Our First Vacation to Walt Disney World + 10 Tips to Get The Most Out of Disney With Kids {MagicalFamilyFirsts}

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After months of anticipation and excitement, our family of 5 took our first vacation to Walt Disney World! Magical is one of the best words to describe our time at Disney. We experienced so many amazing moments that I will hold close to my heart forever. It’s difficult to choose just one special moment from our vacation as everything was perfect however my three daughters meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time as well as watching the fireworks above Cinderella Castle stand out.

The first park we chose to visit during our time at Walt Disney World, was Magic Kingdom. When we first entered the park, we noticed Mickey Mouse was available for a Meet and Greet at Town Square Theater. What better way to start our day than to meet Mickey Mouse! After waiting a short time, we entered a room in which we were able to talk and have photos with Mickey Mouse all by ourselves. My daughters were fascinated that the character they have watched on TV, had birthday parties themed around, toys and stuffed animals of, and just generally admired was right in front of them and talking! Their eyes lit up at the magic they were experiencing and I am so thankful this moment was captured on camera so we can forever look back and reminisce. Watching the Wishes nighttime spectacular was the perfect way to end our day. Huge fireworks burst over the beautiful castle with our favorite Disney songs as a background.

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Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes are an excellent take-along item when visiting Disney Parks. When things get messy or sticky (there are several delicious treats that may cause sticky hands – we loved the Dole Whips), you want to cool down (keep them cool for a nice way to refresh on hot park days), or you just need to change your little one’s diaper (visit one of Disney’s convenient baby care centers), these wipes are a great go-to. Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes have several qualities that make them a great option for on-the-go fun! I love how soft they are and that they are hypoallergenic because my girls have very sensitive skin. Their simple, dermatologically tested formula is also free of fragrance and alcohol and is made with a touch of aloe and Vitamin E. The wipes have triple layers ensuring an effective and gentle clean for anything your Disney vacation brings!

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Another reason to love Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes is their affordability and convenience. Don’t ever run low on wipes when you buy them in bulk at Bj’s Wholesale Club. Find them in the baby products aisle along with all of the other baby essentials. Bj’s makes it easy to complete your regular shopping while also picking up what your little one needs.

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There are so many helpful resources and a wealth of information available when it comes to planning a trip to Disney Parks. Listed below are my top 10 tips for getting the most out of your Disney vacation with kids.

    1. Utilize all available resources through My Disney Experience in the planning stage of your vacation. This will become your central hub to plan your personal itinerary, Fast Pass+ selections, dining, entertainment, and ticket reservations. Planning is key when traveling to Disney with kids and My Disney Experience allows you to lay out a schedule for each day of your vacation.
    2. Opt to purchase the Memory Maker. I originally planned to take my own photos at the Disney Parks however it became clear that Memory Maker was the more optimal choice to receive family photographs every step of the way. Throughout the park there are photographers that will take your family’s photos in front of Disney’s most iconic locations as well as select attractions, character meet and greets, and character dining. These photos are linked to your My Disney Experience account and posted shortly thereafter. You can then download any or all (I had over 400 photos after our vacation) of your photos and print! Memory Maker also has a feature in which you can add digital borders or stickers to your photos and Magic Shots in which Disney characters are added to your photos. Memory Maker makes it possible to capture all of the magic throughout your vacation. screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-5-17-24-pm
    3. Stay at a Disney Resort. There are so many benefits to staying at a Disney Resort but it truly makes the vacation that much more magical for kids. All of the resorts have a special theme which immerses you in the all things Disney as soon as you enter. Additionally, each resort also has a pool which is great for fun and relaxing day off from the parks. Further benefits of staying at a Disney Resort include 60 days earlier access to FastPass+ (better chance at receiving your preferred times for shows/attractions), Extra Magic Hours, complimentary MagicBands, and even complimentary transportation and parking. Be sure to look for hidden Mickey’s throughout your hotel! image09
    4. Pack a park care pack daily. Each day we visited one of the parks we packed a bag full of essentials. Walt Disney World allows you to bring food and drinks into the parks, so pack your kids favorite portable and nonperishable snacks such as granola bars, crackers, or trail mix as well as plenty of water. Also, be sure to bring along sunscreen, hand sanitizer, band-aids, kids change of clothes, diapers, and Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes!
    5. Bring autograph books. One of my daughters favorite parts of Walt Disney World was meeting all of their favorite characters and getting their autographs. With an autograph book your little one will have a collection of signatures in a their very own keepsake memory book. Just be sure to purchase a large or oversized pen as many of the characters have large hands.
    6. Take frequent breaks and nap time. Just because we were at Walt Disney World, did not mean my girls were going to go off their routine. My youngest two are both used to an afternoon nap and if we try to push through and skip that nap we are much worse off. We planned to arrive at the park at opening time each day and stay until lunchtime. We then took the monorail back to our room and had lunch and nap time. I highly recommend maintaining to your child’s schedule, especially with all the excitement of Disney. Additionally, plan for frequent breaks throughout your time at Walt Disney World so your little ones can have snacks, drinks, or just relax for a minute before heading onto the next attraction.
    7. Plan a visit at each of the 4 parks. While Magic Kingdom was our favorite Disney Park, each park offered unique and fun experiences for kids. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, my children loved the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration and Disney Junior -Live on Stage as well as the character meet and greets. At Epcot we enjoyed character meet and greets, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, and exploring all of the different countries. Disney’s Animal Kingdom had Kilimanjaro Safari, the Tree of Life, and the amazing Festival of the Lion King.image06image00
    8. Utilize the Rider Switch ProgramBecause my youngest daughter (age 1) could not ride some of the rides, we utilized the Rider Switch program. With Rider Switch one adult can wait with the non-rider (in this case my 1 year old) while the others enjoy the attraction. When the other adult finishes the ride, he/she can then stay with the non-rider and the waiting adult and others (in this case myself and my older two daughters) can board the attraction through the Fast Pass+ line.
    9. Use apps to track wait times for rides. Time is of the essence at Walt Disney World which is why I valued apps that allowed me to view wait times for rides via my smart phone. Officially use My Disney Experience App for wait times.
    10. Don’t try to do everything in one day. While we did not get to experience every ride or meet every character, we did enjoy each day to the fullest without rushing around. Slow down and enjoy what you can do in the moment. What you didn’t get to experience is what you can look forward to in your next vacation!

Ready to get started planning your family’s vacation to Walt Disney World? Head over to to Disney’s Planning Site to view special promotions, upcoming park events, beneficial tips, and much more!

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BJ’s and Huggies® are all about family firsts, including one family’s chance to experience the magical firsts of Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. Every Huggies® purchase gets you another chance to win a 4-Day, 3-Night Walt Disney World® Experience! It’s easy to enter:

-Buy Huggies®.

-Upload your receipt

-Visit BJsHuggiesSweeps.com for more details.

Good Luck!

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