Walt Disney World is Not Just for Preschoolers – Tweens Love It Too! #DisneyTweens

Disclosure 1

As the years race by, it’s hard to realize how fast my first baby is growing up. Apparently, he is a tween. How did that happen? I guess I should have noticed the clues. The video games, the headphones attached to his neck, the newfound love for Top 40 hits, the desire to fit in or be “cool”, and yes – even the little bit of attitude I’ve been seeing appear every now and again. As much as I hate to admit it, my baby – my 8 year old Lucas – is growing up right before my eyes and I want to do everything I can to press pause on every moment we get to spend together. That’s why we all jumped at the chance to visit Walt Disney World Resort and experience everything the parks have to offer tweens and families.

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We were ready for 3 days of jam-packed Disney tween fun! After arriving and checking into our Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah Room (complete with views of animals like giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and so much more – Lucas was amazed), we met up with a group of influencers and friends that would be joining us for the press trip.



We quickly headed to dinner and then our first ride…Test Track at Epcot. Lucas was able to create his own custom car on a computer terminal before boarding. The ride will then test the abilities of the car you designed and show you the results. The ride was so fast and so much fun. It is officially one of our favorite rides at Walt Disney World and definitely tween approved. As Lucas said, “Best ride of my life!”


The next day we were off early to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After breakfast we boarded the Kilimanjaro Safari. Guys, this ride is one of a kind. You truly get a close encounter with real wild life – rhinos, elephants, lions, monkeys, and more. Lucas – and all of us – were in awe. Lucas especially loved the driver who was doling out cool facts and trivia tidbits (did you know that a giraffe only sleeps for a total of about 30 min a day, in no more than 5 minute increments? That’s insane. And I thought I didn’t getting enough sleep!).

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After the safari we rode Dinosaur, which is a thrilling adventure ride that takes you back in time to experience dinosaurs right at the time the asteroid hit. We also rode Expedition Everest which is by far one of the coolest roller coaster rides we have been on and is Lucas’ favorite. The coaster shoots up a mountain and before you know it, you are headed backwards in the dark and brings you up close and personal with the dangerous yeti. Scary and fun all rolled into one!!

Later that afternoon we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and headed straight to Star Tours, of course. If you haven’t ridden Star Tours, it is a 3D simulator ride that puts you right into the heat of battle in a galaxy far far away. This is without a doubt Lucas’ and Mike’s favorite ride. Ever. They are huge Star Wars fans and this ride is like being inside the movies. They would literally ride it all day if I let them lol.

And, finally Lucas and Mike rode Tomorrowland Speedway several times. They love this ride!


After dinner, we rode Aerosmith’s Rock n’ Roller Coaster, which is super cool and super fast. You take off going 0 – 60 in less than 3 seconds as you shoot into a loop and head off into the neon and black light filled room. Why so fast? Because if you don’t hurry you will miss Aerosmith’s rock concert!

That evening we had front row seats to what I have to believe is the single greatest fireworks show on earth. I have never seen anything like Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular. This awesome new show is actually a precursor to another show coming later this year (more on that in another post). Fireworks are set off to the music and sounds of Star Wars. You really have to see it to believe it. The music is beautiful and the fireworks are breathtaking. Literally breathtaking. 

On our last day we went to Magic Kingdom where we rode just about every thrill ride at the park. We rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which is a relatively new coaster that is fun for the whole family. Even our 2 year old Amelia rode it! The Seven Dwarves Mine Train combines the thrill of a coaster with the magical animatronics that Disney is known for. We rode it twice!

Another tween-approved ride is Space Mountain. This coaster is an oldie but goodie! I can remember riding Space Mountain when I was a kid! Space Mountain takes you flying around in the dark with stars projected all around you. It’s like being in outer space.

To finish the day we headed over to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). Mike and the kids did some shopping while I got to see first hand, the big changes that are coming to Disney Springs (again, more on that in another post). We all got to do a little shopping, which is always fun and there were plenty of stores for each of us – even the boys – to enjoy!




We ended the evening with a relaxing ride around the Disney Springs lake in an Amphicar (which is a car and a boat in one) and dinner at Boathouse. The Amphicar was a pretty sweet ride! The driver was hilarious and the view was gorgeous. This is a must-do at Disney Springs.






By the end of the trip, here’s what I knew for sure. Disney just gets it. They understand the intricacies of families. They understand the challenges that parents of little ones face so they provide stroller rentals and baby care stations and rider switch passes and more. Disney understands that tweens and teens are looking for a cool experience at the parks and they provide it through thrill rides and shopping and magical experiences. The world that Disney creates for their customers and the service they provide is second to none. Disney makes it easy for families of all ages – from young families with newborns to families with tweens and teens to families with all grown-up “kids” – to reconnect with one another and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Lots of New Disney Experiences this Summer!

