Disney World is a place beyond your wildest dreams, that no person could imagine. From the rides to the scenery to the food, and even the amazing performances, what isn’t there to love about “The Most Magical Place on Earth?”

Matt Stroshane, Photographer

My name is Sofia, and my family and I got to visit Walt Disney World for the first time together as part of #MyDisneyFirst. Disney World is “Where Dreams Come True,” so I’m taking you along on my experience as I embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

I’m excited to bring you along on the journey, where you get to explore “The Most Magical Place On Earth” through my eyes. Check out my first-hand account featuring some of the exciting parks, rides, shows, dining, accommodations, and more available at Disney World, as I walk you through #MyDisneyFirst perspective.

Matt Stroshane, Photographer

Art of Animation Resort

First stop, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

This is where my family and I got to stay during our trip. I was truly shocked by the overall aesthetic of the resort because there was so much to see and do! In fact, I found the entranceway alone to be incredible. Throughout this resort, there are different themed hotel rooms where you can stay. The separate themes each hotel room had were Cars, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and the one I stayed at– Finding Nemo! If you couldn’t tell, each theme was related to a popular Disney movie. 

The family suite we stayed in was like nothing I had ever seen before and I LOVED it. What can I say except for the fact it was the coolest hotel room ever! It was all ocean-themed, so it almost felt like you were a fish underwater! Not only was the room amazing, but the Art of Animation also has the biggest pool in Disney World, which is super cool. I will say… it is HUGE. There is even a kiddie pool for younger kids. It was also fun to see that there were activities outside you could play, such as ping pong and bean bag toss.

Magic Kingdom

Now, let’s check out Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom, is the first park ever made out of the four located at Disney World. The iconic Cinderella Castle is what you see when you enter. Let’s just say it definitely catches your eye. If you love rides, Magic Kingdom is the park to go to as it has the most rides out of all the parks.

As someone who loves rides, I cannot express how many fun rides I got to go on in that park. The first time I went to the park was the night of my arrival. When we got there, I was amazed at all the stores all around and how bright and exciting everything was. As soon as my family and I got there, we went to this amazing dessert party that featured all these amazing desserts to try! Then, near the end of the night, we all saw the fireworks show that happens at every park every night. It was such an amazing experience. All the different songs they played during the show corresponded with the theme of the fireworks. I’ve never seen fireworks that big before, so it was the highlight of my night! 

That night, before we decided to head back to the hotel, my mom and I  decided to go on a couple of rides. We opted for the plane ride, Astro Orbiter. On this ride, you can control your own plane which was actually pretty fun. Then, for the last ride of the night, we went on the iconic Space Mountain. Going on this ride I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but oh my was it ever fun! It was dark and fast- plus, it had sharp turns which was thrilling. You didn’t know what was going to happen next!

Steven Diaz, Photographer

On Friday, we decided to return to Magic Kingdom. This was the day we were able to experience the park a lot better. To start off the day, I went on my favorite ride in the park- the Tron Lightcycle/Run! This is a new ride and it’s the fastest ride in all parks. I’ve never been on a roller coaster like this, because you’re not in a roller coaster cart or anything like that. In fact, you’re on a motorcycle! As soon as you take off it goes super fast- it’s almost like you are in a video game! Words cannot describe how fun this ride was.

Another fun ride that is great for kids like myself is Tomorrowland Speedway. It’s kind of like go-karting. The difference is, kids of any age can be the driver. Unlike go-karts, the track is built in a way where you can’t go off the track so it’s safe for kids to maneuver!

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin was also a ride I was super excited to go on. I’ve seen that ride in so many movies so I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself! It’s a family-friendly ride that spins around, so it’s similar to the iconic Dumbo ride. But with this ride, you are on a carpet instead of an elephant.

The Jungle Cruise was also really fun and I think it’s great for younger kids. During this ride, you’re on a boat and you’re traveling around the jungle looking at different animals (which aren’t real)! On this ride, I especially liked our tour guide because he had a great sense of humor. 

Matt Stroshane, Photographer

When it came to lunch and dinner, we went to an elegant restaurant called Be Our Guest. This restaurant is under the Beast’s castle from Beauty and The Beast. This was a really cool experience because as soon as you take a step inside, you feel like royalty.  The food and dessert selection is also very fancy – which is very on-theme! You can get souvenir cups too, by ordering certain drinks. Another cool part of this restaurant is that there are multiple types of themed rooms. My family and I ate in the main dining room.

