Our First Taste of Disney Magic

Our First Taste of Disney Magic

*** I wrote this back in February 2016 after our first trip to Walt Disney World Florida in August 2015, a trip that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Disney. ***

At the end of August we went on our first family trip to Walt Disney World Florida and well, we have never been quite the same again. Words cannot do justice to how awesomely special the experience was. There is, without doubt, a special kind of magic to be found at Disney, the type that makes for the most amazing family experiences and memories that last a lifetime.

Pre Trip Preparation

As a family, we had watched all the Disney movies we could get our hands on in the run-up to our trip to familiarise ourselves with everyone we might meet there. It was a fun family thing to do, I mean who doesn’t like a Disney movie?
 
We decided to wait until two weeks prior to D-Day to reveal our holiday plans to the children. Believe me, it was very hard keeping it all a secret from them for four and a half months and we nearly let it slip so many times as we whispered about dining bookings and various FastPass+ plans. We wanted to make the reveal special for them so we had a Treasure Hunt where the kids had to piece together clues and work out where we were going. They loved it, racing about the house and garden until they found the golden envelope that revealed all. You can read all about our Great Disney Treasure Hunt over at Disney Daddy. 

 

Planning Pays

My hubby (aka Disney Daddydid an amazing job of booking the FastPass+ selections and making dining reservations along with planning the itinerary in advance of our trip so we knew where we would be everyday. Now I have been on a Disney vacation I can see just how important it is to do that. 
 
If you have never been before it may seem a bit excessive to have to plan so much in advance but it really pays off once you are there.  My advice is if it’s your first trip read lots of reviews, get your dining reservations and FastPass+ selections booked as early as you can and try to figure out where you want to be each day. Take into account things like attraction closures which may mean less to do at certain parks. I recommend doing some character dining meals too as it’s a great way to meet the characters and get autographs, we loved Chef Mickey’s and Hollywood and Vine. Use the My Disney Experience planning tool which is available both online and as an app to download which is so useful to have on your phone when you are there. 

 

The #AllmarksDoDisney Adventure Begins

Our #allmarksdodisney adventure began one sunny day in August when my family, comprised of my hubby, our then 5 year old son Ben, 2 year old twins Zoey and Zachary and I, set off from Heathrow Airport heading to Orlando via a connecting flight in Atlanta. We were all very excited about meeting Mickey and Friends and seeing the Disney Castle in real life. I knew it would be amazing but nothing quite prepared me for the effect the experience would have on us. 

 

Our Accommodation

We stayed on resort, at the Port Orleans Resort – Riverside which was well equipped with a pool complete with water slide and hot tub making it perfect for families, a store, bar and restaurants amongst other facilities. I love staying on resort, the atmosphere is so nice with happy people everywhere (lots of them wearing Mickey / Minnie ears) and the ease of transportation to the parks and Disney Springs is fantastic. One big bonus of Port Orleans is that you can catch the riverboat to Disney Springs which we really enjoyed. 
 

The Parks 

There are four theme parks which are Magic Kingdom where you will find the Castle, EPCOT home of the World Showcase and exciting future world technologies, Animal Kingdom which is one of the largest animal theme parks in the world and Hollywood Studios the place where movie magic comes alive. There are also two fantastic waterparks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. 

My favourite park is Magic Kingdom as it oozes all things Disney not to mention the fact that it is where the Castle is, followed by Epcot for the amazing things to be seen and experienced there, next Hollywood Studios and finally Animal Kingdom. 

Day One of Our Disney Adventure

Our first day saw us heading to Magic Kingdom and yes, I did cry when I saw the castle for the first time. I think up until this point the kids really didn’t realise just where we were and what “going to Disney” meant. I’ll never forget all the shrieks of delight and the look of amazement in their eyes when they saw the castle and Mickey and friends. There was definitely lots of pointing things out and shouts of “Look, look!”

 

 


We had FastPasses for the Festival of Fantasy parade that day which was a perfect start to our Disney experience. Seeing the amazing floats pass by in all their splendour with the iconic characters just as they are in the movies and on TV was like nothing we had witnessed before. My favourite had to be seeing Belle and the Beast. 

 

 


I can understand why Disney is called the happiest place on earth, everything combines to make it just that from the sights and sounds to the distinctive “vanilla / sweet candy” smell everywhere and that feeling you get of sharing it with the people you love, in my case, my wonderful family. It was that day that my love of Disney really began. 

 

 

 

 

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