Halloween

Halloween at Disneyland Paris

We have been lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris twice before, once for Hubby’s 30th birthday back in 2003 and again for Isaac’s 5th birthday in 2013.

Both times were in spring / summer and we have been hoping to return to see the park transformed for either Halloween or Christmas.

During October half term, we spent the week with Al Fresco Holidays at their fabulous park La Croix du Vieux Pont, which is the perfect base for day trips to Paris and Disneyland.

We spent the first couple of days relaxing on the site and exploring Paris and made sure a trip to Disneyland wasn’t on the kids radar before, despite buying tickets before we left the UK. We told them we were off to visit a castle and made the 90 journey without any suspicions.

Disneyland

It was Sebby that spotted the Disney Castle first and the excitement in the car was electric as we headed inside the gates to park.

We have previously stayed at Disney hotels on previous visits, so mistakenly parked at the back of the carpark on the first day of our visit – definitely try to get closer to the entrance as it’s a good 15 minute walk from the car park, although the kids loved riding the travelators.

Carpark

We purchased 2 day tickets to Disneyland Paris, which allowed us to spend a day in each park and the Magic Kingdom was our first stop.

Disney Halloween

Disney go all out on Halloween, with decorations throughout the square and along Main Street.

Disneyland Halloween

The kids adored being able to pose with various displays, as well as seeing witches hat lights and pumpkin decorations.

Disneyland Paris Halloween

In fact, you saw something new every time you walked along it.

Mummy Disney

Isaac and Eliza were keen to introduce Sebastian to the magic of Disneyland, starting with the castle and its resident dragon.

Magic Kingdom

We were delighted that some of the infamous Disney villains had decided to pay a visit to the park for the Halloween celebrations too.

Maleficent

The cheeky villains couldn’t resist a chance to perform a spectral spectacular in a spooky show at the royal Castle Stage.

Villains

I think Donald stole the show though!

Donald Duck

The Halloween Cavalcade was also not to be missed with Disney Characters parading along the streets of Disneyland in their eye-popping Halloween attire.

Disney Halloween Parade

As well as the Halloween parade there was also the 25th Anniversary Parade which is filled to bursting point with characters from all your favourite Disney films.

Olaf

Some of the characters danced along the street, greeting their adoring fans, whilst others sat and waved from huge, impressive floats.

Disney Parade

Maleficent’s dragon even breathed fire!

Dragon

Ride wise, nothing has really changed since our last visit with the exception of the rebranding of space mountain to Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain.

Space Mountain

The rides the kids loved the most were ‘It’s a Small World’, ‘Star Tours: The Adventure Continues’ and ‘Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast’ and we managed to fit in a good number, despite queues of around 40 minutes each.

Buzz Lightyear

We arrived at the park at 10am for opening and stayed right until the firework finale which started at 10pm, so it was a long day, especially for the kids.

Castle Disney

It was gone 11pm by the time we made it back to the car, but the kids were still buzzing from everything they had seen.

Fireworks

We did enjoy a very quiet journey back to the campsite as they all slept well on the way back.

We purchased 2-day tickets to Disneyland Paris through Picniq as they had the best deal at the time, plus we earned 5.25% through Top Cashback, which allowed us to spend a day in each park and the Magic Kingdom was our first stop, but it is worth shopping around as these deals change all the time.

Keep your eyes on the blog for our experience at Hollywood Studios soon……..

Have you been to Disneyland Paris?

 

Typhoon Lagoon

Splashtastic Fun at Typhoon Lagoon

When visiting Walt Disney World the one location that filled me with dread was a visit to the water park.

I knew Hubby and the kids would love it, but as a forty-something mum of 6 my figure is not what it once was and although I love swimming, the thought of wandering around in a swimsuit filled me with dread.

Walt Disney World has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon and we opted for the latter as didn’t have time to do both.

Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon features some of the wettest and wildest attractions at Walt Disney World but don’t let that put you off if you have a young family as there is plenty for them to do too.

Typhoon Lagoon

We started our day off in the Typhoon Lagoon Surf pool, which is the largest surf pool in North America and I needn’t of worried about the way I looked as there are people of all shapes and sizes and everyone is far to intent on having fun.

