A Disney Nerd Family’s Favorite Tradition at Disney

My family’s favorite traditions at Disney start with the planning of the trip.

Each time prior to our Disney vacation we have a few family meetings to discuss our upcoming trip. My kids are still young and they love to help plan our vacation. I always seem to have some park maps on hand from a previous trip and they get to pour over those to figure out what they want to do. I also have the current version of Birnbaum’s Guide which I feel is a great resource for the kiddos because it is packed with pictures from the park as well as cute Mickey & Friends drawings.

I also order the latest Disney Parks Vacation planning DVD because it helps them see what is new at the parks and ideas for what they want to experience. My husband and I really take the time to listen to what the they want to do while on vacation, most often a trip to the pool is a recurring request from them.

During our last family meeting prior to our trip it was decided that my husband wanted to ride the Matterhorn with Lily because now she was tall enough, I wanted a family picture in front of the castle, Lily wanted to drive a car at Autopia and Abby  just wanted to meet Belle and Mickey Mouse. We also decided that we would eat at Big Thunder BBQ and swim at the hotel pool.

Fantasy Faire 2013

During the visit to the park for Spring Break we made sure to try and make everyone’s wishes come true, and for the most part they did.

My husband and my daughter Lily had a blast on every ride they rode, but especially on the Matterhorn. But, my other daughter Abby was a little disappointed. We tried very hard to meet Belle but it posed to be quite a challenge. We dressed the girls up for the meeting, Abby in her Belle dress and Lily being a good sport put on a Rapunzel dress.

We took them to the new Fantasyland Faire and headed to the Royal Hall but unfortunately Belle was not one of the princesses that was in the princess meet n’ greet. I suppose I should have double checked who was available to meet in the Royal Hall (#MomFail).

However, she did get to meet Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel in the Royal Hall. When we left the meet n’ greet she was so sad and she looked up at us with those big brown puppy dog eyes and said “I wanted to meet Belle”. Later in the day we waited in line for the Royal Theater to see Belle’s show and meet her afterwards.

Every time we go on a Disney vacation we have new experiences and a lot of fun because I make it a point to make sure we do at least 1-2 things that each person wants to do.

Over time some of these ‘wants’ become family traditions and some of them are one time things that happen only during that particular vacation. The one thing that has stuck with us over the years is a family picture in front of the castle. I really like this tradition because it shows how we have changed over time and the background is awesome.

Here are a few pictures of ourselves in front of the castle over the years.

2013 - Abby's 1st visit, Lily's 2nd.


1999 Disneyland Castle



1984 Disneyland

Dawn & her mom at Disneyland in 1984

Family traditions can evolve over time so I feel that it is important to listen to what each person of your family wants to before heading off to your next Disney vacation.

Here are a few pictures from our last visit to Disneyland in the Spring of 2013.

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What are some of your favorite family traditions at Disneyland?

For more Disney Parks vacation tips visit my Travel page.

About Dawn

Dawn is a social influencer and has been writing about her nerdy side since 2004. She enjoys writing about Entertainment, Travel, Disney, Star Wars and life with two little girls. Her advice is to keep on dreaming, do what you love and life will lead you a path to your happiness. Dawn also writes for 5 Minutes for Mom.


  1. Such cute photos!

  2. What a great tradition. But I think you do owe someone a trip to see Belle next trip. 🙂

  3. Great pics! thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for the post. We also always have our picture taken in front of the castle. It is so wonderful to be able to create special memories with our families that will last a lifetime. I have a feeling that, no matter what it takes, Belle will not elude you next time.

  5. That is such a great tradition! We will be taking my niece on her first Disney trip next year and I am definitely incorporating your ideas into the planning. Love the photos too!

  6. I remember when we were planning our first trip to Disney in 2010, it was so much fun. 🙂 My kids enjoyed it and were shocked when we told them that we were going to Disney.


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