Thursday, August 22

Florida: Disney's Magic Kingdom

It is time for the finale.
I've saved the best of my Florida posts for last.
Florida is famous for one thing, and Orlando in particular. I didn't fly eight and a half hours across the pond to not see Mickey Mouse, ride some incredible roller coasters, and "believe in my dreams" to quote the brilliant Walt Disney.

Yes folks, today is the day that magic & dreams become reality. If you want to be a princess, you can be one. You can defy all of the evils which surround every day life, forget your woes, and regardless of your age, be a five year old once more.
In total we visited three of the Disney parks, but this very special park was the one that I have cherished memories of as a child & want to share with you all.

This is Disney's wonderous Magic Kingdom.

I was giddy. A five year old once more.
Having bought our tickets, (of course I made sure that I got the Mickey Mouse card), I skipped down to the pier with the merriest of steps.
The Magic Kingdom is the centre of Disney, and what better way to arrive at Cinderella Castle than a ferry boat?

Slowly... The towering spirals of this fairy tale castle blurr into focus.

We disembarked from the old paddle steamers, the four of us dying to get inside, and bounced hand in hand along the Disney stoned pavements.

Inside, their old American vintage theme runs throughout the park centre. Old hall buildings, vintage cars and barbershop quartets serenade you as you pass.

Of course, my brother Ben and I couldn't resist taking some photos in front of Cinderella's Castle! We have a couple of shots at this exact location from each of our past seven visits and breaking tradition is certainly not our style!

But there is a reason Disney is known as the happiest place on earth as: (shocker) it truly is.
Everyone is smiling, children are beaming from ear to ear, and the staff are as warm and friendly as possible. Misery guts, life's problems, and reality get left on the other side of the lake.
The Magic Kingdom is a place of dreams and wishes, a day to enjoy and have some peace of mind with some re-injected youthful innocence!

We arrived early to avoid all of the crowds & in order to carry on with our Disney family holiday traditions, we chose the Crystal Palace for breakfast. This iron clad and glass building overlooks onto the castle & river whilst offering a mind blowing buffet with a twist.

Fresh tropical fruit, crunchy cinnamon granola, and Mickey Mouse waffles were only the start of this all-you-can-eat buffet as we happily devoured every last bite.
Bacon, potatoes, the classic full English, eggs (any style), croissants & of course pastries were only just the beginning!

There was even this breakfast option on offer:

Literally a heart attack on a plate, (even though it did taste incredible!)
Only in America would you find a plate like this!

But this was no ordianary breakfast as we were not dining alone. Every day a different range of Disney characters slowly make their way around the restaurant to spend a few minutes with each table and wow every awe struck child.
Guess who we met?!

Some very special friends to say the least! They were chirpy, bright, and gave a hug all around regardless of age. The food might not have been jaw dropping, but it was the characters and the experience itself which made it a fond memory to cherish once again.

As we emerged from breakfast the Disney princesses were waltzing under Cinderella's own castle, so we headed on to "Adventureland" in order to avoid the crowds of tiny tots stunned by the show.

Adventureland features the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdin's magic carpet ride, and my personal favourite: a water boat safari!

You tootle along in the tiny motor boats, oohhhing and ahhhing at the man made sights along the way.

This is one of Disney's oldest features at the park, but I still love their attention to detail and creativeness within each ride.
But it was the driver himself who made it a cracking ten minute tour, his dry sense of humour meant that he took the mick out of himself quite a lot and this had the adults wetting themselves with laughter too!
(e.g. In the most monotone and slowest of voices, "Don't place any hands outside of the boat before we set off, otherwise there is some serious risk of 'pier' pressure." Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road is a classic Disney ride! Its wild and twisting rogue train thunders around the track and echoes for miles around. You can easily hear the cries of adrenaline before the track even appears in eye sight!

Splash Mountain is the one and only choice for any thrill rider prepared to be soaked. Not just wet, but soaked!!
It seems all happy and peppy with its cute log flume design and bunny rabbit hosts, but then... You get the soaking wet, adrenaline pumped drop of your life!

And of course, all of the passers by giggle in delight at your stunned and soaking faces!

After exploring around 'Fantasyland' and hitting up a few of the rides, my Dad wisely suggested that we picked up a couple of ice creams to keep us going until dinner. Great minds think alike after all!

I smugly munched ever last bite of my delightful little tub whilst being very jealous of each little princess which passed right on by.
I might by 19 years old, but I still want a Disney princess gown...

Whilst we wandered around the park, waiting for the ultimate finale to this truly epic day, we managed to survive the rain in England Rugby ponchos...

Meet a character or two along the way...

And even make one or two new cuddly friends to snuggle up to on the plane home.

But finally, our day in a fairy tale was ending. The sun had gone down, and the lights were blazing bright on Main Street.

However, we couldn't go home quite just yet.
The finale was still to come! It is the memory above all that I cherish from my child hood visits.
Sitting, eager faced, balloon and hot chocolate in hand, on top of my father's shoulders as I cling onto his cap for support. I'm straining my neck like a turtle in order to see above the crowds of people that have gathered directly in front of me.
Then, out of no where, the lights of Main Street all go black...

...And the start of the evening spectacle begins!
First up, the light show parade!

