Wow!  Well, 2013 has been a great year and we had a lot of fun at the Disney Parks too!  Here’s my top ten list of favorite Disney Parks moments of 2013, in no particular order.  Take a look, then I want to see YOUR list!

10. Becoming Part of the MiceChat Crew

One January afternoon I was playing with Magic, Memories, Mayhem (our family blog) when I was presented with the opportunity to submit an article to MiceChat.  I took a post that was headed for our site, took out the 90 gajillion images, spruced it up a bit and sent it off with fingers crossed.  The rest, my friends, is history.  It’s been so wonderful to be able to chat with you all every week about something so dear to my little, obsessive heart.  The welcoming from Dusty and the MiceChat crew and all of you faithful readers has been overwhelming this year.  I never set out to be a columnist, it just fell into my lap at the perfect time, and I’m so thankful for it!

9. Taking Newbies to Disney World

I love sharing the Disney Parks with friends and family, but there’s always a little bit of extra fun when taking someone who’s never experienced the magic.  Watching their eyes widen as we round the corner and they lay eyes on the castle or the first time they run into the mouse himself.  We were lucky enough to take two new-to-Disney families to the parks this year, and both are already planning their 2014 vacations.


Get Park Wise: When taking newbies, the most important tip is wardrobe advice.  Comfy shoes, breathable fabrics and a nice pair of shades can make your trip!  They’ll be ragged by the end of the week, but if their feet are comfy for the duration, you’ll have won them over!

8. Trying a New Resort

On our fall vacation this year, our family got to try out some new-to-us digs, Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.  Not only was the location fabulous and the rooms, well, roomy, the views from the lounge were hard to beat.  Several nights we decided to pack it in early and just watch Magic Kingdom fireworks during the dessert and cordials service at the hotel.  Perfection!

The newbies enjoying the view. 


7. A Little Pixie Dust at Shades of Green

Also during our October vacation, we experienced a little, well, actually a pretty sizable amount, of pixie dust.  Our party received complimentary tickets for our entire stay!!  This was especially wonderful for our friends who had some unexpected expenses prior to our vacation and were on a very strict budget.  Take away the cost of tickets, and they able to have a much more enjoyable week! 

6. My First Agent Education Program

This June, I was able to attend my first Agent Education Program at Walt Disney World.  The week was chock full of room and resort tours, informational seminars and great guest experience opportunities.  This allowed me to really see things through the eyes of guests who are different from myself and my family and has proved to be an invaluable experience.  And hanging out with other Disney geeks for a week was pretty fun, too. 

5. An Adults Only Trip

Seeing as the program was for agents only, I was solo on this jaunt.  I was rooming with a wonderful co-worker turned great friend, and we really enjoyed touring without the kiddos, even if we did have notebooks in hand most of the time.  We also enjoyed a couple nights out without having to worry about babysitters or a “curfew.”  While my no-kids trips will be few and far between, that week really made me appreciate doing Disney a totally different way.

We loved our night out on the Boardwalk!
We loved our night out on the Boardwalk! 


4. Flower and Garden Fun

The kids has their first Disney trip a little more than five years ago, which just happened to fall at the tail end of the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.  When a co-worker and her daughter suggested we go on an impromptu trip over spring break, we were in!  This was the first time I’d been back to the festival since their first trip, and I loved all of the gorgeous displays and especially the new Food and Wine-esque marketplaces.

Get Park Wise: Look at Disney’s special events calendar or get with your travel agent to see when extra special fun is happening at the parks!  These events are a great way to get a little more bang for your Disney buck and allow those who may have “been there, done that” to experience something new.


3. Tour of the Disney Dream

This was part of my Agent Education Program this summer, and while it’s not necessarily a Disney Parks experience, I have to throw it in here because it was wonderful!  This was my first chance to see the Dream and I was really excited to get to spend the day on the ship.  We wandered all around soaking in everything she has to offer and ended our day with a great lunch at Cabanas restaurant on the ship.  I was sold from the minute I stepped on the boat, and a Disney cruise ended up under our Christmas tree.

2. The Disney Villains Hollywood Bash


This was an AMAZING party!  I know I’ll get a few boos and hisses, but Hollywood Studios is my favorite park.  This after hours shindig was held during the Tower of Terror Ten Miler Weekend.  Since the majority of the attendees were running, the park was pretty much empty.  All open rides were walk-on, and the villain meet and greet lines were super short.  100% worth the cost!  And I rarely say that.  And speaking of Ten Miler Weekend… 

1. My First 5K
This single event goes down as not only one of my favorite Disney memories of 2013, but probably ever.  I was scared to sign up, I was discouraged during training, but, darn it, I kept to it and finished my first 5K and runDisney event!!  I know it was the first of many, and I love it because not only does it feed my Disney geekdom, but it is taking me to places mentally and physically I never thought I’d be.


What are your favorite Disney Parks memories of 2013?

  • Laura P

    This is great! Thank you so much for your contributions to micechat for disney geeks everywhere! 😀 My favorite Disney mment of 2013 was getting to go to the Be Our Guest restaurant for the first time ever, and feeling like I stepped into my favorite movie of all time!

    • Thank YOU! Isn’t Be Our Guest beautiful!? And not to mention offers some delicious dishes!

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  • DobbysCloset

    Didn’t make a physical visit to Disney Parks in 2013; made a virtual visit daily through the magic of modern technology and all my new friends at MiceChat!

    One of the first things I did was to change my desktop to a Fishbulb photo so that, every time I turn on my computer, I am sitting on Main Street in Disneyland, just outside Mr. Lincoln, waiting for the Flag Ceremony on a Sunny California Afternoon.

    Throughout the year I considered how I might retire closer to a Park or even have a pre-retirement visit to check out the Orlando, Florida scene.

    Jessica, sharing your serious immersion in Disney Parks brings me so much vicarious enjoyment! I wish you health and success in 2014 – Go Disney!

    • I have Disney on my desktop, too! Just a quick flicker of vacation during the day-to-day. 🙂

      Hope you make it to the Parks in 2014! Thanks for reading!

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    My favorite thing in 2013 was discovering MiceChat and Jessica’s columns. I can’t even tell you how much Joy that Jessica’s writings brings my family. We only get to make one or two trips to Disney parks a year, but every time I read one of Jessica’s columns I feel like we are back there again. I really appreciate all her hard work and would buy an eBook from her if she put all her columns together in book form on Amazon. I think her information is THAT GOOD. Blessings to you Jessica in 2014 and thanks for all the hard work in 2013!

    • You’re too kind! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts this year!!