Disney guests share rare once-in-a-lifetime experiences

There is something about the experiences that Disney Park guests can have at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Wherever you are, be it Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios or EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort, you are sure to have a magical time.

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There are plenty of experiences that just never get old. Driving iconic attractions such as Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, “it’s a small world”, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain is something you simply must experience every time you go to the Disney Parks. Enjoying a churro, Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, an iconic spring roll or a Dole Whip is an absolute must.

Make time at the end of the night to enjoy epic nighttime spectacles such as Fantasmic!, the Main Street Electrical Parade, Disneyland Forever fireworks display and “World of Color” all at Disneyland Resort, or EPCOT Harmonious and Disney Enchantment at Walt Disney World Resort just can’t be skipped.

world of color
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However, there are some experiences that simply go beyond the expectations Disney Park guests have for their trip. Here’s a look at some of the rare and “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences guests have had and others for you to enjoy.

Disney Park guests share their rare experiences

In a recent Reddit thread, many Disney guests shared rare experiences that they say are simply “once-in-a-lifetime” events.

One guest shared that they found themselves all alone with their family members on one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World Resort and the result allowed them to ride eight times.

“It was getting dark and the lake light show was about to start, so people were flocking to the stands around the lake where the show is taking place,” the guest said. “I really enjoyed riding Everest earlier in the day, so while two members of my group were saving our seats in the stands, I ran over to see how long the line was. It was completely empty. My siblings and I rode Everest 8 times and still made it back in time to fully enjoy the light show. By the 4th time, I felt like I had memorized every drop, twist, and turn of the ride. †

expedition everest yetis
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Another guest shared how they were just wandering around Disney’s Yacht Club when they were offered a ride.

“We were wandering around the yacht club (staying with Dolphin) and we were offered a boat trip around the inside of the world show and to view lighting from a special place,” said the guest. “We were allowed to bring our own bottles of wine/beer etc and they had snacks on board. This was all free (except for the drinks we had on board) and an unforgettable experience. We didn’t ask to do this, it was just something they were testing and offering it to us as a family. It was pleasant.”

disney's yacht club
Credit: Disney

What about the name “king for the day” at Magic Kingdom? This guy said their son had to experience just that after he pulled the sword from the stone in Magic Kingdom.

“We were walking through fantasy land and as usual my boys ran for the sword in the stone to pull it,” said the guest. “When my youngest son, then about six years old, went to grab the sword, there was suddenly loud horns and music! Oh my god it really happened!! They came out and did a little show where they tried some big muscular dudes who couldn’t get out and then they asked my son and he took it out!! (Well, no matter, but you know!) They made him king for the day and it was just so much fun! We had heard that show had happened, but in all our years at Disney we had never seen it before. And haven’t been seen since!”

sword and the stones disneyland
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Recently, the Sword in the Stone monument has gotten quite a bit of fanfare. A viral TikTok trend has nearly “revived” the attraction, and lines have even been spotted at the Magic Kingdom experience spot, despite many longtime guests admitting they’ve completely forgotten about it.

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences you don’t want to miss at Disney World

No one can guarantee that you will have a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience when visiting Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort. Often these situations simply unfold to a Guest who is in the right place at the right time.

However, there are some special capabilities that can help you have the best experience possible, and who knows what might happen along the way?

Here’s a look at five things you can do to create “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences while visiting Disney.

mickey mouse hollywood studios
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1. Of course you must visit the iconic attractions and enjoy the food.

Just like we mentioned before, rides on iconic attractions such as Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, “it’s a small world”, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain simply should not be forgotten. If it’s your first time at Disney, these could be “once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” but even if they’re not, you still don’t want to miss out.

Diney food can be magical and also tie the whole experience together.

constance hatchaway bride haunted house
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2. How about a backstage tour?

Disney is currently offering a limited-time 50th anniversary tour at Walt Disney World Resort. Sure, it costs extra, but you get a behind-the-scenes look at all of Disney World. If you’re a big fan of the Disney Parks, we definitely recommend booking one of these tours as they can open your eyes to things you just haven’t noticed before.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
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Disneyy’s official description of the 50th Anniversay Tour reads:

Celebrate 50 magical years at Walt Disney World Resort

Get ready to travel by land, air and the seven seas on an adventure of a lifetime. Together, through this signature VIP Tour experience, your party of up to 6 people – along with your Disney VIP Tour Guide – will enjoy a day full of unparalleled magical experiences. You’ll visit some of your favorite attractions and discover some of our best behind-the-scenes secrets. Travel back in time to see how Walt’s passions inspired the offerings available in Disney Parks today and get an inside look at some exciting new experiences. You don’t want to miss this unforgettable journey of discovery with ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’. After transportation from your own Resort hotel, feel the momentum and optimism of the future at our iconic Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Here’s how this 1971 architectural marvel was one of the first places to stay at Walt Disney World Resort. After a champagne toast – accompanied by a beautiful view – you will conquer the seas: the Seven Seas! Head to our beautiful resort waterways – overlooking our beautiful Disney Resorts collection – with a private charter en route to Magic Kingdom park. Step into an enchanting realm of Magic Kingdom park and discover hidden gems as you stroll Main Street, USA and tour the inside of the Cinderella Castle Suite. All that exploring is sure to whet your appetite! So you are invited to relax while the dining room proudly presents your lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant! The adventure continues as you see some of your favorite attractions in a whole new light and maybe even get a new perspective on the park itself. Then cruise along the highway in the sky, towards Epcot. Upon arrival, get an inside look at the park’s stunning transformation and find out what happens when you head out for a surprise treat at our all-new Space 220 Restaurant. Here you see the power of the human imagination combined with the magic of Disney. There’s even time to “beep” through to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. At the end of your trip, take to the skies one last time, as your Disney VIP Tour Guide will give you one last moment befitting a magical day!
Cinderella Castle 50th Birthday
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There are a number of things you should know before embarking on the tour, all of which can be found on the official Disney World website.

Here is an overview of reservation information:

  • Reservations: Advance reservation is required. Call (407) 560-4033 to make a reservation. Guests under the age of 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call. Read when reservations can be made in advance.
  • Cancellation policy: Please note that a cancellation fee equal to the cost of 20% of the tour price will be charged if you do not provide at least 72 hours notice.
Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella's Castle
Credit: Disney

3. Special Events

If you’re not an avid Disney fan, you may not even know that Disney has some of the biggest holiday celebrations in the world. We recommend the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland Resort and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Plus, you don’t want to miss Mickey’s Very Merriest Christmas Party. All of these experiences just returned this year and they offer unique vacation experiences that you can’t get anywhere else.

Very happy after closing time
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4. Getting married

If you have the money, getting married at Disney is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget. Disney Fairytale Weddings can help you plan the perfect wedding in many different locations around the world, but getting married in the Disney Parks has something special.

Disney fairytale wedding dress
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5. Join Disney Vacation Club

If you are not a member of the Disney Vacation Club and you visit the parks quite often, then it might be something worth looking into. Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s timeshare program and allows guests to have a “home” resort. This gives you access to the amenities and benefits of the Disney Deluxe Resorts and allows you to earn points that you can use on more trips.

What is your once-in-a-lifetime Disney experience? Let us know in the comments!

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