My first visit to Walt Disney World in 1996 created my Disney bucket list. At the top was my dream to get married at Walt Disney World. We made this dream come true in 2008. In 1996 I also discovered that Walt Disney World was expanding by creating
Sailing To Norway
When the 2019 Disney itineraries were released we didn’t mind where the Disney Magic was sailing to we just wanted to find a cruise from Dover in the school holidays. This year the Disney Magic would be leaving from the port of Dover three times during the holidays.
There were two itineraries that worked with our return to the school schedule. The first one was stopping at different countries in Northern Europe. The second one was the very last week of the summer holidays and just sailing to Norway stopping at four different ports. Knowing how beautiful Norway is we decided this would be the cruise for us. The itinerary was for seven nights visiting the four ports and including two days at sea.
I was very worried about how this cruise would go. Our first experience on the Disney Dream was plagued by seasickness, illness and jet lag. We were hoping that not having to fly to board the ship would cut out the jet lag. I was also more prepared for seasickness this time and how cruising feels.
We were stopping at four ports in Norway, Alesund, Geiranger, Olden, and Stavanger. After looking at the Disney Port Adventures available we decided it would be best to book our own excursions. Hoping this would be the easier option for Ethan. I was nervous about doing this as it would be a first for us. But with the wonderful world of the internet, anything is possible.
At Ålesund, we decided to book the City Sightseeing Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour. Ethan loved going on the bus tour in London so we knew it would be a hit with him.
Another reason we wanted to book this tour was that it would take us to Atlanterhavsparken Ålesund, The Norwegian Aquarium.
I know that you can visit aquariums in the UK and the children love visiting them. I also knew that an aquarium in the UK couldn’t offer us views like this…
This visit turned out to be a real hit with the children because of a water play area they have there. Coupled with the beautiful weather we were blessed with what was a really relaxing visit.
We had a very early start when visiting Geiranger. It was a once in a lifetime chance to view the Geirangerfjord as we sailed into port. Darren was the up the earliest and he couldn’t wait to go to the top deck to take in the views.
Darren also gave me the chance to visit the top deck whilst the children watched the views from our cabin porthole. I can honestly say booking a cabin with a porthole was one of the best things to do for our family. It was so nice to be able to see the views of Norway and the children loved watching the waves.
At Geiranger, we booked a Panorama Exclusive Bus tour. This was a tour that included three viewpoints of the Geirangerfjord. The bus was a sixteen seater which I thought would be best for Ethan. It turned out that this is the tour that Ethan would struggle with the most. I hope he didn’t ruin the other
The three viewpoints we visited were…
The Flydalsjuvet viewpoint offers an amazing view of Geiranger and the Geirangerfjord. I managed to capture a photo of the children on the “Fjordsetet”.
This was unveiled by HRH Queen Sonja in September 2003. It was in connection with the 10th anniversary of the regional travel company Fjord Norge AS.
The Geiranger Skywalk
The Geiranger Skywalk is located on Mount Dalsnibba which is situated 1500 meters above sea level. It offers Europe’s highest fjord view from a road. From this viewpoint, you can see the snow-covered mountain peaks and all the way down to Geirangerfjord.
As we were running early on our tour our driver also stopped at Lake Djupvatnet on our way to the next viewpoint.
Eagle Bend is at the uppermost bend of Eagle Road which contains 11 hairpin bends! This viewpoint offers a view from Geiranger town back over the fjord and the only place via road to see the Seven Sisters waterfall.
Ethan really did struggle with what was happening next on this tour but he was happy when we arrived at each viewpoint. I’m really glad we got off the ship to take this tour and see the beautiful views of Geirangerfjord. We discovered later on during our trip that the Disney Magic will no longer be able to stop in Geiranger due to new restrictions. We feel so privileged to visit this amazing area of Norway.
I discovered that from the port of Olden you can visit the Loen Skylift. A cable car that takes you from the fjord to the top of Mt Hoven in five minutes.
As Ethan has loved his previous trips on the Emirates Air Line I wanted to book this trip for him. It was a very quick excursion for us but Ethan loved it.
Our original plan for Stavanger was to visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. We decided against this as we thought Ethan might want a more relaxed approach to the day with just a short walk around Stavanger. Unfortunately, because we didn’t really have any ‘direction’ when we left the Disney Magic he became a little distressed. We made it to the park and started to spot the statues around the town. This then turned into a bit of a thing for Ethan and we ended up walking around Stavanger taking photos of the children with every statue we could find.
It made Ethan happy and gave us a purpose. I did have to stop him trying to have photos with shop mannequins.
Stavanger was very different from the other stops during our Norway visit. It was more built up. But there are excursions from there that can take you to see the Lysefjord. Stavanger also gave me the chance to purchase my very first Starbucks You Are Here Mug.
The Disney Side Of Our Cruise
Of course being on a Disney Cruise our trip to Norway was a Disney adventure. We enjoyed meeting Disney characters in different forms of dress. Meeting Disney princesses and attending the Royal Court Royal Tea.
A trip to Noway had to be Frozen inspired which meant a meet and greet with Anna and Elsa. An Elsa makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a Frozen deck party. Where we got the chance to Freeze The Night Away!
We loved the rotation restaurants. Animator’s Palate is a restaurant I have wanted to experience for a number of years. Rapunzel’s Royal Table was also a hit for our little lady. The food was amazing as were the staff who rotated with us. We never experienced a bad meal.
Our Thoughts Of Sailing To Norway On The Disney Magic
We know that Disney Park holidays are exhausting but we never expected to feel that way on a Disney Cruise. Having talked to the other cruises I think not only are there so many Disney activities to keep you busy but the itinerary was a busy one. Who doesn’t want to get off the ship when sailing to Norway? There are so many things to see and do. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
We did experience rough seas but these mostly happened overnight. I made sure that both me and Ethan were taking seasickness tablets and I’m sure they helped. I also slept with sea bands on, just-in-case.
Disney Cruising and Autism
Ethan loved the Disney Magic, I think that might have been the reason he struggled when we were out and about exploring Norway. He was allowe in the kid’s clubs without my needing to stay there. They didn’t offer one-to-one support but all of the team were aware of his needs and diagnosis. If he needed us we would be sent a message via the Disney Cruise Line App.
The staff were amazing with him too. Taking the time to listen to his questions even with his very limited speech.
He loved the children’s pool area but didn’t want to see any of the shows. He is already asking for another Disney Cruise!
We loved sailing to Norway on the Disney Magic, I’m so glad we went on this Disney adventure.