The land of endless enchantment, where your ultimate Disney fantasy’s become reality.
As soon as I stepped into this park, I was mesmerized. Walking down Main Street with a smile on my face and my eyes wide to take everything in. It truly is the most magical place on earth. All my senses were going. I could hear people singing, see the iconic castle at the end of the street from the parade square, smell the delicious buttery popcorn from the stand and feel the sun beating down on my skin.
Nothing like a fast roller-coaster to shake up the breakfast! After getting the adrenaline hit of the first ride of the next four days we went to the iconic Cinderella castle. Surrounded by lush rose gardens and a tranquil moat, the magical castle is the perfect place to get your perfect Disney photo.
We did not get to go inside the castle but they showed us from the outside the windows to the Cinderella suite. Imagine staying inside the suite! There is also the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where fairy godmothers can sprinkle their magical dust and transform you into a prince or princess. Or, dine with Cinderella, Belle and all the other Disney princess’s at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
We were so lucky also to have such beautiful weather.
But it was only to get better as we were led to a private rose garden just opposite the castle. And believe it or not, we were greeted by a very very special character. Cinderella herself had met us in the rose garden! Pretty as a picture she was.
One of the highlights of having the VIP Disney tour guides is that there is little to no waiting for rides, which is unheard of at Walt Disney World. You all have fastpass+ so you manage to get lots of rides done within probably the time you are queuing without it. I once remember we queued for three hours for the Peter Pan ride back in 2004!
With time to spare before the Festival of Fantasy parade we stopped for lunch. We went to Gaston’s Tavern and had, I think the world’s largest cinnamon bun. I cannot describe to you how amazing this warm, dreamy cinnamon bun was. Alongside this swirl of cinnamon dough heaven I had LeFou’s Brew. It was a must whilst there, so rude not to.
Topped up on sugar, we went to the parade. A celebration of your favourite Disney music and characters dancing their way through the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to spot Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a huge hot-air balloon, Alice in Wonderland chasing after her rabbits and Maleficent on her fire-breathing dragon!
And the excitement just continued as we headed to the Town Square Theater where we were fortunate enough to meet the duo Minnie and Mickey in their celebration outfits. This is a once in a life-time opportunity as you do not often get to meet them both together so be sure to meet them before the 30th September.
Turning dark, we finished off the busy day at the Magic Kingdom with the most spectacular firework display above the castle. Happily Ever After is a dazzling journey of colour, light and music that bought me and many others to tears. There is nothing more special than this firework extravaganza. Simply memorizing. Take your 3D glasses too to see the secret Mickey’s!
I know what you are thinking… India you have not had sugar in a while are you feeling OK? I know my cinnamon bun was what only a few hours ago? But do not worry, America have us covered and we arrived home to a cake on our bed!! I could get used to this life easily.
Tomorrow – Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and of course, more sugar fueled treats!
Having surprisingly slept through-out the night, no jet-lag in our room, we woke up to alarms at 5:45 am. I know, unbelievably early but the group was meeting at 7am and we needed to be photo ready. The day was jam packed and we were so excited looking at our itinerary.
First stop was Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, for a breakfast with some very special characters. But before we left the Animal Kingdom Lodge we were introduced to our VIP Disney tour guides – a group of guides who would make our trip that extra special, not just through what they are able to do for you whilst you are at Disney but also their amazing personalities and Disney knowledge. You would not believe how much there is to know about the wonderful world of Disney. These guides spent the whole five days with us, taking us here, there and everywhere, joining us on rides and getting us straight on the rides (through the back exit anyone?), eating with us and also dropping us off to various parks in their cars. You are treated like a true VIP by these amazing guides who go above and beyond! With our group of 22, we had around six guides but you can also do this experience with smaller groups. When I spoke to our guides, Meghan, she said that she often has families who have returned to Disney World multiply times and request her and she says she has become like a member of the family and she now know how she can tailor the trip just how they would like it.
Anyway, they showed us to the cars and we drove to the Beach Club Resort, a New-England styled hotel right on the Crescent lake. The hotel interior was beautiful with plush pale blue arm chairs and white flowers. Did you know each Disney resort has its own designed smell? I mean, the attention to detail at Disney is just on another level!
Once we were sat the beach bash breakfast started and the coffee began to be poured and we all headed straight for the buffet. Mickey Mouse waffles, chocolate-chip pancakes, tots, eggs, crispy bacon – it was a true American style breakfast and it was bloody delicious, especially the Mickey waffles. Buffets always make you look at your plate and think, what a mix I have on my plate right now. I think I had waffles with banana caramel next to tots and stir-fried tofu? It is all about that sweet and salt mix is it not?
But it would not be Minnie’s beach bash without Minnie Mouse would it! She was dressed in a beach best and was joined by her friends, Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck. We got photos and autographs, of course.
Stuffed from breakfast, we went out into the sun and checked out the beach (!!) and the view of Hollywood Studios. From this hotel you can walk to Epcot and get a quick boat ride over to the Hollywood Studios, so is a central spot for attractions.
Fed, watered and photographed we were on to our next spot – the iconic Magic Kingdom. But I am going to keep you waiting until tomorrow!!
What an incredible trip I have recently had to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was truly MAGICAL! And yes, it deserves to be in capital letters because it was the most unbelievable week.
I have been to Walt Disney World before back in 2005 when I was only eight but I only remember a few things such as breakfast with Minnie and going on Splash Mountain and it being an amazing trip. However, going back as an adult, I found it so much more special. Previously we stayed in a villa just outside of Disney World but for this trip, I stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was so special. I mean it was a dream waking up in the morning, stepping out onto your balcony and spotting giraffes!!
Here are some gems from my previous trip to Walt Disney World. Look how young we look!! These beauties are scanned in from the Florida photo album ha ha.
My friend Jess took me on her trip and we had such a lovely time. We flew out of Gatwick airport last Monday at 11:40am. Both very excited we bounded into the airport early in the morning, met the others who were also on the trip and got all set for our 9-hour flight to Orlando!
The time flew by (literally), especially with good films and food. Afternoon tea miles high in the sky was a particular highlight for me, with Rodda’s clotted cream too… Virgin knows how to do a proper scone.
Once we had arrived at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we were greeted by Zoe and Dave – the amazing Disney PR’s that took care of us – in the grand lobby of the hotel with our magic bands and hotel packs. They took us to our rooms and that is when the excited screams began…
Towels, pillowcase, Minnie ears, personalised hats and tons of sweet goodies – Thank you, Mickey! We were completely spoilt from the word go. The room was wonderful, all African inspired with wooden interiors and quirky wallpaper with animals and mountains on.
It was quite late by the time we had reached the hotel and settled in but around 7pm we all met for dinner. The first meal was within a restaurant at the hotel called Jiko – the African cooking place. Food that was vibrant, spicy and packed full of flavours paired with South African wines set for a lovely evening.
To start, me and Jess shared the Inguday Tibs in Brik which was a samosa-like dish. Mushroom and spinach in a crispy Tunisian filo pastry with apple and curry vinaigrette. Following this for main I had the West African Koki Corn. Mushrooms and avocado on a poblano-tomatillo puree with roasted red pepper sauce matched with a smooth, rich red wine.
But jet-lag hit the group and everyone headed to bed as some stayed behind and had a slice of white chocolate cake – the first signs that I would not feel hunger for the next five days. Not long after we headed back to the room, excited for what was to come the next day when we were off for breakfast with the characters and a day in the Magic Kingdom!