Cast : Me, DH, DS (9yrs), DD (3yrs) All new to the Disney experience. ------------------------------------------------------------------ I'll cut to the chase as I am sure you don't want to hear about how we spent the night before arriving in a hotel that was so obviously a place frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers.....oh yes, seriously! Arrived at the DCR at around 9.30am, quickly booked in and got straight off to the park as our cabin was not available until after 3pm. We were amazed at how quick it was to get there - only about 6mins - and the excitement in the car was reaching fever pitch as we pulled into the car park. Luckily it wasn't too busy (we were only one travelator back) and we got to the gates the studios just after it opened. I can't remember why we decided to go into there first but just as we walked in, we spotted Minnie by the car and DD was overawed. I think it was a combination of her being her favourite character and seeing her in the flesh, so to speak. Photo duly taken and we wandered through, trying to avoid looking in the shops so as to avoid the credit card being maxed out in the first half hour! Saw Sully but there was quite a big queue for him and neither DS nor DD were too bothered about meeting him so made our way over to Agrabah and used the fast pass tickets as the queue was already huge. DH and DS decided at that point they needed to go to the toilets, something that my DS now rues, as while they were gone, DD and I got to see Donald and Daisy duck, DS's favourites. Unfortunately we were a bit too late to get photo's but we did manage to get a stroke of Donald's bottom Decided to do Stitch while waiting for Agrabah as there was no queue and thought that was brilliant. Even DD - who really did not like him before we went - liked it after a while. Agrabah was good - well, it would have been if DD hadn't been in control and insisted on it going up and down and up and down..... Off to Cafe Mickey for lunch which was great. We met Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Mr Smee, Balloo, Gepetto and King John. DS swears he saw one of the dwarves but I am not too sure on that. As it was DD's birthday the following week, we arranged for her to have a cake (only I thought I'd booked it for the tea party the following day). She absolutely loved it as she danced with Mickey and Baloo and they made a big fuss of her. Went back to the studios and had a mooch around as the queues were quite bad by this point and we were all pretty tired (We'd been up since 6am and most of the previous night with all the shenanigans!) so we decided to go back to the DCR to dump the suitcases and just chill for a while, knowing we were staying for the fireworks. Headed back to the park at around 6pm and had a browse in the shops before taking our position around the bandstand for the parade. And oh, it did not disappoint. I will remember for a long time the look on both my children's faces as they saw all these characters come past them. I must admit to having a few tears in my eyes as - and I have said this to everyone since I have come back - you really cannot imagine how magical it is unless you have been there. All the time I was in Disney, I 'forgot' that these were people in costumes....to me, they were real! (Look at the sky in the last one!) The parade had no sooner gone through the gates when the heavens opened and there was a torrential thunderstorm, so we took shelter in the Liberty Arcade and enjoyed Mickey Brioches and hot chocolate while we dried off and it passed over. It soon did and we headed off and managed to get onto POTC ride (twice, as the kids loved it), the teacups, Dumbo and the Carousel. Oh, and Small World as well which I had been telling DH and DS ' everyone says that this is wonderful and we must go on it.' They got off and they were like at me! We watched Fantillusion up by Small World and it was a fantastic spot - we could see Mickey dancing and waving behind the gates before it started and although it was late and the kids were really tired, it was well worth the wait. Oh yes, and we saw the fireworks which were magical, although I didn't take any photos as I had a sleeping 3yr old on my shoulder who simply could not stay awake to see them. So midnight comes and after a long, long walk back to the carpark, we arrive back at the DCR, absolutely knackered with 'It's a Small Small World' going round in all our heads and the alarm clock set for 7am the following morning. ------------------------------------------------------------- Day 2 and Day 3 (which never should have been), to come.