Just as Walt Disney and Mickey were “Partners”, so too are two words that best describe the two original Disney theme parks. These two words are “happy”, and “magic”. Disneyland is known as “the happiest place on earth”, and Walt Disney World is known as “the most magical place on earth”. These two Disney Theme Parks embody the spirit and soul of their creative genius, Walter Elias Disney, who brought to all of us here on this planet a “whole new world” to visit and enjoy! Here are ten things that we love most about Walt Disney World.
10. Meet and Greet Characters — There is no better way to create a magical Walt Disney World memory than a photo album filled with pictures of your children with their favorite Disney characters. The cast members who portray these famous Disney characters from books, television, and movies, are exceptional in their training and dedication to the Disney ideals and philosophy. They are always in character when they are in the presence of visitors, and only when they are out of sight do they become themselves again. I am always impressed with these talented cast members and their enthusiasm and lively interaction with each and every guest they meet. They don’t just stand there and pose. They talk and laugh and are energetic and always make sure your visit with them is upbeat and memorable. It’s an experience you will never forget!
9. Main Street, USA — Main Street at Walt Disney World is a very magical place to be. It is the Main Street
of Walt Disney’s youth, and all the nostalgia and architecture from the turn of the century is recreated here. The Main Street Emporium is filled with all kinds of Disney souvenirs: toys, trading pins, hats, apparel, etc. Other special stores along Main Street are the Confectionery where you will find all of your favorite Disney sweet treats, the Chapeau featuring hats of all shapes and sizes which you can have monogrammed, Uptown Jewelers, Crystal Arts, and the Main Street Gallery. In addition to shops, there are several places to enjoy a delicious meal.
While you’re on Main Street, check out all the windows on the buildings which are engraved with the names of Disney executives and Imagineers (past and present) including Walt and Roy Disney. Tip: In the Chapeau store, check out the old-fashioned hand-crank telephone on the wall. If you pick up the receiver you will hear a conversation between two ladies on a party line. Also, there is a small alcove on the right about halfway down Main Street on the right side facing Cinderella’s Castle, where you will see a partially opened window marked “Singing Lessons and School of Dance”, and if you listen carefully you will hear music and tap dancing. These are just two examples of Disney ingenuity. When you take a walk down Main Street, walk slowly and enjoy all the hidden extras!
8. Shopping — The shopping opportunities at Walt Disney World are endless. Besides Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, there is Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, and Liberty Square. Each one has its own signature souvenirs relating to that particular land or attraction. The same is true of Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot. The Disney Resorts also have shops where you can purchase that special Disney item you may have seen at one of the Parks. Items range from a simple key chain to a diamond necklace, with hundreds of collectible choices in between. Shopping at Walt Disney World is definitely an opportunity to bring some of the magic home with you.
7. Package Pickup — One of the great services of Walt Disney World is the package pickup option. This is only available to Disney Resort guests, but it is a definite reason to stay at a Disney Resort Hotel. Each time you purchase an item or items from any shop in the Parks, you can have your purchases sent back to your Resort, and they will call you when they are ready for pickup, usually the next day. You can also have all your packages shipped to your home. Your purchases are packed with care and they invoice each and every item while you watch, giving you a copy of the packing slip. This is especially advantageous for visitors who have flown to WDW, and is a good idea for those travelers who don’t have a lot of spare room in their cars for an abundance of packages.
Several years ago when we visited Walt Disney World at Christmas time, we purchased many Christmas gifts, had them sent to our home, and when our packages arrived, we found them all to be excellently wrapped, and packed so that everything arrived unbroken and nothing was left out. This is a great service!
6. Cast Members
— I have to speak here from experience, and over the past 20 years and many visits to Walt Disney World, I have only praise for the WDW cast members. Their dedication to the Disney philosophy is phenomenal. I cannot tell you how many times a cast member has helped us with a particular situation, from giving directions, to answering questions about certain rides or attractions. There are very few exceptions to this statement. Of course there are going to be times when some cast member is having a bad day and may not be as friendly as they should be, but these cases are very few and far between.
5. Dining — The dining choices at Walt Disney World are numerous and full of variety. Here are a few of my favorites:
Breakfast — The food court at a Disney Resort—As with most food courts, the choices are varied and delicious. You can order a full breakfast with eggs, bacon or sausage, fried potatoes, or a simple breakfast consisting of a bagel and some fruit. There are many beverage choices including juices, milk, coffee, tea, etc
Lunch — Magic Kingdom–Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café—The choices here are: Angus hamburger or cheeseburger, BBQ pork sandwich, Southwest chicken salad, Veggie burger, chili, chili cheese fries, onion rings, corn on the cob, various desserts and beverages. There is also a huge condiment bar offering lettuce tomatoes, pickles, onions, hot cheese, sautéed onions, etc. My favorite is the BBQ pork sandwich, Yummy!
