Ed. – today we’re running two articles with ideas for silly things that can make your trip to Walt Disney World even more fun. Has your family ever done anything like this? Talk about it in the comments.
This past spring, TouringPlans blogger Erin Foster wrote a blog article about Disney World challenges – defined as anything that can turn your trip into a game, and add a little extra spice. It struck a familiar chord with me, as I’m always looking for creative ways to add fun. In fact, I’m no stranger to the concept as a couple of years ago I created my first Disney World challenge, although it was more of a challenge for my friends and family. I dubbed it “Where in Disney are the VanderVoords” and set out to take pictures of my family in obscure locations around Disney World. I would then post them on my Facebook page with the tag “WIDATVV?” and let my friends and family guess where we were. It was a fun time interacting with our loved ones who couldn’t be with us while sharing a little of our trip.
Erin’s article resparked the Disney World challenge fire inside of me as I prepared for our week-long vacation in August. About a week before we left, I made a plea on Facebook for photo challenges while on our trip. I gave a few examples (my son eating a turkey leg, a picture of someone in mouse ears, our family on a specific attraction). And then my friends and family got creative.
We received a challenge to take a photo with a family wearing matching shirts. We were asked to rock out in line for Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster. Another friend challenged us to get a picture with Mickey while standing on our heads (hmmm, that’s a tough one). One family member just wanted to see a picture of Epcot since she had never been there. The challenges were fun and varied, and I did what I do best – organized them into a handy-dandy spreadsheet. In all, we received 39 photo challenges, and I was still getting texts days into the trip with new challenge ideas.
My family was totally on board and we would start each day looking over the list (which I kept in my park bag), planning which photos we would try to capture that day. Sometimes we had to get get creative (like when we found the statue of Cinderella in Downtown Disney and took a picture with her, fulfilling our “take a picture with Cinderella” challenge… although I’m sure the challenge-giver intended us to have a character meeting with the princess, but we didn’t have time to wait in line). Once we’d captured the perfect photo, I would upload it to Facebook, tagging the person who gave us the challenge and explaining exactly what the photo challenge was. Our family and friends were able to get a taste for our vacation, but not in the usual way (such as the traditional photo in front of the castle, or character greetings). My Facebook friends got to see us posing with the Gaston statue in front of his tavern, or completing the ALS Ice Bucket challenge in Hollywood Studios (we got frozen with Frozen). It was fun and different, and we were proud to complete 27 challenges over 7 days.
The best side effect of this Disney World challenge was the guests and Cast Members we interacted with on this trip. I don’t think my family will forget the smile the woman had when we asked if she would pose with us giving her an apple at the Seven Dwarf Mine Train to complete a photo challenge, or my kids and I singing “Let it Go” on video with a College Program participant dressed as a pirate at the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop. The challenges helped us to connect with so many people who shared a little Disney magic with us. Overall, these are going to be my favorite photos from this Disney World vacation, because of the fun memories they will bring to mind.
So… will you be completing a Disney World challenge? Feel free to borrow this idea and create your own Facebook photo challenge – I’d love to hear about the photo challenges you receive!