If you can guess where this photo was taken, you are a Disney guru! There's a tiny clue in the photo!
Traditions are important. They give you something to look forward to, and the best part is, they aren't holiday exclusive. I'm sure thinking about traditions, the first ones that come to mind are Christmas, Thanksgiving and even Halloween or Easter, but there are other traditions too that are just as special and can extend the enjoyment of the moment long before, and long after a trip.
If you vacation in a particular place multiple times, chances are you've gotten some traditions too! Whether it's a favorite place you eat at every time, or a shirt that you only wear on your trip, traditions play a huge role in our vacations. They make us smile in those long days between trips, and they fill us with excitement in the anticipation of an upcoming event!
The Disney Magic Family has a tradition too, for the first day of our Disney vacation. Join us for our first day!!
The first day starts with us waking up in a hotel in South Carolina, or Georgia. We like to get on the road pretty quickly after breakfast. We stop off at Whataburger in Jackson , FL, since Mr. Disney Magic is a Texas Native, and misses his Whataburger quite a bit. But we also visit the Florida Welcome Center.
If you've never been, the Florida Welcome centers are amazing. Not only are they a great place to stretch your legs and use a clean restroom, they welcome you with fresh orange juice, or grapefruit juice. In years past, there have been little games for the kids to play, those big cardboard cutouts to stand behind and snap a picture in, a fantastic Welcome to Florida sign for your required tourist photo, maps, digital postcards to send to yourself, and a massive collection of brochures.
After we've explored the Welcome Center, we make “The big push” as my mother in law calls it, and head to Kissamee!
Pop Century is our resort of choice, so that's where we head to. We all shout out as we are pulling in and reading the signs. It's a mad dash as we check in, The Disney Kids and I trying to restrain ourselves from running 96 directions at once, and Mr. Disney doing the check in. We grab our Rapid Refill Mugs from the gift shop (checking out a few lanyards for pin trading on the way) do a quick trip to make sure the room is in good shape, bring the bags in from the car and we pop through the gift shop (hitting up a few more pin lanyards on the way) to the bus stop. There, we board the first bus to Disney Springs.
Once we get to Disney Springs, we jump out, do a little shopping, watch the volcano at the Rainforest Cafe, visit the Lego Store and Fun Finds.
Then, it's time for an early dinner. Our tradition is Wolfgang Puck Express over on the Marketplace side. It's always so hard to pick what we want there, but it's on the Disney Dining Plan so anything goes! The cheese pizza is to die for, the meatloaf incredible, there's nothing at all on the menu that's bad. (Except don't order the four cheese pizza expecting it to just be cheese. When they brought it out, I was a bit shocked at how much green was on there. It was ok, but not a cheese pizza like I expected!) Wolfgang Puck's also has really great desserts, and one of my favorite things to do our last night there, is to buy a few of their brownies to take back home. They are big, kind of cakey, dark chocolate brownies and I have a few in the freezer now, so I still taste Disney in an emergency.
If you want to be like our family, promise yourself you'll go to the Giridellis for Ice Cream, but leave that night, still too full from dinner! We've never made it there yet!
World of Disney is next on the list. You've got to drag me out of that place. Marketplace Co-op, The Superhero headquarters, and now, the Star Wars shop are all favorites too. We always stop off at the Pin Traders store, enjoy a long stroll around and head back to the bus.
Here's a part of our tradition too. We always hop the bus back to Art of Animation. The first time we did it, it was because it was the first bus, and we figured we'd just walk. Now it's tradition to stroll through their gift shop and food court (maybe grabbing a snack for the room and doing a little pin trading) and then through their fabulous outdoor themeing. I think I like the Cars area more than my boys do! They love to stop off at the little playground that's Ocean themed, and then we slowly go across the bridge to Pop Century, counting turtles and big fish, and just absolutely enjoying ever single second of that first day.
It's back to our room, one person goes to fill mugs (And pin trade. Hmm. That might be me!) and then it's jammies, and if the little people aren't asleep, a pop outside the door to watch the fireworks over the lake.
It's always the perfect start to our Disney vacation, and a tradition that we look forward to and cherish the times we aren't there.
Tell me your vacation traditions! How do you spend your first day? Or last? Or is there just a smaller way you celebrate, every single time?