Thursday, October 18, 2012

The First Family of the Magic Kingdom

Millions upon millions of guest each year vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort.   Out of those millions only 365 families get to experience being selected the First Family of the Day at the Magic Kingdom.  I have been a huge Disney fan ever since I can remember and a pass holder for 4 years now.  The first time my family arrived early enough to the Magic Kingdom to see the Good Morning show I was hooked.

 Ever since I have not missed the show and have made it a goal to see every rope drop and welcome show at every park.   Each time at the Magic Kingdom I was very envious of the family that was selected to help open the park and I began researching how to boost my odds of being selected.

In my searching the web I found out that lots of families blog about their First Family experience and also gave tips on how and where they were when they were selected.  Some tips were arrive early, dress in Disney attire and or matching Disney attire.   Be friendly, talk to any and all cast members you come in contact with.  I took this all in and prepared our attempt at being selected.  We arrived on September 11, 2011 at about 7:10am for a 9:00am park opening.  There were only two families there before us.  They were both in matching, very cute Disney outfits.  Around 7:45am the family that arrived right before us was selected to be the First Family of the Day.  I was bummed but got over it pretty darn quick realizing I was at Disney World and about to have the best time with my family.  The next year on September 11, 2012, we arrived again for vacation.  We go this time every year celebrating my husband's birthday.  We attend the parks many times throughout the year, little day trips here and there but this is our big vacation week.  Here we are a year later and I have studied and done my homework. :) We have our new matching, handmade 9/11 Disney outfits on and I have talked my husband into getting up at the crack of dawn to arrive at the front gates at 6:45am.  I am not kidding it was pitch black out and my heart was racing with excitement.

 My girls are 4 and 2 and they had no idea what was about to happen.  The grounds keepers were still hosing down the sidewalks and maintenance cast members were still working on putting some garbage cans out.  The security guard looked at us like we were crazy.  He said, "Uh Mam we do not open until 9am."  Of course I knew this but only 15 minutes later at 7:00am other families started to arrive in their cute matching Disney outfits.  ALL of us had one goal in mind.  To the turn style we went and began making conversation with any and all cast members. The girls were so well behaved and most of the time were eating breakfast and playing follow the leader.  We were talking to one very nice cast member who asked us what was our girls' favorite thing to do at Disney World?  I told her they both love the characters, they could fill a whole day with just meeting characters.   She said I bet I can get you in to see Mickey Mouse first with no wait.  That was pretty exciting, not exactly what we were wishing for but still awesome!!! Just around 7:50am, right before they were going to open up the turn styles, she walked away from her position and had a brief conversation with another cast member.  I was getting very nervous and excited at this point.  They both came back and the other lady said. "Okay I have two offers for you."  "Her's or mine."  Oh man was I going crazy inside.  Hoping  and hoping her offer was to be the First Family of the Day.  Like the big Disney dork that I am, I began to cry a bit like a baby when she secretly showed me a piece of paper with the words on it saying, "'Do you want to be the First Family?',  It was as if the Disney Gods were singing Hallelujah all together.   Of course I said YES!!!!  Oh my goodness did that just happen?!?!?  We were quickly escorted in the park at 8am and waited for further direction.

My heart was still pounding and I was like a 5 year old on Christmas morning.  Our girls had no clue what was in store and I had a bit of an idea from all the research I did.   We were then greeted by the most wonderful and enthusiastic cast member named Beverly.  I recognized her immediately from the Move It, Shake It Parade.  She is always the one dancing and having a blast with the music.  She had us climb aboard this amazing vintage fire truck and we had a fabulous ride down Main Street stopping at all the photo opportunities where we received one of a kind pictures in the park before opening. 

The streets were empty and the Magic Kingdom was ours to enjoy by ourselves.  It was so magical!  The girls were so excited and loved the fire truck ride.  My favorite stop was at the Castle and getting pictures of our girls holding hands from the back looking at the castle with no one else in sight.  It was beautiful. 

We rode back down Main Street and met the Fire Marshall and all the cast members appearing in the show inside the train station.  We took enough picture to last us a life time.  The Good Morning show director gave us the scoop on what to do and when to do it and the Fire Marshal practiced reciting our last name so it would be pronounce correctly to the crowd below.  The cast members were warming up and doing some dance moves while waiting for their cue. 

The train arrived and we stepped through and walked out right next to Mickey Mouse and waved to the crowd and started to count down....10, 9, this really happening?  3, 2, 1 Boom off went the fireworks and the park is now officially open and my dreams of being the First Family have come true!! We followed Mickey Mouse down the ramp for more pictures and then were given fast passes that were good for any ride for the entire length of our stay.  It was the most amazing experience for this huge Disney fanatic!! 


  1. I've never heard of being the First Family before. I will have to research this further. Very interesting.

    I LOVE the dresses your girls are in. Can you tell me where you got them? I'd love to get one for my 3 y.o. daughter before her fist visit to WDW next spring.

    1. I believe she makes them. Check out our friend Susan at the Prickly Pear. She has made my daughter a few things and is great. Please tell her Addicted to Mickey sent you! Here's her link:

  2. Oh, Ang! So cool! I hope you keep up the blog I would love to hear more since we too love Disney so much! I was honored have the outfits in soooo many pictures! For the lady who was asking above, I make them. You can find me on Facebook. Angela has allowed me to make tons of Disney stuff for her. She has a new set on order now. Sooo much fun!

  3. We're going to Disney in 2 weeks and I've been researching how early to get to Magic Kingdom to up my chances as the family of the day. My question for you did you get to the main gates so early? Did you take a taxi or does the buses/monorail start that early. We are driving and will have our car so we can drive there if the buses don't start early, but not sure if the monorail starts early enough to get us there. Thanks!!!

  4. The monorail and busses were not running. We park at the contemporary (we told them we were eating at Chef Mickey's) that works during slow season. Then from there it is only a five minute walk to the turn styles. We had to tell one little white lie. But it worked and got us there first. Good luck!

  5. I'm not sure if you'll see this or not. I'm curious about strollers. Your girls look little. Did you have a stroller with you that day? I am trying to decide if we should leave ours at home the day that we try. I don't want it to mess up our chances, but I'm not sure that ds will make it through the day in the park without it. Thanks!