Typhoon Lagoon

The pool is set out like a large beach, with loungers on the sand where you can relax and soak up the sun. There is a thunderous sonic boom noise before they release a 6ft wave. Brave and experienced swimmers like Hubby and Isaac went in deep to catch the full force of the wave, whereas Sebby, Eliza and I stayed in the shallows and enjoyed the wave coming into shore.

Typhoon Lagoon

We played in there for some time before trying out some of the other attractions in the park.

Castaway Creek was a firm favourite with all of us as you take a tube and join the flowing river at any of the 5 landings along the 2,000-foot-long route.

Typhoon Lagoon

For little ones you can grab a rubber ring with a base, or hop into a double one or just float on a single ring along the continuous, flowing river that winds its way around all of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Typhoon Lagoon

Safety is key at the water park and I have never seen so many lifeguards on patrol which really reassured me. We did have an incident on Miss Adventure Falls, which is a raft ride. You head up a long conveyor belt onboard a raft which holds 4 people to a large winding water chute. Isaac lost his nerve at the top and bolted out of it, so they hit the emergency stop button and had to talk him down. It was a scary moment but I am so grateful to the staff for looking after him and Eliza who then refused to ride too.

Typhoon Lagoon

Sebby on the other hand loved it so much that he insisted that Daddy take him on it again and again!

Typhoon Lagoon

Hubby is an adrenalin junkie and was keen to try out some of the more extreme rides at the park, so I took the kids to Ketchakiddie Creek, which has 10 different aquatic activities just for preschoolers and younger children.

Typhoon Lagoon

With scaled-down slides that give little kids big-kid-style thrills, interactive shallow areas with whimsical sculptures like snapping crocodiles and squirting seals and elephants inspire imaginative play.

Typhoon Lagoon

Isaac and Eliza loved the mini inner-tube rapids ride and went round and round again and again.

Typhoon Lagoon

They also enjoyed racing down the water chutes.

Typhoon Lagoon

In the meantime, Hubby was off racing down slides such as Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Gangplank Falls, Humunga Kowabunga and Mayday Falls.

Typhoon Lagoon

A visit to one of the water parks is the perfect antidote to the theme parks as, although it is busy, it has a very relaxed atmosphere and we didn’t queue for more than 10 minutes for any of the fast slides.

Typhoon Lagoon

We spent a good six hours enjoying the water before heading back to the hotel. We then changed and headed back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the evening fireworks.

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. 

Typhoon Lagoon



 

 

Tree of Life

Can Walt Disney World keep everyone happy? – Animal Kingdom

If there is one thing that Walt Disney World is, it is fun for ALL the family.

Walt Disney World is a champion of family time with four theme parks and two water parks, each with unique theming and attractions, plus dining shopping and entertainment experiences, there really is something for everyone at Walt Disney World and I have already shared my thoughts on Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Animal Kingdom

My kids love discovering all about the natural world around them, so were really excited about visiting Animal Kingdom.

Hubby, on the other hand, was more excited about visiting Pandora: The World of Avatar.

Animal Kingdom’s 500 acres are home to some 1700 animals representing 250 different species throughout the park and with the exception of the Pandora area, seemed a lot quieter than the other three parks.

Pandora: Flight of Passage

As with my last two posts, it is recommended that if you are staying in a Walt Disney Hotel, get to the parks during their Magic Hours as it’s the best chance to get on the rides queue free, however, with Pandora being so new and with all the fastpass+ tickets booked weeks in advance, you were always going to queue for Pandora: Flight of Passage and Hubby waited a staggering 210 minutes to ride it. (Thankfully parent swap passes were available so I got to ride too).

Pandora - World of Avatar

Whilst he queued for this ride, the kids and I enjoyed the Na’Vi River ride which had a much more reasonable 15 minute queue and then headed off to explore the rest of the park.

Navi-Shaman

With Pandora being so busy we almost had the rest of the park to ourselves and found ourselves amidst dinosaurs and digging for fossils in the Boneyard with Donald Duck.

