week it was open), I knew I had to work there…and I did.

  • That first night I went into the Adventurers Club and Pamelia Perkins sat in my lap and sang to me in her Tennessee accent…


  • Our first trip in 2009… been hooked ever since!!

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