Author: Leah Harris

A two time Disney College Program participant Leah loves Disney and helping others find the magic inside of them. She loves to cook, dance, and explore new places. She may always be on the go but her family is her top priority.

5 Places for Wedding Pictures at Disney

If you’re anything like me the Disney Weddings Special on Disney+  has seen as much action as The Mandolorian on your account. I can’t help but look at these big elaborate emotional weddings and say “I want my picture taken there…”. I am all for a simple wedding and reception but the pictures are a whole other ballpark. If you think I won’t pack my wedding dress, makeup, and hairstyling tools to Walt Disney World, and recreate the look just for photos you are sorely mistaken. Not only will I pack my dress and all my things. I’ll pack the dress I did my engagement photos in, a Dapper Day Cinderella dress, and all the shoes and outfits I want. I would get PhotoPass and book a separate photoshoot. Simple wedding. Amazing pictures.

1. Cinderella Castle

On the steps of the palace, it’s one location you can’t leave out. How amazing to be missing your shoe as you ‘run’ down the steps? You can’t leave this picture out. Whether you do it as a PhotoPass or have your photoshoot in the Magic Kingdom, this is a perfect place for every fairytale.

2. Star Wars: Galaxies Edge

The moment when Anakin and Padme get married, her beautiful lace veil trailing behind her. The entire lake dress scene? Han and Leia with their “I love you…” “I know.” moment? There are several memorable tender moments in Star Wars that could be recreated here. Who wouldn’t want a wedding photo in front of the Millenium Falcon?

3. The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

The Grand Floridian has long been one of my favorite hotels visually. Going and sitting to read in their lobby was one of my favorite things during my Disney College Program. I loved walking down the stairs, pretending I was a princess walking into my own ballroom. But one of my strongest memories is sitting and listening to the big band with a friend, and when we looked up- the floor above the big band, there was a couple dancing. Likely in their late 70’s they were up there slow dancing to every song that was played. Even from the lobby, all could see they were in love. When they finished dancing he kissed her hand and everyone in the lobby exploded with applause. Having a picture in your gown in this stately Resort, whether above the band, on the stairs, or outside in the gardens. This is a Must Have location.

4. Epcot’s World Showcase

Travel around the world with PhotoPass and a good attitude. Have your picture taken in some of the most beautiful locations without any layovers. The Eiffel Tower, The Temple of Heaven, the waterfalls of Canada. All will provide a romantic and wonderful background for any pictures you decide to take. Experience food from all around the world and enjoy the romance of each country you visit.

5. Main Street, USA

Travel back in time to the Golden Years. Enjoy the little joys of Main Street. Recreate the Lady and the Tramp at Tony’s Town Square, dance in the street to the Magic Kingdom Philharmonic, or split an ice cream while you listen to Casey’s Corner Pianist, Jim Omohundro, as he plays some of our favorite songs.

It doesn’t end with a Disney Wedding

There’s not a bad place to take a wedding picture at Walt Disney World. It’s about what is important to you and your memories as you relive those little joys. I could list places I want to take pictures all day. Not just wedding photos, but graduation photos, baby pictures, birthday pictures, new haircut pictures, I felt like dressing up today pictures….well let us just say I love taking pictures at Disney World!!

You can find out more about Disney Fairytale Weddings and Engagements at https://www.disneyweddings.com/

Disney-bound and Disneybounding

Dressing up is something I love to do. Halloween, costume parties, anything that feels like I can get away with a costume, and I am there having a blast. Dressing up as my favorite characters and taking pictures is so fun and brings me great joy. At the Disney parks adults are not permitted to wear costumes outside of certain ticketed events. This is for their safety and others. BUT! You can still take part in the fun and magic through the power of- Disneybounding.

What the heck is Disneybounding?

Disneybounding is when you take normal clothing from your closet and say, “How can I make myself look like my favorite character?” Something as simple as wearing your favorite pink leggings with a pink shirt then putting on themed ears, pins, or even a cute headband can turn you into Piglet, Anastasia, or a pink dress Cinderella! It’s about using your clothing and accessories to evoke the memory of a character. It’s easy and fun even for those who don’t like to dress up. By putting certain colors together as a whole family you can even replicate the feeling of a whole movie.

Here’s the plan…

Planning your Disneybounds ahead of time is key. When you pack you need to think about what is comfortable for you to wear in the relevant weather, if its something that is easy to follow through your plans with, and if it fits the places you are going. No one wants to turn up at Victoria and Albert’s with running shoes, leggings, and a tank top. Look at your plans for the days you will be there, pick clothing you think would match your day. If you are going to spend the day at Animal Kingdom and end the day with Tiffin’s or Jiko- maybe pick a nicer outfit with a bit of a safari touch. Or something blue to go with the Pandora theming. If you are going to spend your day running around Epcot trying food from all the festival booths, try wearing supportive shoes and athletic wear that makes you think of Anna and Elsa.

Jesse and Family Disneybounding

There’s lots of options for planning your outfit and it really comes down to how you play in the parks and what your party is going to wear. If all of your friends want to go as Grim Grinning Ghosts in business wear and you show up in sneakers and a pink spirit jersey, you may feel out of place when taking pictures. Plan ahead and talk out your ideas. This builds the excitement for your trip and makes PhotoPass that much more fun.

