Walt Disney World
"That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be twelve years old." - Walt Disney
A child's first trip to Disney World has become a rite of passage. Many of us have treasured childhood memories of our own from our first visit to everyone's favorite mouse. That feeling of pure magic that bubbles up inside as you stroll down Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle first comes into view - that never gets old. If you haven't visited the "Most Magical Place on Earth" since your own childhood, it may not be exactly the same place you remember. The good news - as Disney World is constantly changing and growing, it keeps getting better and better!
You would be doing yourself a disservice to plan to spend less than a week at Disney World. You'll of course want to stay at a WDW Resort Hotel to fully immerse your family in the magic. Unlike its west coast counterpart, Disney World is home to four theme parks and two water parks. While you're in the area, you may want to see what else Orlando has to offer. Depending on your family's tastes, that may include Universal Orlando, Sea World, Medieval Times, or even Legoland Orlando! But don't worry - you never have to even step foot off property, Disney makes sure to have something for everyone!
There are 4 major theme parks at WDW: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. A "base" ticket will allow you to visit just ONE park per day. You can take a break during the day, go back to the hotel for a dip, and then return to that same park - but you won't be able to visit another park until the next day. You'll notice I quoted your packages with this option. This will let you hit the park early in the morning, explore a little bit, head back to the hotel for a nap, maybe a dip in the pool, then back to that same park later in the day and into the evening for the nighttime entertainment (ie: FIREWORKS). The Park Hopper option allows you to "hop" around - for example, you could spend the morning at Animal Kingdom, but then catch the nighttime fireworks at Magic Kingdom later that day. The Park Hopper PLUS option grants you access to the two Water Parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) on top of the park hopping option.
There are plenty of hotels in the area, if you're interested in renting a car for the length of your stay. But you'll get the most out of your trip if you upgrade to a complete ticket and hotel package. Make the most of your time and take advantage of the free transportation for resort guests, as well as Extra Magic Hours and other perks!
Disney World has hotel options for every family's needs and budgets, all with stellar theming throughout and the world-class Disney service you'd expect. The resort hotels at Walt Disney World are broken up into 3 tiers: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Obviously price is a major factor in determining tiers, with Value Resorts being most affordable and Deluxe having the largest price tags. Value Resorts are set up "motel style," meaning your room door opens directly to the outside, rather than to an interior hallway. There are six options for Value Resorts: All-Star Sports, All-Star Movies, All-Star Movies, Pop Century, The Campsites at Fort Wilderness, and Art of Animation. Each option has its own fully-immersive theme, which extends from the lobby to the guest rooms to the grounds and pool areas! Value Resorts tend to be a little further from the action, which may mean a bus ride of up to 30-35 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom, for example. each has a convenience store, gift shop, and food court with Quick-Service (QS) Dining options on the premises.
Moderate Resorts are also "motel style" and have all the amenities of a Value Resort, and then some! There are five Moderate Resorts: Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness and the pools at each has their own water slide, on theme with its resort! Along with a QS restaurant/food court, Moderate Resorts also have a themed Table Service (TS) Dining option for a nice sit-down meal. Moderate Resorts tend to be a bit closer to the parks and often offer a secondary transportation option in addition to the buses (like BOATS)!
There are eight Deluxe Resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club) and they are all designed to be "hotel" style, where your room door opens to an interior hallway. Along with the BEST pools and water slides, Deluxe Resorts have some of the best dining options as well! Each Deluxe Resort has its own QS and TS options, in addition to Fine Dining restaurants for a more formal experience and even Character Dining with all your favorites! Arguably the most appealing perk to staying at a Deluxe Resort is that you're right IN the magic, usually just a brisk walk or a short monorail ride to at least one theme park! DVC members and larger parties may also opt to stay at one of the 12 Deluxe Villa options on property!
You may have heard people lament that they need a vacation after their Walt Disney World vacation. Working with a professional can alleviate those feelings by helping you navigate your options and organizing your "plan of attack."
Dining at Walt Disney World is an experience in and of itself! You'd be wise to familiarize yourself with the different Dining Plans. With proper planning, they can save you a pretty penny but honestly, even if you break even - it's well worth it to have your meals prepaid. Available Dining Plans are: Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan (2 QS meals and 2 snacks per person per night of stay), Disney Dining Plan (1 TS meal, 1 QS meal, and 2 snacks per person per night of stay), and Disney Deluxe Dining Plan (3 meals and 2 snacks per person per night of stay). Each Dining Plan includes a complimentary refillable resort mug and can be used at a number of participating locations! There are hundreds of delicious dining options for every taste, but you'll want to plan ahead - reservations for most restaurants and character dining experiences open 180 days in advance!
Entertainment at WDW abounds! Your travel professional will help secure your FastPass+ selections for the most popular attractions 60 days before your arrival, but the fun doesn't have to stop at the rides. From parades and stage shows in the park, to after hours fun at Disney Springs - with so much to see and do, you'll discover something new on every trip! Start planning yours today!!