Hello, hello, hello! It’s been so long but I’m finally back and have started writing my Disney & Universal Dairy – this being my first entry. I was super fortunate and spent two weeks across June & July in Orlando, Florida exploring both Disney and Universal Studios with my boyfriend (or should I say… Wait till Day 2!) and his wonderful family. Our very first day was simply travelling and settling in so I decided not to write about that as it wasn’t quite so interesting – I am however going to be posting a ‘travel tips’ post at a later date – and I am instead starting here, on the first full day, at the incredible Magic Kingdom.
Our first stop was having Breakfast at ‘Be Our Guest‘ restaurant in the Beasts enchanted castle. This is situated some way into the park which allowed us to have a lovely wander through the streets, entirely absorbing the magic, and giving us the opportunity to find our bearings a little. Be Our Guest is a unique restaurant as it is sit-down dining but allows the ‘Quick Service’ dining plan to be taken for Breakfast or Lunch (I will explain more about this in later blog posts and link back for your convenience) – we, therefore, jumped at the chance to have a special breakfast as it was our first day and it did not disappoint. The dining room is utterly beautiful with a huge chandelier on a decorative ceiling and tables lined with table runners. Prior to your arrival, you have the opportunity to choose your breakfast from 7 options; I chose ‘Feast A La Gaston’ which consisted of scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, bacon and sausages with a side of fresh fruit and selection of pastries. It certainly lived up to its name and tasted so good – a perfect way to set up for the long day ahead!
Following this, it was time for our first ride and we decided to go full steam ahead and go on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! It was advertised as ‘small drops’ but I’m going to be real – it was intense AF but I’m super glad I did it (this is a real holiday of accepting pain for worthwhile memories!). After this, we had some time before our Fast Pass so we decided to visit Tom Sawyer Island! We took a boat trip over to the island where you could wander around and have a sit-down and enjoy the scenery of the island which was amazing and a wonderful opportunity to cool down a little!
Jungle Cruise was our first fast pass! This was a boat journey around ‘the most exotic and exciting rivers across Asia, Africa and South America’. I absolutely adored this and our cast member host was absolutely hilarious which just made the experience even better. We then had to dash to our next fast pass – Haunted Mansion – and this was most definitely my favourite ride of the day! I was super nervous as I did wonder if it would be more of a ‘thrill ride’ with drops and things but it was super slow and chilled out but interesting and cool! It is a tour of a haunted estate in the dark with an awesome plot and such good special effects – it was a ride all the family loved and I definitely recommend getting a fast pass for it as the queues get pretty popular.
Before going on our trip I wrote an itinerary as we were all desperate to ensure we saw all the shows so it was now time to find a spot for the Festival of Fantasy parade! By luck would have it we got a spot right at the beginning which was absolutely incredible and meant we were waiting as long in the heat! The Festival of Fantasy parade showcases an assortment of the characters within Disney films with music and dancing! The song has remained in my head ever since and I can’t stop watching filmings of it on Youtube – if you do go I would definitely mark this as a priority!
It was a super hot day so watching the parade had exhausted us all so we decided to head to Torgua Tavern for some cooling drinks and a bit of a rest. Once we’d all hydrated, topped up suncream and rested our feet we realised we had a fair amount of time to kill until our next ride! Previously in the day, we’d spotted a Christmas Shop (Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe) and one of my holiday goals was to find a Tinkerbell decoration so I dragged everyone there. It was utterly beautiful and had the cutest decorations – Erin and I definitely fancy a Disney Christmas Tree when we’re older. We also got caught in the Presidents Muppet Show at Liberty Square on the way back and it was truly lovely. I hated the muppets when I was younger (anyone else find them super creepy?) but now I think it’s really cute and I’m excited to watch the Muppets Christmas Carol again this Christmas.
Pirates of the Carribean is an awesome ride and we were so lucky to go on it next. It’s a small drop ride in the dark and I adore the films so it was just plain awesome! It was definitely a highlight for us all and I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to the Magic Kingdom. We then had our final fast pass of the day – Splash Mountain! From the outside, it just looks like one way up and large drop but it’s so much more! I don’t want to give any spoilers but it was hilarious and awesome. The drop hurt, I’m not going to lie, but it was honestly an incredible ride and I’m so proud of myself for doing it despite the absolute fear.
As it was our first day we wanted to watch the evening firework show which meant we had a little bit of time to kill. We hadn’t had the opportunity to visit Tomorrowland yet in the day – there is so much to do! – so we headed there to have a look around, see if we wanted to do any of the rides on our return day and to have our dinner at The Lunching Pad. A little reminder: chips in the USA mean crisps – we were all disappointed by not getting french fries. Following our meal, we headed to the Philhar Magic Concert experience. In total honesty, I thought it would be a childish, somewhat boring screening but it was so much more! It was essentially a 4D cinema experience and the plot and storyline and experience was just incredible. We all enjoyed it and it was perfect for killing time and cooling down – it also doesn’t usually have too long a wait so could be super helpful when a little downpour strikes.
It was then time to get ready for the firework show. We headed to Main Street for some shopping and made sure to get a Starbucks – the caffeine was most definitely needed by this point in the day. Then it was the firework show. And I honestly don’t even know how to explain how good it was! It was beautiful. The storyline, the music, the narration and everything made me sob (however hard I tried to stop and hide it!). The message was beautiful. I’ve heard from so many people the Happily Ever After is better than the previous firework show and I just feel so lucky to have seen it. I know a lot of people think it’s ‘just a firework show’ but it is so much more – definitely, definitely go even if you have to have a nap beforehand!
That was all for the day (I say that as though it wasn’t super mad busy) but it was just amazing and the best way to kick off the holiday.