There's no question that I think Disney World is amazing. I wouldn't keep going I hated it, right? People often ask me what I like the best, but I don't think I've ever broken it down in a blog post. Therefore, inspired by this week's All Ears newsletter, I decided to make a list of my favorite things to do at Disney World.
Arriving. There's nothing like getting to Orlando International Airport, hopping on that little tram, and rushing down to the Magical Express. Once you're on that bus, the vacation really begins. They play a video as you take the long journey to the resort, and then once you drive under that gate, the rest of the world falls away. All I can think, when that happens, is, "I"m here! I'd better check in on Foursquare! YAY I'm here! And I have XX number of days left! YAY!!!" The anticipation is delicious!
Eat! I love the food there. Our favorite place is Garden Grill, but I also really like Columbia Harbour House, ABC Commissary, and Pizzafari. Yummy!
Listen to the announcements on the buses. I love it when they say "You'll be home soon." The funny music they play on the buses when we pull into Magic Kingdom. And I always laugh because they're so formal, calling the buses motorcoaches and saying they "depart" instead of "leave". In Chicago, I am no stranger to buses and they definitely don't call them motorcoaches here!
Take in the atmosphere. I love to smell the scents, hear the music, look at the people. So many different types of people. Every time I go, I am more amazed at the things Walt Disney thought of, and the things the Imagineers continue to do. Just little things, like the ground changing as you go from land to land in the Magic Kingdom, to there never being more than 30 steps between trash cans because Walt actually counted how many steps it took people holding trash before they'd throw it on the ground. That meticulous attention to detail amazes me because that means there's always something new to discover on a Disney trip.
Meet the characters! I've definitely calmed down from this, but I used to be a HARD CORE character meeter. I used to stalk them. Now that I've met most of the characters I wanted to meet, I don't see any reason to stand in long lines now... unless it's someone rare. For example, on Valentine's Day, the princes were out with the princessess. So even though I'd met Aurora and Snow White before, I'd never met Prince Philip or Snow White's prince.
I'll also go meet a character if there is barely any wait, and I ALWAYS have to meet Mickey Mouse at least once when I go to Disney World. I mean, how can you go and NOT meet Mickey every single time, right?
Experience the attractions. There are a few attractions that are must-dos for me. Like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I missed it my last trip, as it was closed for refurbishment. There are some that I just have to do at least once, like the Carousel of Progress.
See the parades. I used to wonder why people would sit and stake claim on parade spots up to an hour before the parade even started. I mean, they could be riding rides or seeing shows or buying stuff, right? But then, one night, I lined up to watch Spectromagic. And THEN I GOT IT. Just so you know, Spectromagic was this huge light parade that ran nightly, sometimes twice nightly. IT WAS EPIC. And let me tell you, that's a heck of a parade to experience as your first one. The music STILL GIVES ME CHILLS and I even have it as my ringtone.
full spectromagic video
Everything is lit up. The costumes! The floats! Everything. It's beautiful! And when they replaced it with the Main Street Electrical Parade, I was like "OK. I've never seen this one, so I'll give it a shot, but I hope they go back to Spectromagic before long!" Well, they're still running MSEP, so I have no pressing need to stay late for the Magic Kingdom parade until they bring Spectromagic back. I love that parade so much that I bought the soundtrack as soon as I could.
So yeah. Parades are the thing. Especially when you get to BE IN THEM!!!
Shop. Duh! Gotta get some souvenears (you see what I did there?) and pick up postcards to send to friends and family back home, right? I buy at least one new pair of earrings every trip. I also collect pins, ornaments, and magnets commemorating that particular trip. I always get one for the year we're there for sure, but if I fall in love with a new attraction or something, I'll get a pin for that as well. I love to look around the shops and let myself get tempted to buy things I don't need. :)
Being immersed. There are many reasons we stay on site at Disney Resorts, even though it's usually cheaper to get a suite off site. Those reasons are a.) Dining Plan b.) Disney transportation c.) Extra Magic Hours d.) Total Disney immersion. That means no chain stores or dirty sidewalks. No fast food chains to tempt me or dog poop all over the place. It's a complete and total escape and I LOVE IT.
I hope to get back really soon!
That's all I can think of for now. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a few of my favorite things about Disney World!