Animal Kingdom

With the rest of Disney being so full on, the Boneyard made a relaxing change which allowed the kids to climb atop rocks, cross rickety rope bridges, roam mysterious caves and hurl themselves down twisting slides.

The Boneyard

Opposite the Boneyard was a funfair themed area called Dino-Rama with games to play, the Primeval Whirl rollercoaster and the Triceratop Spin. Sadly Sebby was 2cm too short to ride Dinosaur, a moving simulator ride but we had fun nonetheless.

Dino-Rama

By now, Hubby had re-joined us and it was time to see what the rest of the park had to offer and take advantage of our photo pass.

Animal Kingdom

A definite highlight of Animal Kingdom is a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari which gives you a chance to see many of the parks resident animals as they drive you through the African Savannah.

Hippo

I envisaged a Longleat style safari but it was so much better. It honestly felt as if we were in the African Savannah seeing animals in their natural habitat in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

Animal Kingdom

The tour guide had bat like vision and managed to spot and point out animals that I would have missed, stopping so we could get a good photograph.

Animal Kingdom

I love elephants so it was a real treat to see them wandering around and watching a hippo swimming underwater was fascinating.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve

I think the animals are so used to seeing the jeeps trundle around the track that they just carry on with whatever they are doing and don’t bat an eyelid.

Harambe Wildlife Reserve

The safari takes around 20 minutes and we then boarded the Wildlife Express train to get a sneak peek of some of the behind the scenes wildlife areas before heading into Rafiki’s Planet Watch, home to fun exhibits dedicated to animal conservation and a petting area for the kids.

Animal Kingdom

The kids were given some challenges to complete which allowed them to earn wildlife badges, just like Russell from the film Up!!

Animal Kingdom

Sadly we missed our photo opportunity with Rafiki but we did manage to find Russell.

Animal Kingdom

Another of our highlights from Animal Kingdom were the shows and thanks to the Festival of the Lion King, I have a family of new fans.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King is a kaleidoscope of colour with giant puppets, acrobats, spirited dancers, regal stilt walkers and brilliant singers, all in imaginative costumes with ornate beads, feathers and fringe and of course Simba, Timon and Pumbaa. You will be expected to join in too!

Lion King

Another amazing show was Finding Nemo – the Musical, 40-minute show features original songs that bring the big, blue world to life, along with extraordinary puppets and vibrant sets that plunge you right into the depths of Nemo’s fin-tastic terrain.

Animal Kingdom

We stopped to have lunch under the Tree of Life, which celebrated all living creatures, making this the iconic centrepiece the symbol of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Tree of Life

Inside the Tree of Life root system is where It’s Tough to be a Bug! is performed. This 8-minute, 3D movie and multimedia show stars Flik and Hopper from the Disney•Pixar film A Bug’s Life—along with a supporting cast of insects and arachnids who provide a surprising glimpse into the animal kingdom. It is a great show, but beware of some unexpected surprises!

Animal Kingdom

For adrenalin junkies there is Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain rollercoaster which not only goes forwards, but sends you hurtling backwards to avoid ‘missing track’, the Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur and Pandora: Flight of the Avatar.

Animal Kingdom

All four main Disney Parks have evening entertainment and Animal Kingdom certainly doesn’t disappoint. As you are waiting for the main show to begin, the Tree of Life awakens and watch in awe as animal spirits light up the whole of the tree.

Rivers of Light

The main show is the Rivers of Light, a brilliant fusion of water, sound and light and quite unlike anything I’ve experienced before!

Rivers of Light

With projections on fountains, boats, floating flowers and animals, it was a truly stunning show.

Rivers of Light

It is also worth noting that Pandora: World of Avatar has Disney Magic Hours at nightime too and is well worth a visit to see it in all its bio-luminescent glory in the dark too.

Pandora-at-Night

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.

animal kingdom



Magic Kingdom

Can Walt Disney World keep everyone happy? – Magic Kingdom

If there is one thing that Walt Disney World is, it is fun for ALL the family.

During our holiday we saw the parks being enjoyed by everyone from young couples to multi-generational families, complete with t-shirts with their family name on and badges displaying how many visits they had made. I even saw one with “60 visits”.

