Disney World……Been there, done that!

Wow....... 1900 Disney tattoos! Now that is a serious obsession!

We have never really been huge Disney fans.  I have to admit I have been lured in by the Disney Magic and had been enthralled by the glitzy scene I would see on TV of the parks, but I have known people who seem absolutely ga-ga about everything Disney and I just didn’t understand it.

In 2005, we were taking the boys on their first cruise and decided that the Disney Cruise Line should be the one.  I think we came to this conclusion partly because of falling into the Disney glitz trap and partly because we knew it would be good for kids.  We had never been to Disney World before and the boys only knew some characters from the movies they enjoyed watching, so the appeal of the characters turned out to be not much of a bonus.  It was an enjoyable cruise for many reasons; however, we will probably not choose to cruise with Disney again.

We picked the past summer to be our first trip to The World since our boys were 9 and 13 and we felt at an age to enjoy it and remember it.  We were planning the trip with my in-laws and my brother-in-law’s family and so all our schedules needed to coincide.  Because of this we had to chose a time when the kids were off school, and my first thought was spring break.  I knew choosing a time when the kids were out would be a crowded time to go, but I figured at least in March, when our spring break was would at least be cooler than in the summer.  That plan was nixed quickly when we learned our nephews’ school did not have the same spring break as ours, so summer was left as our only option.  We chose to go the third week of June.

We stayed off property at the Westgate Lakes Resort so that made going to and leaving the parks a bit more of a challenge; however, it was only a 10 min drive so it didn’t seem to hamper us too much.  Since we were staying a full week and did not know if we were ever going to come back, we chose to visit all the parks and one water park while we were there.  We also did not choose the park hopper option, which meant we would visit a park a day for five days.  An exhausting undertaking I know, but I’m ambitious crazy and wanted to make the most of it.

Our first day at the parks.

I chose what parks we would visit based on the weather.  My disclaimer I will add here is never, will I ever visit an Orlando theme park again in the summer.  I knew it was going to be hot, but holy cow;  I’m talking surface-of-the-sun hot.  Anyway, I wanted to visit Animal Kingdom on a day when it was going to be the least hot and least sunny to increase our chances of seeing the animals out and active.  I also tried to do the same for Hollywood Studios since it has the least amount of shade to walk and sit in.  The weather was upper 90s and 100s and sunny just about everyday of the week we were there.  It was crazy hot.  I think every pore on my body was cleaned out well after that week.  (I know what you’re thinking, what a visual!)

We went to Magic Kingdom first followed by Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  We chose to do Typhoon Lagoon on the last day of our stay since we figured it would be a more relaxing day and it by far was my most favorite.  We knew that the Disney parks didn’t host a great deal of thrill rides, but the ones they did have we tried to enjoy.  We also took advantage of the fast pass option so we could still look around while waiting for a ride instead of just standing in line.  One thing that really annoyed me was the amount of stores and restaurants in every park.  It seemed like every 100 feet there was another opportunity for them to gouge you for more money.

The two parks I would enjoy visiting again are Animal Kingdom and Epcot.  I really enjoyed seeing all the animals at Animal Kingdom and riding the Safari ride and Dinosaur.  I also enjoyed the Everest roller coaster, which is surprising considering I don’t do coasters.  I loved the two different nations of Asia and Africa and I found it absolutely beautiful the way they were both designed.  The fast pass option was really helpful here because there was so much to walk around and see while you were waiting.  The one thing I didn’t like was getting stuck behind the parade and not having any way of getting around it until it got past a certain point on the route.

Walking into Asia in the Animal Kingdom.


The Indiana Jones Stunt show at Hollywood Studios.

When I was planning our trip I had people tell me to eat lunch or dinner at this or that restaurant or make sure we catch this show or that show.  When I began looking into them the restaurants were quite pricey and we were much too late to even think about getting a reservation.  And my kids had no interest in watching any shows unless it was the stunt shows at Hollywood Studios, which we did enjoy despite the extreme heat and the pools of each others’ sweat we sat in.  (Again, the visuals.)  Fantasmic, the one show I was interested in seeing was not open when we were there unfortunately.

Epcot is definitely one park I want to visit again.  Because it was toward the end of the week when we went there, I think we were just exhausted by the sun and heat, so we only stayed about half the day.  The down side to Epcot is its size; however, this also means it hosts a great many things to explore.  We were able to enjoy all the fun stuff at the front of the park like Spaceship Earth located inside the huge sphere, Mission: SPACE, and the Test Track, but by the time we made our way to the World Showcase the heat of the day had done us in.  I was looking forward to trying beers from around the world at the World Showcase and riding on Soarin‘, but that will have to wait for another visit.

I am sure we probably would have enjoyed our trip to Disney World more if we had gone when it wasn’t so hot or maybe not tried to see it all in one week.  If it had been just my family going I would have planned it differently and gone during a different time of the year, but I probably still would’ve went to all the parks.  The reality is we weren’t really interested in all the shows and character events and restaurants that seem to be more of what Disney World is about, but we wanted to experience it and see what the fuss was all about.  I’m glad we went.  I’m glad we have the memories.  Now we can say been there, done that!

More pictures of our adventures…..

Our first look at Main Street, USA.

Braden entertained us while we ate lunch in "Africa."

This is one ride I chose to sit out for.

Couldn't believe I talked myself into riding this ride, but I'm glad I did. I loved it!

Apparently, this is what Braden and I will look like in the future.

I really enjoyed our day at Typhoon Lagoon. It was a great way to wrap up the week.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Voyager of the Seas: Day 2 & 3 « ALoveForTravel

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