Following this, I went on The Barnstormer which is a short rollercoaster but great for little kids! Some OG rides such as Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World are other iconic rides we went on as they’re both some of the oldest in the park. Again, great for families! I also really loved Mickey’s PhilarMagic. It was a 3D short film that was about Mickey’s iconic hat. Spoiler alert- Donald Duck was trying to get it! It brings you through different adventures while making you feel like you’re on the screen, which is super cool.

To end the night off, I went to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I actually enjoyed this ride! The cart you ride in really makes you feel as if you were floating. There were roller coaster parts of the rides but also animatronic parts where the dwarfs would sing. It was great for kids and I would definitely do it again. Overall, it was a great way to end the night!


EPCOT was the next stop of our Disney World vacation.

It was the first park I saw in daylight, so I was very overwhelmed with everything. When you first walk in, you see the iconic EPCOT ball. As we arrived, we all went to breakfast at Garden Grill. This place was actually really fun! The characters Chip & Dale, Pluto, and Mickey come to greet you at your table. Another unique part of this restaurant is that the floor actually moves. It’s hard to notice but the restaurant (slowly) spins which was pretty cool, especially since I couldn’t even feel it happening! During our dining outing, we indulged in an assortment of breakfast pastries, fresh fruit, Mickey-shaped waffles, backyard grilled steak, smoked bacon, scrambled free-range eggs, and skillet potatoes. This restaurant also offers plant-based options. I actually really enjoyed the food at this restaurant, and I would have to say that the steak was my favorite.

After this amazing breakfast experience, we made our way to a new attraction by Disney, called Journey Of Water. This attraction features a Moana theme, which is a movie I love! I would even say she’s my favorite Disney princess. This new attraction is great for kids as you get to do fun things such as playing with the water because you get to control it with your hands. You also learn fun facts along the way. I would definitely recommend checking out this attraction when in EPCOT! 

Amy Smith, Photographer

Now, a ride I found super fascinating was Soarin’ Over California! This ride was so cool! It’s a virtual ride where you go through California. This ride makes you feel as if you’re in a plane because you’re in the air slowly moving from side to side. I personally really enjoyed it.

After going on that ride we decided to explore the park and take a walk. Along our walk, I discovered that there were different themed countries in this park. The countries were Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Each country has its own famous landmarks. It was a really cool experience to take in. 

Following our walk around, I went on a ride called Test Track. This is a very cool ride where you get to design a car to see how fast you can make it. Once you get past that stage you get to go in a car and experience the different aspects of it. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to race. You go on a track that takes you outside and loops around the building once. It’s really cool and makes you feel like you’re on a highway reaching up to 104 mph! This ride was so exhilarating.

We then made our way to the next ride called Mission: SPACE. This is a virtual ride that makes you feel like you’re in a rocket ship. The goal is to complete the mission you are given by the instructors. 

Preston Mack, Photographer

After these rides, we thought, “Why not make it another?”

We headed over to Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. If you’re a Guardians Of The Galaxy lover you’ll absolutely LOVE this ride. This ride takes you through the dark, and it features loud noises and some spinning! Let’s just say if you love thrilling rides, you need to check this one out. 

After all those rides we decided to check out La Crêperie de Paris. We thought that the customer service was great, and I opted to get the Classique crêpe (which includes cheese, ham, and egg). This was the best crêpe ever! 

For the last ride of the day, I went on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. This was a 4D ride so you get special glasses to experience it. It’s a great ride for kids as it takes you through the story of Ratatouille. The last event we took part in for the night was the water show called Luminous: The Symphony Of Us.  This cool show features a mix of water and fireworks. The fireworks at the water fountain flow through with the songs. It was a beautiful sight to see with all the different colors.

Matt Stroshane, Photographer

Animal Kingdom

Next up, Animal Kingdom!

Walking into Animal Kingdom was a real shock for me as I did not expect this park to have such a detailed jungle theme. I know that may sound weird since it is the Animal Kingdom, but that was my first thought! How this park made you feel like you were actually in the jungle was truly insane to me.

Kent Phillips, Photographer

As soon as we arrived, we headed straight to Expedition Everest. On the way to this ride, I saw the landmark of this park which is the Tree of Life. When we arrived at the ride I really didn’t know what to expect. However, I was so excited and I’m so glad I experienced this ride. It was for sure a thrill ride because it had a few big drops. There was even a point where you went backward!

