Magic Kingdom: Where not all dreams come true

Disney castle and Minnie Mouse ears

Once upon a time, when spring had sprung, two friends with a deep love of all things Disney decided to visit for the very first time, the Magical Kingdom- Where all dreams come true… 

Becky and I bought tickets through our resort clubhouse, to save us time queueing when we arrived. They set us back $133 a piece- a little pricey, but we were happy to pay as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We jumped in the car and set off on the 20 minute journey to Magic Kingdom, parking at their standard lot which set us back a further $20. Despite this, our hopes were still high for a great afternoon.

Queueing for Disney world Magic Kingdom monorail

After jumping on a buggy and then a monorail, we were finally at the gates ready to let out our inner child run loose for the afternoon! Honestly, I would love nothing more than to write a glowing review of an amazing day, but it turned out to be not quite the experience we had hoped for, and I’ll go on to explain why.


-You have to queue for EVERYTHING.

The only place you didn’t have to wait, ironically, were the women’s toilets. When you weren’t queueing, you were bumper to bumper, shoulder to elbow to knee to belly. You CANNOT walk quicker than a shuffle without being in someone’s way and this was considered an ‘off peak day’. It was beyond frustrating for every party involved. For me in particular, that ruined the whole experience.

– Everything is geared to empty your wallet.

At the Masters the cost of food and water is reduced due to it being the only place where you can buy refreshments on site (plus the fact you have already forked out a lot for a ticket). Disney world take the opposite approach. Instead of just milking you at the front gates for your ticket, they take advantage at every possible opportunity.

Want an autograph from Minnie Mouse? You have to pay. Want a professional photo next to Donald Duck? You have to pay. Want to paint your child in glitter like Cinderella? Shock horror, hand over the cash!

-Where is the shade, Walt?

When you finally reach the point of exhaustion and are in desperate need for some food/ drink AND after you’ve mentally prepared yourself to re-mortgage your home just to purchase lunch, brace yourself to sit in the blaring sun whilst you eat. You had better eat that ice cream quick!

– Dusty rides.

The park was built in the 80’s and honestly, a few of the rides look like they haven’t had any funding put into them since then. Some of the newer films had great rides with props that were both realistic and exciting. Others were just dusty and falling apart. What a shame.



Magic Kingdom Dohl Whip

– Dohl whip… sweet, sweet, Dohl whip.

It wasn’t quite worth spending $133 to be able to buy the Dohl whip, but it definitely lightened my mood for a while! This tasty snack is a sweet, creamy, pineapple sorbet which can only be bought on Disney property. If you happen to pass through the park on your travels, then you must buy a Dohl Whip because it will change your life for the better.


– Seeing the children’s faces light up.

The expressions on some of the children prove that perhaps there is still magic in Disney world. I wish I had been lucky enough to visit 20 years ago when I possibly still believed in the magic of Disney, plus the rides would have been still fresh and exciting. However, as an adult, it just isn’t encapsulating enough to hide the ugly truths of real life. I suppose that means I’m officially ‘a grumpy grown up’.

Disney castle and crowds

It sucks to be so cynical but it really is difficult to look past the cash cow machine that is Disney world. I’ve been conditioned by years of TV adverts and merchandise into thinking this was the ultimate place to visit; the truth is that it’s an overrated theme park. A beautiful mirage that hides the nasty reality- true commercialism in its finest form.

The magic has run dry and been replaced by soulless actors and out of date, dusty props with bosses in black suits who are only concerned by how much profit they can squeeze from every unfortunate parent to walk through those gates.

I would like to hope that it is still a magical place for the children who are fortunate enough to visit, but it certainly wasn’t for Becky and I.  Maybe I’m too old? Maybe the park has just lost its charm? Either way, it hurts me to say it, but universal was much more fun. Save your hard earned pennies and spend them at a park that actually values your custom, you’ll have a way better holiday!

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