Our Picture Gallery in London and Windsor Castle
Our Picture Gallery in London and Windsor Castle
When we got to Florida and checked in at our hotel, our kids were already excited about going and seeing Magic Kingdom. We weren’t fully ready to go on that day but we wanted our kids to have fun so we went right after we had lunch. There wasn’t much line up at the entrance anymore because it was late afternoon. We went through a light security check at the main gate before entering Disney World.
As soon as we entered the main entrance gate we passed under the Walt Disney World Railroad and arrived at Main Street, USA. We took a quick look around and on our left was the City Hall. Inside the City Hall are the Guests Relations, Information and Lost and Found. On our right was the Town Square Theatre. This is where the meet and greet for Mickey and some of the Disney Princesses are found.
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As we walked north of Main Street, USA, Cinderella’s Castle was clearly visible over the crowd of visitors.
In front of Cinderella’s Castle we were able to watch “Dream Along With Mickey”, an outdoor musical show that’s about 20 minutes long and happens 5x throughout the day (2x in the morning and 3x after lunch). We managed to get a short video clip of the show at the end.
After the show we went inside Cinderella’s Castle and looked around inside. The details on the right side of the walls inside the castle were pretty amazing and tells the tale of Cinderella. On the left side was the “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique” where parents can transform their kids into little Prince and Princesses. As we exited the castle we arrived at the New Fantasyland. We let the kids play a bit at Pooh’s Playful spot while one parent waited in line for” The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh” indoor attraction. It was a good idea to let our kids have some play time instead of waiting in line for 20 minutes as seen in the picture because we didn’t use our Fast Pass. (20 minutes is actually considered a short wait time for the theme park)
We strolled around Fantasyland and went on kids rides that had a short wait times. (Cinderella’s Golden Carousel and Dumbo the Flying Elephant).
After strolling around Fantasyland we headed East to Tomorrowland and lined up for the Indy Speedway, a go-kart type attraction where you can race with other visitors. Our kids had a blast with this attraction because we allowed them to drive and us parents were the passengers.
After the Indy Speedway we went to our Fast Pass schedule at “Stitch’s Great Escape!”, a dark interactive alien experience. Now just to warn you Stitch does spray water at you in this attraction depending on where you’re seated. (Try to seat at the back where the water might not get you.) Also this attraction maybe a bit scary for younger kids who are afraid of the dark and monsters.
Right after “Stitch’s Great Escape!”, we went across to the next building towards “Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor”. There was again a 20 minute wait before we managed to see the show, but it was well worth it. It was and still is one of the best interactive Impromptu Stand Up comedy that we’ve seen. You can see the reason why our kid’s loved it below:
Our Half Day tour of Magic Kingdom quickly ended because we were already tired from our flight and we all needed a rest from all the fun and excitement. We were only able to use our Fast Pass once for that day because all the other attractions we wanted to see with a Fast Pass were already fully booked. A lesson we learned the hard way “Book your Fast Pass in Advance”. We managed to see half of the Magic Kingdom Park that day by strolling around and picking the attractions that had the shortest line up. We noted the attractions that had the longest line ups and had fully booked Fast Pass so that we can book them in advance for our next tour. When we went back to our Hotel our kids watched the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from our Hotels’ Balcony while having a very late dinner.
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After a tiring Day of walking around London we decided to take our next trip out of the city. We heard that visiting Windsor Castle is a must to see, but is a bit of a commute from London being 23 miles west of London. For our other adventures, please click here.
Best Time to go visiting Windsor Castle – when visiting Windsor Castle, please take note that it opens to the public at 9:45 am every day including Sunday. This is the time that most packaged tours arrive at Windsor Castle along with independent visitors wanting to make Windsor Castle their first stop. So to avoid the crowd and to have more rest, we decided to go early afternoon. We missed seeing the Changing of the Guards, which was supposedly one of the highlights when visiting Windsor Castle. The ceremony starts at 11am and lasts for about 45 minutes which is why Packaged Tours arrives early at 9:45-10 am. This gives Tourists ample time to see Windsor Castle and the Changing of Guards at the end of their Tour. We wanted to have the freedom of being able to roam on our own without worrying about a group so we didn’t opt in for the Packaged tours. Visiting Windsor Castle was such an amazing experience.
How to Get to Windsor Castle from London – From our hotel we took Overground train to Clapham Junction for 30 minutes, change train from Clapham Junction to Windsor/Eton Riverside and walk for about 10 minutes to get to Windsor Castle. It took us almost 2 hours of travel time but it was a great way to see the English countryside and enjoy the scenery. There might be faster ways to get to Windsor Castle but at that time we weren’t familiar with the place and getting lost was the best way to explore and get to know more of the city.
Tickets when visiting Windsor Castle – Just like the London Eye there’s a long line up to get inside the Windsor Castle and the only way to skip the line is if you have a London Pass or if you’ve purchased a Day Tour which also includes a trip to the Stonehenge and Bath. (For shorter line ups Winter time is the ideal time to visit.) You also go through an Airport like Security Check before entering Windsor Castle. An Audio Tour and Guide Book is included with the Admission(£20/adult) which gave us the freedom to explore the Castle and learn more about its history on our own.
What to Expect when visiting Windsor Castle – There are places in the Castle where Food/Drink and Cameras are not allowed and cellphones had to be turned off but for the most part we were able to use our Camera. You will be asked to place food and drinks in closed bags before entering the State Apartments. We started our tour of the Windsor Castle from the Courtyard where we were given the Multimedia tour handsets which offers a General Tour, a Family Multimedia Tour and a Tour for Blind and Partially Sighted Visitors. You are able to chose which experience you want and for which language. The languages available for the multimedia tour were English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Mandarin.
From the Courtyard we headed up the Castle Hill and the Jubilee Garden before entering inside Windsor Castle through St. George’s Gate. Once inside you go through the halls of various towers about 20 in total. There are some areas inside Windsor Castle which are open only on certain months of the year. For example the North Terrace (East End) is open only during August and September months.
We wanted a more relax day of exploration, and ended up not having enough time to see the Stonehenge and more of the English Country Side. It was a learning experience and next time we visit we will definitely book a hotel by the countryside to be able to explore more. The long commute to the Windsor Castle from our Hotel made it a little difficult to see more of the countryside. Make sure you give yourself at least 2-3 hours when visiting Windsor Castle to see it in full without rushing.
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