Any visit to Orlando would not be complete without a visit to Disney. We only had a day to cram in as much of it as we could and boy did we cram it in.
We were lucky enough to experience two of the parks (Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) with a VIP tour guide, who walked us miles around the park in just 10 hours (one of our tour guides, Fred, had a pedometer which showed 13,000 steps around that day). A VIP tour experience costs around $300 an hour for a group of up to 12 people. Our guides were amazing, real pied pipers, who connected so well with the children. They really were invaluable when it came to making the most of the parks in such a sort period of time. They knew all the best routes, where all the toilets were and also which rides to go to when. As a VIP guest, you’ll also have unlimited Fastpass access, which means you can join the express lines at the most popular rides and attractions.
Our highlight of the whole day was the parade and fireworks. Just look at this image of Maxi’s open mouthed as he watched. It was amazing and the perfect end to a wonderful experience.
Maxi’s favorite ride was Toy Story Midway Mania and being the competitive family we are the game was on to see who would score the highest and whoop I kicked ass that day!
You can find places to meet your favorite characters and get them to sign an autograph book if that is your thing, but Maxi at nearly eight decided he was too old for all that, however, he did have his picture taken with a toy soldier that was hanging around outside the Toy Story Mania ride.
We visited the newest part of Disney World Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland and had a delicious Le Fou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern, which is a mixture of frozen apple cider (which is non alcoholic apple juice) and marshmallow with a mango foam topping, which Maxi loved. Lunch was taken in the Be Our Guest restaurant. One of the guides stood in the rather large queue whilst we went on another ride (which was another amazing perk of the VIP tour). The food was amazing.
Our Top hints and Tips for Visiting Disney WorldOrlando
- Make sure you book a table for Dinner as the restaurants get busy
- Always buy your tickets online. They’re usually cheaper and save you the headache you’ll get waiting to purchase at the gate
- Download the free Disney Magic app, you can plan rides and check show times and once you’re inside the park it will let you check how long the lines are on different rides
- Bring your own water bottles. It will save you time and money! If you don’t want to carry a water bottle, just ask for a cup of water at any food or drink vendor
- Have your children look for Hidden Mickeys is a great way to keep them occupied especially when queuing
- When the park opens at 9am, go first to Toy Story Midway Mania, which has the longest lines in the park, and FastPasses are usually gone for the day by noon.
- Plan a show for the hottest part of the day, but be aware that the air conditioning can be fierce!
- If it’s your first visit, get one of the first time badges from Guest Services