As a child of Latino immigrants, visiting Walt Disney World Resort is almost like a rite of passage.

One day, your bags are packed, and you’re transported into a place where magic feels real and “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”

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These nine Latinas share what it felt like the first time they went to Walt Disney World Resort. Grab some tissues and get ready to feel all the feels. 

For Emely Villegas, her first time at Walt Disney World Resort brought unexpected gifts

For Emely Villegas, her first trip to Disney World sparkled with pixie dust.

“I remember when my mom took me and my little sister Carla on a trip to Walt Disney World Resort when I was six years old. It was a magical experience from the moment we stepped through the entrance,” she recalls. “Seeing Cinderella’s castle in person was awe-inspiring, and my heart filled with excitement and pure happiness since she has always been my favorite Disney princess.”


But just as Emely thought Cinderella had taken the royal memory, something else caught her attention.

“The trip’s highlight was meeting Mickey Mouse and visiting his house!” she tells mitú. “I remember being a bit shy initially, but Mickey and all his crew made me feel so special, hugging me tightly. That day at Walt Disney World Resort is one of my heartwarming childhood memories, and I’ll cherish it forever. I felt like I was living in a fairy tale.”

Carla Villegas remembers it as the “best day ever!”

Emely’s sister, Carla Villegas, also cherishes their memories at Magic Kingdom with love.

“When I was four, my parents took me to Walt Disney World Resort, and it was so much fun!” she says. “I remember seeing many colorful characters, like Mickey Mouse and Princess Belle. I got to give Belle a big hug, and it made me really happy.”

Adding, “We went on some cool rides, too, like flying with Peter Pan! At night, the sky was all sparkly with pretty lights, and I saw amazing fireworks. I may not remember everything, but I do know that it was the best day ever!”

Ana Isabel Taboada loved hanging out at Minnie Mouse’s house


Making the trip from Colombia to Orlando, Florida, Ana Isabel Taboada’s Disney adventure was one she still holds close to her heart.

“The first time I went to Disney, I was just four years old, and I still remember most of the trip vividly. I remember feeling like I was meeting my heroes; it was Magical. My favorite day was when I got to visit Minnie Mouse’s home.”

Monica Merel met her childhood heroines

“My favorite childhood memories are at Disney,” she says. “Our one big trip of the year as a family was going to Disney.”


She recalls going very early on, but then one day, she met her hero.

My first memory is seeing the castle and meeting Mickey and Minnie! We used to sit and watch the parades, and I remember crying and meeting my hero Mulan.”

Karla Montalván had the surprise of a lifetime

For Karla Montalván, her first trip to Disney was surreal.

“I got to visit my aunt and grandparents in Miami for the holidays, which coincided with my eighth birthday. What they had in store for me was beyond my wildest dreams — a trip to Disney World!” she says.


“I remember not knowing what to expect, but then walking into the Magic Kingdom and feeling like I was living in a dream. It was also the same year they celebrated 100 years of Walt Disney, so everything had a special magic. I’ve gone many times after, but my first time was one I always remember fondly.”

Aliana Zamorano has been going since she was six months old with her multi-generational family

Growing up in Florida, Disney was THE spot for Aliana Zamorano and her family to get together.

“Living in Miami, going to Disney World was always a vacation that was actually feasible for my family,” she says. “My parents started taking me at six months old and as I grew older. Then my brother was born and then countless cousins, it became a tradition to go as a whole family.”


She continues, “When I think about Disney World, the best bonding experiences with my sibling and younger cousins come to mind. It’s a place where we can easily bring my grandparents and make the most beautiful multi-generational family memories every year.”

Mirtle Peña remembers her travels to Disney as a family affair

For many Latinos, trips to Disney were a time to reconnect with family.

“When I think about Disney, I think about family. One of my first trips to Disney was a trip my parents planned with my tía and tío from the D.R. It involved all of my cousins (as well as a cousin I had living in Miami). We all had a blast meeting Mickey and Minnie and getting our little autograph books signed.”

Erika Alban traded in her quinceañera for a trip to Disney World

Why dress up like a princess when you can feel like a princess at Disney World? That’s what Erika Alban told her mom when she traded her quinceañera party for a trip to EPCOT.

“I had never been to EPCOT and was dying to have my mom take me with my sisters. After some negotiation (she’s a Cuban mom, after all), she accepted my terms, and we ended up going. It was the best decision I could have made. I loved it and had a total blast.”

Bertha Crombet was shocked by the theme park’s beauty

When she was little, Bertha Crombet didn’t even know a place like Disney World existed.

“The first time I went to Disney World, I was around seven, about a year after I had migrated to America from Cuba,” she describes.

“Lucky for me, growing up in Florida meant we took a class field trip there every year. And every year, it felt like the first time, no matter how old I got.”