Walt Disney World Hooks: The Reaction Part III

Yes folks there are more great memories everyone is sharing. Here are more and perhaps yours is included.


From Cindy:

For me, it’s the music most people don’t even hear. I’ve been to Walt Disney World for seven vacations spending nearly a month’s worth of days in the parks over those seven times (going back all the way to 1974 when Magic Kingdom wasn’t even completed yet!). Our favorite way to end the day is with Reflections of Earth in Epcot. The narration starts, the lights are “blown” out and my chest gets tight waiting for the first arc of fire and music. Wonderful!

But what really does it for me is the music that plays AFTER the show when everyone’s on their way out. Not the song (although we tend to sing along with it), but the music AFTER that…the music from the Tapestry of Dreams parade that is the last thing you hear as you exit.

The Tapestry of Dreams parade was, by far, the BEST parade I’ve ever seen — anywhere. I would love to see them bring that back. I still get choked up when I think of those incredible puppets making their entrance. The World Showcase is my favorite part of Epcot — and the Tapestry of Dreams music brings back wonderful memories.

Thanks for letting me share…and if you have any sway at Epcot — tell them to bring back the parade! 🙂


Dana shares something we all may feel:

My hook is seeing the first glimpse of the castle. I am straining to see it when the monorail is coming around to the kingdom. When I see it even if it is just the tip -all is right with the world. Then when I hear the laughing place song on Splash Mountain that is my hook too.

After all, Disney World is my laughing place!!!


Dave hits a soft spot for me:

I know it’s a lil’ hokey, but it always takes my breath away, just for a moment, to come from the buses to the front of the MK where the giant floral Mickey head is on the hill just beneath the train depot.

This says to me; “you made it, welcome back” every time I go to WDW. Just part of fulfilling my expectations every time I visit… Thanks for the opportunity to share.


Terry has three hooks:

A few of my hooks are:

1. Hearing the steam whistles on the steamboat that travels around the Rivers of America and on the locomotives of the Magic Kingdom.

2. The sight of Monorails entering and exiting the Contemporary Resort, especially when viewed at a distance from across the water.

3. Entering EPCOT. My wife and I can be there at Walt Disney World for several days, but it doesn’t feel like we have arrived until we either see Spaceship Earth looming ahead, or look across at France from the gift shop located at the World Showcase entrance.


Shirley sounds like she has a bucket full of hooks:

Hooks? I can’t count that high! Driving from airport to Wilderness Lodge and passing by all of the signs for the various attractions. The first sighting of the Lodge. Taking that first step into the Lodge and hearing that beautiful music of the Pacific Northwest. One visit, after a particularly bad flight and drive, we got to our room, I collapsed on the bed and said, “we’re home.” And I truly meant it. The Wilderness Lodge is our home away from home when visiting Disney. And each park? Hearing the “movies” music when entering the Studios (and then riding Tower of Terror immediately of course), seeing the Castle again, riding Expedition Everest first thing in the a.m., walking amongst the countries at Epcot (especially U.K.). Taking a walk at Downtown Disney and the Boardwalk and then walking to Epcot from there. The list goes on.


Larry is like Shirley, an endless list of hooks:

This is in response to Mike Scopa’s article yesterday about Walt Disney World Hooks. Like Mike, and I am sure many others, I have numerous “hooks”. Never thought of them as such, so I am glad that Mike coined a name for these multi-sensory experiences that grab you. I would like to explain my family’s collective “hook” — we have many — this one happens early in our trip:

Our resort of choice is the Wilderness Lodge. Most often we can only visit WDW in the hot summer. When we reach the front doors, and walk into the Lodge, we are met with a rush of welcome cold air, we see the majestic lobby in all its grandeur, we smell the barbecue from Whispering Canyon Cafe, and we hear that great lobby background music from the Pacific Northwest. Truly a multi-sensory “hook.” At that point, we know, “We’re here!”


Barbara picks on of her hooks to share:

My hook? This is just one of many. In 1973, first visit, first day, went on Small World. That night, after a long, hot day, we were on the monorail (the old cars), which was crowded but quiet. Out of nowhere, my 4 yr old son started singing, “It’s a small world” in his little voice. One by one, everyone joined in, old and young. When the monorail came to a stop, so did the singing. We exited thinking what a great place WDW is. Everyone can be a kid at heart. That was my first hook and it’s still deep in my heart. My boys are grown and I’m a grandma now but twice a year, the “hook” brings me back to my favorite “world”. And, each time I get on the monorail, I smile. I guess you could say both Small World and the monorail were starter hooks for me. My 4 yr old son? He turned out to have a wonderful voice (four-octave tenor) and has performed in many venues. I’d like to think WDW and Small World had something to do with that.


Karen shares her hooks:

Hi Mike … Thank you for your article and for bringing those sensory triggers to mind. I am heading to my favorite place in a few short weeks; thinking about those hooks has boosted my excitement!

Your “hooks” are on my list too – a long list. My #1 “hook” is a combination of all senses and has two possible versions. I love to stay at either the Wilderness Lodge or the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Both spots are wonderfully tucked away in corners of the World, designed by the same man. My “hook” is walking into the lobby on the first day, right off the Magic Express bus. You hear the sound of the doors opening… see the grand lobby, the decorations… smell the air (sometimes there’s a hint of Whispering Canyon cafe or Boma)… hear the footsteps on the floorboards, sounds of laughter… hear the resort’s sound track somewhere in the background. And I just sigh … I am there.