All of your classic Disney characters waltz by in the most extravagant of colours and under the brightest of lights to the charming twinkle of elegant tunes.
For a child, this is like Christmas times 1000.
To an adult, it is a realisation that yes, you can still have dreams. You might be living in reality, but you can still wish upon a star in vain hope!

So needless to say the parade was epic.
I sat on the pavement curb the whole time with my jaw beside my feet, but this was topped.
I know exactly what you are thinking... How on earth can a parade at Disney world, including all of the characters and bright, wondrous lights be topped?!

The answer?

(Whilst Disney tunes subtly fill your ears in time with each pop and bang.)

Oh, Disney World.
When I was a child you were like a miracle that I could have not possibly imagined. I'm not going to lie- I was a little bit worried that as an adult it wouldn't be the same and that the precious magic would be gone.
And it was different, I could fully appreciate their attention to detail, the look of delight on each child's face, and the world which Disney has created.
Everyone should visit Disney at least once in their lives, if not for their children, but for themselves. It is an experience in itself that just cannot be replicated.
I doubt that I'll return again until I have a family of my own (which is freaking me out a bit to be honest!), but I'm looking forward to seeing it once again in a different light.
Regardless of your age, everyone needs some magic in their lives, even if it is only for a day.
And here Walt Disney has created just that, a bubble of magic:

"Here you leave today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy"



  1. Wow this looks like an incredible holiday :) I'm so jealous!
    The picture of your brother hugging Piglet is the best haha and I love the pictures of you with Eeyore and Pooh Bear! What an amazing time you had :) and you look lovely!
    So glad I found your blog and looking forwarding to avidly following and reading :)
    Please keep in touch!
    Andrea xxxx

    1. I know, a nearly 21 year old boy embracing Piglet was something pretty special!
      Aww thanks Andrea! Hope you stick around, i'll have a look at your blog too :) xx

  2. I LOVE Disney! I went to Florida two years ago and was so excited to be back at the Magic Kingdom...maybe more so than some of the small children when I spotted Mickey...I would like to say I was embarrassed but I just love it too much! I've never had the Mickey waffles though!

    1. Its so magical isn't it?! Truly a bubble of happiness that is infectious to say the least! xx

  3. I really want to go to Disney Land!!! I may be 21 and thinking about families of my own and have rent to pay and have a serious 'grown up' job... I don't care. Can I just be a Disney Princess instead?!

    Katie <3

    1. Oh Katie please do! That is the beauty of it, you could be 30 and be a princess for a day & no one would even flutter their eye lashes in disbelief!
      Cinderella for you?? x

  4. Your photos are so beautiful Emily!
    Looks like a truly fantastic trip to Florida with your family.
    And.... my god, that breakfast. I've only just finished my lunch but that granola has got me hungry all over again. Your blog is certainly one of the best for food porn!
    Hope you're looking forward to heading back to Leeds for second year.
    I'm counting the seconds until I'm back in Newcastle!
    Love Isabella x
    Isabella Mozzarella

    1. Thanks Isabella! I'm having serious withdrawal symptoms back in rainy old England!
      Oh my gosh, literally counting down the days. I can't wait to be back and settle in to my new house!
      Good luck for Newcastle, the next year is going to be epic! xx

  5. Disney is THE BEST! I went once when I was 25, now I have a little toddler and I can't wait until he's old enough to take him with my hubby!

    Great pics! New follower!


    1. Aww the first Disney trip... That is going to be an incredible memory! Character breakfast is a must, enjoy :) x

  6. I just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it! I love these pictures and I want to go to Disney World now! I've never been but hopefully I'll make it eventually :)

    1. Aww thanks Emily, hope you stick around :)
      Pleaseeeee go!!! I promise it won't disappoint! xx

  7. I am sure you get this question all the time so I'm really sorry, but what camera do you use? Your pictures are amazing - I'm borrowing my friend's really good £700 camera but it's huge and the lens is huge so I am just reluctant to take it anywhere - I wondered if you used a little, easy to fit in your handbag, number? (p.s. I do a little song number if you fancy dropping my blog for a gander - it's not amazing but it's a good song!)

    1. Truthfully, I use an Olympus. But a camera only goes so far. You could have a £1000 camera but the photos could come out completely different when used by two other people. Try just playing around alot with zooms etc. and scenes. It takes a bit of practise but you'll figure out what works/doesn't.
      Happy shooting :) xx

  8. This post made me smile from ear to ear! And now I really want to visit Disneyland, I've never been to any of them before!

  9. Ahh this has made me so nostalgic!! I haven't been to disney in years and years and I still remember some of these places you showed! it really is a magical place isnt it?! I would love to go again.

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }


    1. Unbelievably magical!!! I want to go back already too! xx

  10. I was hoping you were going to do a post on Disney world since you are in Orlando! It looks like Disneyland on steroids haha it's so magical that you have to take a ferry to get to the castle. Where is your red purse from? I adore it!

    A Golden State of Mind

    1. Oh I couldn't miss out Disney World in Orlando! We actually went to a few of the parks and did the Kennedy Space Centre too (which was beyond incredible!!)
      I ended up picking the Magic Kingdom alone as I 1. Didn't want to ruin the surprise for everyone, and 2. It alone stood out to me as the ultimate Florida experience!

      Oh thanks! It's from Topshop :) xx

  11. Oh gosh I wish I was there! Great shots, and some gorgeous family pictures too :)



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