Only 5? Really? How do you sum up all of the absolutely incredible things Walt Disney World has to offer in only 5 reasons? The list was exceedingly long but after combining a few and whittling it down, here are our top 5.
Have you seen fireworks before? Not like Walt Disney World’s fireworks. When I was a child, I never realized what a fireworks show could really be. Then one year my family took me to Walt Disney World. All of a sudden, fireworks displays at home just paled in comparison. The timing, the precision, the music, the characters and the story that is told in the parks really takes the idea of a fireworks show to an unmatched level. Have you seen Broadway-style shows before? Certainly not like this, and not for free. Where else can you see larger than life puppet musicals, and recreations of hit Broadway shows, all in the span of a couple of hours? And the performers are top-notch, capable of performing on stage in any Broadway production. How about rides – you’ve been on rides before, right? I guarantee they weren’t of the calibre of the ones you will find in Walt Disney World. The biggest difference here is that the moment you get into line in Walt Disney World, the ride experience has begun. The story begins long before you actually sit down on the ride; you are engulfed in ambiance, props, set pieces and story elements that set the mood. Even though some of the rides may not be action-packed (though there are plenty of action-packed ones as well), by the time you sit down on the ride car, you feel so completely immersed in the experience that your enjoyment level is much higher than in other parks.
Families can be picky, and rightfully so. Each member may have different tastes especially when it comes to food. So how do you satisfy everyone? Disney has figured that out too, and it’s one of my favorite aspects of every trip. One day you could eat lunch at a drive-in theatre with regular American fare; the same night you could step into a genuine Marrakesh restaurant and enjoy authentic performances by musicians and dancers from Morocco. Or maybe you have some steak lovers in your party – you could spend your entire trip trying out some of the most incredible cuts of beef you will ever have, and never eat at the same restaurant twice. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Disney Springs has restaurants from the top chefs in the world, with brand new ones opening each and every month. For me, though, it’s all about themes. Every restaurant has an all-encompassing theme (not unlike Disney rides). When you walk into a restaurant in one of the worlds in Epcot, the theme of that country permeates every corner of that restaurant. The same goes for restaurants in Animal Kingdom in Asia and Africa. The detail work is a marvel in itself. Dinosaurs, animals, classic themes like those at the Brown Derby or Be Our Guest – there really is something for each member of the family, no matter what their tastes or interests.
This is what sets Disney apart from the rest of the pack. When you are on Disney property, great service is the norm. If someone doesn’t go above and beyond the call of duty, it is considered strange. This comes down to training. Each Walt Disney World cast member goes through vigorous training to ensure that they not only know how to do their job, but they know the parks, they know how to treat guests and they are truly happy to come to work each and every day in the happiest place on earth. This is what makes the difference. They are happy and their sole job is to make sure that everyone they run into is having the time of their lives, and they will go that extra mile to make sure you have a great time. The moment you get to your resort you will see it. The people at the front desk are eager to do whatever they can to get you that last minute reservation or add-on for your ticket, or even recommend which parks to go to when, and what to do when you get there. They know their stuff. Utilize them as often as possible.
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Everywhere you go, you will see them. They are from your childhood, your favorite movies, and they won’t just make your children smile – they will take you back to a time when you didn’t have a worry or a care. You can see them when you eat your meals at character meet-and-greets; you can get FastPasses to see them in their castles, their coves, or in their native countries. Memories can be made that will last you and your family a lifetime. Each visit we see someone new, and they always look exactly the way we pictured them. I remember the first time I saw Baymax, and it absolutely blew my mind.
This sums up every aspect I have talked about. When does magic happen? For me, magic is seeing something you never believed possible. No matter how many times we visit Walt Disney World, I see something new that makes me believe in magic. Just last year, I saw Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Hollywood Studios and was in awe and I’m not even a huge Star Wars fan! I can even remember the first time I visited as a child and finally seeing Mickey Mouse face-to-face. It might be the fireworks displays, it could be seeing your favorite characters, it might just be having an indescribable meal you never even dreamed of. Whatever way you look at magic, let me assure you that you will find it in Walt Disney World.