Every year since I was a young child, my family has always taken a weeklong vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This is a magical place where everyone can use their imagination in the land of make believe. Disney is a child’s dream and a parent’s playhouse. Every time we go, I feel younger and younger.
When I was child, I don’t think I truly appreciated the vacations to Disney. As I grew older, I was no longer scared of characters and was able to go on more rides. I never really understood the whole concept of imagination and the saying, “a place where dreams come true.”
Now that I am older and go to Disney with my nieces and nephew, I tend to have more fun and act more like a child. I love to use my imagination, love to go on all of the rides, and I just love the atmosphere. Everyone is generally nice in Disney and can be family oriented. They will help you with anything that you need, and most of the time, they have a smile on their face.
When I go to Disneyworld, I feel like I can be a kid again. I don’t have to worry about going to work every day, paying bills, sitting in traffic, etc. I can get up in the morning and not have to really worry about anything besides what is for breakfast and who is going to get showered first. I feel stress free and feel like I don’t have to live in reality while staying in Disney. I can be anything I want to be, and I don’t have to worry about being judged.
I did notice though, that every time we go to Disney, we try to make plans to do everything in that week that we are there. We never seem to accomplish that plan, but I can tell that everyone has fun, no matter what we are supposed to be doing. I learned not to make plans and just be sporadic and do whatever we feel like doing that day.
I discovered that you can save a lot more money when you include the dining plan in your vacation package. We used to just take cash and eat wherever anyone wanted to, but the dining plan offers so much more. We get three meals and two snacks a day, plus drinks and desserts. You can eat at any restaurant of your choice and only have to pay the tip at the end of the meal. We can also choose to eat at the cafÃ© in our hotel. It is a great option to have and is very convenient.
Last year, I was able book our family vacation through Disney. I went to Disney’s website http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/vacation-packages/ and made the reservations. I was able to choose our hotel accommodations, sign up for the complimentary shuttle service to and from the hotel, provide them with our flight information so that they can get our luggage from the airport, book the park tickets, and book the dining plan. Disney always offers a great pay plan for those that are on a budget as well.
Last year’s vacation was full of excitement. Before we left for Disney, I customized maps of each theme park for us to use. They were printed out on nice paper and are great for souvenirs. After a short two hour flight, we arrive at Orlando’s International Airport. Once we got off the plane, we headed towards the car rental/bus shuttle area to get on the Magical Express Shuttle Bus. The driver checked our tickets to confirm our reservations for the shuttle. While on the shuttle, we watched a short video about Disney while the driver took us to the Disney All-Star Sports Resort. Once we arrived at the resort, the driver retrieved our luggage and we headed towards the lobby to check in. The clerk at the front desk assisted us with checking in and provided us with a map to our room, our room keys, which were also our park tickets and meal vouchers, as well as our complimentary travel mugs. The bell hop took our luggage to our room while we ate at the cafÃ© in the resort.
After lunch, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom. The kids, my mother, and I would stand outside of the Resort at the shuttle pick up area for the Magic Kingdom. When the shuttle arrived, we would get on and head to the park. Once we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, the children got to see some characters, get their autographs, and a photo. Once they were finished seeing the characters at Main Street, we headed towards Tomorrow Land to go on some rides. We were able to visit all of the areas in the Magic Kingdom, including watching parades, shows, and fireworks. The best rides that we went on in the Magic Kingdom were Space Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, The Thunder Rail Road, as well as the Tea Cups. One of the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort is that we can head to the park one hour before it opens to the public, as well as being able to stay in the park one hour after closing. By the end of the night, the children were so tired that we just headed back to the room and went to bed.
The next day, we all got showered and headed to the cafÃ© at the resort to have breakfast. When everyone was done eating, we headed to the shuttle pick up area of MGM Studios. When we arrived, the first ride we went on was the Tower of Terror. The children and I had a blast. We even got souvenir photos of us screaming on the ride. The next ride we went on was the Aerosmith Rockin Roller Coaster. We also got souvenir photos from this ride. We spent most of the day walking around, visiting with characters, as well as going on more rides. The children really loved the Movie ride where they got to see some of their favorite movies like Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins. We were also able to go on the Star Wars ride and see the Indiana Jones show. We ate lunch in the park, and headed back to resort to swim and eat dinner. We headed back to MGM Studios that night to see the light show.
The third day, the children wanted to go to the Animal Kingdom. We ate breakfast in Africa, and went on the Kilimanjaro Safari to see some of the wildlife. We were able to see elephants, giraffes, alligators, and much more. We then went on the Kali Rapids, which is a water ride, to cool us down. My nephew and mother really liked the Dinosaur ride in Dino Land. We had lunch in Dino Land, and went on more rides. By dinner time, the children were ready to head back to the resort for dinner in the cafÃ©. After dinner, we all went swimming in the pool by our hotel room.
The fourth day, after breakfast, we all decided to go to Epcot. I personally think that Epcot is more for adults. The children were not really interested in the different countries that we could walk through. They only liked The Seas Adventures with Nemo. We ate lunch at a nice restaurant by the Test Track ride, and then headed back to resort so that kids could swim. We went back to Epcot for the laser light show that night. The children really enjoyed seeing a revolving globe in the middle of the water!
The next couple of days, we went back to some of the parks to hit some of the attractions that we either missed or wanted to go on again. We even went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. They had plenty of shops, restaurants, and Lego Land for the kids to play in.
When we checked out, we headed towards the lobby to catch the Magical Express to head back to the airport. The children, my mother, and I were exhausted and ready to home. The shuttle dropped us off at the terminal and we proceeded to head to our airline.
We all had a great time in Disney and plan to go again this year. I highly recommend taking this vacation for anyone who wants to get away and have a good time. There are so many things for anyone of any age limit to do. This is one vacation you will never forget. Who knows, maybe I will see you there!
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