A Walt Disney World vacation will be different every time and that brings us back again and again. We have favorite things we like to do but we also seek out new things to experience. There is also a striking difference between what we experience in our everyday lives and what we experience at WDW. We concentrate on working hard at school and work, day after day going through the tasks that come our way. On vacation, we seek to relax a bit, reconnect with our family/friends, have some great food, and Disney makes even the everyday aspects more enjoyable. Do any of these listed ring true with you? What everyday thing do you find is better at Disney?
10. Using the restroom
What can be more everyday than using the restroom? I will visit a bathroom at every restaurant, resort, etc. that I visit because I want to see the theming and if the bathroom is clean, then I feel more assured that the kitchen is also clean. If you have been at Walt Disney World for several days, sometimes weeks at a time, you know what I am talking about with this. The bathrooms are almost always very clean and well attended, but the automatic flushers, soap dispensers, faucets and hand dryers are things you can quickly get used to. Driving back home to the northeast it was always disappointing to me the first restroom outside of Disney with all those automatic things not occurring. The reality that I was no longer in Disney was a reality that it was time to get back to work, and this was the first step. Hey, you’ve got to get back to work if you are to earn the money to have a future vacation! But while I am at Disney World I enjoy these simple things.
I have looked at a Walt Disney World vacation as an extension of school for my whole family. I love all the ways you can learn new things at Disney and that it is something we all understand, if we only pay attention. Some information comes through Cast Members sharing a conversation with us as we wait in a queue, or a film featuring a country at Epcot, sharing a meal from a faraway country, learning about United States Presidents and history, understanding just how high a 120-foot slide really looks like at Blizzard Beach or maybe taking one of the special Tours available at the resort, they are fun ways to add to our knowledge base. Disney has its own special focus on education days set aside for students to learn something such as Physics by learning about and riding the coasters and Tower of Terror. Check out more information at www.disneyyouth.com. You could conduct your own science fair project: see how many times you can ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and still walk straight when disembarking! These are things that don’t happen inside a traditional four-walled room. Keep your eyes and ears open. Before leaving home make sure you measure your children and note which rides they are tall enough to ride, or which ones they are not quite ready for on this next trip. These are not arbitrary numbers for height requirements, they are from scientific testing observing the G-forces and discerning its impact on persons of different sizes. Ensure your child that these requirements are for their own safety.
8. Getting Dressed
How is getting dressed better at Disney? Where else do you wear your comfortable clothes, maybe don a pair of Mickey ears and a pin lanyard, and the biggest difference may be the smile on your face. You are finally here at WDW and your vacation has begun! Relax and if you have done some pre-planning, you are ready to have fun! Put on those flip flops, or sensible shoes with double socks so you don’t get any pesky blisters to interfere with your enjoyment. Shorts are appropriate much of the year, along with that Goofy shirt you bought. Sunscreen is important to put on. Sunglasses or a hat for shade is great, rock that fanny pack or backpack, and out to the bus you go. I don’t know about you, but I did not dress this way when going to work back home. (I do now, because we moved here and I have the best job in the World to be able to write about it!) Honestly, I still get that smile on my face every time I walk into a Disney park. It is just a special place that has given my family many happy memories that we treasure and add to each time we come. Check the weather forecasts and dress appropriately.
There is so much entertainment available to you with your park admission tickets so check the Times Guide when you enter each park. Carry one of these with you because they also tell you when and where the characters are in that park that day. Many of the resorts also have entertainment, most of which do not require any additional cost. Disney Springs has a large number of live entertainment, most of which is outside. You can choose from Broadway-style musicals, vocalists, piano players, Audio-Animatronics shows, first-rate parades, street performers, acrobats, Mariachi bands, the list goes on and on and they are all top-rate. Take the time to enjoy some of the entertainment, maybe join in the interactive ones for a more personal experience! You will appreciate the Disney dynamic in the entertainment offerings at Walt Disney World.
