Walt Disney World Day 1 | Magic Kingdom and Epcot {September 2019}

We woke up bright and early on Sunday morning, excited to start our Disney Trip in the Magic Kingdom! It’s the best place to start your Disney experience (I think) because it’s just so magical and festive!

Because we were staying on Disney property, we were able to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours and enjoy the parks before they are officially open. I snapped this incredible view of the train station at 7:30 AM!

We headed right down Main Street USA and enjoyed taking in the castle, Frontierland and Adventureland with such low crowds.

Our first stop was breakfast at Gaston’s Tavern! We shared a huge cinnamon roll (a snack credit if you’re on the dining plan) and I got a cup of coffee. Here’s Paul’s best smug Gaston impression. I came back from fixing my coffee to find him posed like this, waiting for me to take his picture! πŸ™‚

The detail and theming all over the parks always amazes me – and I love the detail in Gaston’s tavern!

He really does use antlers in all of his decorating! πŸ™‚

It’s a tradition that we ride It’s A Small World first!

Next up, The Little Mermaid – another ride with such fun detail!

We jumped on the Ferry Boat and were able to stand in the sun without getting too hot! It was sunny but very breezy for our first morning. Paul was wishing he’d worn his sunglasses – it’s not on your mind when you leave the room before sunrise! πŸ™‚

From there we grabbed a ride on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, which I am not ashamed to admit was my favorite ride of the whole trip! We rode it again on our last night, in the dark after the fireworks. So much fun!

We caught a peek of Aladdin and Jasmine while we were there!

Between fast passes and short lines, we packed so much into this morning! Before noon we’d also done The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean.

We ate lunch at Columbia Harbor House – one of the restaurants I really wanted to try this trip! It was really busy, so Paul found us a table while I waited in line to order.

We both ordered plates with fish and chips – mine also had hush puppies and Paul’s also had chicken. We both enjoyed our food, especially the shrimp! Our table had a lovely view of Fantasyland, which I did a terrible job of capturing in this photo. Just trust me. πŸ™‚

After lunch we headed back for our afternoon rest. Each day we took at least a three hour break from the park – giving us time to put our feet up, take a nap and recharge for the rest of the day. We walked back to the bus stop and headed to Epcot for supper!

Paul’s magic band decal shown below is from The Skin Dudes on Etsy. πŸ™‚

Our first day at Disney was also my 35th birthday! When we checked in they gave me a birthday button which I was more than happy to wear all day long. πŸ™‚ Each time a cast member saw my button, they wished me the most energetic and heartfelt “Happy Birthday!” It was really special!

Epcot is under a lot of construction right now, and that combined with the heavy evening crowds in the World Showcase due to the Food & Wine festival made it our least favorite park this trip.

We had a little bit of time before our supper reservation, so we rode The Three Caballeros Gran Fiesta Tour to cool off! It’s a relaxing ride (a lot like Small World) with some really cute details.

Paul told me to choose a table-service restaurant where I wanted to celebrate my birthday, so we made reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion. It sits on the water and provides a beautiful view of the sunset! This restaurant was recommended by our Magical Vacation Planner, Amy from Magical Moments Vacations.

The food was amazing! We ordered this dinner for two that came with steak, chicken, chorizo, grilled vegetables, beans, rice and corn tortillas. Each component had amazing flavor, and this was a truly unique entree. It was delicious and more than enough for the two of us.

Paul ordered this amazing Mexican caramel apple pie that was equally outstanding. We were SO full and could hardly move as we worked our way back through the World Showcase!

Since we had another early morning the next day, we left the park as the fireworks were starting. It was a beautiful end to an amazing day!

Thank you for indulging me as I share the details of our vacation! Next Friday I’ll share day 2 in Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs. There’s also a new video on YouTube today – a quick haul of the things we bought at Disney. Paul is in this video and it’s one of his best! πŸ™‚

Blogger friends – join me for High Five For Friday over here and link up your favorite posts from this week!


16 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Day 1 | Magic Kingdom and Epcot {September 2019}

  1. I love Disney land and world. I’ve been to Disney land a bunch of times and Disney world once Disney is so much fun. I would love to work there and be a princess lol


      1. There’s nothing like Disney parks Disney always puts me in a better mood when I’m sad or not feeling well lol πŸ˜‚ πŸ’•πŸ₯°


  2. My heart is so full after reading this post! I have no doubt this will be a birthday that you’ll look back at fondly for the rest of your life! ❀ I loved each and every pic! So fun that Paul was waiting there posed like Gaston when you came back from fixing your coffee! πŸ˜€ Jason watched all your WDW instagram stories with me and when you shared there that your tradition is to ride Small World first, we both commented on how we love that you have Disney traditions now! Yay! πŸ˜€ Speaking of traditions, one of ours is eating at a Columbia Harbor House each trip at a table that looks out on Fantasyland too! Love that view! I could comment on every last thing as I love every detail of your day, but I’ll wrap this up already (lol), saying I couldn’t be happier for you, dear friend! What a magical milestone birthday you enjoyed!!! ❀


    1. It was so busy at Columbia Harbor House that I didn’t dare get my hopes up that we’d get that table with the view of Fantasyland. I didn’t even tell Paul that’s the table I wanted – so you know I was thrilled to come upstairs with our food to find him at that table! ❀


  3. I’m so happy that someone loves It’s A Small World as much as I do! Ever since my first trip to Disney for my 7th birthday when it was the ONLY ride I wanted to ride πŸ˜‰ we have to ride it at least twice on every visit!! Paul’s video is awesome, he did a great job of filling in for you! Hope you feel better soon!


  4. What a magical trip!! So glad you were able to be at the parks to celebrate your birthday. I love that you got a birthday button. Who doesn’t love to feel extra special on their birthday!?! I’ve also decided that we’d have a blast at Disney together because we love the same type of rides. I need the easy going ones and I’m always here for some delicious food.


  5. Paul is too funny in this video! Glad you guys had a fun trip. Love that you took some time to rest in the afternoons – I feel like Disney could easily be a non-stop type of trip instead of a relaxing vacation. Sounds like you got the best of both worlds!


  6. We’re heading to Disney in a few months; it’s the first time we’re actually not staying on property and while I will miss those extra magic hours so much my boys really, really, wanted to spend a few days at Universal Studios too and staying off site seemed like the best way to do both in one trip! We always try to find new restaurants or experiences on each trip and since it’s been almost 6 years since our last trip I am so excited to see all the new stuff!


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