MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE & Top Tips for Planning your Trip

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I think I am still on a high from visiting Disney! It was an amazing experience, to say the least, and I definitely want to go back again and again. Before I tell you about my experience, let me give you the backstory on how this trip came about!

About 6 months ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted to take Aria to Disney for her 4th birthday, and we wanted to celebrate in a big way! So, I started to plan our surprise trip to Disney. Aria had NO idea that she would be going there for her birthday. Seriously, if we would have told her, she would have bugged us every day until her birthday. So we kept it a secret until we literally got off the airplane in Orlando!

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Planning the Disney trip was probably the hardest part. I am so thankful for my mother who helped me, because we tagged-teamed the planning portion. Thanks to her help, I must say it was a successful trip. Aria got to experience literally everything!

She met all of her favorite Disney princesses.

She met her favorite Disney characters.

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She got a Princess makeover at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique salon!

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She attended a Ice Cream social party with Princess Tiana

Visited Animal Kingodm and went on an African Safari

And on top of that, she was surrounded by all of her immediate family including her parents, grandparents, and aunt! We even got these cool custom-made tee shirts by Mess In A Bottle!! I must say, our shirts were a HIT! Matching shirts are definitely a “thing” at Disney, but I think we took our shirts to the next level. I loved the cartoon picture on the front, and each of our nicknames on the back. I loved them!

Disney was seriously magical, and the best part of it all was seeing Aria’s face light up every time she saw one of her favorite Disney characters. It was amazing watching her getting the chance to “meet” characters that she has fallen in love watching on a daily basis. Aria was most excited to meet the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters for sure!

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During the trip, we also got to see some live animation shows. We saw Lion King, Frozen and the Bug's Life 3D show. My personal favorite was riding the ride SOARIN’ at Epcot. It was a virtual reality game that takes you on a trip around the world. It feels like you are literally flying over each country. IT WAS AMAZING! Aria even loved it too - it was so much fun!

After leaving our four-day vacation, there are so many things that I learned and I can’t wait to go back to experience it again. If it will be your first time traveling to Disney, here are 4 of my top tips for planning your trip!

1. Stay On a Disney Resort
We decided to stay at the Disney Port Orleans Riverside hotel. This was a very nice hotel and the food was really good! I also loved the service. One of my favorite perks of staying on a Disney property is the whole baggage situation. Weeks before your trip, Disney will send you luggage tags that you will put on your luggage, so that once you check your baggage at the airport, Disney will take the bags from baggage claim and deliver it to your hotel room. I loved this! That way you won’t have to worry about all of your baggage and it is all taken care of. I also loved staying at the resort and having easy transportation to all of the parks. Another plus to staying at the Disney resort is the Fast Passes perks and dining meal plans.

2. Plan your Fast Passes
Fast Passes will save you time and heartache for sure! Basically, a fast pass is a “skip the line” pass that you can use on the major attractions. The key to the pass is that you have to schedule them ahead of time and you will have an hour window to get to that attraction. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, you will receive Magicbands that will contain a lot of information about your stay. This band is AWESOME! It is literally everything you will need. It has your fast pass information, your hotel key, your meal plan, your ticket into the park and you can even connect a credit card to it and pay for things with it. I really loved both the magic band and the fast passes. Now that I have experienced this once, I will know for the next time how to be even more efficient with my fast passes and scheduling things closer together to maximize more time.

3. Invest in the Photo Pass
I am ALL ABOUT capturing the shots! It is kind of like a wedding; you want to hire a good photographer to capture your day because it is once in a lifetime experience. This is how I feel about Disney and photo opportunities. You don’t want to miss that magical moment, so I am so glad we invested in the Photopass. It allows you to take photos all over the park with a professional Disney cast member and they are usually hanging out at locations with the best views. For instance, we were able to get a family shot in front of the castle amongst other amazing views! It makes taking photos easier because you don’t have to ask a random stranger or miss the perfect moment. After your trip, you can download all the photos for a flat price or you can purchase them before the trip and be able to download the pictures on the go on the Disney Experience app. I was able to have all of my pictures sent to me within minutes of taking them, which was key for me for social media! Investing in these moments are important to me, and I would recommend it to everyone.

4. Start planning early!
This is one I will definitely have to do next time. Because like most of us, we procrastinate and wait until the last minute and think it will be fine. But with planning your Disney trip in particular, you definitely want to get on it at least 4 months prior to your check-in date. You want to research and get all of your fast passes booked and dinner and lunch reservations set. We got lucky and we were able to do pretty much everything we wanted to do, even though we procrastinated. But I would probably not wait until the last minute and make sure everything is lined up because fast passes and reservations book FAST and early so you definitely don’t want to miss out on something.

That’s all folks! I am so happy I was able to share my Disney experience with you all! I shared so much via my IG stories that you all loved and the family had such an amazing time!

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With Love, Passion & STYLE,
Dayna

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