Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Destination - Disney!

It's no secret that Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is a favorite family destination!  From the rides and attractions to the magic of watching your child immersed in a wonderland of their favorite characters - it is a vacation spot where magical memories are made!  With a wide variety of parks to explore, Disney World truly has something for everyone!  There are six parks (four theme parks and two water parks) within the Disney complex: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon.  Within each park await enough adventures to fill a whole day; from safaris and thrilling rides, to amazing performances and fantastic beaches, there is something for every visitor, young or old! 

Even the hotels on the Disney properties are designed with family fun in mind, offering delicious food, swimming and wading pools, and chances to meet many of their favorite characters!   Featuring a wide variety of price points and accommodation styles (from deluxe resorts to camp grounds!), all Disney properties also offer easy access to the parks via boat, monorail, and bus - some resorts are even within walking distance!

A well-kept secret, however, is that one of the best times to visit Florida's Walt Disney World (especially if you are travelling with more than one child or young children) is mid- to late-fall!  Not only is the weather still warm and pleasant, but once school begins, the parks become far less crowded and far more friendly for those wishing to minimize long lines and wait times!  In addition, every year from early October to mid-November, Walt Disney World plays host to a number of special events; including the Magic Kingdom's "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party," Epcot's "International Food and Wine Festival," Hollywood Studios' "Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights," and Downtown Disney's "Festival of the Masters."   With the exception of the "Halloween Party," all these events are either complimentary or included in the price of the park pass! 

Here are a few tips and pointers from seasoned veterans for "Experiencing the Magic" of Disney, whether for a day trip or a week-long stay:
  1. Do the research - check out package deals, discounts, and special offers before booking - Disney frequently runs such promotions and you can save some serious cash by taking advantage of them!
  2. Plan ahead! Be sure to select parks and attractions that will best meet the interests of your family prior to arriving - once you get there, it is easy to become overwhelmed by how much there is to see and do.  If you already have a list of things you know you want to do, it is easier to build your days and add in things you may not have known about ahead of time!  Also, if you are traveling with young children, be aware that some rides have height requirements, and may have long wait times during peak park hours.
  3. Consider upgrading from a Magic Your Way Base Park Ticket to a Park-Hopper pass, which allows you to visit as many parks as you wish in any given day.
  4. For the best in convenience, value, and comfort, check out Orlando Stroller Rentals.  OSR provides a stroller-rental service complete with delivery to Orlando-area hotels and is proud to be the only stroller-rental company recommended by the Disney Moms Panel!  Their roomy and comfortable strollers (single or double) are available for prices far below those of the Disney Parks; so save yourself the hassle of dragging your stroller through the airport, and save your child the discomfort of the hard plastic stollers available for rental within the Disney Parks - check out Orlando Stroller Rentals - you'll be glad you did!
  5. Consider packing snacks and water for your park trips - the parks don't prohibit such items and having them on hand can help avoid melt-downs and extra expenses!  They do inspect bags and strollers prior to park entry, but only as a safety measure.
  6. Finally, talk to friends and family who have made the trip - ask them for advice, tips, and tricks!  You can also find additional advice and support on the Disney webpage, including a searchable collection of questions answered by Disney's Mom's Panel
Happy Travels!
- Destination Mom


  1. Awesome article! One thing to add: someone told me to order water and snacks online at a retailer like Staples and have it SHIPPED to your hotel room for your stay! That way if you are using Disney only transportation and can't get to the store while in Orlando, you'll be all set! Thanks again for the article. Loved the stroller tip....

  2. Thanks for your feedback and for the great idea Elizabeth - I never would have thought of that!