Here I am, preparing to post my first article for TheWDWDads. I only have one problem: what do I write about? The answer I came up with was simple – I’ll write about what makes a Walt Disney World vacation magical for me and my family.
For me, the magic starts when we decide on the dates of our next Walt Disney World trip and book our plane tickets. From that moment until we leave for the airport, usually 4-6 months, I am in trip planning mode. I love this part of the planning process. Picking a resort is easy – we like to stay on property, so I look for the best deal at one of our preferred resorts. We like to visit two parks each day, so Park Hopper tickets it is. Now my real fun begins. After I get the projected crowd levels for the parks from TouringPlans.com (the website for “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World”), look up the operating hours for the parks and note Extra Magic Hours, I have about a million options to wade through to set up our “parks schedule”. Although I drive myself crazy doing this, I love doing it. Once we pass under the Walt Disney World arch, all we worry about is where to eat and what souvenirs to buy. Believe me, a stress-free vacation at Walt Disney World is truely magical.
Once in the parks, we have our must-do rides and attractions like everyone else. Part of the fun for me is getting my daughters to try something they were too afraid to ride previously. On our last trip, I convinced my younger daughter to try Star Tours and Mission Space (green) and she loved them both. I decided to follow her example and rode the one ride that I feared: The Rock & Roller Coaster. It is now my favorite ride at Walt Disney World. Don’t be afraid to try something, you may love it. This goes for the other end of the spectrum as well. Don’t be afraid to try a “kiddie-ride” either. My favorite rides at The Magic Kimgdom are The Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan’s Flight.
Walt Disney World is more than theme parks and water parks. Our WDW vacation isn’t complete without a trip to Downtown Disney. We love wandering through the stores (especially World of Disney), we love the Lego statues in front of the Lego Inagination Center, but our can’t miss is Goofy’s Candy Company and their create-your-own treats.
There are also several great restaurants with Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant as my favorite. With Cirque du Soleil, a movie theater, shopping and food, there is something for everyone at Downtown Disney.
Finally, some of our favorite Disney memories are from special events. I try to find one special “extra” for each trip to make that vacation memorable. We have taken our daughters trick-or-treating in the Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. On our Last trip, we took an Illuminations fireworks cruise and I did a NASCAR ride-along at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the WDW Speedway. This could also be as simple as planning a special dinner at one of the many great restaurants in Walt Disney World.
To sum up, the true Magic of Walt Disney World is that everything you need to have a great vacation can be found without leaving Walt Disney World property. You can plan obsessively like me or you can simply book a room, buy tickets, and visit the park you decide on each day
There is no right or wrong way to visit Walt Disney World. You can stick to a budget or you can splurge. Whatever you want to do, or not do, is okay. Ride everything in sight. Ride nothing and enjoy the sightseeing. It all works. There are many resources available to help you plan your trip, starting right here at TheWDWDADS. Decide what you want to do, set your own pace, and enjoy your Walt Disney World vacation…find your own magic!