Singing, dancing and, of course, Gaston: 9 viral Disney World moments we’ll never forget

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Whether you’ve been to Walt Disney World once or hundreds of times, there’s that one special moment of pure magic, serendipity or humor that you just had to be there to experience.

But luckily, with today’s technology, anybody can.


The hilarious, the sweet and the downright inspiring at Disney have been caught on camera over the years and shared with the world through social media. They’ve earned millions of shares, likes and comments. It’s the bit of Disney magic heard ‘round the world.

READ: For Disney’s workers, the magic doesn’t stop at the gate

There are so many magical moments from Disney that went viral, but here are 9 that we’ll never forget ahead of Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

Opera dad

Justin Gigliello went viral in 2019 when he was caught on camera doing an impromptu performance of  “Ave Maria” in The Grand Floridian lobby. The video nabbed tens of millions of views, and Gigliello made national headlines.

READ: Disney World’s early years & the 1970s energy crisis

Channel 9′s Joe Kepner sat down with Gigliello and his daughter last year. See the full story below.

Gorilla vs. snake

A TikTok from over the summer shows gorillas in the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail being vexed by a slithery intruder inside their habitat.

The video has been viewed more than 10 million times.

Squirrel steals M&Ms

There are so many delicious treats across Walt Disney World — many of them, of course, shaped like Mickey Mouse.

READ: Disney unveils Fab 50 character collection at Magic Kingdom

But one squirrel on property was content with just a bag of peanut M&Ms.

A video that first surfaced in 2018 shows a squirrel inside a store somewhere at Disney World running off with his prized treat. The thief went viral and made national headlines.

Girl stands up to Gaston

No one makes a viral moment like Gaston.

The hunky-but-arrogant villain from “Beauty and the Beast” got a taste of his own medicine when a little girl, identified as Isabella, put him in his place and didn’t mince words why Gaston’s nemesis, Beast, is better than him.

SEE: Disney debuts new monorail look for 50th anniversary

The video, first published in 2014, has been viewed over 14 million times.

Spoiler alert: This isn’t the last time you’ll see Gaston’s name on the list.

Employee helps rider overcome claustrophobia

Jessica D. Thomas took her children to Disney for the first time back in 2019. While at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, she began to experience major claustrophobia before riding the Na’vi River Journey. That’s when a cast member, Samantha, offered to ride the boat ride with her.

READ: McDonald’s announces Happy Meal toys to mark Disney World’s 50th anniversary

“She walked over with me and my baby to the front row,” Thomas wrote in a Facebook post that’s been liked, shared and commented on thousands of times. “She not only held my hand the entire time but she also pointed out every single exit to me, told me about the all the ways I was safe and how the cast members could come get me out if any of my worst fears came true.”

I am asking all 2,254 of you to share this post. Because I want this young lady at Disney's Animal Kingdom to receive...

Posted by Jessica D. Thomas on Monday, September 2, 2019

Boy asks Orange County deputy for autograph

Young Disneygoers usually fill their autograph books with the John Hancocks of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

But one 6-year-old made headlines in 2015 when he instead asked an Orange County deputy patrolling Magic Kingdom for his autograph.

Deputy Rogers is a celebrity in the eyes of this Tewksbury, Massachusetts youngster! His mom Jennie Ann (who is also a...

Posted by Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Monday, November 16, 2015

Gaston pushup contest

Gaston is back with another viral moment. In 2015, he was challenged to a “manly” pushup contest by a Disney guest. The result 7 million views later? See the video below.

Dancing Tiana

Sydney Russell, 8, turned heads when she, dressed as Tiana from “Princess and the Frog,” busted some moves while at Magic Kingdom in 2019.

READ: You can now buy a Disney World annual pass again

Boy tips hat to princesses

The most recent viral video has been seen on TikTok millions of times. A young boy tipped his Mickey Mouse-ear hat to multiple Disney princesses as they passed by him during a cavalcade.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.