Two words encompass Disney World: Mickey. Magic.
It has been twenty years since my last visit to Disney World. I had been to Disneyland a few times (three between 2002 and 2010, I think), but the comparison between the two is non-existant. When I was offered the chance to go along with the family I work with, I jumped at the chance. I was excited, of course, but I think I had really forgotten the magic that goes into a Disney trip. Until I got there.
We stayed at the Art of Animation, one of the Disney resorts. And from the moment I stepped off the Magical Express shuttle, I felt the Disney magic. Granted, I didn’t get a room for several hours after a red-eye, but they did all they could to make up for the room confusion (balloons for the kiddos, extra fast-passes and a $150 credit to the room).
We spent a whole week at the parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom), but there is SO much to see and do, I need another week (or two) to really take it all in.
The weather was perfect. A little chilly on one day, up around 80 and humid another day, but otherwise the low 70’s most the time which is perfect for my fair-weather skin (I wore a sweatshirt half the time which ruined some fun disney-inspired outfits, but whatever).
I was also pleasantly surprised with the quality of food. While they have your standard theme park snacks: popcorn, pretzels, etc. Each of the sit down dinners we had offered a wide selection (both for those with adventurous palates and those who preferred a more basic choice). Chicken with goat cheese polenta, Norwegian meatballs with lingonberry – I never felt like I was getting the same thing at every restaurant.
It’s funny though, stepping into the park, I felt instantly like a kid again. I wanted everything – all the fun toys, the over-priced clothes. I wanted to get my hair done like a princess (legit though, you had to be under twelve or I would have had it done). I had my picture taken with all the characters and I think I was in awe of the castle lit up at night, just like the boys.
I’ve been home for 6 weeks and I find myself thinking back to the trip frequently. Reflecting back on my favorite rides (space mountain was far less jerk-y on my neck than I remember), goofing around with Buzz Lightyear and Woody and cruising gift-shops like it’s my job. As well as the things we didn’t have time for, like the rest of Animal Kingdom.
staff cast members are 100% on point. From the ride attendants to the restaurant hosts to the the street cleaners, everyone was *on* at all times. Friendly, helpful each person I encountered didn’t hesitate to help with whatever was needed, or start up a friendly conversation about my disney manicure, the family reunion pins we wore, or just about the magic of Disney.
Can go back yet?