Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Day of Magic and Memories at Walt Disney World.

I hadn't been to Walt Disney World since I was eleven years old. For years my brother and I have been begging our parents to take us back there on an 'adult' family Disney trip, one where we can actually all go on all the rides now, and do the 'drinking around the world' experience at Epcot. Unfortunately we still haven't managed to persuade them, and so when Jasiminne and I were planning our New York trip, I said 'what do you think about going to Florida for a few days after NYC?' Jasiminne is the biggest Disney fan I know, so of course she said yes.

Orlando is just a 2 hour flight from NYC, and with the flights costing us just £150 each with JetBlue, it was a bit of a bargain. We left New York on the Sunday and landed in Orlando late afternoon, happy and excited about the next stage of our trip. We checked into our hotel, the Hilton Lake Buena Vista, and got a nice upgrade to a Junior Suite thanks to my Diamond Hilton membership. 

The hotel was OK, it was a typical American hotel really that felt a little dated and tired, but had comfy beds and for some reason just felt 'homey'...those sorts of hotels always remind me of childhood holidays to America, and every time I go into a chain hotel like that, it just feels 'comfortable' and nice.

After dinner at Red Lobster (I don't really see why Bey loves it so much...), we then got an early night ready for Disney World the next day! We woke up bright and early and after a bit of confusion over the free shuttle bus, we decided to just get the hotel's town car to Magic Kingdom. The tickets were easy to pick up, and before we knew it we were on the ferry boat across the lake to the Disney magic! Words can't explain how excited we were, and Jasiminne wouldn't stop singing Disney songs haha!

As always any photos of me (apart from selfies) in this post are by Jasiminne.

We finally arrived and after getting through the queue, strolled down Main Street and headed straight for the Haunted Mansion ride. I'm not very good with scary things and the dark, and am a really nervous person, so I found this ride a little nerve-racking. Jasiminne loved it though, and she thought my panicking was hilarious. 

I wore a white vest top underneath my tee because it was cropped...but I got too hot so ended up taking it off and just flashing my skin haha!

Next up we went on the Aladdin Magic Carpet Ride (hello, Princess Jasiminne had to snapchat herself singing 'A Whole New World' on her ride!), which were actually pretty high up and I shrieked more than the kids around us. Awks. 

Pirates of the Caribbean was super high up on my list of 'Need to Ride', except I'd forgotten that the ride is full of wax models....so I spent half of it with my eyes hidden behind my hands. Seriously. I'm worse than a child. The Pirates of the Caribbean show with a very good Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp lookalike was great fun though! Also, I was surprised by the amount of adults who were there, it made me feel much better about the two of us being there by ourselves with no kids haha! There were heaps of older couples and groups of friends.

My favourite ride of them all was Splash Mountain. Oh. My. Days. Now I'm not good with wax models, and I'm terrified of the dark, and I don't like heights...but I LOVE big drops. Weird or what. I love the suspense and the moment you slide down a huge drop and your tummy turns and you can't help but let out a huge shriek of excitement and laughter. 

Also Song of the South was one of my favourite movies as a kid (not because of the racist parts obvs, but just because I used to bloody love the song 'zip a dee doo dah', and the ride is centred around Brer Rabbit. Also check out this amazing photo of all of the adults screaming...and the child behind me casually just sat there smiling. I cry laughing every time I see it. It's the ugliest ever but so, SO funny.

In-between rides we quenched our thirst with frozen lemonades, bottles of water (because the Disney tap water tastes of rubber...), and ice cold co-cola. It was so hot that every time ice cold liquid touched our lips it tasted like the best thing in the world. 

The Peter Pan ride was another favourite of ours, despite the hour long queue, it was just so SO magical. It always makes me tear up when you float over the London skyline with the music tinkling around you. Ugh. So magical you guys. The Little Mermaid 'Under the Sea' ride was another one that got us all teary-eyed and nostalgic for our childhoods. 

After the rides we had some lunch at Gaston's Tavern (zomg, they actually do the best ham and cheese pretzel you will ever taste), and Louise Pentland's daughter Darcy was behind us in the queue with her Dad, Matt. We didn't say hi because, ya know, they're on holiday and all, but it was super weird seeing Matt and Darcy IRL after years of watching them on YouTube.

We then spent some time meeting the Princesses. Jasiminne legit wanted to meet them and had full conversations with them, while I had ulterior motives which will be revealed on my god-daughter's sixth birthday in December.

After taking some photos with various Princesses, we then got the Monorail to Epcot as we had a Park Hopper ticket for the day and wanted to make the most of it. 

It was great being able to switch between parks, but in future we'd definitely stay a couple of extra days in Orlando and get a 3-day park hopper ticket. By the time we got to Epcot it was about 5pm-ish, and after meeting Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, having a break in Starbucks, and then meeting Anna and Elsa...it was time to head back to Magic Kingdom for the Electric Parade!

We saw the most magical sunset over the lake as we were walking back from the 'Norway' section in Epcot, and I do wish we'd had a whole day at Epcot as well as Magic Kingdom. Next time! 

We got back just in time for the Electric Parade (they really need quicker/more monorails...the wait for them was crazy), and it was just as incredible as I'd remembered! Sadly the Electric Parade is finishing very soon, but I'm sure they'll replace it with something equally as amazing. 

By this point we were pretty hungry, so once the parade finished we dashed across the road on Main Street to Casey's Corner for hotdogs. Dayum this was a good hot dog. Also Casey's itself was AMAZING. It was like an old soda fountain place and was so stereotypically American it's not even funny. I was really surprised with the food at Disney, I actually enjoyed everything we had there and thought the quality was pretty decent considering it was fast food in a theme park. 

Photo from Disney
After our bite to eat it was 10pm and time for the famous Disney 'Wishes' fireworks. I'm not really a firework person, I get bored really quickly, but these...well these were different. I stood there in total awe for the entire display, it was just magical. It's so hard to describe because you really have to experience it for yourself, but the fireworks start with Jiminy Crickett and the Blue Fairy, and Tinker Bell flying down from the top of the castle while When You Wish Upon a Star plays. 

The fireworks soar up to the sky while a medley of Disney songs play, and Jasiminne and I both had tears trickling down our cheeks by the time 'Star Light, Star Bright' was played at the end. 

For creative people who maybe aren't so good at number and things, I think there's just something about Disney that reminds you that anything is possible...it doesn't matter what grades you got in school or what type of job you have...you are capable of so much and have so much power over what you do with your life, if you just have the courage to dream and imagine. At the end of the day, Disney all started with a mouse...

*We were guests of Disney, but all magical memories and Disney love is my own

1 comment

  1. I think it's so amazing that you and Princess Jasiminne went to Disney. I've been to the one in Paris but the Orlando one always seemed like the 'real' one!


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