A new year can often bring excitement and countdowns for your next Walt Disney World vacation. 2023 is fast approaching, and you may find yourself beginning to envision your days spent in and around the Disney Parks and Resorts. Imagine yourself riding your favorite rides, dining in well-loved restaurants, interacting with Disney characters, and generally taking in the atmosphere of the place you love to spend time in.
Your next Disney vacation may even be a significant one; you may be newly engaged or married, have a new addition to the family, or even visit for the first time. Likewise, it could be returning after a break from the Walt Disney World Resort or taking a yearly trip. Regardless, 2023 is a great time to think about starting a new tradition that you envision will continue for Disney vacations to come.
But what Disney traditions should you start? Let us inspire you with suggestions or family traditions that are sure to help add to your Disney experience.
Find ‘Your’ Photo Spot
Everyone has a favorite photo spot in the Walt Disney World Resort. Why not make this spot yours, where you and your family get a photo during every visit? Stop by a Disney PhotoPass Cast Member and have them take your picture in your favorite Disney Park. This is a special thing to look back on over the years; everyone gets a little older, new additions are added to the photo, and new memories are made.
Experience Something New Each Time
This could be a new ride, restaurant, Resort, or activity you have yet to participate in. Whether you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for the first time or the one hundredth, everyone will find something new to experience. If you need some inspiration on what to experience that’s new, here are a few things to consider:
- Visit Walt Disney World when an EPCOT International Festival is taking place. The Festivals provide plenty of opportunities to try limited-edition snacks, experience new events, and learn something new.
- Look out for particular days of the year that the Disney Parks celebrate, including Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and more.
- Check out the list of other experiences available to Guests on the Walt Disney World website. For an additional fee, Guests can go on a Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Segway around Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, or take part in a tour of the Living with the Land greenhouses in EPCOT, as well as many other incredible experiences.
Make Time For Relaxation
With so much on offer in the Walt Disney World Resort, most Guests leave needing a vacation from a vacation. It’s exhausting work exploring the Disney Parks, especially if each day entails an early morning and a late night too. In the future, make a promise to yourselves that you’ll dedicate some time to relaxation. Make it a tradition. Here are some ways in which you can do this:
- Plan for a pool day – set aside one day in your Disney vacation to have a slower day at your Resort pool. There’s plenty of fun still to be had with the poolside entertainment that Disney Resort Guests can enjoy. You’ll be glad you treated yourself to a lazy morning and maybe even a nap by the pool later in the day too.
- Catch a movie under the stars – take advantage of this complimentary event hosted at each Disney hotel every evening. Pick up a snack from the quick-service or merchandise location before finding your spot to enjoy the movie.
- Take an evening dip in the pool – evenings are a great time to relax, especially after a day in a Disney theme park. Whether you choose to stay in the theme parks until close or plan to return to your Resort after dinner, the Disney pools are open late into the evening. Why not spend a couple of hours there after sunset? There’s no risk of sunburn, and a swim or dip in the jacuzzi can help to relieve aching legs.
- Stop by an activities room – these can be found in the Deluxe Disney Resorts. Simba’s Clubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or The Solarium at Disney’s Beach Club Resort offers a place where families can retire for an hour or two. You’ll find coloring pages to complete and board games to sit and play. Rain or shine, it’s always time to rest your feet while still having fun.
A Merchandise Tradition
It almost seems rude if you don’t buy a piece of Disney merchandise when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, but it’s no secret that Disney merchandise comes at a cost. The rising prices of Disney theme park tickets, Disney Resort hotel stays, the extra expenses of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane, and the continued absence of the Disney Dining Plan all contribute to an expensive vacation. As such, you may not have too much spare cash for merchandise and other experiences.
That being said, there is a piece of merchandise to suit every price range, making for a great tradition. Some of our favorite pieces of merchandise to buy as a souvenir from a Disney vacation are:
- personalized Christmas ornaments – choose a Christmas ornament from Mickey’s Days of Christmas at Disney Springs or Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom, then opt to get it personalized. For just $3, you can have the year you have visited added to your ornament, finished with some pixie dust artwork. You can think of each visit as you hang it on your Christmas tree yearly.
- If celebration buttons are more your thing, why not pick one up during each Disney vacation and have it personalized like a Christmas ornament? This is extra special if you organize your Disney vacation to coincide with birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events. Store them in a memory box back home, and watch your collection grow over the years.
- Disney Pins – you don’t have to be a Disney Pin Trader to collect pins. Instead, look out for dated limited-release pins, including the EPCOT International Festival Pins and the Holiday Resort Pins released each year. Display your pins, on a lanyard or in a frame, at home to remember your Disney vacations by, for years to come.
Remember when you sent postcards to friends and family from your vacation? While times have changed and technology has made it a lot easier for us to connect with loved ones even while away on vacation, postcards are still very much available in the Walt Disney World Resort. This is a great way to remember magical memories, as well as being a cheap souvenir. All you have to do is buy a postcard, write yourself a message, then post it to yourself before you leave. Look out for it in the post, and when you receive it, make sure to store it somewhere safe so you can look back on it in years to come.
Become a Hidden Mickey Hunter
Have you overheard other Guests talking about Hidden Mickeys, or enjoy looking for Easter Eggs in the Disney movies? Then make 2023 the year you and your family become Hidden Mickey hunters. All you need to do is search for objects, silhouettes, and other things in the Disney Parks that resemble the shape of Mickey Mouse, i.e., a larger circle, with two smaller circles placed as ears. How many can you spot, and can you find more difficult ones too?
Which new tradition will you begin in 2023? Get ready to continue to make magical memories for years to come when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.