What is it about WDW that makes us feel nostalgic?

Erica LandreneauBlog

In the previous blog post of this series, we took a look at how Walt Disney World makes us feel nostalgic through our senses. In this final blog post of the series, we will see how WDW itself is practically made from nostalgia.

It can bring us to memories of our past and it helps us to create new memories for us today to carry into the future. Even when we go with our children’s children we’ll look at them and say, “I watched that movie when it came out in theaters” or, “I remember when this ride opened.”


All throughout WDW, our favorite childhood movies come to life. It can be in the form of an attraction like Peter Pan’s Flight or in a restaurant such as Pinocchio’s Village Haus. It can also be our favorite characters like Alice or Tigger. It can even be the within the lands like Belle’s Village or Cinderella Castle. In these forms, our favorite movies come to life and make us remember sitting on the floor in the living room singing along to the songs and seeing the happily ever after.

What is more nostalgic than the iconic Cinderella Castle? Photo by Rich Ramos

If it isn’t the movies coming to life, it can definitely be the parks themselves. We create incredible memories when we visit WDW. When we return, we remember those memories when we watch a certain show or eat a certain snack or when we see any of the park icons.

Some experience those warm and fuzzy feelings when their child meets their favorite character. All the things someone can experience at WDW can create fond memories to reminisce on the next time they visit.

Many scream-filled memories can be made on this terrifying attraction! Photo by Brett Svenson


The next big thing happening now in WDW is the anticipation of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This can create some major nostalgia for Star Wars fans. Who wouldn’t see the Millennium Falcon and remember all the times the Hyperdrive wouldn’t work in Episode V? We are going to be transported to a galaxy far, far away, and the nostalgic feelings will hit us like a laser blast.

For Animal Kingdom fans, photos at the Tree of Life is a must. Photo by Rich Ramos


As we look to the future, more and more things will be coming to the parks that will make us feel nostalgic. EPCOT is getting quite a few refurbishments. While we are sad to see IllumiNations go, EPCOT Forever will bring new memories for us to cherish.

Speaking of new memories to cherish, what can be better than knowing your love for WDW has been passed down to the next generation? There are families who go each year, then their kids grow up and take their own kids and show them all that they did with their parents. All the memories are shared and sometimes relived like that obligatory family photo in front of each park icon.

Look to the future in Spaceship Earth! Photo by Judd Helms

Conclusion of a nostalgic series

WDW helps to bring nostalgia to each one of us in its own special way. Nostalgia can make us sad. It can make us happy. It can take us back to a time where everything was good and nothing bad can happen.

Each one of us is different. Some of us do not want to look back at our past as Edna Mode said, “I never look back, darling, it distracts from the now.” However, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to look back or for us to remember where we come from, or as Mufasa said, “Remember who you are.”

These two partners are the start of the nostalgia of WDW Photo by Cliff Wang

Taking a little time to be nostalgic helps us to remember who the child inside of us is. As great as it is to look back and feel nostalgic from time-to-time, we must remember that times keeps moving on, and we must move forward. “We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney.

Thanks for joining me in this nostalgia series!

By Erica Landreneau

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About the Author

Erica Landreneau

Erica is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine. When she isn’t planning her next trip to WDW or watching the beloved Animated Classics, she can be found working at her local library. Wouldn’t Belle and The Beast be proud?