First Disney World Family Trip

Are you planning a family Disney trip for the first time!? No clue where to start?! Feeling overwhelmed?! 😣 I totally get it — we did our first family Disney World trip in December 2021. 

I did a ton of research, read an insane amount of reviews, and even joined Facebook groups for Moms planning Disney! (YES, I did!) 😆 I actually found the groups to be very helpful! The Facebook group I found to be most helpful was “Smart Moms Planning Disney.” I found the information posted was honest, helpful, and relatable! PS — my husband absolutely thought I was crazy for the amount of research I put into this! 🤪

Let me start by telling you, we’re a family of 5; our children were ages 12, 10, & 7 at the time of the trip.

We did 2 full days at the parks & stayed 3 nights at the Disney Resort. Here’s a little rundown of our trip:

    • 3 nights at the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort — located in EPCOT
      • 2 queen beds + a sleeper
      • LOVED our room, it was the perfect amount of space — there was a mini fridge in the room
    • 1 full day at Animal Kingdom
      • Christmas Eve 2021
      • My mom joined us for this day!
    • 1 full day at Magic Kingdom
      • Christmas Day 2021

We arrived at the park at 8 am on Christmas Eve, I had requested an early check in but our room wasn’t ready yet; no big deal. So we headed to Animal Kingdom and we were able to get early entry to the park (because we were staying at a Disney resort) which didn’t open until 9 am.

I remember getting into the park & immediately feeling extremely overwhelmed. My husband knew & thankfully reassured me that we were going to have a great day, even if none of the day went as planned. He’s pretty amazing! ❤️ 



Download the My Disney Experience App on your phone! Do this ASAP — get to know the app! Start exploring menus, rides, etc. 📲

Invest in the magic bands, we found them to be super convenient. The magic bands act as your room key, you can pay for food with them, and they are nice for the lightning lane.⚡️ PLUS, they are a great souvenir. We upgraded + got super cute ones. (They’re also reusable for future trips!) The kids loved their bands — this was included as part of their Christmas gifts. 🎁

Invest in the Genie+ — Yes, it is an added expense but we found it to be so worth it! We never waited longer than 30 minutes for a ride (Christmas Eve + DAY, when the park was at full capacity!)

There are tons of tips about Genie+ on the Facebook groups I mentioned early. The key 🔑 to being successful with Genie+ is setting alarms ⏰ on your phone so you can pick your rides every 2 hours to get the maximum use out of the Genie+. This worked out great for us!

TIP: Pick the most popular rides on Genie+ first, they will run out of space for Genie+ and get booked not even halfway through the day.

Buy ponchos before your trip and keep them in your backpack/fanny pack or whatever it is you’re taking to the park. It does rain 🌧 occasionally in both Disney World and Disney Land. I found a 5 pack on Amazon for around $10; you can shop the link here.

I purchased a super cute anti-theft medium size leather backpack before our trip that I thought would come in handy & it did! Honestly, it’s one of my favorite bags now! It’s the perfect size to keep some snacks, water, a small first aid kit, sunblock, etc. 
    Of course, we have to talk about the fact that we went to Disney during a pandemic (COVID-19) & needed to bring masks for anything that was indoors. I didn’t want the masks just hanging around their necks at Disney when not in use. All I could think about was food + germs 🦠 all over their masks + then having to wear them the rest of the day! 🤮

    Sooo… here was my solution to that!💡 I purchased lanyards with clips + mini zipper mesh bags from Amazon. The lanyards clipped the bags, which is what the masks had to be put in anytime we weren’t wearing them. This was my rule our entire trip; airports, plane, Disney, shopping, etc. 

    SIDE NOTE: I love loove lovee ❤️ Amazon, I was a fan wayyy before COVID; just ask my husband. 😉

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