"When you're with your grandchildren, it's like having your children all over again," she says. "I get such a big kick when anyone sees Disney for the first time, but it's really special when it's my family and I get to share that moment with them."
Although Mason is only 16 months old, he's already a Disney veteran! He's met Jake from Disney Junior's "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" show. He had breakfast with the Winnie the Pooh characters. And, of course he got to meet the one and only Mickey Mouse!
There were lots of pictures taken with cameras and cell phones in those moments, but Denise took a lot of pictures with her heart.
"I love the emotion that Disney gives me," she shares. "The family bonding and quality time...there's really nothing like it. There's no other experience in the world that I can give to my grandchild and my children and then experience it all together as a family."
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH LITTLE ONES
Here are Denise's Top 7 Tips for Traveling to Disney With Little Ones
- S-l-o-w down. The last thing you want at any Disney theme park is an overtired, overheated child. Go at a slower pace, take it all in and do what you can.
- Choose buffets. Over full-service restaurants. The food is already ready and there's more flexibility for little ones.
- Kitchenettes save time and money. If your budget allows, choose a hotel with a kitchenette. This way you can bring food home from the restaurant and heat it up later. You can also visit a local grocery store and stock up on your little ones' favorite must-haves.
- Local grocery stores will deliver. Many local grocery stores in Orlando will deliver diapers, wipes, formula, snack foods and more right to your hotel room. Check for pricing.
- Rent a stroller for the week. Or for however long you're on vacation. Denise used Kingdom Strollers (not affiliated with the Disney parks) and she paid about $50 for a 7-day rental. The stroller was good quality and came with a cooler and plastic cover for when it rains. She says it was a lifesaver. Best part? They delivered and picked up the stroller right from the hotel.
- Go slow with the Disney characters. Think of how the Disney characters look from your child's viewpoint - then take it slowly when meeting them for the first time. BONUS TIP: The characters who speak - like the princesses - can often reassure fearful small children with a kind words and a hug.
- Savor every moment!
Looks like Mason had a magical first visit to Walt Disney World!
So tell us? What's your best tip for traveling to Disney with little ones?