In January 2001, Stephen, along with his best friend from college, Annie Laurie Crane, went to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida for Stephen's 24th birthday. On the morning of the 13th, while waiting for the rope to drop, a daily ceremony opening the parks to visitors, Stephen remarked on the beauty of the dawn as he witnessed the sun rise over the fog laden Seven Seas Lagoon, with the spires of Cinderella Castle rising above the mist.
The trip also included a birthday song to Stephen by the cast of the Walt Disney World resort and several characters from the animated features. The song, "It's Your Birthday," was originally written for Donald Duck's Fiftieth birthday celebration at Walt Disney World. It was used a few years later for Mickey's Sixtieth. Stephen attended both of those celebrations as a child and recognized the tune at the start.
This journey to Walt Disney World would not be the last for Stephen and Annie Laurie. Through the years, they continue to visit the parks, taking part in such events as the Food and Wine Festival and the 100 Years of Magic Celebration.