26 August 2012

Where in Walt Disney World: Overall

I am a HUGE Disney buff, and my specialist subject would be Walt Disney World. I've been lucky enough to visit Disneyland in California and the one in Paris, but WDW is by far my favourite and in my opinion the ultimate.

After many years of travelling to the Sunshine state of Florida, and visiting Disney World i thought i'd impart some wisdom, tips and tricks, the best things to do and maybe what not to, just in case any of you are ever thinking of taking the trip or maybe i can intrigue you to do so. So, get ready for a the ultimate guide to Walt Disney World and the surrounding area while i'm away at the same destination!
Walt Disney World covers 30,080 acres and holds four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site Disney themed resorts and 8 resorts that aren't Disney owned. You can even find a campground, two spas and physical fitness centres, five golf courses and a plethora of other recreational activities and entertainment. Walt Disney developed the resort in the early 1960's but sadly died in 1966 before his original plans were fully recognised and before it's completion in 1971. Disney World opened on October 1st 1971 with only the Magic Kingdom but EPCOT was added in 1982, Hollywood Studios - formerly MGM Studios - in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998.

It's a place where dreams are made. Come with me and explore the ins and outs of the happiest place on earth.
So, it's come to end of our Walt Disney World journey and it has been a pleasure to share it with you. I've tried to add in hints and tips along the way, but there's so much exciting information to tell you that i decided to do one last post with as many tips and tricks i could think of. So, without further ado here is what i've learnt along the way and through the many years of holidaying at WDW.

The thing i would say first and foremost is that if you're the kind of person who wants to wake up at 11am, lounge on the beach and tan for hours, this definitely isn't the holiday for you. I'm certainly not one of those people and honestly, i can't think of anything much more boring. An important tip, i would say, is to get to the parks fairly early. I'm not saying get up at the crack of dawn but getting there early is practical as well a good idea. Not only because it means you can get a lot done before the crowds descend but also because it means you can do a lot before heat gets too intense, and this is especially important if you've got little'uns as the midday heat can often be too much. If you stay on Disney property in a Disney Resort hotel then you're also eligible for 'Disney Magic Hours', this means that you're allowed into the park some two hours before the rest of the public are allowed entry and you're also allowed to stay beyond the regular closing time to give you extra time to do those things that were a little too busy at the peak daytimes.

Something that's also a great advantage of staying on Disney property is it means you get to park for free at any of the Disney parks, water or otherwise. That may not sound like a lot but it sure does save a hell of a lot of money in the long run as a day parking fee can be $15, and if you want to take advantage of my next tip then this could also be particularly pricey.

Something that i take advantage of, usually more towards the end of the trip when i've take full advantage of the parks and done what i want to do, is using my hopper ticket to skip from park to park, all in one day. I think that hopper tickets are a little pricier but it means you're not restricted to one place, for example i love to do the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom in the morning, because a lot of the best attractions are outside, or at least the queuing areas are, so when the weather gets a little extreme i skip on over to EPCOT or Hollywood studios and take advantage of the more indoor rides and shows. It also means that i can check out Fantasmic! in the evening, when it's gotten a lot cooler!

As i've mentioned multiple times now the weather in Florida can be really intense, come rain or shine - more often so shine if you'll be visiting during the Summer months. A great thing that the americans use EVERYWHERE is aircon and i highly recommend you take advantage of that! It really takes the edge off the heat if you hop in and out of the air conditioning, so when you're really feeling too hot pop into a near by shop or hop on an indoor ride to give yourself some time out of the sun, it honestly helps!

Another, maybe less obvious, weather problem with Disney World is the rain. The Summer months are pretty predictable, it's seriously hot for most of the day but around two o'clock a sudden, short downpour occurs. Now, this isn't so much a bad thing because it's still not cold but a nice break from the searing heat but you don't always want to get soaking wet nor layer up in macs so my best tip is to buy a WDW poncho with a fetching Mickey Mouse on, that'll keep you dry but not overheating. Perfect!

