Preparing for a magical trip to Walt Disney World

When I applied to visit Walt Disney World with Mumsnet.com in the middle of a rainstorm in a wet and muddy field at Camp Bestival I had no idea that we would actually be chosen.

Fast forward just over a week later and just before our walking holiday in the Lake District, an email came in to say we had been chosen.

Hubby and I were stupidly excited but chose not to say anything to the kids until we had all the dates and booking information as we know they would have demanded an update on a daily basis and we just did not have that information.

We actually found out the dates of our travel whilst in the Lake District and it gave us just one day at home to get organised before we flew to Orlando. We quietly got the washing sorted, did some shopping and got the cases packed without the kids noticing that anything untoward was going on. Hubby even managed to sneak a huge Mickey Mouse balloon into the house for the reveal.

We were so excited to tell the kids about what was happening and you can watch the kids reactions here:

I did expect them to be a bit more excited initially, however as the news sunk in they were soon bouncing off the walls with excitement.

Gatwick Airport

We flew from Gatwick airport with Virgin Atlantic at 12.30 the next day, with all the kids behaving beautifully throughout the 9 hour flight.

Virgin Atlantic

There were screens with each seat so they could watch films, cartoons and some of their favourite TV series and the cabin crew were amazing. The food was delicious too and we even got a Fab ice lolly treat at 36,000ft above the Atlantic!

Virgin Atlantic

We had promised them some park time when we arrived but didn’t take into account any delays and were kept waiting on the plane whilst it sat on the tarmac for 75 minutes as the airport was too busy to let anymore passengers through.

It then took another hour and a half to get through passport control, which I can only describe as a nightmare. Their system requires each member of your party to scan your passports and have your photo taken through a computer system (the adults have to have fingerprints taken too) and then wait in another queue for said passport and print outs to be checked.

This was the worst part of the holiday as they kids were very tired and very bored but once done we were soon checked into the bus transfer to Walt Disney World and our holiday could begin.

Disney Transfer Bus

The Magical Express bus was fab, it had TV’s throughout and was playing Mickey Mouse cartoons whilst we waited to set off which kept the kids amused.

Disney Bus

By the time we checked-in to Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel it was 8.30pm, so the equivalent of 1.30am UK time so we all collapsed into bed, ready for our Disney adventure to start the next day.

Art of Animation Hotel

To be continued………..

Disclaimer:  This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World and Mumsnet. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity and all opinions here are my own.



23 thoughts on “Preparing for a magical trip to Walt Disney World

  1. Oh wow how exciting! I love Virgin for transatlantic travel. Passport control is a nightmare isn’t it! A friend who travels to the States often does her US immigration in Ireland which saves loads of time on arrival in America. Can’t wait to hear all about your adventures – what an amazing summer you have had! x

  2. Laura H says:

    Omg the balloon coming out of the bag was such a cute idea! I would’ve gone crazy for that as a child 😀

  3. I can’t wait to read all your Disney posts as we want to take the children in a few years. I still remember visiting when I was a child and I hope you had the most magical time xx

  4. Jenni says:

    Wow what an amazing experience to have! The passport control does sound horrendous

  5. Looks amazing., glad you had fun X

  6. You are so lucky! This looks amazing! Glad you had fun X

  7. Deby says:

    I agree about virgin they are extremely good especially with our asd/ADHD etc child – we were also lucky with Orlando passport control we got ushered through quickly but I know others had a nightmare – looking forward to the next instalment

  8. Sarah Lawton says:

    How exciting! I can’t wait to take our son to Disney World (or more likely Universal Studios, ahem, Harry Potter World, ahem) Glad to see Orlando airport hasn’t improved in 20 years – we always had that delay as well!

  9. I’m a huge fan of Disney and usually am even more excited than the kids around me in Disneyland haha. Have a great trip and keep us updated 🙂

  10. I think realisation sometimes takes a while to sink in. Hope you have an amazing time together

  11. Oh wow that sounds amazing. I didn’t know they were sending bloggers there, damn I would have applied lol. Can’t wait to see how it went.

  12. Emma says:

    I remember reading a post about how you struggle to abroad because of the size of your family, so I was happy to hear that you had been selected for this. What a wonderful adventure for you and I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it all went once you get back.

  13. Erica Price says:

    Very envious. Would have loved to have gone, but couldn’t make all the dates they wanted so I didn’t apply. Your children are a really good age to go, so it was a good choice to pick you.

  14. Kacie says:

    Well done on getting picked! I bet this was the best trip ever!

  15. Charlotte says:

    aww how exciting and what a fantastic trip! We want to go to Walt Disney World!

  16. Nikki Thomas says:

    Oh that brought back lots of memories from last year! The Passport control is an absolute nightmare, I though my youngest son was going to actually combust with frustration as he hates queues and waiting.

  17. Oh how exciting! I was so pleased to see you announced as one of the bloggers chosen!

  18. Oh no, it’s a shame the passport control and airport took so long but I bet the trip to Disney was worth it!

  19. STACY SORRELL says:

    We are going in September, im taking my 5yo & 9mnth baby. The reveal was super cute. We have boxes for my daughter and nephew (like xmas eve boxes) we will be giving them the night before we fly, with a letter from Mickey Mouse to invite them to come see him. i wasnt aware of the fingerprinting etc at the airport, so im glad i know now, least i can prepare.

  20. Oh wow I am SUPER jealous!!! I can’t wait to read more about your trip, we would love to go….one day!! xx

  21. Kayleigh says:

    Oh the passport control sounds very frustrating but what an amazing opportunity for you all! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

  22. The magical express is great, definitely takes a lot of the stress away from the journey. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

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