Daily Mail/Rex USA
July 16, 2015 12:35 PM

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When Prince Harry heads to Orlando, Florida, next year for his Invictus Games, it won’t be his first time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

In August 1993, the prince, then nearly 9, joined his mother Princess Diana and older brother, Prince William, then 11, on a magical trip to Walt Disney World.

The happy trio and their party were photographed during a wet ride on Splash Mountain, which reportedly had been closed to other visitors.

Accompanied by a pair of close friends and several detectives, Diana and the boys were whisked around in a motorcade through the park’s famous hidden tunnels designed for VIPs.

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The group also hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, took the Jungle Cruise and got some one-on-one time with Mickey himself before returning to the famed Grand Floridian hotel.

Teeming with plainclothes security guards, the hotel was besieged by tourists and British reporters. But the princess and her boys were shielded from the commotion in their fifth-floor, $1,450-a-night Presidential Suite (with marble floors and pool view), which was accessible only by private elevator.

“They were all very nice, very well behaved. She was a sweetheart,” a waiter at Flagler s restaurant (now Citricos) in the Grand Floridian tells PEOPLE.

“That morning when I came in, all the back areas – which were usually just for employees – had this red carpet everywhere. Even in the elevators! So I knew something was up,” adds the source, who also served Diana and her boys at the hotel restaurant.

Princess Diana had split from husband Prince Charles just nine months prior, so a trip to the Magic Kingdom provided some much-needed fun for the young boys and their devoted mum.

Today, the beloved princess s charitable legacy thrives thanks in large part to her sons – and all eyes will be on Harry when he returns to Orlando next May for his Paralympic-style games.

Reporting by MICHELLE TAUBER

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