We all have traditions with our families.  They can be around the holidays, birthdays, around the house or even before we eat.  And there are some families who have traditions when it comes to Disney.  They like to do the same attractions, wear the same shirts, stay at the same resorts and even take the same photos year after year.  Do you have traditions with your family?  If not, we have an agent who does all this and more…

Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we talk about Family Traditions at Disney.  Welcome back one of the original Believers, Whitney Turner.  Whitney has been with Believe Vacations over 5 years and still visits Disney regularly.  Every time we see photos of her vacations, they look the same, just the fact that her kids keep growing.  She was kind enough to share her traditions with us and we hope it encourages you to start your own.

Did you know something would become a tradition?

My kids are far apart in age which makes for interesting trips.  There’s always something new.  It may be the first time for the older boy but now the younger one experiences it himself.  It keeps from trips becoming stagnant or boring.  And it’s not always the rides that create the traditions. We do love the Tomorrowland Speedway even with our older son because now he looks after little brother.

Do you have a traditional time to go?

Thanksgiving always worked because of school and off days for being a teacher.  We used to go the 2nd week of November and there were zero crowds and Free Dining (please bring it back)!  No sweating and great weather and loved the Christmas decorations. Then the kids got older and Free Dining was reduced or eliminated so we started planning around Thanksgiving.  Now my kids just know that we are going for Spring Break and Thanksgiving.

Do you have a particular tradition regarding outfits or posing for photos?

The shirts were something I wanted to do. I wanted a picture in front of the castle with the happy, smiling faces, complete with ears and a fun shirt.  Photos are so important to me so I am picky with my poses and our smiles.  I didn’t really want the PhotoPass to start and my amateurism showed.  It’s tough to have Mama get the kids to smile at Chef Mickey’s at 7AM when they don’t want to.  But the PhotoPass lady was magical and made everyone pose and smile like it was a staged production.  That’s when I decided, I’d get PhotoPass and Memory Maker from this point forward. Now, we have special photographers that we enjoy and know what we want.  One lady in Morocco had us pose a certain way that turned out really cute.  And that’s how we pose every single time now.  I’ll still make recommendations based on what I find on Pinterest.  It’s fun when families see what we do and want to copy us.  Especially holding my son upside down.

Do you have a tradition for preparing to go to Disney?

The first few trips we had the paper links.  My younger son has a countdown on his phone.  My oldest son just assumes we’re going when we don’t have school.  We tried a surprise trip once that connected us in Chicago to throw him off.  Imagine getting off the plane in shorts and flip-flops with a snow storm coming through!

Do you stay at the same resorts?

I started at Caribbean Beach because they had free dining (again, bring it back!).  Then, we branched out to deluxe resorts.  But to keep it exciting for the kids, we stay wherever.  They just love hotels regardless of what the theme is or where it is located.  So our tradition is to try something new – resort, attraction, experience, transportation, restaurant, etc. With my oldest playing golf, the new thing is to visit the pro shop, play putt putt or even play a round and purposely hit into the Mickey-shaped bunker.

In closing, what is your favorite tradition?

This is an easy one – Pictures.  I know it sounds ridiculous but once you leave the parks, all you have are those photos to remember it by.  Speaking of traditions, my dad was the one who took all the photos and even brought the old-school oversized VHS camera to video us non-stop.  We have so many boxes full of photographs and I just fell in love with capturing those moments for my family.  If you’re someone who doesn’t take pictures often, practice them at home because Disney is not really the place to learn on the go.  And know which poses and sides you want to feature!

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.