Travelling with two boys, aged 4 and 9, plus a girl of 6 we often come up against one of them not wanting to join in and whilst they all individually had their favourite attractions, none of them ever felt excluded or left out.

Walt Disney World is a champion of family time with four theme parks and two water parks, each with unique theming and attractions, plus dining shopping and entertainment experiences, there really is something for everyone at Walt Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

Possibly the most iconic of the four theme parks, Magic Kingdom is home to Main Street which leads to Cinderella’s stunning castle.

Magic Kingdom

If you are staying in a Walt Disney Hotel, make sure you get there during the parks Magic Hours to take advantage of watching the magical opening of the castle and the chance to get on the rides queue free.

Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland

The kids favourite rides in this park were almost all in Tomorrowland and top of the list was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, where you fire lasers from a cannon to defeat Emperor Zurg.

Buzz Lightyear Spin

The Monsters Inc laugh floor was another hit and the ‘Monster of Ceremonies’ was Mike Wazowski. He’s convinced that he can fill the laugh meter, but Roz isn’t quite so sure of this plan and the cleverly use jokes submitted by the audience and live interaction for this funny show. Isaac now does a mean impression of Roz too.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

A surprise hit was the Carousel of Progress, with its catchy tune and moving auditorium that followed the progress of a family from the 1920’s through to the present day. We also enjoyed the Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Speedway and Stitch’s Great Escape.

Fantasyland

It was in Fantasyland where we met our first Disney characters and the kids looked forward to doing this as much as they did the rides. The animated characters interacted with the kids and gave them hugs and high-fives whereas the princesses would stop and have a long chat with the kids which really made their day.

Goofy

It was also here that we visited Enchanted Tales with Belle, where we headed into Maurice’s workshop and then stepped through a magical mirror straight into the Beast’s library, where we meet Belle and Lumiere to experience an interactive fairytale.  Sebby played the part of the Chip perfectly to really become part of the story.

Belle and Chip

Top Tip: Make sure you seek out the photopass photographers outside for some Disney magic too.

Lumiere

Next up was Journey of the Little Mermaid which made you feel like you had actually gone underwater to Ariel’s world in a giant clam shell, followed by the chance to meet the lady herself.

Ariel

Fantasyland is home to some of the more gentle rides and the only rollercoaster that Sebby could ride as he fell just below the 41″ (102cm) limit. They all adored Dumbo, possibly more as the queuing system involved getting the chance to play in a large circus themed soft play area.

Dumbo

‘It’s a small world’ was also a hit although I still have the song going round and round in my head!

It's a Small World

Other rides included Winnie the Pooh where you road around his ‘Blustery Day’ story, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Hatters Tea Party (teacup ride), Seven Dwarfs Mine train and Prince Charmings Regal Carousel, plus the chance to meet Princesses such as Merida, Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella and Princess Elena of Avalor, who is Eliza’s new favourite.

Princess Elena of Avalor

If you find yourself needing to shelter from the rain, or cool down then I also recommend Disney’s Philharmagic show, a 4D cinematic delight!

PhilharMagic

Adventureland

Adventureland was where we found ourselves during our first Floridian downpour – a sight to behold in itself. We decided to find some shelter and headed into the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Tiki Room

This was a completely unexpected hit, with bird hosts Jose, Fritz, Michael and Pierre taking us through a show in a tropical pavilion full of flowers, tikis and audio-animatronic birds singing and telling jokes.

Pirates of the Caribbean

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates’ life for me.” – No visit to Disney would be without visiting the Pirates of the Caribbean and it was clear that it was a popular ride, but the queue moved quickly into cool underground caverns. It is a calm river ride, with one small drop and lots of realistic animatronic pirates around every corner – the eagle-eyed may even catch sight of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Also in Adventureland are the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, the Swiss Family Tree House to explore and the amusing Jungle Cruise.

Jungle Cruise

Frontierland

Frontierland is home to two of the three larger rollercoasters in Magic Kingdom; Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, neither which we could persuade Isaac or Eliza to try, so we consoled ourselves with playing in Tom Sawyer Island and watching the Big Bear Jamboree.

