Can you imagine my children’s faces when I told them we were going to Walt Disney World? Better yet, that we were going to be teaming up with Disney to experience our family’s ultimate bucket list? I know guys, we couldn’t believe it either! I wish I had filmed their faces and their excitement as my 10-year old opened her laptop and sat with her brothers to start planning our family’s bucket list.
For days, they looked at the park maps; they weighed in on which attractions to visit, which ones to use our FASTPASSes on, where and when we should eat the famous Mickey ice cream, and which day they would each experience their wish list items.
My youngest, G, is 5 and he has never been to Disney World. The older two have been fortunate to go several times and they filled him in on the adventure that was to come. They even measured G to make sure he was tall enough to go on their favorite rides.
We finally arrived at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort with enough daylight to explore the property. The kids were super excited to be in a “Nemo” themed room, and after learning that there were daily pool parties, we promised them we’d join in on the fun during our stay.
Before I tell you about our magical experience, why don’t you take a minute to watch it? I’m not sure I can put into words how amazing the trip was for my family.
Dad loves to ride roller coasters with the oldest two, so they went on as many as they could while I explored Fantasyland with G. We went on the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and had a great time trying to figure out how to shoot and score points. We also rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train a few times and each time was more fun than the last…
We made sure to plan a few sit-down meals as a family. The variety of food offered at Walt Disney World is amazing; and not only did I come across many healthy food options they also offered many allergy-friendly meals throughout the parks, which you can hear more about on my podcast.
Another big request from the kids was to mail a few postcards to our family and friends; after all, sending them a post card from Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom® is the best way to let them know we were thinking about them from our magical vacation!
Speaking of Main Street, U.S.A., we had a blast watching the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Being front and center meant that the kids got to meet the characters and dance along which was an incredible experience for all of us.
The next day, we headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the kids to take part in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The kids learned how to fight the Evil Darth Vader with their lightsabers in the ways of The Force and thankfully, the good guys won!
And if you think that the boys were the only ones excited to get a little training, Jedi girls get to fight too!
After our Jedi training, we took a ride over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for one of our family-favorite experiences: the Kilimanjaro Safaris! It’s the closest thing to going on an actual African safari where you can see over 30 different wildlife species roam free throughout the bush.
As our open-air vehicle made its way through the rugged terrain, we were able to spot crocodiles, hippopotamus in the pond, the regal lion sunbathing on top of the rock, baby elephants roaming next to mama elephant, a baby giraffe grazing with mama giraffe as she stretched her long neck to eat from a tree…making this attraction an unforgettable experience.
Of course, no trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be complete without the Festival of the Lion King show. Having seen the movie dozens of times as well as it being our favorite Broadway Show, we were all thrilled to watch and sing along to the famous “Hakuna Matata” tunes.
Between the vibrant colors, the sounds of the live music, the incredible theatrics; you can say that we were blown away -from the opening number all the way to the end! I’m pretty sure G loved the tumble monkeys as they flung from one high bar to another and showed the mastery of the trapeze.
And just when you thought we couldn’t have any more fun, the kids joined the cast on stage to dance with the puppets, spirited dancers and stilt walkers dressed in the most colorful costumes decorated with beads and feathers. Of course, I got a bit teary-eyed as the spectacular finale song “Circle of Life” closed out the show.
The Walt Disney World theme parks bring to life the characters and stories we all grew up with; making it one of our most memorable and magical family trips to date.
Be sure to listen to my podcast on How to Eat Healthy in Disney World, it is live on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio.
From time to time, I work with awesome companies and today’s post was brought to you thanks to our partnership with Walt Disney World® Resort. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the amazing companies that encourage my creativity.
The photos are beautiful and the video is amazing. What a terrific opportunity for your family! I am thrilled to tell you that seeing your family video made me rethink waiting another year to bring my son (he is 5). I thought I would wait another year but seeing your youngest so happy convinced me. We booked our vacation during fall break! Thank you for sharing your amazing family travels Laura. I’ve been reading your blog since you started (back when you shared the tiny pictures from your flip phone) when I met you at Niche conference in 2012. I have really enjoyed seeing you grow and share your stories with us. I’ve learned to cook with your recipes and now I can’t wait for our Disney World vacation!!
I showed my kids the video and they said “LET’S GO!”
The video is amazing. You are so lucky to have had this experience.
I loved the video and your vacation looks epic!
Looks like you guys had the time of your lives!
That video was AMAZING: Wish I could get one like that with my family!
Just shower my kids this video. They are dying to go. We got tickets to go this summer but haven’t told them yet. They’re gonna be so excited!
Wow, what a fun trip! I’ve been thinking about what the best age is to take my kids. I don’t want them to be too young and not be able to enjoy it!
We are headed to Disney World next week after the kids get out of school and this was just the type of post I wanted to read. I was slightly nervous if my 5 yo would have fun but hearing the giggles from yours… i know it will be amazing! thanks for sharing.
My kids watched this and now they are anxiously waiting until we go to Disney World in June! This just got them extra excited!
I’m blown away at how amazing your vacation turned out. Congrats!
I’m so happy your family had this opportunity. You deserve it! We have gone to Disney World twice and our family LOVES it. We have reservations to go back this summer and my kids can’t wait! They want to do Jedi training too. so cool!
AMAZING photos and video of your vacation!! We go to Disney World every year with our family and have stayed at nearly all resorts. I love that you mentioned that you booked extra time to hang at the resort, my kids always want to do that too!
You are such an amazing family, you deserve this!
Your family just experienced our family’s bucket list. WOW! I’m so happy for you (and jealous!)
We are saving up for our Disney World Vacation and now I can see that my family will love it!! This video is incredible and shows us that it will be worth the wait! Thank you for sharing.
Looks like you guys had an amazing time! Vacation of a lifetime right there.
This vacation looked amazing! You guys make a gorgeous Disney Family.
The video is incredible. My kids watched it and want to go too!
wow! The video was EPIC. I showed it to my kids and they were like… WE NEED TO GO MOM!!!
Looks like you had a wonderful trip though and family time is the BEST!