From there, we went to the most iconic thing to do at the Animal Kingdom- go on a safari! Along the walk, you experience going through places such as Africa, Asia, Discovery Island, and Dinosaur USA. The way that this park depicts each place so well amazes me. The Kilimanjaro Safari was amazing. There were so many animals to look at and they were all so beautiful. Essentially, you go through the safari in a shuttle bus and your tour guide provides facts along the way. Some of the animals I saw included African Birds, African Hogs, Ankole Cattle, Elephants, Flamingos, Giraffes, Hippos, Lions, Meerkats, Okapis, Rhinos, Zebras, and more. 

Following this excursion, we ate lunch and made our way to the Avatar Flight Of Passage. During this ride, you are sitting on a motorcycle and get special 4D glasses to wear- since it’s a virtual ride. It reminds me of the ride, Soarin’ Over California, but is a bit more advanced. In this ride, you get to go through different parts of the Avatar jungle. It really did make you feel like you were in the film! Personally, I would do it again.

Kent Phillips, Photographer

Hollywood Studios

Time to check out Hollywood Studios!

The first time I went to Hollywood Studios was at night time when my family and I were heading to dinner. I’ve actually been to Hollywood before, so seeing the replica that Disney made was really interesting to me. It kind of gave me nostalgia from when I was actually there. It definitely gave me some retro vibes!

As said, I went there with my family that night to get dinner. The place was called Rodeo Roundhouse, and it was located in Toy Story Land. The restaurant itself is very well decorated, as it makes you feel like you’re actually in the movie.  All the employees had cowboy outfits on, just like Woody from Toy Story. They also give you an option to ride a toy horse to your table which I think little kids would really enjoy. This was a very family-friendly establishment and a great option for kids. During our time here, we all opted to try similar dishes. Some of the food on the menu during our stay featured; the Rootin Tootin tomato salad, Wheezy watermelon salad, Evil dr smoked ribs, Buttercup beef brisket, There’s a sausage in my boot, BBQ chicken-with style, Mac and cheese, Cowpoke corn on the cob, Baked beans, Potato barrels and Veggie claw. They also offer plant-based trio options that include Combat cauliflower, Bratwurst, and Ron chop. For dessert, we also had the choice of an apple pie, strawberry pie, chocolate cupcake, and lemon and blueberry cheesecake. Another thing that makes this restaurant unique is that there’s a rule. When you hear Andy’s voice everyone must freeze. If you’ve watched Toy Story you know this is because in the movie Andy doesn’t know his toys can come to life so they act like normal toys when Andy is around. If you’re in Disney I would definitely stop by this restaurant. 

That night we went to a show, titled Fantasmic! It used props such as water, fireworks, fire, projectors, and more! This show is really incredible and illustrates many different Disney characters’ stories. It’s great for any age, and really makes me want to rewatch Disney movies! 

Matt Stroshane, Photographer

To finish off the night I went to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This is a cartoon ride that I really liked and would highly recommend.

A few days later, we went back to this amazing park to try out more rides, making our way to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The way this place replicates Star Wars truly amazes me. One of the 3 rides we went on that day was the Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run. This ride is virtual. Basically, you’re in a spaceship and are given a job- you must complete your mission. It really had this intense but cool feeling to it and made you feel like you were actually in a spacecraft. The next ride we went on was Star Tours- The Adventures Continue. Now, on this ride, you’re stationary but do move side to side. After going on 2 rides in a row we were pretty hungry, so we headed off to get lunch. We stopped at Mama’s Melrose Ristorante Italiano. The way it was decorated was very comforting, plus the service and food were amazing.

Then, we made our way to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show. This was the final event we embarked on before heading home. This show walks you through the different aspects of being a stunt actor. It shows you the moves and the props it takes you to get it done. It’s really cool seeing all these fights and suspenseful moments happen. I especially like it when they’re fighting because it could look like you’re hurting someone when they throw a punch but you’re really not. At the end, they do a full scene of stunts and tricks so you can see how it all comes together. I would totally recommend seeing this show. It was so cool!

Disney World comes with so many exciting opportunities and experiences for you, your family, and your friends! After hearing all the fun I had, would you like to take a trip to Disney World?! From my perspective, it truly is “The Most Magical Place On Earth.”