My First Ever Visit to Disney

This is a guest blog, written by Vince my sister’s boyfriend. He came with us to Orlando on his first ever trip in February this year
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Cinderella’s Castle

At 22, my first ever Disney encounter was to take place on Tuesday 7th February 2017 starting bright and early at 7am to get ready for a 7:45am departure. My girlfriend, her 2 sisters and her eldest sister’s boyfriend and I were Magic Kingdom bound very early in the morning because we had a dining reservation at Be Our Guest!

The main idea behind this was to allow us to get into the park earlier than people with general admission would be allowed. That is what I was told and I was really going on the advice of my girlfriend’s family who are very knowledgeable about the Disney parks having been a few times before. However, having said this, it was everyone’s first time dining at Be Our Guest for breakfast so it was set to be an exciting experience.
On the way to the park I wasn’t sure what the park would really be like and how much I’d enjoy it as it was my first visit (and I had a first visit badge to go with that too). Getting into the park, we got great parking right near the entrance (something to do with getting there at 7am!) near to the mono-rail and transport boat which was great! As the boat was the only form of transportation running at that time of the morning, we hopped onto that for a short ride to the entrance gates of the Magic Kingdom where things started to get exciting!
You have to assign your fingerprint against your ticket when you first get in and then we went straight to the entrance but because we arrived just before 8:30, we weren’t allowed in the park just yet so we queued up waiting to get in. Though, we were a bit sneaky and stood at the right side of the entrance where hardly anyone was standing and this meant that when we were given the magical signal to go in, we charged in. I know that at this point my girlfriend and I charged straight to main street USA to get a pic of us with hardly anyone there! At first I thought it was great but then I realised how great it really was about 5mins later when swarms of people started to pile down the street!
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Be Our Guest – Ballroom
From there we all went to find The Beast’s castle. Upon locating the beast’s castle, we handed over payment at the entrance for our meals which was $15 each for my girlfriend and I for a sandwich, drinks and a huge spread of pastries. I have to say I was really taken back with how detailed the beast’s castle was and how much you actually felt like you were in the castle from the movie. I have watched the classic film since and I just look back and think of how much of an amazing experience it was. You can choose wherever you want to sit once you get in which is great especially because we had to add someone onto our booking last minute. The west wing was an area you could have sat in and that was a real highlight for me because it was so well done through the thunder and lightning effects and the iconic rose in the glass cover.
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A magical meeting with Minnie

You can say that this is really where the magic started. Having finished our breakfast (and boy were we full), we went into the park and decided to start queueing for the 7 dwarf mine train ride which you can hardly ever get a Fast Pass for. I was amazed that there was a queue at this point when the park hadn’t even opened (it was about 8:50 at this point) but my girlfriend was very confident that we’d be on the ride within 5 minutes! And lo and behold, we were on the ride in no time whatsoever – within 5 mins. I have to say, it was such a fun ride! It had some decent drops but it was so so well done. There was a point in the ride where you go through the mines and it slows down for you to say hi to dopey and the other 6 dwarfs singing ‘hi ho it’s off to work I go’ which was brilliant! By the time we got off it was a 70 minute wait so Be Our Guest was really worth it for that.

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Selfie with Dale

Throughout the day we went on various rides such as the Barnstormer, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and got to meet characters (there may or may not have been unconfirmed  sightings of flirting with Minnie but I maintain it was all her!) and we had hours and hours of fun before the parade and the show in front of the castle. The parade was around 3pm and it was great to see the characters up close! My girlfriend even got a selfie with Dale (at least I think it’s Dale). We proceeded to have dinner and then did one or two more rides before the illumination and fireworks show which marked the end of a 13 hour day – one incredible experience I’ll never forget and what I’ve mentioned doesn’t even cover it all and don’t even think it does the park justice.

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My Test Track Creation

Fast forward to Friday of that week and I was lucky enough to have a second opportunity to try out another Disney park but this time it would be Epcot. Like the Magic Kingdom, it’s got an iconic feature – the giant golf ball. We got there in good time on the Friday but didn’t need to be up as early this time. We all decided to fast pass this really fun ride called Test Track where you go in, design the car of your dreams based on factors such as speed, efficiency etc. and then get to jump into a prototype of that car where it gets put to the test! It’s so much fun when you get in and great to see how your car did compared to other people. You just have to do this ride! I believe after this we went to go and queue to see Mickey and friends which was great, Goofy is such a cheeky guy and having met him twice by this point I think he was my favourite character to meet cause you could never quite predict what he was going to do.

From here we went on Living with the Land which involved going through the Greenhouses in Epcot. All the vast amount of food grown here is used in restaurants on Disney property. The rest of the day was a bit more relaxed walking round the lake and visiting the different parts of the world which were really well done! My favourite places to visit were Mexico and Morocco. Mexico was great because I just thought it was so well done! The inside of the Aztec pyramid was so cool and they have a little hidden ride that goes past the restaurant inside (which looks like it would be really cool to dine at). I loved Morocco because my girlfriend and I have been to Marrakesh before and we thought it really felt like we were back there – the attention to detail was amazing really.
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Italy Pavilion

Continuing along our walk around the lake, we passed Norway which had the Frozen ride. We had heard a lot about the frozen ride (mainly about the long queue times) and thought we’d have a go at getting on it. However, the ride shut down all of a sudden at about 1pm with no sign of re-opening so we thought that our opportunity to go on it was gone! Thankfully though, we happened to be walking past it again when we noticed that it had suddenly re-opened again. We gathered everyone and raced to get onto the ride with hardly any wait. It was such a fantastic ride and really was a little hidden gem. We honestly didn’t think it would be anything special but it was very good. Olaf, Sven, Elsa and more made an appearance either singing or talking and we all loved every minute of it. Once we got off it we continued round the lake enjoying some Italian gelato and then headed home before returning later for the fireworks. The fireworks were great despite the long dragged out start and my overall experience at Epcot was amazing.

My first Disney visit was nothing short of magical and as you’d expect, Magic Kingdom is the most magical of them all!
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