Bonnie sure sounds like her hooks are special:

After reading the first few and drying my eyes I knew I had to add my 2 hooks. We have a tradition in our family we always ride “its a small world” first. I hear that song and know I have come home again. The other one is children they say some amazing things. The little girl who squeals with delight at her first view of the castle or the little boy who sees Mickey for the first time and cant stop saying its Mickey look its Mickey, or the disabled boy who keeps riding star tours over and over again with such delight and no one cares that he stays in whatever seat he wants. Its MAGIC


From Mike and Brenda.

Seeing the train station and hearing the sounds of the Magic Kingdom are always thrilling to me.

I have a 5-year-old grandson who is Autistic.

The ferry is his favorite attraction. He would be perfectly happy to ride back and forth all day. He loves to look around from the upper deck. The look of pure joy on his face brings tears to my eyes.


I like Suzanne’s hook:

My MK hook is during the beginning of Wishes, when Jiminy says, “… and it all starts with a wish!”, the music builds, and Tinkerbell appears at the top of the castle. Even when I’m listening to the soundtrack at home, that moment gets me! At Epcot, it’s exactly what you’d described for the finale of Illuminations – when listening to this at home, our family yells out “Pyrotechnics” and we mimic fireworks with our hands. For Animal Kingdom, it’s the beginning of The Festival of the Lion King – “It is time!”. My biggest hooks are definitely auditory – we listen to Disney Parks music at home for months and months, and then to finally be there and able to experience it in person is a dream come true!

Keep them coming.

I hope to share more upon my return from Walt Disney World next week.

There’s that mail truck again.


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6 Replies to “Walt Disney World Hooks: The Reaction Part III”

  1. My biggest hook is when the bus pulls into Magic Kingdom and the trumpet fanfare is heard over the loud speakers. My feet start to get happy and can’t hold still. I get butterflies in my stomach. Another hook is when my son (now 14-who has been to WDW four times) walks around the parks saying “Remember this … remember when … remember …”. Just another sign that great family vacation memories will always be with us. I still remember (with a smile) during our last WDW vacation (2009) when Magic Kingdom first opened in the morning and the Cast Members were waving (with Mickey hands) and wishing me a good morning. My sister looked at my and laughed, saying “you really are having a good morning now, aren’t you?”. By the time I reached the end of Main Street I was in Disney heaven. I loved the whole experience. Can’t wait for it to happen again (next trip is January 2011).

  2. I, like so many others, have numerous hooks. The first is on the magical ride from the airport seeing the Walt Disney World signs in shades of purple and green and knowing I’ve made it. Next, for both my husband and me is entering EPCOT. No matter where we start our trip neither of us truly feels like we’ve made it and can relax until we walk in and see Spaceship Earth. As we step off the bus and start the mad dash to the security check I actually feel my shoulders drop and the stress of real life leave my body. When we catch that first glimpse of the geosphere encompassing one of our favorite attractions we both feel welcomed home. It is the best feeling!

  3. We’ve been to Walt Disney World 24 times since 1995. We always drive and upon arrival at our resort we of course stop at the security check point. I can’t remember the first time it happened, but after giving the guard our info, he says, “Welcome home Smathers Family”. That’s my hook.

  4. I love reading everyone’s “hooks”, they are all great…for me, one experience always stands out in my memory…my brother and I would be in the backseat of the car as our parents drove us up to Disney from S. Florida, and when we got on Disney property signs would appear on the roadside telling us to tune in our car radio to hear Disney info. My Dad would dial in the station, and there would be a little static at first, then it would get clearer as we got closer…and suddenly there was Mickey Mouse’s voice welcoming us to Disney and telling us what was going on that day in the park (this was when MK was the only park). My brother and I looked forward to that moment with the radio because that was the moment we left daily life behind and we knew we were finally at Disney and in for more fun that we could imagine!

  5. I have a couple “hooks”. My first is when we board Magical Express and the movie kicks in. It’s cheesey and we’ve seen it so many times, but it makes the ride go quick and it’s the introduction to Disney World. The girls sit still and watch the movie the whole ride.

    My second hook is walking into the Magic Kingdom. After baggage check we get all situated and as we make our way under the railroad tracks. As soon as we hit Main Street and we see Cinderella Castle, my oldest daughter gets excited and explaims “We’re finally here!” To me, that’s the best feeling in the world.

  6. I have really enjoyed reading all of the “hooks” that people have when it comes to Disney World. I absolutely love Disney World and everything about it. I did not have an opportunity to go as a child so my first experience was as an adult w/my new husband. I have now been back as a parent w/my two children and I think it is even better now.
    I have many hooks when it comes to Disney but a couple that are really special to me. My first would be as we start approaching Disney World and start seeing the signs. When we pull up to the Wilderness Lodge, our resort of choice, and see it in all its majestic beauty. My other special hook is walking into Magic Kingdom and seeing the castle. It is so beautiful. When I see these things I know that I am “home.” I can’t wait to talk to my children and see what their hooks are. Thank you for sharing this article and everyones hooks.