Going to Disney World with your family as a kid is a totally different experience compared to going to Disney World with your significant other as I am sure it is different compared to going with your kids, and so on. As I already talked about my first trip as a child, I thought I’d reminisce on my first trip to Disney World with Dee.

Our first trip to WDW together was only a few months into dating. We came down to Florida to visit my mom, with my brother and his girlfriend at the time, and we all decided we would head to Disney together! It was in May of 2016, and this is a “first time trip” that I remember every detail of. This was also my first trip as an adult, second trip ever to WDW, and I made a LOT of rookie mistakes that I will never make again!

On this trip, we did just a two-night stay at a Disney partner resort in the Disney Springs area. Since we were just staying two nights, we thought it would be best to just do one park day, and spend the other two days at the hotel or exploring Disney Springs. The hotel was a Wyndham resort, and it was nice. It had a character breakfast which was awesome (featuring Goofy and Pluto), a spacious pool, and a spacious and clean room. Personally, I’d prefer to stay in a Disney-owned resort on property, but this is a great option for those looking to save some money!

The first night we chose to go to Disney Springs, and this is where I made my biggest rookie mistake. This was my first trip as an adult, like I said above, and I hadn’t yet gotten into the world of The Dis podcasts or other Disney blogs, so I didn’t know what to expect. The area itself is GORGEOUS and I was taken aback with all of the shops and dining options. I fell in love with the World of Disney store, of course, and it was a great night. That is, until it was time to EAT. I didn’t have the My Disney Experience app, and most importantly, I didn’t know that you needed to make a reservation if you wanted to eat anywhere nice.

I’m not kidding when I say every restaurant we tried to get in to had over an hour wait, or no wait. It wasn’t even a super-crazy-busy time on property as a whole, but still there were no options for eating because I didn’t make a reservation. We ended up waiting over an hour to eat at T-Rex Cafe, and did not have a good experience. We felt rushed, they messed up both of our dishes, and the dishes as a whole were not pleasing. Lesson learned number one: Book reservations as early as possible. I never made that mistake again!

The next day we chose to make our park day. I had an annual pass and dee had a ticket with a park hopper, so we planned to do Animal Kingdom in the morning and Magic Kingdom at night. We woke up super early, got ready, met with the rest of my family, and got on the bus to head to the park. This was when I got sick…..

I’m not sure why, but I got extremely nauseated. My face was flushed, I had a fever, but I was determined to lot let it ruin my day – until we got into Animal Kingdom. I seriously could not walk more than 10 feet without having to sit down and just stop. It was only like 9:00 a.m. and it wasn’t super humid yet in Florida, so it wasn’t the heat, it was because I had come down with something. Dee got me a water and surprised me with silver sequence Minnie ears to try to make me feel better (I’m so lucky), we sat on a bench for about a half hour, and we decided to head back to the resort. By the time we got on the bus, it was like the flip of a switch and I was perfectly fine. Seriously, no idea what happened!

We decided to just head right to Magic Kingdom, so we sat once again and waited at the resort for a bus. While waiting, my shoe became untied so dee (once again, being perfect) knelt down to tie it. I wasn’t even paying attention until I felt him pulling my shoe strings, so I looked down and smiled and said thank you and he looked up and smiled and said your welcome. Well, there was a couple standing behind him and they thought that he was proposing and got VERY excited, but then disappointed when they realized that he wasn’t proposing. And this is where Dee got the lovely idea to propose to me every. single. Disney. vacation.

Anyways, we got to Magic Kingdom and had honestly one of the best park days we have ever had together. There’s just something about your first experience with someone at Disney World that makes it so special, and this was that experience. We rode all of our favorite rides, but we had to wait in long lines because I didn’t make any fast pass reservations (rookie mistake number 2!). We also only ate quick service because, of course, I didn’t have dining reservations (rookie mistake number 3!). But there were some really special highlights of this day as well.

The first highlight was Dee fake proposing to me for the first time during the fireworks. With a blue ring pop. Just to get attention from everyone else and laugh at me. And it worked, by the way. Who knew this trip would start a whole tradition! (Side note: this was when Wishes was still the nighttime spectacular at the park, and that in itself was so magical. I miss that show!)

The last highlight, which is honestly my favorite of the whole trip, was during our last ride of the night. The park was open until midnight, and it was about 11:30. The last ride we needed to go on was Pirates of the Caribbean. We entered the cue, walked all the way down, and got to the part where it splits into two for faster boarding purposes. The cast member at this part asked which side we wanted to go on, since there were not THAT many people in line, and I jokingly said “whichever one that lets us have our own boat!”. He then, literally, told the rest of the people to wait, escorted us over, and got us on our OWN BOAT for the ride. The people behind us in line did not look to happy, but we were ecstatic. There is nothing like riding in your own boat on Pirates for your last ride of the night – it was so beyond magical. This is a memory I will never forget and will always cherish. I wish I remembered this cast members name because he was just beyond amazing!

