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Getting chosen for special events at Disney World – PREP018

Getting chosen for special events at Disney World – PREP018

There are several special things you can be chosen for at Disney World like parades, shows and park openings.

Today, I’ve got an interview with somebody whose family has been chosen for all of those things. She shares her experiences and tips on getting picked for these special things that can bring a little extra magic to your trip.

I also have a quick tip that will let you know a shortcut to exiting one of the nighttime shows.

These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Interview with Jody Williams

Jody has a blog at where she details the various experiences they’ve been chosen for.

In this episode, she discussed being part of the Animal Kingdom parade, opening 3 of the parks and being part of the Indiana Jones show at Hollywood Studios.

Jody also shared some of her tips for increasing your odds of being chosen which include wearing matching shirts, being willing to say yes to what Cast Member’s ask (and without hesitation), arriving early and sometimes just a stroke of luck.

Here’s a video showing the Cast Member named Barbara who Jody mentioned. She makes me happy to watch.

Quick tip of the day

When you enter the theater for the Fantasmic! show at Hollywood Studios, you come in from the top left part of the theater. When you exit, go out the top right of the theater which will take you right to the front of the park.

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Have you been picked for something special at Disney World? Or are you hoping to be chosen? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Shannon Albert

Amanda Ramsey

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

My 2 sons and I were chosen as the "First Family" this past weekend on Mickey's birthday!! This was my boy's first visit and my first visit in 25 years. I had never heard of the "first family" thing so we definitely weren't trying or matching or anything. We arrived at Magic Kingdom about 45 min before the park opened because we had been unable to get a Fastpass for 7D mine train so we wanted to get there early to get to ride it without waiting. That plan went out the window pretty quickly! They started letting people past the magic band scanner about 30 min prior to opening and a woman immediately approached me and asked if we would be interested in doing her a favor. I said, Of course, and she said Mickey needed help opening up the park. I was confused at first, but I said, well sure! From that moment we were treated like royalty. We got pictures inside the park with no one else there and got to hang out with the fire chief and performers in the train station. Then of course, we watched Mickey and friends arrive on the train and followed the fire chief to the balcony to sing Happy Birthday to Mickey and wave to the crowd. Then we got a private ride down Main Street in the fire truck. We had a personal photographer who captured the entire thing for us. Truly an unexpected and magical experience. (PS We didn't get to ride 7D Mine Train, but who cares after what we got to do!!)

Deidra Mathis

Saturday 18th of February 2017

Hello, We are a retired military family of 3. We came out their in 2014 before my husband retire from the Army. My daughter doesn't remember her trip. so now we are planning a trip for May 2017 and I really want to give her a life time memory of Disney with Minnie and Mickey she will never forget. If you can help us by putting a big smile on our faces and a time of memory would be amazing for us. Thanks


Wednesday 5th of October 2016

Hi all! Took our 5yo and my dad for the first (and only☹️) trip in 2012. My son wore his mouse ears and "My First Visit" pin EVERYWHERE!!! My dad was "That Guy" at Monsters Inc and my son was interviewed by one of the monsters. Our son was also selected to be the rebel spy on Star Tours and we were selected to be the first family at our Play and Dine Breakfast at Hollywood and Vine. Most likely, some combination of pure dumb luck, maybe our travel agent???? and probably our unending enthusiasm, despite being exhausted!!! It really is the happiest place on earth


Saturday 28th of April 2018

Where do you get the “My First Visit” pin?


Saturday 26th of December 2015

my family was selected for the Animal Kingdom Parade once, it was so much fun! We did not match and I can't think of anything special we were doing, a gentleman asked if he could sit with us at breakfast, I thought it was going to be a timeshare it dvc pitch, but I said yes, and he just said he likes the way our family interacts with one another and would we be willing to ride in a parade float.

Kristie Dover

Wednesday 28th of October 2015

The first week of Oct we were on a 7 day trip at WDW. We spent the first few days going hard and had planned on being at rope drop at MK on Monday. The kids were exhausted and so was husband, I decided it would be a much better day with some rest. We finally got ready and to the park around 10:00. We had our cute matching tee's on, but for cute picture purposes only, didn't even know we could picked as Grand Marshals. As we walked in the sweetest lady I have ever met walked up and asked if we could chat. We stepped over to the side and Ms. Peg told me it was her job to pick the Grand Marshals and she chose us! It was very magical and an exciting day with lots of surprises!


Wednesday 13th of May 2015

Thank you for sharing the information and video about CM Barbara! I took a photo of a CM who was having a ton of fun dancing during the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It! parade during my 2013 visit, and I'm sure it was her. I can't wait to get home and check my scrapbook! :)