In my adult life, I've only grown fonder of the Mouse. Having visited multiple times in the past 5 years, I feel as though I have enough experience with Walt Disney World to give people advice. Do I think I've been enough times to know everything? Absolutely not. That is the beauty of it all! This, and two more posts after, will be a brief overview for the new-to-Disney vacationer. If you haven't gone, or haven't since you were a kid, it is one of the BEST vacation places in the world. State of the art restaurants, pools, hotels, entertainment. Though Disney has a reputation of being expensive, there is so much bang you get for your buck.
If you go to Florida, heck, if you go ANYWHERE, you've got to have somewhere to place your head after a long day of vacation fun. Staying on property is not only convenient, but it's usually cheaper. Every time Cal and I have stayed on property, we've never paid more than $92 per night for our room. Those rooms can sleep 4. This trip around, we got an even better rate because they were having a sale AND we are annual pass holders. I think our room may have been around $82 per night. I don't care where you go, that is a great rate. Throw in FREE park parking ($17 per day), huge food courts within walking distance, pools, and CLEANLINESS, it's pretty much a winning situation all around. Last trip, we left $2 or 3 for our housekeeper each night and she left us mountains of soap and shampoo....I'm still using that soap...8 months later. I'm telling you, it was a lot of soap. So add free(ish) soap to that list!
Just like having a place to sleep, you will need nourishment no matter where you are. Disney has a large variety of food choices. Whether you're in the mood for fried rice, ice cream bars, or waffle sandwiches, you can find almost anything on park property. The food, in my opinion, is on the expensive side, but the portions are huge. At Earl of Sandwich (Downtown Disney), Cal and I can get one sandwich and a side and walk away bursting. (I say bursting, he is always hungry. Doesn't take much to fill me up!) OR you could take it to the next step and pack a lunch. Disney lets you bring food and drink into the parks. They will check every bag, but basically, whatever you want to lug around all day is okay with them.
Have you seen the Lion King on Broadway? Nope? If you think going to Disney is expensive, going to New York and seeing Broadway plays is JUST AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE! I am not knocking Broadway plays....I was an actor by trade, if you remember. I've seen more Broadway plays than I can count. They are wonderful. But included your WDW park ticket, you get to see abbreviated versions of Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and a few others. And let's not forget the character meet and greets. Little Timmy can stop and shake the hand of Gaston. He'll even challenge you to a push up contest.
*But you should still try to make it to New York at least once in your life. And go see a show.
I recommend leaving the parks from time to time to explore the resorts. Talk a walk around the Boardwalk, they have entertainment in the evenings. The Grand Floridian lobby hosts a piano player, the occasional newly married couple, and a fancifully dressed old lady that you might miss if you aren't looking for her. Spend an evening at Downtown Disney to have a break from waiting in line for rides. DTD hosts food trucks, musicians, kids' shows, face painting, shopping, and more. You don't have to stay in the parks all day to experience the Disney magic!
I think I may have "talked" too much. Hahah! Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with blog content, but not today. Whenever someone asks me Disney questions, I don't shut up. Tune in next week for another installment of Disney Deconstructed. :)