This also started another tradition – Dee getting me a light-up Mickey balloon before leaving the parks. He surprised me with it (again!) right before the fireworks when he snuck off to buy the ring pop, and I fell in love with it. Every WDW vacation after that he’s gotten me a light-up Mickey balloon on our last night. Now that we live here, he doesn’t get me one every time, but he sneaks one every once in a while 🙂

The next morning, we packed up and got ready to go after our character breakfast at the resort. We had a late checkout, so we decided to once again head to Disney Springs to walk around. Dee and I talked about how we didn’t want to leave and really contemplated on buying him another ticket and going to another park.

This was when our obsession began. There’s just something about Walt Disney World that just takes you to this magical, special place. Since then, it’s really become “our thing”, and I wouldn’t change that for the world! Like I said, my first trip to the resort with my family was a totally different expereience than my first trip to the resort with my fiance, and I’m sure it will be a totally different experience once again when we bring our children for their first trip – and I cannot wait for those memories!

Below are some pictures from that trip. Fair warning, they are NOT good quality – crazy how much iPhone camera’s have improved in two years! Thanks for reading 🙂

My First Disney World Adventure

My First Disney World Adventure

Over Halloween in 2000, I finally had the chance to go on my first Walt Disney World Vacation. Although I don’t remember every little detail, it was my first “real” family vacation, and there was no better place to have that monumental experience than the parks themselves. I was 7 years old when my family went on this week long vacation to Orlando. I remember I was so excited, but I had no idea what I was in for…

First, I have to point out that my mom and her family would go on Disney World family vacations yearly when she was a kid and her love for Disney and the parks got passed to me. My dad, on the other hand, had never been to Disney. Once my parents booked our vacation, I remember my mom went right to work getting us prepared.

The first thing I remember my parents doing was buying us a Playstation game called Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour. Basically, it was a racing game but themed to the rides in Walt Disney World. As we would do each race, my mom would tell us all about the rides that were the themes of the tracks we were on. I remember her constantly talking about two rides in particular: Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. She prepared us for Space Mountain pretty well by showing us how fast the ride would go while we were in the car (28 mph), but would explain that it would feel faster because it was dark. I don’t really remember if I ever ended up riding Space Mountain that first visit to the park, but she definitely did not prepare me for Haunted Mansion, and I will never forget my first ride.

My first specific, clear, and vivid memory of being in the parks is riding Haunted Mansion for the first time because it was literally traumatizing. After the initial experience of being in the elevator before boarding the “doom buggies”, I was terrified and did not want to ride. I specifically remember sitting in the doom buggy with my mom, eyes closed, screaming my head off and crying the whole time. I remember finally opening my eyes during the Ballroom scene where the ghosts are dancing and just not having any of it. I think this was the day when I lost all trust for my moms judgement, lol. But, Haunted Mansion is now my favorite attraction in all of the parks, so…

Even though my mom is a Disney lover like me, I always have been and always will be a Daddy’s girl. Most of the attractions that I remember going on like the Tomorrow Speedway and Dumbo, I remember sitting in the carts with him. Sorry Dee, my dad was my first date to the parks 😉

Another thing that I remember vividly, and I’m so upset I can’t find evidence in pictures, is my Halloween costume for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, so I was so excited to dress up and Trick or Treat with Mickey and his friends. However, my mom decided to “think outside of the box” and dress my brother and I as… Pebbles and BamBam from The Flinstones. If you aren’t aware, The Flinstones is NOT a Disney intellectual property. Honestly, this isn’t even something that I realized until years later so at the time I didn’t notice or didn’t care, but now it’s something I just choose to remind my mom about whenever I get the chance.

The next and last thing I remember vividly were the character meet and greets and how they were so different than they are now. Of course, The Fab Five and other iconic characters would have certain designated places to do meet and greets throughout the day, but at other times there would be characters just wandering around with an attendant to take photos. This is something that is still done in Disneyland, but could never possibly happen in Disney World. I just remember it being so magical to be able to walk around and just run into Timon out of the blue.

One thing I don’t remember at all, but that I can see from the photos, is that the park doesn’t seem to be busy AT ALL. These days, there is no such thing as “Off Season” in Disney World, but apparently when my family chose to go on our trip, although it was over the Halloween holiday, this was not a busy time in the park. I would LOVE to visit the park this October and see crowd levels this low to the point where there are barely any people in my shots, but unless I get there before rope drop, that’s only ever going to be a fantasy.

I wish that I remembered more in vivid details, but that was almost 20 years ago and my memory sucks as it is. For the rest of my memories, I had to live vicariously through the photos we have. Looking at these photos made me remember how attached I was to that 101 Dalmatians stuffed animal, how I would never take off those Minnie sunglasses after I returned back to Ohio, and the magic we all felt on that trip. They also made me realize how special my first trip to Disney World was, and how I can’t wait to share this experience with my soon-to-be husband and our little family when that time comes.

But that’s all for me today, guys! I knew that it was only right to have my first official blog post recall my first trip to the parks. Just for fun, I added some more pictures down below. Be sure to check them out, and also let me know in the comments when your first trip to Disney World (or Disneyland!) was and one special moment that you remember! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you’ll be notified when I post next : )