Are you in a milestone year? For the Gold family, 2016 was full of special events including a high school graduation, 21st birthday, and my 50th birthday too! An event planner at heart, I decided to as everyone about what they’d like to do for these events and no small surprise, a trip to Walt Disney World came up more than once. And this got me thinking that celebrating milestones with Disney is a fabulous way to make regular visits part of your family travel in a very unique and special way.
Because my work in social media has been graced by the presence of Walt Disney World, we’ve been blessed to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios a number of times over the last 8 years. That means my children have grown up touched by that magic and carry it deep in their hearts. This also means from rides to restaurants, shopping and special events, we each have a list of “must-dos”. Which means one of the best part of this surprise trip could be including something we’ve never done before.
And because I love a good list, I’ve got 10 ways to celebrate milestones with Disney to pick from ~ check it out!
Epcot Seas Aqua Tour
Milestone Recommendation: Birthday Any Age
Just last year while on the #WDWBigFun Media Event for Tweens, my daughter and I got to take the Epcot Seas Aqua Tour. While the experience lasts about 2 and a half hours, you spend about 30 minutes snorkeling in the actual tank at the Living Seas. Between the amazing animals that come so incredibly close to the part where people are waving at you on the other side of the tank, its truly a gem of a nature based experience and costs $145. For certified scuba divers, you might consider checking out Dive Quest too!
Keys to the Kingdom
Milestone Recommendation: Birthday Any Age
If you simply can’t get enough of Magic Kingdom, you might consider booking the Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour. A five hour walking tour that is open to kids and adults alike, it highlights some of the most magical secrets the Magic Kingdom holds including those found in attractions, visiting the famous underground tunnels, learn all kinds of rare facts and trivia and enjoy lunch too. This tour starts on Main Street in the morning and costs $79. If you want a closer look at all the parks, check out the Backstage Magic Tour. Limited to adults, this tour is $255.
Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party on Halloween Night
Milestone Recommandation: Family Reunion
In 2008, before I connected with the Disney Social Media Team, we took our family to Walt Disney World for Halloween week. Having no idea how magical it would be, we bought tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Halloween night. Where do I begin! From trick or treating in the park, in costume, with all their favorite characters to the incredible costumes worn by guests from all around the world it was as positive a Halloween night as you could wish for! The villain themed Electric Light Parade and HalloWishes Fireworks shows are amazing and to a person we will all tell you that Halloween was our favorite of all time and they often say we should go back now that they are older so we can stay until closing too ~ need I say more? Open to family members of all ages, ticket prices are announced about 6 months before the event every year.
Night of Joy
Milestone Recommendation: Baptism/Confirmation Celebration
This one is on my personal must do list something fierce. If you are a fan of Christian praise worship, Night of Joy is your ultimate Disney experience. And because this is hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports, this one is the ultimate double dip for this sports loving team mom too! Ticket prices and sales occur about 6 months prior to the event which is held in early September every year.
Atlanta Braves Spring Training
Milestone Recommendation: College Spring Break
So if you know anything about me you know how much we love baseball in this house. And one of the things we’ve not had nearly as much time to do as we’d like is visit spring training. Why? Because someone was always playing baseball over spring break and we weren’t able to travel for a long weekend earlier in the season. I’ll be honest, this is something that I regret not making sure we did while the kids were younger but I love that we have more flexibility now. If you live with baseball fans, visiting ESPN Wide World of Sports to watch the Braves play one of your favorite teams (like the Washington Nationals!) is an awesome way to spend Spring Break. Its also a fresh twist on the typical Spring Break trip to the parks for sure.
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend
Milestone Recommendation: Family Fitness Goals
In 2013 while attending a Media Event for ESPN Wide World of Sports, I had the chance to do a Run Disney Fun Run at Epcot Center. Even in my boot with a scooter, I absolutely loved it and have vowed to one day actually run an event despite the screws and pin now in my foot. Forever and always Tinker Bell has been my favorite Disney Character of all time. Smitten with her mischievous nature and all things pixie dust, I simply could not adore her more. If ever there would be true milestone running event for me, it would be the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. Held at Disneyland, this weekend includes 3 races, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, the Tinker Bell 10K, and the NeverLand 5K along with the runDisney Kids Races and Health & Fitness Expo. Because my family has never been to Disneyland, this would be an incredible way to visit and on Mother’s Day too!
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Milestone Recommendation: Anniversary
To know me is to know how much I simply adore gardening. And flowers. And roses. So much so that for our anniversary last year my husband took me on a lunch date to the Raleigh Rose Garden which is an absolute dream! That’s why for me, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is one of my favorite time’s of year to visit. I’m sure this can be tied to my Disney College Program days ~ I worked in Epcot from January through May and that experience sealed my lifelong love of all things Disney. The festival runs March through May and has evolved in to both a gardening and culinary dream. You’ll find incredible gardens, topiary, how-to demonstrations, and exhibits along with Outdoor Kitchens, beverages, and an outdoor concert season too. While full of fun activities for kids too, because I love to take my time, this makes for the perfect couples getaway.
Adventures by Disney
Milestone Recommendation: Highschool or College Graduation
When our oldest graduated high school, he was invited on a trip with a friend to Montana. Full of mixed emotions about letting him go without us, it ended being a great opportunity for him to see part of the country we had yet to visit. Fast forward to nearing graduation for another child, I can’t think of a better high school or graduation gift than taking a family trip with Adventures by Disney. With destinations throughout the world, the options are endless for experiencing the trip of a lifetime full of new experiences. Our list is long of places we’d love to go, including Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland, London, and France ~ including Disneyland France too! But the best part is knowing that when the times come, the Disney Promise will insure that these international experiences will be the trip of a lifetime for us all!
The bottom line is when it comes to making milestones magical, Disney has countless opportunities to make what might seem ordinary beyond extraordinary and full of memories that last a lifetime. Tell me…
How do you celebrate milestones with your family?
And no, this is not a sponsored post. To know me is to know how I love all things Disney. And I’m hopeful by reading this you’ll see just a glimpse of the many ways you can experience this brand both inside and well beyond any of it’s parks. Loving this brand is a lifelong affair. I’m blessed to have experienced this and I hope you do too!
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!