When you think of Disney World, you tend to imagine a family vacation, with everyone spending time together, doing things that the whole family will enjoy. This is of course what Walt Disney had in mind when he designed Disney World and there’s no better place for a family vacation! But, in the midst of all of this family-oriented entertainment, there are a whole lot of things to do that make great mother-daughter experiences if you can set aside some time on your next vacation. Keep these in mind, especially if you’re lucky enough to be visiting over Mother’s Day!
10. Try Something New for Both of You:
Disney World is full of traditional girl-oriented experiences, like having a princess makeover or meeting a princess at a character greeting. But there’s so much to do that is non-traditional as well! Why not try something that’s new to both of you, together, like taking archery lessons or going horseback riding at the Tri-Circle Ranch, located in the campground area of the Fort Wilderness Resort? You can also try fishing on Bay Lake or the Seven Seas Lagoon, or visit Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre at the Contemporary Resort and try parasailing, water-skiing, tubing or even wake-boarding! Your daughter sees you as a Super-Mom most of the time – it might be nice for her to see you learning something new at her level too sometimes!
9. Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party:
Moms and daughters can enjoy a delicious dessert buffet and range of non-alcoholic beverages while watching the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show from an exclusive seating area at the Tomorrowland Terrace. This is one of the best views of this magical show available and there’s no need to stake out a spot hours in advance with this package!
8. Take a Carriage Ride and Visit Cinderella’s Ponies:
How about taking a wonderfully relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride together either along the banks of the Sassagoula River at the Port Orleans – Riverside Resort, or through the lush pine forest at the Fort Wilderness Resort? If you opt for the Port Orleans location, you can easily pair that with lunch at one of the many wonderful restaurants at nearby Disney Springs. If you opt for the Fort Wilderness Resort location, you can also stroll through the stables of the Tri-Circle Ranch and see Cinderella’s ponies and the hard-working horses of Main Street enjoying some down time.
7. Enjoy a Unique Experience Together:
A mother-daughter day is a great time to enjoy a special, unique experience together that you will both always remember. Moms with daughters 8 years or older might consider taking the Starlight Safari
at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, which takes guests on a journey across the Lodge’s savannas in an open-air safari vehicle to see more than 30 species of African wildlife in their nighttime environment. Or how about the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom Park, which provides guests with a privately-guided trek across rope bridges over the savannas, with the animals down below? (No worries, guests are secured with safety harnesses). Guests also ride in the open-air safari vehicle to see the animals from a ground-level view. A photographer accompanies the group and takes photos which will be a wonderful souvenir of this adventure! Or, if you would prefer something tamer, the Dolphins in Depth tour at Epcot allows guests to go backstage and see how the dolphins are cared for and trained, and spend half an hour in the water, interacting with the dolphins. This tour is available to those 13 and up.
6. Enjoy Some Time at Disney Springs:
Disney Springs is the new name for the recently expanded Downtown Disney area and it’s a must-do on any vacation, with its fabulous restaurants, trendy shopping and unique experiences. Moms and daughters can start their Disney Springs experience off with a free chocolate sample from Ghirardelli’s and then stroll over to Disney Design-a-Tee, to customize their own t-shirts with character art and a slogan of their own choice. After that, they can go for a float in one of the Amphicars at The Boathouse, which are vintage vehicles that actually drive right into the water and take guests on a 20 minute tour of Disney Springs! If that’s not enough adventure, they can then head over to the West Side and try Characters in Flight – the world’s largest tethered helium balloon, which soars 400 feet in the air and gives guests a stunning 360 degree view of Disney Springs and the surrounding 10 miles! They can then head to Haviana’s to design their own flip-flops and finish up their day by strolling over to the new Disney’s Candy Cauldron to watch the confectioners make mouthwatering treats in the show kitchen – and maybe try one too!
5. Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise:
Similar to the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party mentioned in number 9, this is an opportunity to view the fabulous Wishes Nighttime Spectacular from a preferred viewing area – this time aboard an exclusively reserved Disney ferryboat as it sails the Seven Seas Lagoon. This setting provides a spectacular view of the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle, while dining on delicious, specially-crafted desserts and a range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. While it is relatively pricey, guests do receive a souvenir palette plate and glow-glass. This experience boards at the ferryboat launch at the Ticket and Transportation Center, so park admission is not required. It would be the perfect end to a day devoted to non-park activities! Note that reservations are actually required.
4. Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea:
On select mornings, the Grand Floridian Garden View Tea Room provides the setting for an intimate royal tea hosted by “Rose Petal,” a magical rose from Aurora’s garden, who leads the young princesses in a parade, storytelling and a sing-a-long. Princess Aurora also appears for pictures and autographs. Little girls sip apple juice “tea” and dine on jelly and ham and cheese sandwiches, grapes and princess cake. Moms will be served a more adult breakfast tea along with a plate of cheeses, finger sandwiches, grapes and lavosh. This is one of Disney’s more expensive events, but girls do receive several royal gifts, including a Disney Princess doll, a tiara, bracelet, necklace and scrapbook page, which will provide lasting memories. The atmosphere is elegant and formal and girls are encouraged to dress in their princess best! Reservations are highly recommended.
3. Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian:
The Victorian-themed Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian is the ideal place for moms and daughters to spend some quality time together! Everything about the Grand Floridian Resort is elegant and refined and you’ll feel immediately removed from the hustle and bustle of the parks as soon as you arrive. The spa is no different! Here, moms are able to enjoy a wide range of body treatments, massages, facials and aromatherapy. Teens can enjoy a special facial designed just for them, as well as manicures and pedicures and other select treatments. Girls aged 4 to 12 are also welcome to enjoy a special princess pedicure and magical manicure, but Mom must be with them at all times, ideally having her own manicure and pedicure right beside! It’s only a short stroll to the main building of the Grand Floridian where lunch at the Grand Floridian Café would make a perfect end to some quality mother-daughter time!
2. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique:
Having a princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is geared toward the younger girl 12 or under, but it’s the top princess experience at Disney World and certainly something moms and daughters will both remember as a magical experience for years to come! Here, young girls can choose between a range of packages that offer princess hair, makeup and nail treatments performed by Fairy Godmothers in-training, along with a number of princess souvenirs like sashes, tutus, cinch sacks and tiaras. The full package is the most magical of course, which allows a young girl to select an entire princess outfit, including wand and shoes and be magically transformed into the likeness of that princess! Photo packages are also available.
There are two locations – one at Disney Springs and one actually in Cinderella’s Castle. When I have visited Disney World with my two little princesses, we have always kicked off our trip with a visit to the Cinderella’s Castle location and then had lunch immediately afterward at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is also located in the castle. Reservations are certainly required in order to pull off this timing, but it has given us all many magical memories!
1. Enjoy a Meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table:
Here, moms and daughters can dine like royalty as a guest of Cinderella herself inside her castle! Guests will be greeted by Cinderella as they enter the majestic Grand Hall and then summoned to ascend the regal staircase to the second floor, where they will dine on a feast fit for royalty while overlooking Fantasyland. Other princesses will personally greet them at their table. The food is elegant and upscale and it is a magical experience for guests of every age! Reservations are certainly a must here, but if you’re not able to get one, keep checking throughout your trip. You might be lucky enough to be able to take advantage of a last minute cancellation!
While Disney World is the ultimate place for a family vacation, it is also the perfect place to carve out some mother-daughter time with girls of any age! Take some time to enjoy some of these experiences on your next vacation!
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