My Day at Disney Orlando (aka a Childhood Dream Come True)

It was when Elsa from Frozen ran up the stairs of Cinderella’s Castle, singing for us to ‘Let it Go’ that the Disney magic you hear so much about hit me. It hit me hard. She was SO good. Totes emoshe.

Emily and I had just come from the futuristic ‘Tomorrowland Park’ – splashing the cash on some Star Wars merch – when we saw Mickey and Minnie prancing around on stage. Getting wearier by the minute from a busy day, and  a hectic week in Martin County, we decided to stay around and see what they were up to. The background of the iconic Cinderella’s castle and the blue skies made it seem like we really should.

We stood there, sipping out coke from our BB-8 drinks holders and dancing in the sun to Rapunzel and the crew, and that’s when I heard it – a bar of music from the ‘First Time in Forever’ coming over the sound system.

Day at Disney Orlando

‘They’re commmming!’ I excitedly poked Emily in the ribs. ‘It’s Elsa and Ana!’.

Disney Orlando

Just like all those little kids in the park, dressed in their Frozen princesses dresses queueing for hours for an autograph and photo, I was now bursting with excitement at the imminent possibility I was going to see Ana and Elsa, for real. Except, I’m 33, and I knew it wasn’t them, but you don’t go to Disney to be cynical and realistic, do you?

Out Olaf popped on stage and I knew they wouldn’t be far behind.

Magical. Look at them!

And that was the finale of the Mickey and Friends show – had to go on the Pirates of the Carribean ride straight after to calm down.

Disney Orlando Mickey Mouse

If you need to get the bus from New York City to Orlando check out the prices here.

My Day at Disney

Emily and I had already had a great day at Disney up until that point, but that was definitely the peak.

We had a flight to get that evening so we’d had five hours to have ‘the best Disney experience ever’, and get the most from our (£80!) entrance fee. The plan to get there for the 9am ‘Welcome Show’ failed with a few wrong turns in the car around Orlando and a misunderstanding of quite HOW BIG the complex is. It was at least a 20-minute journey from the car park to the entrance, and this was low season.

THIS is well-known as one of the best theme parks in Florida and we were determined to make the most of it.

From thinking we’d be there in plenty of time for a coffee, we actually arrived at 9:15 and found out the welcome show was actually at 8:55am anyways. Ah well.

Day at Disney Orlando

First stop: Space Mountain – the iconic ride of the park. After a 40-minute queue I screamed my way round the twists and turns in the dark. Always makes theme park rides more fun whether you’re actually scared or not. The wait was worth it though, seeing as that’s when we figured out that with the entrance ticket we got three Fast Passes for a trio of rides of our choice.

Trouble was, you could book a few months in advance and so all the good rides were gone. All those eager beavers who’ve been planning their trips for months, rather than just finding themselves in the vicinity and booking the day before, had got the Thunder Mountains of the Disney World, while all that was left was the kiddie rides for us.

I strongly recommend you read this post on the best free things to do at Disney World so you’re better prepared than me for the park.

Disney Orlando

We ended up with Fast Passes to The Little Mermaid ride, It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, along with all the tiny children. Still, saved us time though and I enjoyed them all, especially the Little Mermaid one.

Queue times for the other rides we wanted – Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain – were over an hour, so no. Not this time. I’d much rather go and watch people in costumes sing Disney songs on stage. Oh hi Elsa.

For advice on how to actually plan a Disney World Vacation, check out this post from 2TravelDads.

Disney Orlando Small World

For lunch, we’d spotted people walking around munching on turkey legs, which apparently is a ‘thing’ at Disney. We almost joined them before realising how ridiculously huge and uncouth they were and opting for a hot dog instead. Much classier (and cheaper).

Lilo and Stitch at Orlando

I was amazed at how expensive everything at Disney was. I looked at presents for me friend’s children, and just couldn’t do it to my bank account.

Really wanted some of those Minnie Mouse ears you see everyone at Disney with these days, but after realising they were about $30 a pop I decided against it and went for a $5 Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream instead. Of course, obligatory castle photo followed. See pic number one.

Day at Disney Orlando

As well as the rides, the hot dogs, the shows and the queues, we also spent a good amount of our 5 hours at Disney watching the Street Party Parade. I was this ^ close to the Genie and Woody from Toy Story. So good. For some reason I was nervous to ask for a selfie – yeah, I don’t know either.

Emily had some ridiculous Instagram Stories of me dancing behind Woody, which have thankfully disappeared now, but I was having a great time.

Disney Land Orlando

We left Disney so tired (how do people go for a week?!) but happy we’d made the effort to make the most of our day before the flight. And I was genuinely still buzzing from the show at Cinderella’s Castle. We blasted out Let it Go on the car stereo as we drove to Orlando Airport, both of us belting it out. No shame.

I must’ve been about 12 when my High School bezza went with her family to Disney, I was SICK with jealousy. SICK. Ever since then, despite the fact I’ve kinda grown up, it’s been a little out-of-character travel dream for me. And finally, it came true.

Yeah that last line was as cheesy as the Magic Kingdom itself. Love it.

And if you want to read about the other Orlando behemoth that is Universal Studios, in Florida, check out this Universal Studios Guide for Adults from


  1. I think the whole thing of booking Fastpass in advance has killed off any chance of a perfect impulsive visit. Last time I went, we were booked in advance and still managed to miss out on some of the rides!

    1. Yeah, seems like you have to be super organised to make the most out of a trip to Disney. I guess that helps with the build up and getting excited for the trip but yeah, definitely ruins it for any last minute people like us.
      Ah well, I’ll know for next time. If there is one!

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