6. Family Photos and/or Selfies
The photo backdrops at Walt Disney World are almost boundless! You can take a photo at Disney’s Polynesian Village resort with the lush tropical landscaping in the background that would make a unique Christmas card photo. Take a selfie as you make your way around World Showcase with each country in your background. That is a record of a whirlwind trip around the world! You can make use of the PhotoPass Photographers for individual photos, or purchase the Memory Maker package before you leave home, to collect all the PhotoPass Photographer-taken digital pictures, ride and dinner photos as well as any on-ride video taken of you and your party. You can casually pose in front of an African Gorilla or Tiger at Animal Kingdom (with almost invisible Plexiglas carefully separating you.) If you take advantage of PhotoPass Photographers you don’t even have to bring your own camera. On the other hand, there are so many photos that will jump out at you if you are carrying a camera around with you. PhotoPass Photographers are in many places, but not everywhere, and to get truly unique photos, bring your own camera or camera cell phone. Snap a photo of your Disney resort room to share with family or friends who don’t understand what the “big deal” is about Walt Disney World. Smile!
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5. Status Updates
That time you mention you are enjoying a Dessert Party at Epcot while watching IllumiNations right in front of you, close enough to feel the heat! Where else can you post the messages that tell your tale of leaving the stress of everyday life behind and trading it for a set of Mickey ears and a happy smile on your face? The range of attractions, resorts, restaurants, shows, etc., is so big, yet it is your perspective on things that your family and friends like to read about.
Sunny and warm temperatures beats an Alberta Clipper or Polar Vortex every time! It is true that the spring and summer months can have a quick thunderstorm pop-up, but it is usually refreshing and brings more comfortable humidity levels to the day. The winters that the United States has experienced the last couple of years have been especially brutal, and many of us have found a way to escape to Walt Disney World. Trade in those hot cocoa mugs for Pineapple Dole Whips!
3. Physical Activity
You will be walking a great deal at Walt Disney World, but somehow, it is transformed into a journey, not a required workout. You can also enjoy snorkeling with sharks at Typhoon Lagoon, where you may also sign up to learn how to surf before that park opens. Parasailing, jogging trails, bicycles, swimming are offered every day. If you are a registered diver make your way to the giant aquariums at the Living Seas (Epcot) for a Disney version of diving. The two waterparks, multiple golf courses, min-golf, and croquet are some more options and for even more sports related fun visit ESPN Wide World of Sports. You will enjoy these activities in very unique surroundings that sets it apart. The ultimate in this must be participating in the DisneyRun events where runners get to experience their sport through favorite Disney parks!
We here at Disney Dining believe this sets Walt Disney World apart from all other theme-park destinations. The vast number and the wide variety of Disney restaurants, bakeries, carts, food courts, etc. is like no other resort. Participating in the Disney Dining Plan brings you a fixed price for your meals and snacks, making it easy to plan and pay ahead, so you can actually have it all paid for before you even leave home. Disney resort guests can make restaurant reservations 180 days prior to their arrival and some are still in such high demand that you may have to keep checking back closer to your arrival to get those coveted ressies. Even if you plan to eat your own food, or counter service restaurants, try to book at least one table-service restaurant each time you come. It may be possible to get a table the same day by checking in with the hostess at the restaurant, just in case someone cancelled a reservation. Keep checking your MyDisneyExperience app also for any openings. Dining with the Disney characters is a highlight for kids of any age!
1. You don’t do a lot of everyday things at Walt Disney World
Instead of doing the everyday things like getting up and getting dressed for work, making breakfast and lunch to take with you, taking that long commute to the office or the bus to school, being there for many hours before making the commute home, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, checking homework, finishing up the presentation for tomorrow, taking out the trash and heading to bed. At Walt Disney World we instead wake up with a sense of expectation and excitement of what will today bring. You can begin by having a quick breakfast in your awesome resort room, or heading downstairs for a made for you breakfast. Having Mickey Waffles while having photos taken with Tigger is a nice start to the day. Getting to the park, taking in some great attractions, riding something you never thought you would, trading pins, having a lunch where you discuss how invincible you are now and what you will do after lunch, rather than discussing business…not bad right? You tackle more rides, enjoy more shows, and then relax in the pool at your resort before getting dressed for a signature restaurant dinner. Tomorrow you will face Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach! These are just not what I would call “everyday” things and this assortment of opportunities only exists at Walt Disney World. Even the people whose everyday job it is to keep Disney World running, the Cast Members, play an important part of the “show” making our days so much more enjoyable.