I’m still on a Disney high and 100% Disney hungover. 😉
I feel so truly humbled and priviliged to have been invited to attend this year’s Disney Creators’ Celebration. It’s an annual event for about 100 creators where you get to experience some of the best of the best in the parks and on the boats firsthand, while learning more about what’s upcoming at Disney and what’s happening on social media and the like. You’ve got conference time, speakers, presentations, and also a whole lotta fun – with perks like private ride experiences after park hours and endless dessert. 😉
HUGE THANKYOU to the Disney team for having me – it never gets old and the magic never dies, and any time the Mouse calls…you answer! I’ve got multiple blog posts in the works to break down all things Disney in a few more easily digestible ways (instead of this being as long as the Bible – ha!), but for now this is a recap of our 7-day Disney Creator Days experience, both with our time at Walt Disney World Resort and aboard the Disney Dream from the Disney Cruise Line fleet! I’ll do a whole separate post just A’ing your Q’s so that those are all in one place, as well as a post with all Disney outfit info + tips for toddlers and babies at Disney, too!
- Arrive at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The Riviera is one of Disney’s newest properties, and it’s truly beauuuutiful. It’s also on the new Skyliner with a direct, free transport to both Epcot + Hollywood Studios, which is SUCH a perk! The Skyliner is SO much faster than waiting for the Disney buses. They run constantly and there’s never a line, so you literally just hop right up and onto a gondola that lifts you above the parks and right to your destination! AND there’s a *great* eatery AND cafe here where we had yummy pizza (ordered it two days in a row to our room bc SO GOOD), and great cold brews!
- Quick trip to Magic Kingdom. In our bit of free time between arriving and needing to be ready for the day’s activities, we made a pit stop over to Magic Kingdom for the magical time to begin! A few favorites…
- Under the Sea Ariel ride – This was my first time ever on this ride and I loveloveloved it myself – let alone Liv. Liv was over the moon. Granted, The Little Mermaid is one of the only Disney movies/musicals she’s familiar with so far and Part of Your World is *our jam*, so she was so into it.
- Winnie the Pooh ride
- Mad Tea Party teacups ride
- Pirates of the Caribbean ride
- Dinner at Epcot. Part of our dinner was the opportunity to meet all of the princesses, so we met Belle & Beast! Also met Minnie Mouse in the park; the line was surprisingly short, and Liv was on cloud nine (Minnie is her fave!)
- Took Olivia on Frozen Ever After! This is a newer ride-along style attraction, and the characters on it are truly unreal. Disney used a new CGI-style animation for their faces, so they look truly IDENTICAL to their movie selves!
- FYI they have some GREAT peach iced tea at the park; we were parched and downed two massive ones in, like, 7 minutes. HA.
- In Disney Creators’ conference session! Our second day largely circled around time in session learning from Disney leaders and social media platforms on what’s new + upcoming across the board. It was followed by an event Sponsor showcase – thankyousomuch to Go Go Squeez, Havianas, Otter Box, + more for being a part of the day! GoGo Squeezes got us THROUGH Disney…Liv had about 3 packs a day. HA. But they’re packed with fruits + veggies with no added sugar, so we’re BIG fans, especially over French fries for the 17th time. 😉
- Magic Kingdom again!
- Dinner at Liberty Tree tavern. J booked us last-minute dinner reservations since so much books SO FAST at Disney. Learn from our mistake: book for the full number of members in your party, including babies. We didn’t at first and had to wait an extra 30 minutes after our reservation time because they couldn’t accommodate a high chair at our original table, apparently. BUT dinner was delish – it’s an all-you-can-eat homestyle comfort food menu, and since there were green beans on my plate, it felt much healthier than typical theme park food. 😉 Although y’all KNOW I could live on French fries if I had to. Jusssayin’.
- Happily Ever After fireworks. Magic Kingdom’s iconic fireworks display – makes me tear up EVERY DANG TIME. We weren’t sure how Olivia would do with the massive crowd of people + loud/bright fireworks, but she was a CHAMP and seemed so into it.
- Breakfast on Pandora!
- Private rides for Flight of Passage + the Na’vi River Journey. This had me freaking the freak out because Flight of Passage is one of my all-time favorite life experiences ever. I couldn’t wait to take J on it, too! Truly a magical experience that just leaves me in total awe of the Disney Imagineers and their incredible talent. I mean, hello DREAM JOB. If you haven’t been, Flight of Passage puts you on the back of a banshee riding through the eyes of an Avatar, literally soaring through the world of Pandora in a 4D experience.
- Animal Kingdom time! We were able to get on a few “grown-up” rides since my girlfriends so graciously offered to baby-hold. (Thanks Bailey, Channing, + Meg! ILYSM)
- Expedition Everest – Apparently Travel + Leisure magazine rates this as the #1 ride IN ALL OF DISNEY!
- Dinosaur – This was my first time ever on this ride even though it’s two decades old! It’s totally thrilling and lowkey terrifying – ha!
- Kilimanjaro safaris – An awesome experience through Animal Kingdom’s very own African Savannah. Go when it’s cooler (like first thing in the morning) for the best shot at seeing some animal action!
- Mickey ice cream – A MUST in the parks. I especially lovelovelove these as a sweet treat because it’s semi-sweet/dark chocolate, which is my fave. PRO TIP: get a great view near Tree of Life!
- Hollywood Studios
- Rock n’ Roller Coaster
- Toy Story Land
- Slinky Dog Dash – SO STINKING FUN. Such a good coaster for kids + adults alike!
- Toy Story Mania
- Star Wars Galaxy Edge
- Private rides for Rise of the Resistance – this was simply unreal. I am so unbelievably grateful to have had this experience with the Disney team. They actually let our group onto the ride after park hours so that we could experience it all, and it was well worth ALL of the hype the ride has received and then some. Truly unreal. It’s not even a “ride”, really – it’s an experience. A 20-minute, totally magical, out-of-this-world experience. Worth adding to your list and getting into the virtual queue for. I filmed our experience and saved to my Disney highlights on my Instagram profile, so if you missed it and don’t have Disney world or Disney cruise plans on the agenda yet but wanna check it out, go here!
- Private advanced screening of Disney Pixar’s Onward at Disney Springs. Beforehand, I admittedly knew next to nothing about Pixar’s latest flick. Y’all…I laughed and I CRIED. I think the whole theater did. It was unexpectedly delightful in all the best ways. It’s the story of two elf brothers who, in a world of magic, have 24 hours to fix a spell that can bring back their dead dad just for that day only. It’s got all the feels of Frozen’s sisterhood journey, but flipped for brothers – totally worth seeing. Just bring tissues. 😉
- Board Disney Dream cruise line at Port Canaveral, Florida! Disney’s Dream is one of four ships in the Disney Cruise line fleet. I’ll do a whole separate post just on Disney Cruise details alone since it was our first cruise pointblankperiod and I got a LOT of Q’s from y’all on cruising specifically (understandably so!), but to note, apparently word on the street is that Disney spends the most of any cruise line on boat stabilizers, so they’re known for being one of if not THE smoothest sail on the high seas!
- Welcome reception for creators. We got a little pre-Sail Away party with Mickey and the gang before the ship’s main Sail Away party – which is so fun! It’s a lot of singing + dancing before the ship’s horn blows (“When you Wish Upon a Star”, of course).
- Dinner at Animator’s Palate. This place is COOL. There are screens on all of the walls where Finding Nemo characters swim around – but they also literally interact with guests in real time. I have NO FREAKING CLUE how they do it technologically speaking, but Crush will literally call out someone sitting near the screen, ask your name, talk to you about where you’re from – and answer back where it’s clear it’s actually happening live. WILD and so fun for kids!
- The boat was REALLY wobbly this first night so J + I panicked at first since it was both of our first cruise experiences. Folkswere literally grabbing walls to walk because it was that off balance! But every Disney cruise veteran around us was swearing it’s NOT normally like that – the weather was just BAD that night, so windy, with really choppy waters that were apparently doing 15-20 foot swells against the boat. SO. Not bad considering. 😉 The last night you could barely feel the ship move at all and near-forgot you were asail, so it definitely improved and definitely isn’t noticeable under better/normal weather conditions.
- Golden Mickey’s were the evening entertainment on board, but we skipped because hello, seasick. After dinner we bounced, put Liv to bed, and just laid in bed watching Disney movies. Disney movies/shows on your stateroom TV are unlimited + free during your stay! We watched Brave in bed and just relaxed to try and not feel the moving boat.
- Docked at Nassau, Bahamas! Quite a few folks stayed on board the ship this day since there’s SO much to do. We went out exploring Nassau since we’d never been, and found a beach – albeit it was quite cold + windy that day. But before we disembarked we…
- Grabbed a pic with Mickey & Minnie on deck! Such a special moment. Olivia got to meet her main girl Minnie AGAIN on the Disney Cruise, and girlfriend literally ran back up to them after we put her down on the deck. The Disney characters are all SO FABULOUS with everyone they meet, because you *never* feel rushed – they give you truly undivided attention and play along with kids and make it a really magical moment for all.
- Dinner at Enchanted Garden.
- Beauty & the Beast musical. This is Disney’s award-winning musical on board the Dream, so as a musical theater geek myself, I was STOKED. It was also Liv’s first live musical which made it all the better – and girlfriend made it about 3/4-through before J had to take her back for bedtime. But we sat in the front row of the balcony so she could stand up at the bars and see, and she was just ENTHRALLED. She was wide-clapping and cheering the whole time. HA.
- Pirate night on deck! This is a HUGE night on board a Disney cruise, apparently! We didn’t go to the deck party because Olivia Grace was WELL past her bedtime, but it’s very well-known + beloved by Disney cruise veterans.
- Docked at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay! It was beauuuuutiful weather, too, so a truly perfect beach day for fun in the sun. 🙂 Castaway Cay 5K is in the morning on this day of the cruise for anyone to run/walk, as well, so it’s a popular day for sure.
- Free time on the island! There are inner tube/float rentals available, and a tram to take you from section to section on the island. Castaway Beach is a family beach, as is Pelican’s Pointe. Serenity Bay is adults-only for some serious R&R
- BBQ spots on-island for lunch (this is included with your cruise price so you just walk up and grab food!) – the buffets on the cruise were my favorite things to eat! They’ve got so many great options for all types of “diets” (gluten-free, dairy-free, etc), and everything is DELISH. ALSO, our Disney Cruise served over 18,000 ice cream cones on our 3-day trip because there’s unlimited soft serve both on the boat AND on Castaway Cay! BLESS UP.
- Farewell reception for creators. SO bittersweet since it was truly one of the best trips of all of our LIVES. Wow. Tears.
- Dinner at Royal Palace. The boat’s yummy French spot!
- Disney’s Believe show. This is the signature show aboard the Disney Dream! It’s a sweet story about a little girl who so badly wants her dad to believe in magic for her birthday. He goes on a journey with Aladdin’s genie, meeting other classic Disney characters along the way, on his road to believing. Great show, great story, great songs – a must-see!
- Breakfast at Royal Palace. They do a nice sit-down meal at the place you had dinner at the night before before disembarking! We woke up the last day already being docked.
- Home! And with that, the trip was done and we were headed back home!
A HUUUUGE massive whopping THANKYOU to the incredible Disney team who invited us to be a part of such a magical time at Disney Creators’ Celebration, who made our itinerary and just ensured that everything ran as smoothly as possible. I feel so incredibly blessed, humbled, and privileged to have been apart of something so FABULOUS and really can’t recommend a similar trip to y’all enough – our family will never forget it (even if Liv doesn’t remember it – we won’t forget!). More Disney content to come to hopefully be the BEST possible resource for y’all as you plan your own trips!
Have you been to Disney World and/or on a Disney Cruise?
Is WDW or a Disney Cruise on your travel bucket list? If you have any Disney Q’s at all, be it on Disney World and/or a Disney cruise for your own family, LET ME KNOW – I plan on doing a full Q&A post specifically, just to answer questions that came through to me while on the trip.