Big bear jamboree

Liberty Square

We probably spent the least time here as there are only three attractions, but it is set in the colonial era of America and is home to the relaxing Liberty Belle paddlewheel boat which takes guests on a cruise around the Rivers of America and the intimidating Haunted Mansion where you board Doom Buggies for a journey through the mansion which tells the story of a Black Widow bride and her many husbands. Only Isaac and Hubby were brave enough for this one.

Haunted Mansion

Main Street

Main Street is where you will find shopping heaven, with shops that sell everything from Pandora charms to Minnie Mouse ears, clothing, costumes and even a hairdressers, plus the chance to find Tinkerbelle.

Tinkerbelle

It is also the location for the Disney parades…..

Disney Parade

and of course, the finale fireworks!

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Please do pop over and check out my top 10 tips for visiting Walt Disney World and keep an eye out for the next installment……..

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.

Magic Kingdom



Magic Kingdom

10 things I wish I had known before our holiday to Walt Disney World

Most people booking a holiday to Walt Disney World in Florida would be planning for months, reading reviews and getting hints and tips on things to see and do but we had just a few days notice before our trip.

I have to say that the staff were amazing and more than happy to answer any questions we had and wearing our “1st time at Disney” badges certainly helped, but here are the things I wish I had known before our trip:

1. The My Disney Experience App

Available on iTunes and Google Play this app is the ideal companion for any visit to Walt Disney World, but be warned, it does drain your battery on your phone so I would recommend taking a powerbank for any on-the-go phone charges.

It is simple to use, simply create an account and you can manage your booking, plus it will give you opening times, park maps, parade times, locations of rides, real-time queue lengths, allow you to book restaurants and ride fast passes and display any photopass photos you have had taken.

My Disney Experience App

2. Magic Bands

The magic band is a watch-like band you wear on your wrist which is linked to your My Disney Experience account. You use it to unlock the door to your room, gain entry to the parks, get your photo pass pictures, gain fast pass access to rides and even pay for your meals.

Magic Bands

We were allocated grey ones, but you can request different colour ones before you arrive or pay extra for themed ones which are available in the shops on site. Plus, they are fully adjustable to fit both children and adults!

3. Fast Passes

The FastPass+ system is better than any we have in the UK by far. Not only is it free to use, but it lets you reserve access to select attractions, entertainment and more up to 60 days before check-in when you have a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation (30 days in advance with standard entry tickets).

Fastpass+

You are given three FastPass+ per day initially, so book three early ones and once they are used you can book three more. Most rides were bookable when we were there, however, new ones such as Pandora; Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’Vi River journey were fully booked throughout our stay, so I would advise you book these before you get there.

Avatar

To use the FastPass+ system, simply scan your Magic Band at the fastpass touch point – simple!

Magic Band

4. Dining Plan

I have to admit that the dining plan confused me at first, but that is possibly because we had been travelling for 13 hours when the member of staff was trying to explain it to me.

It is, however, a great value way to budget for meals whilst you are staying at Disney and is the equivalent of staying half board and is FREE for holidays booked by 19th October 2017, for stays from 1st January 2018 to 30th November 2018.

Walt Disney World

For each night of your stay, each guest receives:

  • 1 waiter service meal
  • 1 self-service meal (can be used for breakfast or lunch)
  • 1 non-alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 selected snacks
  • Refillable mug (can only be used at the hotel)

There are over 100 locations to choose from and character dining is included with the waiter service meals. Self-service meals are great for casual dining or pit stops in the parks and snacks are available at Quick-Service restaurants and outdoor food carts throughout the resort, including drinks, popcorn, crisps, ice cream, sweets, biscuits and fresh fruit.

Character Dining

In fact, we didn’t have to pay for extra food for the entire time we were there.

Epcot had the best variety of food as they had traditional restaurants in the World Showcase area from Norwegian, where we enjoyed a meal with the Princesses, to Chinese, Japanese and even a traditional English Pub – the Rose and Crown.

Belle

Throughout the park we had the option of many different foods and the kids enjoyed things from Nachos and Chilli, chicken strips, pizza, burgers and salads.

