There’s obviously a lot more to Walt Disney World than the food so I thought I’d share a bit more about the non-food related things we did here.
Our journey began in the Virgin Clubhouse. We enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and cocktails before settling in for a manicure and some pre-flight relaxation time. Use of the lounge was a real bonus, and you do feel like you are beginning your journey in the right frame of mind.
We were fortunate to get an upgrade to premium economy. So that meant a nice hot towel and a glass of champagne, a full onboard menu, and lots of drinks in proper glasses.
After dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse and a good sleep, we of course made our way directly to Magic Kingdom.
We weren’t long inside Magic Kingdom when we were picked up by the fire engine and were enthusiastically singing and dancing Supercalafragilistic. That’s the thing about Disney World, it’s best to just set your inhibitions aside and just throw yourself into it.
Becky and I have been to Walt Disney World together before so we knew we were both big kids. Our first ride was Dumbo, and it didn’t really get much more grown up from there as we worked our way around Magic Kingdom only stopping for some lunch at the newly opened Skipper Canteen.
The next morning we walked around The Boardwalk. Despite being surrounded by family hotels, I always think this area feels really serene. We stopped for breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno before making our way to the Grand Floridian Resort Spa to enjoy a tropical coconut treatment.
Our afternoon was spent at the newly developed Disney Springs area. This is now a fantastic place to eat, drink and shop, whether you’re visiting Disney World or not. Becky has written extensively about Disney Springs here.
We were very good and didn’t give in to cupcakes at Sprinkles, but I couldn’t help but take a photo of the Cupcake ATM!
We didn’t have chance to do all the attractions at Animal Kingdom, we’d both done Everest before so we headed straight for two of our favourites; Kilimanjaro Safari and The Lion King.
If you’re at Animal Kingdom early join the queue for Kilimanjaro Safari straight away, it’s shortest first thing in the morning.
This was my fourth Kilimanjaro Safari, and my most successful to date. We were sat near the back of the jeep and I managed unspoiled views of the elephant, rhino and zebra. Nothing beats seeing animals in the wild, but if that’s not possible for you, this is a great experience and the kids love it too.
After a quick snap in front of the Tree of Life and a Dole Whip (my first ever!), we took our seats to watch The Lion King.
By the time we’d photographed our Dole Whip’s we didn’t have much time before the beginning of The Lion King. We scarfed them down giving ourselves brain freeze and quickly took our VIP seats inside the auditorium. We ended up sitting in front of a little girl, Becky and I were both conscious we’d stolen her prime viewing spot and invited her to sit between us, which she happily accepted.
The Lion King is probably my favourite show across the whole of the Walt Disney World resort. The mix of acrobatics, live music, and super sized animatronics keep all ages entertained and engaged throughout.
The little girl who we had quickly became fond of and adopted as our own was chosen to join in the show and shake some maracas. Perhaps it’s our ages, but both Becky and I ended up crying with pride. A heartwarming if slightly odd moment – the kind that you become accustomed to when you let yourself go at Disney World.
On the plane going out we had discussed that we wanted to get a lot more exercise and eat a bit healthier on this trip. We tracked our steps every day and were surprised to find we managed 12 miles on one particular day. If you think a trip to Walt Disney World is a sedentary one, think again. We didn’t want to stop there though and decided to get on our bikes, literally.
Have you ever tried riding a bike without handle brakes? We hadn’t, and I can tell you much hilarity ensued. Thankfully we both completed the circuit in one piece!
The finale of our trip was a penthouse view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from The Contemporary. Apologies about the photo, it was a drizzly evening and the rain reflected the colours. It was an amazing sight only made more perfect by the best charcuterie platter I’ve ever had at California Grill.
Thanks to Becky for the invitation and to Walt Disney World for hosting us.
Find out more about booking your own trip to Walt Disney World here.