Orlando, Florida: Walt Disney World

September 09, 2016

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


A MAGIC KINGDOM OF DREAMS & WISHES: WALT DISNEY WORLD ORLANDO

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The year is 2003, the setting is a career fair in Kuala Lumpur where hordes of overwhelmed 17 year olds chaperoned by their pushy parents are seeking out their post-high school paths. The boys are awkwardly hovering around the aviation booth and the girls are wistfully glancing over at the fashion schools  before being escorted away to law, engineering, and finance. Meanwhile, a girl named Jasiminne (who was once so enchanted by Peter Pan that she tried to change her name to Wendy) is desperately seeking 'Singing, dancing princesses wanted for Disneyland. No previous experience needed: just faith, trust, and pixie dust!' while belting: "Wandering free, wish I could be, part of that woooooorld!" It's no secret that this Lost Girl is a huge Disney fan - as you may have gathered from Instagram Stories of me removing my makeup to the tune of Reflection, my propensity to sing "Little town, full of little people, every day like the one befoooore" while skipping down the high street, and my #DISNEYPRINCESSAUDITIONS in which I a) lip sync with terrifying accuracy, b) sing my remix of 'Part Of That World' in CHANEL, and c) joyously trill 'Happy Working Song' to a bemused pug.

Naturally, no reputable upper middle-class Overseas Chinese family would allow their eldest daughter to eke out a living pretending to be Belle (let's be real, I'd only ever be cast as Mulan). So my parents placated me by taking me to Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo DisneyLand and Tokyo DisneySea. But who cares? No big deal. I want mooooore! Exhausted by jaded, hectic New York, Luxy and I hopped on a magic carpet (really a United Airlines flight) to Orlando, Florida for some much-needed fuzzy feels. 

And there were so many feels. Between chatting to all the Disney Princesses like old friends ("Princess Anna! When will you and Kristoff be getting married?" "Princess Cinderella! I adore your heels, are they Manolo Blahnik?" "Princess Ariel, what's your favourite thingamabob?"), getting fresh with Mickey (watch out, Minnie's watching!), and actually crying during the Wishes fireworks show at midnight, visiting Walt Disney World felt like my homecoming. I dare even the most hardened of hearts to visit Walt Disney World and not be moved by this warm, comforting world nor to not believe in magic. And to think "that it was all started by a mouse".

SUPPORTED BUT NOT SPONSORED BY WALT DISNEY WORLD
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ME, EXCEPT PHOTOS OF MYSELF BY LUXY AND PRESS PHOTOS 34, 35, & 41 

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Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.



The entrance to The Magic Kingdom
One of the many attractions on Main Street
Splash Mountain - thankfully not as terrifying as we built it up to be!
The Pirates of The Caribbean ride which inspired the movies
Princess Anna and Queen Elsa's Royal Sommerhus at Epcot
Gaston's Tavern. Their ham and cheese pastry is really tasty! Noone eats like Gaston...
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.



The princesses never, ever break character. For a child, meeting these royal lovelies is a dream come true as their beloved characters come to life. For an adult who knows all the Disney trivia and song lyrics, this makes for interesting conversation. Example: "Oh these, Princess Ariel?" *points at Dior sunglasses* "These gadgets (or gizmos) are to shield my eyes for when I walk, for when I run, for when I stay all day in the sun..."


Discussing all things footwear with Cinderella.
She loves a good heel, but it's all right for her because her Uber is a magic carriage.
Princess Tiana is so sassy: "Come here honey, you're not too cool for me are you?"
Discussing care for long hair with Rapunzel: "You just have to brush and brush your hair!"
Oh my gosh, Princess Anna is so cute I just want to eat her up!








"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are..."
Evocative, emotional, and gut-wrenching...is this the greatest show on earth?
Thousands of dreamers and wish-makers seem to think so.

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


WALT DISNEY WORLD, ORLANDO - HELPFUL FACTS TO KNOW

The characters are spread across different parks - Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Goofy are in Epcot; while most of the Disney Princesses can be found in The Magic Kingdom.

The Main Street Electrical Parade will be ending its run on October 9, 2016 so you have a month to catch this iconic light show. If you can't make it to Walt Disney World Orlando by then, never fear - the parade will return for limited encores.

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular starts around midnight, shortly after the Electrical Parade. This heart string-tugging, goosebump-inducing, tears-stirring firework show is simply unmissable: narrated by Jiminy Cricket and the Genie with appearances by Tinkerbell and the Blue Fairy, it features a gorgeous medley of Disney's most beloved tunes and Star Light, Star Bright.

The queue for the rides and meet & greets are nothing short of epic. Download the app and make the most of FastPass+ - book your sessions (up to 3 when you first enter the park, and then a new FastPass+ session as soon as you use up one) and use the time in between to explore the parks.

There is a lot of walking, naturally - leave the glass slippers at home and opt for flats or trainers. 

You could stay at one of the 25 resort hotels. Luxy and I stayed at The Hilton Lakeside Buena Vista which is only a short taxi ride away. Most of the many nearby hotels offer a free shuttle service to Walt Disney World. 

Walt Disney World has its own fire department (smart move, given their arsenal of pyrotechnics) and no planes are allowed to fly over the parks, which gives you an idea of how powerful Mickey Mouse is. He might as well be mayor of Lake Buena Vista.

The Florida heat and humidity can be punishing. 
Stay hydrated and keep cool with a handheld mist fan - they're sold everywhere in Walt Disney World.

British Airways fly direct from London to Orlando from £600.
Disneyland Resort hotels start at $259 per night (excluding tax).
Tickets starts at $97.50 (ours were complimentary).

Have you been to Walt Disney World Orlando? 
Which is your favourite Disneyland? 
Will you go the distance to feel like you belong?

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