Walt Disney World has been my favorite vacation destination since first visiting it in 1971. While I enjoy other destinations, I always enjoy coming to WDW. It has been a place of great excitement and other times a place of rest for my family. We were the family often chided for taking “so many” trips to this Florida wonderland. I never let that keep me from enjoying the resort! Here are 8 reasons I truly believe everyone should visit WDW at least one time in their life.
8. It will fill your vacation days with whatever you want it to be! Walt Disney World is the largest theme park resort in the world. Do not expect to see everything here in a few days, or a week, or even in two weeks. You will want to make multiple visits to WDW to see and experience everything that is here to enjoy. New experiences are added each year so you will never find the resort the same as it was the year before. There is a vast array of sport options, spa treatments, dining options, swimming activities, attractions and shows, and don’t forget the special tours of the property. Your vacation can be anything you want it to be. A little bit of research will help you make it perfectly tailored to you!
7. The food is pretty good, some very, very good! You will find anything from snacks to Signature Dining at Walt Disney World. The counter service food is better than most and when set in all the great Disney theming, it is even more enjoyable. It will not take you long to find favorites that you will be drawn back to at the resort- to enjoy on future trips. You can have a great vacation, enjoying the wide variety of food at the snack carts and quick service locations but if you choose a table service restaurant you will not be sorry. If you want to take the next step up to the top tier of dining available at Disney World you will seek out the Signature Dining restaurants. You will want to add at least one character meal to your reservations for a truly special Disney dining experience. Just because the characters are present at a meal do not believe the food is of lesser quality, because it is not. To help with your planning pick up or order a copy of Dining at Disney at DisneyDining.com. Before you leave for home, be sure to check out Walt Disney World’s large collection of cook books and kitchen items that can help you recreate some of that Dining magic at home!
6. It is a place to enjoy as a family! The resorts offer unique experiences for you and your family to enjoy together. You could have a full vacation schedule just staying at your resort, if that is what you are looking for. The majority of the resorts are conveniently located close to the parks, some close enough to walk to the parks. Enjoying the parks together as a family is what Walt Disney, the man, always wanted to create. There is no need to separate in order for everyone to enjoy the vacation, rather it is even better when enjoyed together. You have the opportunity to reconnect with each other, laugh together, get family photos taken by PhotoPass Photographers found around the parks, and enjoy delicious foods together. Your family can enjoy attractions together and build memories that will be treasured the rest of your lives.
5. You will learn something new! It’s true. I know, you are on vacation. Some guests actually say they don’t want to “learn” anything while on vacation, but Disney has a way of educating us even in the midst of laughing and completely enjoying attractions. Even if you only think about how the attraction you are on works, it teaches you something. For instance, Tomorrowland Transportation Authority People Mover is a delightful ride through the Tomorrowland section of Magic Kingdom. It is a product of electro-magnetic engineering and as you look at the track you will see the boxes on it closer together or farther apart, affecting the speed of the cars as they move over them. Walt wanted this technology in his “city of tomorrow” and did his best to market the People Mover to cities across America.
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Sadly, only one city purchased the PeopleMover, Houston, who put it in their airport. It is still operating today. You may not be a world traveler, but going through the pavilions in World Showcase at Epcot will teach you what their historic architecture looks like, what types of food they traditionally have, and other highlights of the country represented. Future World at Epcot will teach you a bit of new technology; what goes into films both live action and animation techniques featured at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and the life and care of animals large and small at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, are some things you will pick up on easily. It is not a bad thing to pick up on something new on vacation, especially when it is presented in such a fun way!
4. There are so many characters to meet! Disney entertainment! You get Broadway quality shows in Nemo & Friends and Legend of the Lion King both at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast Live, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular are all in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and provide great entertainment options. Dinner shows such as the Polynesian Luau and the Hoop Dee Doo Review provide both great food and entertainment. Character meals are a wonderful way to spend time with your favorite Disney characters, get photos with them, and be fed a very good meal. There are many places to find the 58 characters within the Walt Disney World resort, and the best way to track down those you want to target each trip is to check the Times Guide for each park that supplies a list of where the characters are and when they will be there. If you don’t find who you are looking for check with Guest Relations and they can look it up for you. There is live entertainment nightly in many of the Disney resorts and at Downtown Disney. Check the Times Guide in each park for a list of all the live entertainment that day.
3. Once you are here you don’t need to leave! Guests who are arriving at Orlando International Airport have complimentary transportation to their Walt Disney World resort making renting a car unnecessary. Once you arrive at your resort you will find all the transportation to the parks and other resorts as well as the water parks and Downtown Disney is provided for you. This complimentary transportation comes in different forms, depending on your location. You may have boat, monorail, or bus transportation to connect you resort wide. That means you can visit other resorts, various parks, and Downtown Disney for dining, shopping, and entertainment choices. If you decide to play golf you even get complimentary transportation to and from the golf course and your resort.
2. Disney Fireworks and parades are the best! Walt Disney World has fireworks every day of the year, some are completely over the top for special Holiday shows. Hollywood Studios has fireworks shows that are themed for Star Wars weekends, or Frozen celebrations where the fireworks are set to the musical scores of the films. Wishes, IllumiNations, and Fantasmic are the lead fireworks shows for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and are shown at least once nightly, weather permitting. Parades are also listed on your Times Guide for each park. The Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom steps off in Frontierland each day, weather permitting, sometimes twice a day. The Move it, Shake it, Dance and Play it short parade from the Town Square to the Castle is performed at least once a day at Magic Kingdom.
1. The Disney Cast Members make it magical! The approximately 65,000 Cast Members are there to make your Walt Disney World vacation as magical as they can. They are well-trained, have big hearts, and greet guests with smiles every day. They genuinely try their best to make your vacation as enjoyable as they can. Many of the Cast Members were brought to the resort as children and have a wealth of knowledge on the resort. If you have a question ask a Cast Member who is not at a safety critical position to speak with them. If they do not know the answer to your question they will find someone who does. Make the interaction even better by showing them kindness in return, and respect for the training they have gone through on that attraction that they work at every day and trust them in loading your party into the ride vehicle safely. If you would like to put in a good word about a specific Cast Member take note of their name, hometown, and the attraction you saw them at and speak to a Coordinator, Manager at the attraction or a Guest Relations Cast Member near the front of the park.
Keep everything happy and your vacation will be awesome!