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I suppose in most instances, crying on vacation is less than ideal. But when it comes to a Disney parks trip, it just might be part of the package. Don’t get me wrong, the kind of crying I’m talking about is the happy kind, emotional tears pulled out by a smile from Cinderella or the scent of the Main Street Confectionary. For so many of us, welling up is a natural part of any Disney visit!

I’ve rounded up below some of the most common times or moments that a Disney guest is likely to shed tears on any given park day. Maybe you’ve been to the parks many times and some of these you’ll be able to relate to. Or maybe you’re planning your first trip, and this list will help prepare you for that wall of emotion that is likely to hit at some point!

1. Entering the parks for the first time: The first day feels are real, guys. For a lot of us, that first glimpse of the castle is sure to send us on an emotional spiral. It’s why I often advise clients to book Magic Kingdom as their first park day on a vacation. Even if this isn’t you, there’s a fair chance you’ll see some other Disney adult trying to compose themselves on Main Street. For a ton of guests, entering the parks for the first time on their trip is the number one moment they can expect to cry.

2. Character meet and greets: Meeting a favorite character has got the serious potential to dissolve you to tears. Or maybe you’re not the one doing the meeting at all, but you’re watching your child greet their fave princess or mouse for the first time. It’s the kind of stuff lifetime memories are made of and a surefire way to bring on the crying. But I promise, it’s going to be cathartic!

3. Parades and shows: Do you make time to see the shows on your trips? I highly recommend you do! Some of them are incredibly top-notch, and can sometimes bring out the crier in you. I’m particular to shows like Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King, where storytelling meets emotional songs. And then I choke up! But ask your Friend Like Me Travel planner for a list of their favorites, you won’t be sorry.

4. Fireworks: Fireworks might fit into the category of a show, but it totally needs its own section. In a completely unscientific poll that I took of my own friends and family, I can tell you evening fireworks shows are one of the most likely points where an adult might shed a tear at Disney. There’s something about the music swelling, the animated projections, and the glittering sparkle lighting up the evening sky. Not to mention, you might see a certain fairy fly from a castle tower to the lyrics of “You can fly!” Seriously, I’ve seen it bring grown men to their knees. Prepare yourself!

5. Saying farewell: It’s so hard to say goodbye! Just as plenty of people sink into tears on their first day, the last moments of the trip similarly welcome crying for many. Maybe you’ve planned for months or years and are sad that it’s all over, or maybe you’re just so happy about the memories you’ve made. Or, perhaps you don’t yet know when you’ll be returning. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself crying in the last minutes of your vacation, rest assured that you’re not alone. And I always say that the best way to cure the Disney blues is to book your next trip!

So what do you think, was I totally off the mark? Maybe you’re not a crier at all, and you’re totally confused by what I’m talking about. But even if you are able to maintain a stiff upper lip for your entire visit, I’m pretty confident that at some point in your magical vacation, that inner child inside of you will melt just a little. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us! 

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