Discovering the Magic: Top 10 Tips -
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum

Discovering the Magic: Top 10 Tips

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Making Magic
by Jennifer Marx, Author of PassPorter Travel Guidebooks
Last modified 8/21/2008

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Magic. That elusive, special-something we've all heard is in abundance at Walt Disney World. Fellow vacationers rave about it, advertisements tout it, and you seek it. Magic isn't something to be taken lightly or disregarded. A little magic can make the whole world sparkle, brighten your outlook, and change your life completely. I have first-hand experience with the powerful effects of magic at Walt Disney World -- it encouraged me to follow my dreams of travel writing, transforming my life into one with its own brand of magic.

Defining magic is difficult. Everyone encounters it in a slightly different manner, finding it in their own unique way. Magic for me may be a twilight stroll around the World Showcase Lagoon, deep in conversation with my best friend. Or it could be a hearty belly laugh at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Readers of PassPorter have found magic in last-minute trips, cross-country drives, fireworks, souvenirs, family time, childhood memories, family photos, polka dances, proposals, and costumes. (We document some of our readers' magical memories in PassPorter -- check the last page of each chapter for their stories.)

Magic lurks everywhere. You just have to know how to find it ... and recognize it. To help you design and experience a magic-filled vacation, we present our top ten magical tips:

1. Plan ahead I know you've heard this one before, but it works. Planning ahead works out the majority of the kinks, leaving opportunities for magic to happen. Let's face it -- no one is going to feel magical when they're standing in the middle of Main Street at 2:00 pm on a blistering hot day, figuring out where to get a good meal in a cool place. And it's hard to appreciate magic when you're worried about money or time. Plan the basics, take care of the essentials, and leave room for the magic.

2. Don't overplan If you plan every moment of your day, you'll limit your opportunities for magic. Some of the best magic is spontaneous and unexpected -- all the richer because you weren't anticipating it. It's for this reason that we don't generally use touring plans in the parks -- we find they are too restrictive and don't allow us the opportunity to explore and follow the magic.

3. Seek out magical places This is a tricky one. You could plan a visit to the World Showcase at dusk based on my magical experiences there. After all, if I found magic there, perhaps you would too. You may very well find it, but there's no guarantee, either. Nonetheless, there are some places within the World that seem a bit more conducive to magic-making. The best ways to find out about these are to talk to other vacationers, read their trip reports, and keep your eyes open. Some places have a special glow about them, as if they've been enchanted by Tinkerbell's wand. Here are a few of my favorites: - Beside the fountain inside the Mexico pavilion at World Showcase in Epcot - On a bench near the hedge maze in the back of the United Kingdom pavilion at World Showcase in Epcot - Adventureland on a sultry day in the Magic Kingdom - At a table beside Discovery River in Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom - In a hammock on the beach at the Polynesian Resort - Strolling Port Orleans French Quarter Resort at night, when the "gas" lamps are lit. - Swimming in an empty, heated pool late at night. - Snuggled in front of a small fireplace overlooking the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge Resort. - Virtually any place after dark, but particularly the World Showcase in Epcot and Disney's Animal Kingdom (on those few nights when it's open).

4. Be friendly Smile, chat, and be kind to others -- family, friends, vacationers and cast members alike. Reach out to others -- everyone has magic to offer. Many vacationers report making new friends at the park, and we ourselves have had the good fortune to make friends with many, many people over the years. And our experiences with these people are some of our fondest memories.

5. Think outside the park Many of my magical memories took place outside of a theme park -- while I was traveling to and from Florida, staying at a resort, dining at a restaurant, or just moving about the World on a bus or boat. I have a particular fondness for Epcot buses, in fact. So plan some time out of the parks and explore the rest of the World.

6. Time together, time alone Magic is often found in new company. If you're used to being alone or with a small family, invite a group or plan a family reunion at Walt Disney World. My first group trip of 35 produced many, many magical memories that I cherish today. On the other hand, if you're always with other people, take some time to be alone -- with someone you love or on your own.

7. Remove fear Fear protects us from dangerous situations... and also from magical situations. Forever guarding yourself and your feelings erects a wall around you that magic can't penetrate. Release your fears ... volunteer to go on stage, say hi to someone you don't know, dance with Mickey Mouse. As a generally fearful person, I've found that those times I'm able to overcome my fears produce the most amazing, magical results.

8. Avoid too much anticipation If you go to Walt Disney World anticipating a magical event every hour or so, you'll be sadly disappointed. Real magic happens much less often, and is all the more special because of it. In particular, I urge you not to expect cast members to go out of their way to do something special for you. This is a rare happening, and hoping for it almost always leads to disappointment, as we've seen over and over again in letters from our readers. We ourselves never expect special treatment from cast members, so when it happens we're always delighted and a little awestruck.

9. Let it happen, and make it happen Some magic happens spontaneously... you just need to be in the right place at the right time and in the right frame of mind. Encourage this sort of magic by leaving yourself open to new experiences. More often, magic happens because of something YOU do... a gift you give to someone, a person you take the time to meet, an event you arrange. This is the best kind of magic, because it wouldn't have happened without your efforts and talents. All of the magical memories we share in PassPorter are of this type of magic -- we applaud everyone who creates their own magic!

10. Remember the magic. This tip has two parts. The first is to document and record the magic your discover on your trip. Why? Because research has shown that if you write it down or take a picture of it, you're significantly more likely to remember the event later. Remembering is paramount -- if you don't recall what happened, the magic will be short-lived and may as well not even happened. A good part of magic is remembering it fondly in the years to come.

The second aspect of remembering the magic is to recall those special magical moments from past visits and re-visit them on future trips. You may not encounter the same level or brand of magic, but the association with a special place from your past has a magic all its own. I still get a little misty-eyed when I wait for a bus at the Settlement Depot bus stop in the Fort Wilderness Resort, where I shared a special, very magical moment with two people whom I love.

As you can see, magic -- that special something that warms our hearts and makes us smile for years to come -- is something you can encourage. And in the end, you may learn how to bring that magic home to live in your everyday life... as we have.

Dave adds: Magic is a very elusive thing. The harder you seek it, the harder it is to find. It's like leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus. No matter how long you hide in wait, he never arrives until you're fast asleep.

I love maneuvering a group of friends or family into an enchanted place at an enchanted time. I don't make any promises, I may not even drop any hints, and I definitely don't tell them everything that may happen. I just sit back, smile, tell them to enjoy the moment, and the magic unfolds. The less I promise, the more magic I see reflected in my loved ones eyes.

Things To Do: If you have a magical memory from a Walt Disney World trip that you'd like to share with us, send it to us at We're always looking for new stories for our next edition of PassPorter!

About the Author:
Jennifer is the co-founder and co-author of PassPorter travel guidebooks with well over 50 books under her belt.

Related Links:

Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 8/21/2008 - Article #130 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.

Post-Trip Disney Gift Card Magic For Us
by Her Dotness
13 Dec 2014 at 5:30pm
Was sorting through our gift card collection from the trip, all of which had been used, I thought. Stuck in a wad of receipts was one with a...
(click title above to view replies)

Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 5080

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.