A little story of Walt Disney World January 2017

So you might have seen that I’ve been posting a few pretty pictures from Walt Disney World over the past week or so (shameless plug: you can follow me: www.instagram.com/beautyjunkieldn) Well, as pretty as they are I thought I’d actually tell you a little more about ‘behind the photos’ too. Because unfortunately this is one of those times this just didn’t go to plan… at all. 

Walt Disney World

As much as I’d love to be bringing you a post with a tonne of idyllic photos from the time in Florida, I actually think it’s a good chance to just be totally transparent about the trip and how it ended up being a series of various fails.

I’m writing this as I’m sat on the Virgin Atlantic flight home. I never thought I’d say this from a trip to America. But I’m very much ready to go home right now. 
Walt Disney World

So what went wrong? Well, it all started off great. We were in Orlando to take part in the Disney Marathon weekend. Ollie is really into things like marathons and triathlons and it’s become a bit of a ‘thing’ that our destinations are often linked to a race in some form or another. 

So after Ollie was up bright and early to do the first race of the weekend – the 5k – Following this we kicked off the first day with a trip to the Magic Kingdom. It all started great. Space Mountain, magic teacups and a stop for a quick lunch. This is where it started to go wrong. Unfortunately very quickly after lunch (at the Harbour House quick service restaurant in Liberty Square), Ollie started feeling unwell and came down with a really nasty bout of food poisoning. So the day in the magic ended pretty sharpish and back to the hotel we went. Unfortunately the illness really did mess up the whole trip. As anyone who has had food poisoning can vouch for, even days afterwards when you’re ‘better’ you won’t be feeling 100% and will be zapped of energy pretty sharpish. 

Walt Disney World

It of course put a massive downer on the whole reason we were in Disney in the first place. Ollie was in no state to do the 10k on the second day of the 4-day challenge so I stepped in so between us we could do it. That was fine. The next day he was feeling a little better ahead of the half marathon we were due to run together.

So the next fail. The weather. A thunderstorm meant the ever cautious Disney decided to cancel the half marathon race all together. Which when that was the only race I was supposed to be taking part in…pretty frustrating. Especially to wake up at the time the race was going on and see zero thunderstorms or the dramatic downpours we had been warned of. I think there were a lot of disappointed people in Disney that day. 

Walt Disney World Waffles

Then when the marathon day rolled around, Ollie ended up being unable to take part due to the knock on effects of being ill and his appetite taking a while to come back. Deciding that running a marathon after being unable to eat anything more than a ritz cracker for a few days would be pretty foolish. So at this point, it felt a bit like we had travelled to Disney World for next to nothing. A four part race challenge became a 5k. My half, which was to be my first became nothing. Kind of a bummer. BUT of course, we weren’t there *just* for the races, they were just our motivation for going in the first place. 

Luckily after that, the main wave of illness passed. So that’s great. But then with the storm on the half marathon day followed with a cold snap. Very cold. Colder than London cold. Which we were not totally prepared for. As much as we tried to soldier on. We had a series of days where we just had to do our best despite the combination of cold weather and knock on affect of the sickness for Ollie. Which meant we missed out on a load of the plans we had spent a lot of time setting up, including the rides, parks we were visiting and meals we had booked. It was just a series of smaller things that built up to the point we were both quite bummed out by it all. 

Ok I know, worlds smallest violin. It’s not meant to be a sob story at all. We did everything we could to make the most of the time we had. And a big thank you to Kelly at Port Orleans Riverside who was really helpful and really helped us with both advice and helping us to reorganise what plans we could. So we did the best we could, but can’t help feeling a little disappointed as we travelled home that the trip wasn’t what we hoped. You can’t help but feel like the time and money of the holiday have been wasted. But that happens, that’s life. Even the happiest place on earth sucks, if things like this don’t work out. 

Walt Disney World - It's a small world

Above all else, I love Disney World. I am lucky to have so many amazing memories of Disney and I know one bad trip wont dampen those at all. If anything it just makes me want to think ahead and plan another where we can go and try again. But right now, I just wanted to share a bit about the not so shiny side of the instagtam pictures. It’s not all as magic as it can seem from a photo. 

I’ll be writing up some more posts about Disney, planning for a trip and some tips I’ve picked up on my trips as an adult too. So it’s not all doom and gloom at all. But didn’t want to blog it as all sparkle and magic, when frankly – the majority of the trip just wasn’t that at all, sadly!



  1. January 15, 2017 / 11:56 am

    Ah Jen im so disappointed for you,,,, can’t believe your husband was that Ill after going all that way to run in the marathon…can’t wait to read about your tips and pointers to going again xx

  2. January 15, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    It’s such a shame that the trip wasn’t all you’d hoped for, at least it gives you an excuse to go back and try and have a better time though! I hope you did enjoy the time you managed to salvage though and Disney looks wonderful! x

    Kate// itskaterose.blogspot.com

  3. January 15, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    Oh god. I’m absolutely devastated for you. As you know we were there, but a bit further north at the same time as you and it was bloody freezing. I hope Ollie’s feeling better x

  4. January 19, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Oh no that’s such a shame, the last time I went it rained the majority of the time too and that was in summer!

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