Thursday, February 28, 2013

Disney World ~ Orlando, FL

As time goes by, you will learn that I'm an OBSESSED with Disney Freak or maybe just Mickey! Every year for my birthday I would go and celebrate another year of my life at Disney. After meeting the Hubs and converting him into a Disney Annual Pass holder (this is his second year as an annual pass holder) and we now go to Disney about 4-5 times a year.

When we first started our Disney Adventures we would attempt to do the entire park in the day. It is possible, however you're so exhausted at the end of the night, that half the time you forget what you saw. Therefore we came up with a game plan to make sure we don't miss a thing. We broke down each park by sections and explored every ride, show, store, restaurant, and have found that on every trip we always discover something new. Of course this is a bit easier for us as we are annual pass holders but if you are currently pass holders or plan to spend your next vacation with Mickey and the Gang, and you want to get in as much as possible, create a plan ahead of time.

Since there are 4 Disney Theme Parks I'm going to break down each park into different blog posts so if you're only going to visit a specific park you don't have to read through a whole bible to get to where you're going. 


Planning your trip:
If you're a planning NUT like me...Here are some tips to get you started.
Florida is ALWAYS HOT! I've tested out the weather different times of the year and have found that October-March is a lot cooler in the mornings to early evenings. However, make sure to bundle up in the evenings cause with a blink of an eye temperatures drop drastically. If you're not a huge fan of large crowds then I recommend you plan your trip for February to early April and the first 2 weeks in October. Keep in mind, the closer to the holidays the busier the parks get.

If you're traveling in the summer, get ready to sweat your tushy off, cause it gets HOT. Make sure to wear lots of sunscreen, bring a hat, sunglasses, dress to keep cool and stay hydrated.

If you're traveling in the colder months, I recommend you reserve a locker at the entrance of the park where you can leave your sweaters, jackets, coats, etc. In the colder months, during the day temperatures are really nice, usually in the low 70's to mid 60's however in the early evening temperatures will drop drastically and you're going to want to be able to dress warm for the parade and firework show which all happens at the entrance of the park.


Where to stay:
Disney World has more than handful of beautiful resorts you can choose from. Make sure you book a few months in advance to get better pricing. All Disney Resorts offer free shuttles to and from the park, I'd take advantage of this as parking per vehicle is approx $15 at each park. As Disney Resort guest you get to enjoy EXTRA MAGIC HOURS at selected theme parks. And any purchases you make, you can have delivered to your room. so you don't have to carry bags all day long.

Here's a list of the all Disney Resorts.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's All Star Movies Resort
Disney's All Star Music Resort
Disney's All Star Sports Resort
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo House
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Disney's Beach Club Resort
Disney's Beach Club Villas
Disney's Boardwalk Inn
Disney's Boardwalk Villas
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Pop Century Resort
Disney's Port Orleans Resort
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
The Villas at Disney's Fort Wilderness Lodge
The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

There are also lots of other hotels not owned by Disney within the vicinity. I usually look to stay in the Downtown Disney Area as it's close to the parks, dining, entertainment, and shopping.


Parking:
Parking is paid at each park you go to:
If you are a Disney Resort Guest, Parking is complimentary during the length of your stay.
If you're a Premium Annual Pass Holder or have an Annual Pass Parking is complimentary.
Otherwise here are the prices. Parking fee is paid at your arrival to every park. (ex: Visit 2 parks total for parking is $30)

*-Automobile, Taxi, Limo or Motorcycle: $15 USD
*-Camper, Trailer or RV: $16 USD
*-Bus or Tractor Trailer: $19 USD


Admission:
 Single Day- Visit One Theme Park Ticket:
 1- Day Adult (10+)- $95.00
 1- Day Child (3-9)-  $89.00


Disney offers Multi Day/Multi Park Theme Park Tickets.
For more information on theme park tickets you can go here: Disney Theme Park Tickets
Be sure to SELECT whether or not you're a Florida Resident from the drop box menu.


Maps:
 Although all Disney Theme Parks have free Guides and Maps I recommend that you download a copy prior to your trip, you'll want to do as much as you can in each section of the park rather than going back and forth to do different attractions. If you arrive by the time the park opens and leave at park's closing you'll have time to do just about everything including the parade and firework show.


Autograph books: