So, you took the first little bit of advice to heart? Still don’t think you are ready to indulge in the magic of Disney without learning a little more? Well, okay. Let me think.
Alright, I got something for you…
- The Lay of the land
You’ve checked in, the bags are in the room and your park tickets are in hand. What is the first instinct? Rush out the door and get on Expedition Everest just as fast as you can, Right?
When you check in, grab as much literature as you can on the resort and parks. It will help you learn the lay of the land. Disney World is big. 47 square miles big. That’s 30, 080 acres. It’s twice the size of Manhattan.
We have 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and 23 themed resorts. There is shopping, dining, and a good deal of land reserved for deer, alligators, and future expansion. Take a load off and read up. Try to minimize the chance you will get lost, miss a reservation or show. I appreciate the gratification in getting lost, and with so many diversions, it can be easy. But, it’s also possible to do it while being well-informed. Research the buses and where they go. There are also boats, the famous monorail, and your feet. Of course, part of being a Disney veteran (you’re not there yet… but in time, my friend) is knowing WHEN to get on the buses, on the rails or when to take advantage of being bipedal. But until then, study up. Knowing how to navigate A to B efficiently may save you hours on your vacation. Once your done that, the Himalayas await. Just watch out for Yeti. They swipe.
- Where you hang your hat is home
That hotel just outside the Disney property is only $69 a night. And they have free breakfast. They also offer a shuttle to Disney. It sounds good. It sounds affordable. Where you hang your hat is often the hardest, most important vacation choice. Here is what that hotel is not telling you.
The breakfast is a stale danish, apple and some milk that more closely resembles cheese. You only get these treats if you are up on time (AKA before 7:00am). The Shuttle to Disney World they offer actually costs $13 dollars and only runs twice a day – Usually early morning, and early afternoon, before the wonder of fireworks. Granted, there are some terrific off-site hotels that offer world-class service and fresh pastries. Marriott World Center, for example, is a stone-throw from Disney World. It is a lovely retreat with great amenities. If booking off-property hotels, gather information before clicking the ‘Make Reservation’ button.
There is, of course, another option. Actually, 23 other options. The Disney resort family ranges from the affordable (Pop Centry) to the ultra-luxurious (Grand Floridan). Each are richly themed – some more subtly than others. Regardless of price, they all offer exceptional service. That alone may be reason to lay your head here. There are a slew of other perks: free airport pick-up on the Magical Express, Disney’s intra-resort transportation, extra park hours, airport check in for selected airlines, and being emerged in the magic 24 hours a day. There’s also Stacey- you’ll understand that when you switch the television on.
Hotels in Orlando, and in the Walt Disney World resort run the gambit of prices. Time of year and level of luxury are both factors. If one price seems to high, keep looking. And most importantly, if you can not find what you are looking for on-line. Use the phone. It’s the old-fashioned device your folks used to actually TALK to somebody. Call Disney. Sometime there are special deals that are not posted on-line. Many deals, often the best ones, are only available through Disney World agents. Always ask about promotions. The magic could start before you even set foot on the plane.