How to be Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Family of the Day -- Part 2

Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom
Hi there! When we last met, I promised my tips on how to up the odds your family is chosen as Walt Disney World's Family of the Day at Magic Kingdom. Without further ado, here are a few details that I think helped us ... and may help you, too!

DO arrive early. Extra early. In fact, the title for this post could be “mistakenly think the park opens one hour before it actually opens, settle in on a bench at the park’s entrance to explain to your children that those people entering the park have reservations for Breakfast with the Princesses, something you do not, in fact, have.” But seriously, arrive at the park’s entrance gates up to an hour before opening to increase your chances of being Family of the Day.

DON’T have reservations for Breakfast with Princesses (AKA Fairytale Dining.) That was the first question the park employee asked when she was scouting for family of the day, and obviously if we HAD a reservation she would have found some other bunch of suckers who had turned up really early.

DO try to go to the park during the off-season. We pulled the kids from school for a couple of days in early May to watch my husband participate in the aforementioned Ironman in Florida, then drove to Orlando from there. Since it wasn’t Spring or Summer Break, we were nearly the only family biding our time at the entrance. The lesson: TRUANCY PAYS. No. The real lesson: there will be scads of early arrivals during regular vacation times, so get permission for your kids to miss a day or two of school if possible.

DO have kids with you. It’s called Family of the Day for a reason. I am in no way indicating you are not a family if you don’t have kids, but let’s face it, a passel of excited kids is the recipe for a perfect photo opportunity. So if Gramps wants to be in the parade, he’s going to need to drag a couple of grandkids along with him.
Mickey Mouse Magic Kingdom

DO make sure those kids are well-behaved. If you have a toddler squalling because she didn’t get enough rest the night before, or a couple of fist-fighting grade school kids, don’t be surprised if the Disney employee makes a beeline to the family smart enough use candy and cash to bribe good behavior from their children.

DON’T look like a scene from MTV’s Jersey Shore. Disney has a clean-cut image to uphold, and while they’ll let just about anybody drop $100 on a ticket, they are probably pickier when it comes to the folks throwing out the confetti. Look presentable: comb the hair, dress neatly and conservatively, remove any spiked accessories and set aside the low-cut and inappropriate t-shirts for another day.

DO have lots of power on your camera battery and an extra thumb drive. A staff member took pictures and videos for us the entire morning. In fact, he captured the entire park opening ceremony for us on video — which you can watch {here.}  (It's about two-minutes long.)

I wish I could promise your family will be chosen as the Disney World Family of the Day. No can do. But following these tips should go a long way toward improving your chances of being selected, so ….

Happy Planning!
My Secret Disney Weapon: Call Jane. She knows all the Disney tricks: how to save a bundle, where to stay, what days to hit which parks … basically, how to have a delightful Disney vacation without taking out a second mortgage. AND HER SERVICE IS FREE. Jane’s an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, which means she has the inside track on helping people like us make the most of our Disney trip. Contact her at JaneATcrazyaboutthemouseDOTcom. PS—I promise to always give you a heads-up if I am being paid for a review or endorsement, and THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES! 


Amy Blair said...

...okay. I have now planted this dream in my little mommy-brain; and I will be hugely devastated (and consider my motherhood a complete failure) if I am unable to one day claim the title of "Disney Family of the Day"! But, then again, I'm sure we'll be chosen now that I know all the tips. Thanks for sharing!

Amy Mac said...

Nope, I've seen pics of your kids, A.B.M. ... you're a shoe-in!

Strategic Volunteering Guru said...

You neglected to add "wear khaki shorts"...per your photo. :)

Kelly said...

We just got back from WDW. My daughter (5) has been begging to be the family of the day since our trip last year. So we got to MK extra early! We were the first ones at the turnstile. The only others were those there for breakfast reservations. We were dressed in our cute disney clothing. We chated with a cast member as we waited, and then my daughter asked how a person gets to go up to the train station with Mickey. The cast member said she woukd have to find out. Later another cast member walked over to the CM we had been chatting with, and our CM whispered something we could not understand. The reply we did hear from the CM in charge was very disappointing. She said, "It has to be a family of 5 today." We watched later as she went up to a family of 4 with older kids and asked them to be family of the day.

So I woukd have to add that you must have the acceptable number of children for that day.

Maybe one day we will get it!

Anonymous said...

We were chosen to be family of the day on our 2nd trip to Walt Disney World. We had honestly shown up to Epcot 1 hour before it opened that day. I thought that the park was opening at the time we got there.

Anonymous said...

The post above is completely correct. We were chosen TWICE a year apart to be the family of the day. This was in about 2004, and 2005. We had two kids ages 5 and 8. We did everything advised above to the letter. It was also Magic Kingdom, and yes we arrived 60-75 minutes in advance.