My wife and I, along with a few of our friends, visited during March this year and I can absolutely confirm it is the happiest place on Earth. It is also incredibly, incredibly exhausting. Despite having visited before, I learned a few interesting things about what it’s really like to visit Walt Disney World as a grown-up.

BAG CHECK SUCKS. Whilst I totally understand the purpose of it, the bag check and metal detector procedure can delay you for a good 20-30 minutes once you’ve arrived at the park. If possible, try to take just one backpack and everyone else in your party can then use the ‘no-bags’ line.

Excitement level: Fading, Fading…

CHARACTER MEET & GREETS CAN BE SUPER AWKWARD. Okay, so you’re in the park now, and you head over to have a photo with your favourite Disney character… With no kids in sight. As you stand there in a queue full of families and children, eagerly clutching your camera and your autograph book, you start to feel a little uncomfortable. Then, when you finally get to the front of the line, you go and pose next to what you are somewhat aware of as being a person in a giant costume. A silent, creepy person. Yet you still hug them and utter something like “I’m so happy to meet you Goofy!”. Fortunately, Disney now has some characters who can talk to you like Kylo Ren or Moana. We were fortunate enough to have Moana tell us all about how her tribe celebrates birthdays and it made Emma’s day!

Excitement level: Maximum Happiness Achieved.

IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR A BUTTON, RIGHT? I would like to say that the buttons (or badges as they are called here in the U.K) are reserved for children, but I’m pretty sure they’re there for everyone to enjoy. There is totally no shame in asking for them. In fact, I now have a collection of: Happy Birthday, Just Engaged, 1st Visit, I’m Celebrating and Happily Ever After buttons. What’s more is the cast members will help you forget you’re an

adult and immerse you in the magic by acknowledging your button/badge. For example during a Stitch photo op, the character acknowledged our ‘Just Engaged’ buttons and spent extra time with us acting all over excited, cute!

Excitement Level: Nirvana.

THERE IS SO. MUCH. WALKING. Especially at EPCOT. Walt Disney World resort is 43 square miles in size, which is about the size of San Francisco. Or if you’re in the U.K, that’s the same size as Oxford, Cambridge and York COMBINED. You will finish each day with sore feet, this is a fact. You will end up utterly and completely exhausted. You, a grown up, will be begging for a hot tub and some beer after the evening fireworks. And then as you sip said beer you’ll wonder just how that 5 year old you saw at about 8pm still had the energy to charge past you onto another ride. How!?

Excitement Level: Pooped.

TANTRUMS WILL BE THROWN. It turns out that visiting Disney as an adult isn’t too different from visiting as a kid after-all… If you factor in the above point about walking, and the typical Florida heat, AND the long hours at each park, it can lead to some grouchy-ass individuals. This is perfectly normal, but you’ll watch in horror as either you or one of your party of grown-ups becomes said tantrum thrower. Sorry, but it’s almost inevitable. It’s hard to predict what it is that will eventually send you over the edge. It could be the fact you’ve not eaten for a while and the queue for food is just way too long, or you end up on a ride that is just a little rougher than you’d expected, or perhaps nobody wants to go on the one thing that you’d like to do… Whatever it is, prepare to embarrass yourself. If my Cousin Sam is reading this, sorry, I’m writing about you.

Excitement Level: Over Stimulated.

DISNEY PHOTOPASS IS THE BEST THING EVER. If you’re savvy enough to purchase a ticket that includes a Memory Maker/Disney PhotoPass then you’re in for a treat. All ride and character photos are included for free. As the sensible grown-up that you are, you’ll soon realise that you can throw ridiculous poses on all the rides, and the challenge begins to see who can pull the most absurd face as you race to the photo booth once the ride comes to a full and complete stop.

Excitement Level: I’m done. I’m just done. This was the best day ever and nothing can ever top this.

SUMMARY: EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE AN ADULT, YOU WILL STILL CREATE MEMORIES THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.

Yes, it can be stressful at times… But. You’re at Walt. Disney. Freaking. World. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5, 35 or 55, I can categorically say it is and always will be The Happiest Place on Earth. Visiting the parks is just as awesome for grown-ups. Do it.

For more Disneyland content and other travel related posts please visit us over on our blog at www.cptnmingo.co.uk.

More info: cptnmingo.co.uk

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