106-Year-Old (New) Disney Fan Celebrates with Historic First Visit 

106-Year-Old (New) Disney Fan Celebrates with Historic First Visit blog header

As 105-year-old Magnolia Jackson watched her beloved Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats play in the annual Florida Classic college football game in Orlando last fall, she saw Drum Major Mickey steal the show with an electrifying performance that captivated the audience. That ignited a newfound passion for Disney and a desire to celebrate her birthday this year at Walt Disney World Resort.  

Magnolia Jackson 106th Birthday with Mickey and Minnie Mouse and the Ambassador

This morning that desire became reality when Mrs. Magnolia, who had never been to a Disney park before, arrived at Magic Kingdom to celebrate her 106th birthday. Full of wonder and excitement as she entered the Magic Kingdom, she was not only greeted by the iconic Cinderella Castle and beloved sights and sounds of Magic Kingdom, but she was also welcomed by cheering Disney cast members, the Walt Disney World Ambassadors, cake and balloons and—of course—Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  

Mrs. Magnolia with her birthday cake, mickey and ambassador

It was a joyous moment for the oldest living graduate of Bethune-Cookman, one that was filled with a rousing Cast rendition of the  “Happy Birthday” song,  lots of smiles, happy tears and long-lasting memories.  

Magnolia Jackson in front of the magic Kingdom castle

Creating some extra pixie dust for this milestone birthday, after a personal visit with Princess Tiana, Mrs. Magnolia and her family celebrated her love of gardening with a visit to EPCOT’s international Flower & Garden Festival. A passionate gardener, she didn’t want to miss the chance to experience the festival and its alluring gardens, Disney-themed topiaries, lively music and tasty cuisine. 

Gardening, along with education, particularly at Bethune-Cookman, have deep roots in her life. Spending 40 notable years as an educator, Mrs. Magnolia was an elementary school principal who is credited with inspiring countless other teachers and fueling the career ambitions of scores of children, particularly those in underserved communities. At Bethune-Cookman, she even met the school’s founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the former national advisor to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and noted civil rights activist. 

Mickey may have high-stepped his way into Mrs. Magnolia’s heart during a football game last fall, but he also unlocked yet another new relationship between Bethune-Cookman University and Disney.     

Magnolia Jackson with Mickey and Minnie Mouse

We are so fortunate to celebrate Mrs. Magnolia in true Disney fashion this week.

Happy 106th Birthday Mrs. Magnolia!