We recently visited WDW and stayed for 9 nights. It was the first visit in 15 years for my wife and I, but a first for our kids. The driving force behind our vacation was to celebrate our daughter’s cancer remission. We’ve learned since her diagnosis that life is precious and that you need to create memories and do things while you can. You never know what tomorrow brings.
We timed our visit to be during winter for two reasons. One was so we didn’t have to endure the high heat and humidity of a Florida summer. The second was to experience the extra level of brilliant holiday detail that is blanketed across the parks and resorts.
About Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World in Florida is a place built on dreams that also fulfils dreams for everyone who visits. It’s like no other place on earth, with its amazing theme parks, pristine parklands, exclusive highways, beautifully maintained gardens, free Disney transport, and resorts of every description. The list goes on.
To try to describe the size and scale of WDW is difficult to explain, so let’s try a comparison. It is actually 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Orlando, and it covers 40 square miles, or the size of San Francisco (that’s twice the size of Manhattan). That seems almost too amazing to comprehend. They employ over 62,000 people who are there to provide that great Disney experience that isn’t matched anywhere else. If you’re keen for more interesting facts then jump over here, but make sure you come back.
The resort consists of a range of theme park/areas…
- Magic Kingdom – my post is here
- EPCOT – my posts are here and here
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – my post is here
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – my post will be online soon
- Downtown Disney – my post will be online soon
…as well as a selection of water parks (which we didn’t visit), and 34 amazing resorts that cater for a wide range of tastes and budgets. We chose to stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (my post will be online soon). When you stay within the Walt Disney World Resort it’s like you’re in a bubble, away from the rest of the world. For some, I can imagine that it could overload the senses, but at the same time it allows you to forget about the troubles of the world and just enjoy yourself.
Nowhere else have I ever seen roads so well designed, which are free of traffic snarls and frustrations, and so easy to get around. The free buses are always on-time, clean and comfortable, and the drivers are friendly and clearly enjoy their job. Disney are also experts in crowd control, so even though you spend plenty of time in lines, you’re nearly always moving and being entertained as you spot amazing details in everything that you see. It works like a well oiled machine.
A great newish feature at WDW is their amazing MagicBand. It’s a wristband that’s not only your pass, but it’s also full of other great features. Upon arrival at your WDW hotel you are presented with a cool (and very Apple-like) box, which contains your MagicBands. Each pass is nicely presented like a watch, and personalised names are printed next to each one. To save any mix up, your name is also printed on the inside of the band. Fancier collector bands are also available for purchase and it’s just a matter of taking the tech from one band and putting it into another.
During your stay the MagicBand gives you all kinds of super powers across the entire resort. You just hold your pass to the Mickey readers around WDW to open your hotel room, pay for your food and drinks, pay for your shopping, enter the parks (along with your fingerprint), enter the FastPass+ entrances on rides. It’s so convenient and works a treat.
Yes, I know that Disney are very clever, and that such convenience makes it easier for visitors to spend more cash. But keep your head in check and take advantage of its amazing powers.
Theme parks may not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but you just can’t help but salute everyone at Disney for their brilliance, creativity and the level of detail that they put into everything they build.
Be sure to take a look at my other posts about our travels as they go live, or check my previous Travel Adventures posts for the ones already published. If you’re not a current follower, just click the FOLLOW button on the sidebar.
PS: I have no affiliation or relationship with WDW, except that I am a customer and fan.