Disney has a great way to skip the lines and do all your favourites faster, it's called a Fastpass. It works by you visiting the ride that you want to enjoy, but with the line being an hour plus wait. So, all you have to do is go to it's Fastpass distribution area and check the time of return. Put your Disney ticket into the Fastpass machine and it will give you a ticket offering a time slot for you to return. When it's your time to come back, you join the Fastpass queue instead of the regular one and you get to skip a lot of the wait time. You're only allowed so many Fastpasses at one time, your ticket will also tell you the time for when you can get your next Fastpass and the machines won't issue you any until that time. It's a great way to jump the queues and do your favourite rides quicker.

Walt Disney World has numerous delicious and world renowned restaurants from EPCOTS cultural delicacies, like Canada's infamous Le Cellier to Cinderalla's Royal Table in her Magic Kingdom Castle. Of course there are hundreds more eateries that specialise in quick service food, where you can pick up salads, sandwiches, burgers and chips and take the weight off your feet but Disney also has some amazing sit down, three course options that aren't to be missed. However, like i said before some of these are world renowned and people come far and wide just to eat here so if there's somewhere you're desperate to try out, might it be Chef Mickey's for an encounter with the big cheese or the French Pavilion's Les Chef de France for a chance of spying Ratatouille's big star Remy the mouse, then i highly recommend you try to book well in advance of your stay at Disney. This can be done through the Disney website or through your travel agent, or if you do forget all about it - or find somewhere you'd like to try while you're on holiday - then the cast members at the front desk of your Disney Resort Hotel will be more than happy to help.

I'm now about to tell you about my best kept Disney World holiday secret, and it also has to do with eating. It may come as no surprise to you that eating in the Disney parks, or at resorts, can become pricey if you're doing it regularly - like staying for a two week holiday - especially as there's breakfast, lunch and dinner to think about. So, while i'm away i rarely eat dinner inside the Disney boundaries. I'm not quite sure how it was discovered, whether it was a recommendation or by pure chance, but during dinnertime you can usually find me at a restaurant called the Ponderosa on the I4, that happens to be very near Disney World. It's a buffet style restaurant that's amazingly priced but seriously delicious. It works by you choosing a main course from a wide selection of everything from steak to fish. While you're waiting for your main course you're encouraged to check out the buffet that has so many options of salad, chicken, tacos, soup, pasta and beyond. It's all you can eat so you can visit the buffet as much as you like, before and after your main course, but there's also a dessert stand that has some delicious options like cookies and brownies. They also do a brilliant breakfast buffet too. Honestly, the pricing is amazing for what you get and it'll save you plenty of dollar!

Lucky enough for me, i've visited Disney World every year with my parents and we have chosen to hire a car, however if you decide to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel then you have full usage of the Disney World Transportation Buses. These go from all Disney World Resorts to all the parks, waterparks and Downtown Disney area so you can get around the World freely, without having your own car. This a great advantage and will save you money overall, there's even the Disney Magical Express to escort you from the Airport to your Resort hotel. I would say the only disadvantage is that if you ever wanted to visit anything else in the Orlando area, or otherwise, it's difficult to get there. For example Universal Studios, Seaworld, Aquatica, Wet 'n' Wild or the amazing outlet malls Florida is famous for but the bus service can be of serious help if you're lacking a car. We still like to use the Disney Transportation sometimes if Dad wants a break from all the driving, they're seriously handy.

I would say those are my top tips for holidaying at Walt Disney World and this post marks the end of my Where in Walt Disney World series! Thank you so much for coming along with me and normal posts will resume shortly! Thanks for sticking around.

All Images Sourced from Google Images


  1. I loved this post! I would absolutely love to visit Disney World <3 xo

  2. Haha my family is obsessed with the Ponderosa breakfasts after discovering them many years ago, my mum just laughed when I told her you recommended them too! Altho last time we were there my friend told us to go to the Golden Corral - same idea but omg the food was even better! :)


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