Going to Disney World for the first time - Magic Kingdom

6:30 AM




I grew up knowing people who would go to Disney every summer.  Visiting the “happiest place on Earth” sounded almost like an obligated vacation for every family living in Puerto Rico. I remember the ads and the vacation packages for families of four members. Those ads would even be included in Disney VHS movies (90's kid here!). Every August when school began, kids would tell all about their Disney World vacations. I was not one of those kids. We sometimes wonder if timing is often flawed, but more times than not, it turns out to be just right. Summer of 2019 was it for us.

I was more excited about going on vacations with the family out of Puerto Rico for the first time, than about Disneyland itself. My love for thrill rides stayed in the past with my 10-year old self, and as a 28-year old adult, I wondered if spending all that money on entry tickets would be worth it. My type of getaway – as you can see from my other travel blog posts – is to visit different countries or cities and wander around discovering landmarks, museums and old towns. Nonetheless, I took on the challenge of going to Disney World on a budget, as I always do.

We visited three parks in three consecutive days: Magic Kingdom, Island of Adventures in Universal Orlando and Animal Kingdom.

MAGIC KINGDOM 🏰

We visited this park on a Sunday, with a thunderstorm forecast for the afternoon. We arrived at around 10 A.M. to the park, after taking the trolley and then the train. It’s a long ride to and from the park, so it takes around 40 minutes until you are finally inside. Magic Kingdom’s entrance is well, magic. There is plenty of beautifully built stores and an immediate view of the castle in the horizon. Parades give you a warm welcome, while the hectic movement of tourists makes it difficult to walk around without losing your family.



We took the classic “I am at Magic Kingdom, look the castle behind me” photo and moved on to the rides. Our fast passes included two roller coasters and a go-kart ride, as there was not much else available that could interest a group of six adults.


The longest line we made was for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. It was 2 hours long, but we were thankful for making a line in the shade, with fans blowing some breeze in that hot and humid Florida weather.



After that, we continued to walk around. I enjoyed the villages at Magic Kingdom, as they reminded me of  my trips to Germany. I must say that this park is so well-thought and every area is carefully built to give that impression of being lost in a different world.






Our third and last fast pass was Big Thunder Mountain, which I enjoyed since it is the “fastest” ride I am willing to ride knowingly. Why knowingly? You’ll find out on my next post. We explored a mini island -you need a boat to get to it- and there was a windmill that reminded me of the Netherlands.




It was already around 5 PM and we were hungry, our home-made sandwiches were already gone and there was still some hours left to wait until the fireworks spectacle at 9 PM. I ate the most reasonably plate I could find: some tacos that were far too spicy for my taste but I wouldn’t let my 12 dollars go to waste.

After resting for a bit, we enjoyed other rides like the Pirates of the Caribbean and some sort of boat that simulates an adventure through different rivers of the world. And then just as we went out to walk to the castle and wait for the show, the heavy rain began. It almost meant the cancellation of the spectacle, but it stopped just in time. I must say that the show alone makes the visit worth it. It lasts around 25 minutes and projects a medley of Disney movies on the castle. It truly represents the magic theme that prevails all around the park.

                         


Our first day at Disney World was over.  We were looking forward to rest and get ready for the next park: Island of Adventures at Universal Orlando.

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This was part 1 of a 3-part travel diary about Disney World and Universal Orlando.

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