Dinner — Magic Kingdom—Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle—Who can resist having dinner and being visited by all the beautiful Disney Princesses? It is an experience you will relive again and again in your memories. The luxurious dining room is filled with beautiful paintings, sparkling chandeliers, and a spectacular view of Fantasyland. The menu is fit for royalty. It includes: beef tenderloin, Chef’s fish of the day, gnocchi with roasted vegetables, pan-seared chicken breast, rice with roasted vegetables, or my favorite, slow-roasted bone-in-pork with vegetables. The desserts are scrumptious: flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate custard, seasonal cheesecake, or a no-sugar added lemon sorbet garnished with blueberries.
At Walt Disney World, there are so many different dining choices. My family and I have dined at many quick service and full service restaurants and have been delighted with every choice. Some have been better than others, but you will have to decide your favorites for yourself. I believe you will not be disappointed with the quality of the food, the service, and the cleanliness of the dining areas.
4. Music — I love the piped in music at all of the Disney theme parks. As you enter each Park, you will hear the music which highlights all the rides and attractions associated with that particular park.
Upon entering the Magic Kingdom, you hear music from many different classic Disney movies, and each land has its own individual sound; fairytale music in Fantasyland, patriotic music from Liberty Square, western folklore music in Frontierland, and jungle sounds coming from Adventureland. The same is true of Epcot, World Showcase, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. In every area of every park there is musical accompaniment associated with each ride and attraction.
Some of my favorite melodies are “It’s A Small World”, “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, etc. Music, music, everywhere, on the rides, and in the air!
3. Rides and Attractions — Walt Disney World is a world of fantasy, happiness, and magic. All of the rides and attractions were designed and built to accommodate families or single riders. What Walt Disney dreamed about was a place where members of a family could enjoy rides together. Each ride or attraction was designed to Walt Disney’s specifications, and most of the rides are roomy enough for parent and child, or a single person.
The only exceptions are those rides with height requirements, and the “single rider” option is available for anyone who doesn’t mind riding alone or with another guest. In every instance, the Disney guest, whether young or old, is attended to.
I would like to add here that there is no ride or attraction that you will be disappointed in. The Disney stamp of approval as far as magical, fun, and in some cases thrilling, is on them all!
2. MagicBands — The MagicBand is an all-in-one device worn on your wrist which provides each guest with admission to the Parks, unlocks your Disney Resort Hotel room, enables you to purchase food and merchandise, and gives you Fast Pass+ access to all the experiences you have selected online.
I was very skeptical at first about using these MagicBands, but after a few nervous attempts, I fell in love with my MagicBand. It is so handy and easy to use. You just match the Mickey on your band to the Mickey on the “ball on the stick”, a green line forms a circle, you place your finger in a slot, and you’re on your way. There are no more turnstiles! The cast members who stand at each entry point are always pleasant and eager to assist you if you have any problems with your MagicBand. In every store and kiosk, you just tap that circle and you are done. It is such a time saver, and no more lost keys or paper Fast Passes. All your Fast Pass choices are stored in your MagicBand.
If anyone is like me and not very technologically inclined, be at ease. MagicBands are easy and fun to use!
1. Magic — This one word encompasses what Walt Disney World stands for. You can take every themed amusement park in the world, and compare them with the Disney theme parks, and this one word sets Disney apart from all the rest. Magic is a word Walt Disney was extremely familiar with, and this one word inspired his family, friends, and imagineers to join him in his quest to provide a place where families could enjoy the Magic of a fun-filled amusement park together.
Of course there are plenty of other words to describe the Disney empire, like sensational, thrilling, extraordinary, fantastic, etc., but Magic is the word used to describe Walt Disney World as “the most magical place on earth”! Disneyland, the original Disney Park is known as “the happiest place on earth”!
My heart is filled with a childlike spirit whenever I visit Walt Disney World. I leave the cares and problems of this world behind me, and enter into a magical world where everything and everyone becomes a part of Walt Disney’s “dream come true”. Whether I am on a ride, at an attraction, or enjoying the pool at my Disney Resort Hotel, I can feel the Disney Magic. You can see it in the smiling, happy faces of everyone you meet. Disney Fanatics all over the world understand and thrive in this Magic. It is contagious, so when you visit Walt Disney World, be prepared to be exposed to the Magic of Disney!
Start planning your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >