I love speaking to others about their love of Disney, how they incorporate Disney into their lives, and just knowledge of how they “do” Disney. Raquel Cummings, owner/blogger of D-Mocha Traveler and married mother of two children, confesses her family’s love of Disney.
When did you first recognize that your family was a Disney family?
I knew before we had children that we would be a Disney family. My first visit to Walt Disney World was with my husband after we got married. About a year into our marriage, we got the news that my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. After we weathered that storm, we knew it was time to enjoy life and we enjoyed our first visit the following summer. After that visit it was no question that my future kids would be engulfed in our love of Disney and it has proven to be a great idea.
-How old were your children when they first went to a Disney Park?
This is a great question! Both of my children were fairly young during each of their first visits. It was the first trip with our daughter that I knew that it would never matter how old my children are, they would be able to go and enjoy the magic no matter their ages. My daughter (12 years old) was 9 months old and my son (6 years old) was 6 months old. I read that most would not recommend taking children that young, but for us, it was the easiest and best thing that we could have done.
What is your favorite Disney moment as a family?
There are so many moments and memories that have been created during all of our Walt Disney World Resort vacations! One that stands out was the first time we rode Expedition Everest – The Legend of the Forbidden Mountain as a full family of 4. You see, my son was not tall enough in previous years and last year he finally hit the mark to go in search of the Yeti. Not only did we ride once but we rode it two times in a row. I saw the look on my family’s face and knew our additional vacations we’re going to get better as the kids get older.
-I know that your family loves sailing on Disney Cruise Line. What are your top 5 Disney Cruise Line tips?
1. Do your research. The Disney Cruise Line has so much to offer for families, adults and children and it is always a good idea to have some knowledge of what is offered before you board. There is no need to research everything, but most may not know that when you board, your family’s name is announced and you receive a round of applause and cheers. To be honest, it caught us off guard the first time, but now it is what we expect.
2. Participate in one of the Fish Extender Gift Exchanges. This is a great way to get creative, meet new people, and get the family involved and excited about your upcoming Disney Cruise vacation. You can usually find out more information by goggling Fish Extender Groups (and your sailing date and cruise ship).
3. Carry cash for tipping. If you do not have exact change, you can visit guest services and they will give you the change you need.
4. Definitely make plans to arrive at the port before the ship leaves! There is nothing worse than arriving so late that the porter comes out and tells you to just go and radios that you have arrived. Once you get inside and complete all of your paperwork, you take a horrible picture that shows your stress level has hit 100, and because you are so tired, you fall asleep, miss dinner and the entire first night. Not that I have experience with that or anything.
5. Completely disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the Disney Cruise Line with your family.
-How do you incorporate Disney in your family’s daily life?
Incorporating Disney into my family’s everyday life isn’t hard at all. Of course, with the purchase of some essential Disney themed necessities (Disney Dooney & Bourke purses, Mickey & Jake and the Neverland Pirates backpacks), it is really easy. When my children watch TV, the stations of choice are any of the Disney channels (Disney Junior, Disney XD, Disney). We also enjoy playing Disney Infinity (1.0& 2.0) as a family.
-What do you say when others ask ” Why are you going to Disney again”?
You mean after my normal “side-eye” and pause? To preface this, I understand that most do not understand the fascination and honestly, it is somewhat sad that an explanation has to be given at all. I do not question others for their multiple visits to other vacation destinations. I just tell them, that Disney (as a whole) makes us happy and understands the dynamic of my family and provides so many activities and attractions that no two vacations are ever the same. Depending on the person or time frame, I will give them some additional examples and sometimes, they actually understand and will ask for more information and book vacation for themselves (Yes that has happened a few times).
-What is on your family’s Disney bucket list?
We have several so here goes: An Adventure by Disney vacation to Egypt, England and France, Southern California, and Arizona and Utah. In addition, I would love to visit Disneyland Paris and enjoy a 7-Night Disney Cruise to the Caribbean, and visit Disney Vacation Clubs at Aulani in Hawaii and Hilton Head in South Carolina. Oh and we cannot forget RunDisney. I would love for all 4 of us to participate in a race as a family (perhaps a 10K when my son gets older). Whew, my husband, my children and I will have to get additional jobs or get to scratching those scratch-offs to win the lottery.