Having not visited a Disney park since I was a teeny little whipper snapper around 5 years old, you can’t even begin to imagine my excitement to go back and experience the magic as a ‘grown up’, and even better- to be able to experience it all through my three year old sons eyes too.
I mean, somewhere I get to wear Minnie Mouse ears as part of my outfit every day? Yes please!
So, with my 5 year-old-esq braids and outfit complete with the iconic ears, I was raring to go!
The boys and I packed up our summer glad rags and happily bid goodbye to a very wet, gloomy and rainy London, and said HELLO to the beautiful Florida heat, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and leafy palm trees.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort was just my cup of tea, pastel coloured buildings, a quaint 50’s style boardwalk packed with shops, restaurants and ice-cream parlours, what more could you want?
After we had explored and settled into Disney’s Beach Club Resort, which was like a little town in itself, we thought it was about time we hit the parks.
With 4 theme parks and 2 water parks to choose from, I pretty much insisted that our first stop in the morning simply had to be the famous Magic Kingdom.
Let me tell you now there’s something incredibly special about seeing Cinderella Castle for the first time in real life, it really is as amazing as all the photos you’ve probably seen scattered through Instagram, it took my breath away.
The parade was probably one of my favourite parts of our whole trip, it was just so impressive, I’ve never seen anything like it! The funny thing is, it actually made me feel a little bit emotional seeing some of the characters I loved so much as a little girl, and I wasn’t expecting that at all. It seems I was suddenly overcome with the intense love I once had for Woody as a seven year old. I think that’s all part of the Magic Kingdom’s charm, it can really bring your childhood memories back to you.
Next on the agenda, and probably my personal favourite of all the parks, was Disney’s Hollywood Studios…
I’ve gotta’ say, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was definitely my favourite park, it was just so darn cool with it’s 50’s architecture and diners. The streets are peppered with Florida’s iconic palm trees which made it totally Instagramable, and they even have a march of Storm Troopers each day, cool or what?! I think my personal highlight for the whole trip (& possibly one of the highlights of my life!) was meeting Chewie, and getting the worlds cosiest cuddle! He was just as you’d imagine, and Grayson adored him too- I knew he would. In fact, he’s still saying to me now, ‘Mama, I was to cuddle Chewie, I wish he lived at our house’, and if I’m honest, I do too!
I’m not going to even pretend that I didn’t get excited when we turned the corner from the English pub in Epcot, and saw Mary Poppins herself wandering through the street.
Rides and characters really are just the tip of the iceberg at Walt Disney World, there was SO much to do with a toddler in tow; from swimming, shows, and shopping. Yes, granted you have your fair share of children running around but we discovered there’s so much going on for adults too. We visited Disney Springs a few times where their was plenty of shopping to be done- think Anthropologie, Kate Spade and Zara- some of my favourite shops, very dangerous!
There was even a little pop-up outdoor cinema each evening at our resort, which was the most adorable thing, families all snuggled up with jumpers and blankets, kids chomping on popcorn. It was like something from a movie scene in itself.
When we weren’t shopping or at one of the parks, we could be found in the lazy river by the kids pool, which by the way happens to be the most amazing kids pool complete with a faux beach and everything!
By early evening each night, little Grayson was so worn out from the days adventures, that he’d fall asleep almost instantly- dreaming of Mickey no doubt and what tomorrow might hold.
Weather you’re a Walt Disney World fan or not, I think there really is something so special about the atmosphere here, you can’t help but get swept up into it all too. You feel like an overexcited child again; perhaps this is the reason why SO many people end up going back each year! You really are never to old for DisneyWorld! Myself, well, I was kind of glum to hang up my Minnie ears and retire back to normal adult life!
P.S. Before I go, I’ll let you in on a couple of my top tip for a Walt Disney World trip if you’re planning one yourself:
- Make sure you pack some comfy pumps or trainers, as you’ll definitely be doing a lot of walking!
- For anyone traveling with babies or toddlers – Disney actually sell umbrella travel prams, so no need to cart your own all the way to America- you can just pick one up in the hotel, handy, huh?
*Thank you very much to the lovely people over at Disney and Visit Florida for having us!