Wednesday 4 December 2013

Gifts from the Pirates in Orlando - Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

When we came to Orlando last year we decided not to go to Disney which probably sounds like a strange decision to make when planning a vacation to the home of Mickey Mouse. Being such huge Marvel and Dr. Seuss fans though and trying to keep the cost of the holiday down after buying flex tickets for universal studios we thought it was the best idea. This time round though, thanks to Visit Orlando we were able to visit all of their parks as press and experience the amazingness of Orlando.

I guess if you are going to come to Orlando then it's something you just have to do. We've all seen and love enough of the films so we knew from the get go that it was going to be a great experience. Disney is so different to any of the other parks. As soon as you start getting close to the Disney area in Orlando the roads start getting busier, the car parks are heaving and there are people EVERYWHERE!! The place is HUGE and once your parked there is a shuttle to get you to your choice of transport to the actual park, that being either Ferry boat or Monorail. We chose the boat to get there and Seth insisted we travel back by monorail. I definitely prefered ferry but it was great experience both.

We picked up our tickets at the main desk and as with all the parks they gave Seth a 'happy birthday' badge. The holiday was booked to celebrate Seth's birthday after all. As you are walking through the park wearing a birthday badge literally every member of staff (the cast crew) says "Happy Birthday Seth" which is really great, I don't think you would get that in the Uk.

Magic kingdom is truly magical, the castle is beautiful (which Opeie recognised straight away from the start of many of his favourite movies), there are characters, colour and smiling faces everywhere you turn, it's such a happy place. Being so late in the year it was also great to see that the Christmas decorations had been going up and with giant wooden soldiers as soon as we entered the park it was all looking very festive.

After taking a few snaps of the area and some pictures in front of the castle we headed towards the frontierland the cowboy themed section of the park. We wanted to stick around that area for the parade. Seth had nothing but roller coasters on the brain so while him and Mrs M went on splash mountain, me and Opeie went on a boat ride, or the 'steamboat willie ride' as Opeie liked to call it (he loves that old Mickey cartoon).

By the time the boat had come full circle (roughly 20mins), our little Mickey fan was flat out, so we headed towards Mrs M and Seth who were still on the ride. They loved it and because of the parent swap tickets they have I was able to go on with Seth later in the day without queuing. Mrs M took our sleepy boy for a walk and myself and Seth went on the haunted house, I'm not sure that haunted is a fitting description, I've had scarier rashes in the past but Seth really loved it. It was soon parade time, which Mrs M was really excited about and I'll have to admit was really great. It gave us a chance to use the new lens again and because of it Mrs M got some great close up shots considering our distance. We took so many pictures of the parade that I will put up a post with just of shots in the next few days but here's a few for now.

The parade lasted about 15 minutes and had so many characters from the classic and newer disney movies. Opeie was screaming out the name of every character as they walked by, both boys were really excited which was so lovely to watch. The organisation of the Disney staff was amazing, they were right at the back of the parade taking the barriers down as they passed and before you knew it the streets were back to normal heaving with Disney fans.

Lunch time and we were all pretty hungry from the excitement, as none of the parks before this had been able to cater for our dietary needs we had again packed a lunch (it's probably handy to know that you can take your own food into the parks). Tummies filled and full of energy again we ventured to a different part of the park. RIDES!!!! Seth needed more rides so we devoted the rest of our time there to getting on as many rides as we could. Most of the rides had big queues but you can collect fast passes and come back at a certain time to cut down your waiting times, because of that and a very helpful member of staff explaining the Disney iPhone app which tells you queuing times so you know where to go next we managed to squeeze in quite a few rides.

Our friend Vikki had told Mrs M that she had always wanted to go on the 'it's a small world' ride so we thought we would go on to see what she was talking about. It's such a cute ride and I believe it's one of Disney worlds very first rides. The Peter Pan ride was great even if the first part of the ride which we thought had some broken track (until we took off and started flying) had me and Mrs M a little concerned. The ride has now kick started a new love of "pirate hook" with Opeie (very cute).

Magic kingdom was great because a big bulk of the rides were aimed at younger children and families, not the scary roller coasters that Seth was hoping for but they were both having the time of their lives. It was great that Opeie was enjoying himself. I was never really a fan of the little mermaid but the ride was amazing, the giant Ursula was fab and Mrs M was loving every minute of it.

In Orlando the sun is out one minute and next its dark, it happens so quick. Before we knew it it was dark and the Magic kingdom was lit up. Despite it being dark it was still quite early and we had plenty of time to squeeze things in. Me and Seth were itching to get on space mountain so we headed in that direction. While we went on Opeie concentrated on throwing some shapes with some Disney characters, he loves to dance. The boys then spent some of their holiday money on Toy Story toys which surprisingly even at Disney were considerably cheaper than toy shops in the UK.

One of our favourite parts of the day was the Monsters Inc Laugh floor, you sit in a room and Mike Wazowski comes on the big screen and talks to the crowd, picking people out and making fun of them using cameras in front of your seats. It was so funny and they kept picking on this one poor chap who was there with his family. It was so cleverly done (much like the Finding Nemo Crush attraction at Epcot, which I will write about soon).

Mrs M was really hoping to stay for the fireworks but as the boys were starting to get tired and because of some ill informed bad news earlier in the day from back home she just wanted to head back. The Night time parade started as we were leaving and it looked amazing but there were so many people there pushing and practically climbing on each other that it was probably a good idea that we were heading back. One of the security staff was having problems getting people to move and it was a little dangerous for the boys. It was an amazing day out and it made me wish we had been last year too. There is so much to do at the parks that if we come again there's still lots of things we hadn't done.

I can't recommend Disney's magical kingdom enough its by far the best of all of Disney's parks and will have your children (and probably yourself) completely in awe!

To view more pictures from the parade Click here!

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