Not only do packages start under $2,000, but this year’s Awaken Summer event will debut new experiences across all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks with an epic array of shows and attractions to open throughout summer, creating exciting new guest experiences across all Disney theme parks and entertainment venues. A new Magic Kingdom castle show will bring favorite characters from “Tangled” and “Princess and the Frog” for the first time to the grandest stage in Walt Disney World. Stars of the runaway Disney hit, “Frozen,” will take a bow in multiple Disney parks, and the first Frozen-themed attraction will sail into guests’ hearts at Epcot. Even more Star Wars-themed original entertainment, nighttime Animal Kingdom experiences and Disney Springs openings will set the stage for endless summertime fun. Visit DisneyWorld.com for more info.

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Recap #DisneySMMoms

Whew! April was a very busy month! I spent most of the month traveling to Miami for Hispanicize, Chula Vista for the Kellogg’s Champions of Great Starts trip, and to Orlando for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. If you haven’t heard of the Disney Social Media Celebration — it is actually an annual 3-day conference hosted by Disney World for mom and dad bloggers and social media influencers. It is the ultimate blogging conference as it is designed specially with families in mind. There are blogger only sessions during the day, built in time to head to the parks with your family, time to spend networking and meeting the other bloggers, and special VIP dinners every evening for bloggers and their families. Mike and I hadn’t visited Disney World since we were kids. Lucas had never been at all. To say that we were excited about heading to Orlando for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration would be the understatement of the year! The night before we were leaving, I was running around trying to get everything packed when Lucas comes to me and says, “Mommy, are you sure Disney is really there? We have only seen it on TV and on your computer.” My answer, “Yes, honey — it’s really there.”

On the morning that we were driving out to Orlando, we surprised Lucas with a special goody bag filled with Disney products, including Mickey Mouse. He now sleeps with that Mickey every night!

After a quick bite to eat, we were off!

Day one of the conference started out with Mike, Lucas, and I heading to Magic Kingdom in the morning. Lucas’ expression when he first saw the castle was priceless. He literally gasped and kept saying “It’s really there!”

After a morning at Magic Kingdom, I headed to cocktail event for bloggers only and then met back up with Mike and Lucas and the rest of the families for the Swashbuckler Soirée & Dinner at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club.

Lucas loved the pirate theme and he even got to meet Jake from the Neverland Pirates and Captain Hook and there was a treasure hunt!

I loved getting to spend quality time with friends…

Day two was filled with sessions and amazing speakers for the bloggers while the families got to enjoy the pools, relax, or head to the parks.

I was incredibly inspired by several of the speakers, especially Social Media Strategist and Founder of Digital Royalty, Amy Jo Martin (pictured below) who spoke a lot about “finding your why”.

“Find your why. Do more of what makes you happy and less of what doesn’t.” – Amy Jo Martin

Other speakers included Chris Brogan, Author, Strategist, Consultant – Human Business Works,Lisa Druxman, CEO & Chief Founding Mom – Stroller Strides, Ramon DeLeon, Marketing Mind – Domino’s Pizza Chicago, and Peter Shankman, Marketing & Customer Service Strategist.

That night, bloggers and their families headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Dino Mite Nite Dinner. This night was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We had Disney’s Animal Kingdom COMPLETELY to ourselves. This was probably the best night of all! We had unlimited access to several of the rides and all of the classic Disney characters were in attendance — Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip & Dale, and more. Lucas even danced the robot with Daisy! It was awesome!

One day three, attendees could choose from a variety of breakout sessions like a Fantasyland Sneak Peek, Wild Africa Trek, Disney Innovation for Good, and more. After that, we had the entire day to enjoy the parks with our families until that evening’s Nemo’s Somewhere Under the Sea Farewell Dinner at the brand new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Which if you are planning a trip to Disney World, you should definitely consider staying at the Art of Animation Resort – it is adorable, affordable, and the rooms are so spacious! Plus, it boasts the largest pool of all the resorts!

We decided to extend our stay for an additional four nights after the conference and I must say — it was the trip of a lifetime. We actually moved over to the Polynesian Resort, which is gorgeous! There honestly aren’t words to explain the fun and joy we felt while we were at Disney World. We made memories that we will never forget. Ever. Let me show you some of them.

Mike and Lucas riding one of the cars at Tomorrowland Speedway – one of Lucas’ favorite rides!

Meeting Mickey Mouse
Riding the Great Goofini — also one of our favorite rides!
Eating a midnight snack at the Mainstreet Bakery at 1:45 am! Magic Kingdom was open until 2 am that night!
Princess kisses and hugs at the Royal Table Dinner at the Castle
The Jolly’s meet The Incredibles
Pure joy. The look on Lucas’ face throughout the trip.
The Claw…
Meeting Buzz & Woody
Meeting Minnie Mouse
At Disney Jr. Live on Stage — one of Lucas’ favorite memories

Disney Social Media Moms Conference attendees paid a conference fee which included hotel accommodations, park tickets, meals, admission to private parties, and more. We were not required or asked to write about the conference.