Tips: You are expected to tip between 18-20% at table service restaurants and this is displayed at the bottom of your dining plan receipt. It worked out approx $30 for the five of us at each table service meal. There’s no need for tipping at counter service venues.

5. Disney Memory Maker

Getting photo’s of all the family together is always a challenge as one of us is always behind the camera. Disney’s Memory Maker solves this and is something that a lot of english theme parks could learn from and costs an additional $149.

Chewbacca

It is an incredible new way to enjoy unlimited digital DisneyPhotoPass photos captured at hundreds of locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including select attraction and dining locations. We had pictures taken all over the parks and the photographers are easy to spot in their uniforms.

Tinkerbell

The photos are conveniently connected to your online Disney account with a touch of your MagicBand or card and you can even have Magic Shots one which featuring Disney Characters and effects, added to your photos.

Frozen

6. Travelling between parks

Did you know that Disney World is occupies 47 square miles – the size of Greater Manchester?

Disney provide buses to and from each resort from each hotel which run approximately every 20 minutes. I cannot fault the service at all, the buses were fully air-conditioned and each driver we met was happy and jovial. They do get very busy though, especially at the beginning and the end of the day, but the adults always gave up their seats for the kids.

Disney Bus

If you want to travel between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, there is also the Monorail system which operates between the two and some of the Disney Deluxe resort hotels.

Monorail

7. The Weather

One thing I was worried about before our holiday was the weather as August is hot, hot, hot in Florida.

Disney know this and I was surprised to see that most queuing areas were not only undercover, but also had giant fans to keep the air moving and you cool. Indoor rides were all air-conditioned and if you were starting to get too hot, sitting in a cool theatre for half an hour for a show was the perfect way to cool down.

The Little Mermaid Show

Even shops and the toilets (restrooms) were air-conditioned too, plus cold water was available at water fountains throughout the park.

I have heard stories about the rain in Florida and we did see heavy showers and thunderstorms most afternoons, however, not only is it a relief from the heat, the rain is warm so is actually quite pleasant and apart from one afternoon, they last less than an hour. We did buy poncho’s for the worst showers though as it is far too warm to wear rain jackets.

Disney Rain Mac

8. Plan Your Stay Around Extra Magic Hours

On designated days, the Disney parks open early or stay open later for guests staying at Disney Resort hotels. These are called ExtraMagic Hours. Plan your stay with these in mind and you will get crowd-free access to the best rides. We walked straight onto three or four during this time and it is also the best time to book the Jedi Training Academy.

Jedi Training

9. Take a Buggy

Sebby is 4 and can walk quite a distance but by day 3 he was shattered and wanted carrying everywhere.

Disney is hard on everyone’s legs, especially when cramming it into seven days like we did, so I would recommend you take a buggy or hire one. It costs $15 per day for a single and $30 for a double and was a real blessing.

Walt Disney World

Even with the buggy, Sebby was asleep by the time the evening shows were on and we still had to carry him from the park entrance back to the bus, but it really saved our shoulders!

10. Take a break!!

If there is one thing Disney is, it’s full on!

On days in the main parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, we were at breakfast at 7am and in the parks for magic hours by 8am up until the evening shows, meaning we were not back at our hotel until 10pm most nights.

Most people have two weeks to enjoy a Disney break and I would strongly recommend that you take a day to relax in between park visits, or go for half a day and return to the hotel in the afternoon to chill by the pool, as it did get to the stage where the kids were very tired and grumpy!

Art of Animation Hotel

Our hotel, the Art of Animation had the largest resort pool in Walt Disney World and a large splash park area as well as a play park and a large outdoor cinema screen which shows some Disney favourites al fresco in the evening.

Art of Animation

There are also two waterparks to consider too: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

Typhoon Lagoon

We visited Typhoon Lagoon and the kids adored floating down the lazy river, jumping over huge waves in the giant wave pool and playing in the splash park, whilst Hubby got to release his adrenalin side by hurtling down the huge water slides.

Typhoon Lagoon

What do you wish you had known before a trip to Walt Disney World?

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.

10 top tips for visiting Walt Disney World