Put on your Sunday clothes!

Twice a year on very special days, you may notice everyone in the park looks a little more like they just walked off of Main Street. The smell of popcorn, cotton candy, and hotdogs seems a little more nostalgic as you listen to the Dapper Dans and all of their friends. Dapper Days are upon us and everyone is out and dressed to impress. Elegant styles of the past are on parade as people celebrate Walt Disney and the way dressing up makes us feel.

You will see dapper folks at Disney Parks throughout the year but Dapper Days are special in that so many people are dolled up and feeling their best. These clothes often fit the ticket of being a Disneybound. If you would like to know when Dapper Days are, or even shop for ideas of what to wear you can visit http://dapperday.com/ for more details.

Hakuna Matata

Disneybounding is a great way to add another dimension to your trip. Dressing as your favorite characters, being the Jaq and Gus Gus to your little Cinderella, a family of Storm Troopers, a girls trip of pajama princesses, or you and your sweetheart dressing like you are going to sit at the bar of the soda shop and share a shake. It’s all about having fun and making memories. So don’t worry about it being perfect and let your imagination soar!

Please Stand Clear of the Doors: Practicing Skills for your Disney Vacation

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When traveling with children you will feel the excitement and wonder of finally reaching the magical world of Disney. Before you reach the park and after there are many safety hurdles you must cross. Here are some ideas for practicing those critical skills for your Disney Vacation.

Listening Skills

Explaining to your child why it isn’t safe or appropriate to run away from you and to a character can be difficult. They may understand in theory when you are talking in the car, but how well is that going to work when they see a team of Storm Troopers walking around Hollywood Studios?

Games like red light green light are good introduction games to important listening skills. Other games can be you list off two things and they repeat them to you. Keep adding an item and having them repeat it back. This encourages the child to remember and practice listening to the words you say. You can also practice this by going shopping and having them walk beside you. If your child can manage their way through the entire store without asking for candy or a toy, running away, and being helpful. Give them a quarter in a piggy bank to spend at Disney. If you give them a quarter for every successful listening game. By the time you go to the park, they will have gained listening skills and souvenir money!

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Walking Skills

Learning to walk as a family can be difficult. You walk too close to someone, maybe you have a child that is a runner, or your oldest likes to wander off. Practicing this so you know what to expect before you go to the park is important.

Going Out The Door Disney, Magic Kingdom Train Station

Going for family walks to your local nature park or playground is a great place to practice. Not only will you build up your stamina for walking the parks but you can practice walking past those tempting swing sets or keeping together even though someone saw a frog and really wants to follow it to where it lives. When you have mastered walking as a family, staying together with minimal walking over each other. Try taking it up a notch and walking the mall. There are more distractions here. Noise, toys, and people. This can help your children not only learn to walk with distractions but practice how we talk in public. Use these walks to make sure the shoes you are taking on your trip are broken in to avoid any blisters.

Table Manners

Table Manners are a very fun thing to practice in my opinion! But there are many types of eating situations at the park that can be hard to learn how to handle.

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For Character meals: Have another dinner at home where everyone dresses up and eats very neatly using the best manners they know. Practice indoor voices and dinner conversation. Occasionally get up from eating as a family and do something fun like Simon says twirl like a princess, or Simon says- Jedi pose! This will help your children practice skills they will need for character meals. Stopping and starting eating when there is something else exciting happening is difficult for some. Practicing this can help smooth some of those bumps out.
For sharing snacks: Turn on a movie at home or go to a movie theater. Only get one popcorn. Have your children practice passing it and sharing it. This is a simple way to work on those sharing skills and can be a good way to watch through the movies you know you want to review before your trip.

The final test: The last table manners test is to go out to eat. If you’re going to a sit-down restaurant at Disney, you need to visit a sit-down restaurant before you go. A buffet, the same way. If both? Pick one you haven’t done before. Tell your children that they can dress in whatever costume they want to wear at Disney. Then while you are out you will practice using all your newly learned manners. This is a great way to know if there are any skills you still need to work on before you leave, or if there are any hiccups you may want to have a backup plan for on your Disney Vacation.

Travel Manners

Planning A Disney Family Vacation

This may be the hardest one to teach. Learning to ride politely in a car for a long trip or on a plane is tricky without actually doing it. Pointing out good habits in your short car rides is possibly the best way. Then sitting down with your children a day or two before your trip and coming up with some ways to handle the travel. Involve them in packing the games or toys they want to play. Encourage them to think of things they can do together or separately. Talk about things that may happen in the car or on the plane and how to handle them. If they need a bathroom break, if they are feeling overwhelmed, or if they are tired. Knowing what to do and going over the options for these situations for a few days prior can help ease some of the travel stress. Being able to communicate these needs while on your Disney vacation can help you avoid mid-queue bathroom runs.

We finally made it!

Akershus Going out the door

A large part of all these manners is teaching kids to recognize and communicate their feelings. Communication is always key. Working out ways to handle new situations and to communicate needs and wants will make your Disney Vacation smoother and more fun for everyone! If you’re still on the fence about whether you are ready for a trip or not, read our blog Who would take a baby to Disney?

You can also visit https://disneywildaboutsafety.com/ to view more safety tips, play games, and watch fun videos about vacation safety.