Since 1971, people from all over the world have enjoyed Disney World. The concept began with Magic Kingdom, hosting over 20 million visitors during its inaugural year. Today, several parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom host over 52 million people. With over 43 square miles, about twice the size of Manhattan, the parks provide an experience that produces memories that last a lifetime. However, to enjoy the land of Mickey, planning is needed. This is especially true if visiting the parks during peak seasons such as the summer or winter school breaks.
Disney World has 26 resorts and vacations clubs, not including 10 on-site resorts and countless other properties in Orlando and the surrounding vicinity. If visitors can afford it, onsite properties have amenities and advantages that other properties simply cannot compete with. For example, guests staying at Disney Resorts have access to FastPass+, which allows for the reservation of shows and attractions. Guests also have access to the Magic Hour, which is an extra hour at one of the theme parks each day. Furthermore, the resort provides access to MagicBands. These customizable bands provide access to My Disney Experience and can be used to unlock the hotel room, enter the parks, make food and merchandise purchases, check in at FastPass+ rides, among others. Guests that stay at Disney World Resorts can use complimentary transportation or parking and include dining plans with their vacation packages.
Staying in themed rooms and being immersed with the Disney experience, however, is not for everyone. Offsite hotels provide a wide range of advantages, including less expensive options, without necessarily sacrificing comfort. The Orlando area has hotels in all price ranges, meeting the needs of people with low or high budgets. Those wishing to stay in luxury rooms can opt for the Ritz-Carlton or Hyatt Regency hotels. Bargain hunters can explore sites like Hotels.com and look for deals. A major advantage of off-site hotels is that guests do not need to plan ahead and can look for last-minute deals or packages.
Disney World offers experiences for all ages. For example, visitors can meet the characters and take pictures or get autographs. Disney schedules these Meet n’ Greet sessions throughout the parks. Maps picked up at the entrance to the park provide information about time and location. Another unforgettable experience that all visitors should witness is the firework shows. Among the best is Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After show and Animal Kingdom’s River of Light. The parks offer Fastpass+ users the ability to order food and drinks while enjoying the show.
Some of the most popular attractions generally have long lines. Therefore, visitors should plan ahead and create their FastPass+ lists to ensure that they can visit all major attractions while avoiding the lines. Among the most popular FastPass+ attractions with long waits in Magic Kingdom are the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Tomorrowland Speedway. Other attractions that people should consider visiting are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Anna and Elsa and the Fairytale Hall. For Animal Kingdom, absolute musts include Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Pandora, and Kilimanjaro Safari.
The Disney World properties cover large areas. To stay in contact with people on your trip, visitors are encouraged to stop by any of the many AT&T Stores in Florida to ensure that they are well equipped with mobile devices, data and coverage while visiting the parks. It is also a great idea to download the My Disney Experience App onto your mobile device.
Visiting Walt Disney World is a must for anyone’s bucket list. Apart from the amazing attractions and breathtaking scenic themes, the parks offer tourists with great restaurant choices and a long list of possible activities to enjoy.