Disney World with a First-Timer

As Disney veterans know, it’s hard to imagine an experience more enjoyable than showing a Disney park to someone who’s never been. Especially if it’s a good friend!

A few weeks ago, Nona, a friend of ours for many years, visited Orlando and Walt Disney World for the first time. My wife Vickie and I were honored to be her chaperones. Where to begin? Magic Kingdom, of course! In the photo, Nona is wearing her “1st Visit” button, which we picked up at City Hall. Vickie is smiling beside her.

Vickie and Nona on Main Street

We rode the Headliner attractions first; Nona really enjoyed Splash Mountain. Of course, I pointed out Hidden Mickeys here and there (if I could get her attention between laughs and giggles). We drove to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that first afternoon. Nona is a fan of American Idol, so we had to try out the new attraction: The American Idol Experience. She was impressed and told me that the Disney show was a very good reproduction of the television event. We had a blast!

Check out a new Hidden Mickey on the stage. A classic Mickey image is on the light brown arch in the stage backdrop, between the second and third round archway lights (counting from the lower right of the arch). (Thanks to Joe Franceschino, Jordan and Kenya Swiss, Jason trendymagic, Matt Hochberg, Sharon Stevenson, and Marie and Bruce Daigneault)

Hidden Mickey American Idol

Hidden Mickey American Idol

Over the next few days, Nona experienced great cuisine at the Plaza Restaurant, 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian, Jiko, California Grill, Sci-Fi Dine-In, Flying Fish, and San Angel Inn. Whew! I wonder if she put on a few pounds? Late one night, Vickie took her to Jellyrolls for a rousing good time.

Epcot was also a big hit with Nona. I had to show her one of my favorite Hidden Mickeys on a fish in the Northwest Mercantile shop in the Canada Pavilion.

Hidden Mickey Canada

Hidden Mickey Canada

IllumiNations and the American Adventure show impressed her, and her last delightful experience before leaving for the airport was the Voices of Liberty singing group.

American Adventure in Epcot

I hope Nona returns some day and brings along her husband Buzz and sons Jacob, Joseph and Jordan. By the way, Jacob bought her plane ticket to Orlando as a Christmas gift, so she could visit her old friends and enjoy Disney World. Thanks, Jacob!

blue line

Read more about Steve’s Hidden Mickey finds on AllEars.net

Steve maintains a Catalog of Hidden Mickeys on the Hidden Mickeys Guide.

Steve Barrett is a doctor and Disney nut whose favorite Walt Disney World memory is strolling through the Magic Kingdom with his young son on his shoulders. Not surprisingly, his favorite spot in the World is anywhere there's a Hidden Mickey. He suggests that all visitors take some time to chat with cast members, especially when looking for Hidden Mickeys, as they can enrich your Disney experience and make it even more magical.

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4 Replies to “Disney World with a First-Timer”

  1. We’re going in 11/09 with my sister and her husband who went there for the 1st time on their honeymoon but missed so much as they were overwhelmed with what there was to see and do. I figured my family of “veterans” can show them a good time and make sure they get to see all the classics along with some great new stuff. Can’t wait 🙂

  2. I love bringing first timers to Walt Disney World. They always seem to be amazed how much larger it is than the Disneyland Resort. (I’m from Southern California.)

    But of course after their first trip, they are wanting to go back right away!!


  3. What are the hidden mickey’s on space ship earth? I thought I saw one right as you enter the computer scene on a coffee cup on your right. I saw the sticker on the car, but the desk as soon as you enter the scene, I thought I saw a cup with mickey on it?



  4. Hi Steve.

    I always like to read your blog because I very much enjoy looking for hidden Mickeys, but I don’t want to use the guidebook, in my opinion it spoils the fun!

    In October 2010 I will be travelling for my 7th trip to the world, and bringing along my boyfriend for his first trip.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you for keeping the magic alive between trips!