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Moms Panel Monday: Disney Vacation Family Traditions

Lisa Mendillo

by , Sr. Manager, Digital Integration

Family traditions. We all have them for numerous events in our lives, but what about your Disney vacation traditions? When this question was posed to the Disney Parks Moms Panelists, the answers came rushing in as fast as the drop on Splash Mountain.

Moms panelist Robyn and her family partake in their family tradition before they ever even enter a park.

“As we drive under the “Where Dreams Come True” sign at the Walt Disney World Resort, we crank up the volume and have a car dance party to the song “Try Everything” from Zootopia,” she exclaimed. “It’s such an exciting and fun moment.”

For panelists Ashley and Lauren, a Disney vacation has not started until they get a photo with the one-and-only Mickey Mouse.

“We have dinner with Mickey and the gang at Chef Mickey’s on the first day of our vacation, and on our last day of vacation, we stop by Town Square Theater (Mickey’s hangout at Magic Kingdom) to say ‘see ya real soon!’” explained Ashley.

Try something new each trip? That is exactly what Anna and her family do each vacation.

“Our one must do family tradition every trip is to try one new thing,” said Anna. “We either pick a new restaurant, try a new snack, visit a new attraction, or do a tour we’ve never done. It’s amazing that in all the years and all the trips, we still find at least one new thing to do every time.”

Not surprisingly, many of our panelists’ traditions include food! From special dining locations every vacation, to enjoying a delectable Dole Whip. For some, the resort they choose is even based upon a food family tradition!

“Our tradition is to end an evening (or often multiple evenings) with a walk over to France in Epcot for a late night pastry at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie,” said Disney Parks Moms Panelist Lori. “It’s one of the main reasons we always choose an Epcot resort!”

Disney Parks Moms Panelist Kaylene and her family with Pooh at The Crystal Palace

“Breakfast at The Crystal Palace has been a “must-do” for our family forever! Our youngest was painfully shy when she was younger, and I’ll never forget how she jumped up and dove into the arms of her beloved Pooh Bear on one visit. To this day, I credit him with helping to bring her out of her shell. Our family has countless, cherished memories of Pooh Bear hugs, and Tigger tickles,” said Kaylene.

The traditions spread across the country to the Disneyland Resort and even out in the middle of the sea!

Disney Cruise Line specialist, Diane says no cruise has officially begun until the entire family has stopped at the “all-you-care-to-enjoy soft-serve ice cream machine on the pool deck!” She exclaims, “hey – we’re on vacation, why not have dessert first? Once we’ve enjoyed our first (of many) ice cream cones of our cruise, we know the vacation has begun!”

And from one of our Disneyland Resort moms, Jennifer, she will quickly tell you the amazing chicken at Plaza Inn is a must! They love dining at the outdoor tables while watching the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty Castle each and every trip.

For more tips on creating your own Disney traditions, or to ask questions about planning your Disney vacation be sure to visit for a personalized response from our knowledgeable panel.


  • Lunch at The Crystal Palace is always our first meal!
    One dinner at Rose & Crown to see Illuminations, and a dinner at Boma are also our traditional meals. And as many Mickey bars as possible!

  • We always love having dinner at O’Hana’s at the Polynesian resort. On our last trip we also visited the restaurant for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. We loved it and will be doing both dinner and breakfast when we return this year. We also try to do something new each time so we are going to hoop Dee Doo revue this year for the first time!

  • Our family traditional start to the vaction is always to eat breakfast at 7:30am on the 1st morning followed by the day in AK

  • One of our family’s favorite things to do is visit the Disney artists that are on property for various events. Unfortunately, the Disney Merchandise Events page disappeared over the weekend and now forwards to Shop Parks which doesn’t have event info. Does anyone know where that information will be found in the future? I like to plan my trips to see my favorite artists!

  • I travel yearly to WDW with my Daughter and Niece (30&29yrs old)
    And we each have are must do things.
    For my Daughter it is ride “It’s a Small World” & eat at the Rose & Crown during Iluminations
    For my Niece its the Haunted Mansion & walk to the French Quarter for beignets (we always stay at riverside)
    Myself it is the American Adventure & Liberty Tree Tavern.
    We also task ourself to try something new that each of us pick.

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