How Disney Is Winning Over Even the Staunchest of Disney Haters

Castle Balloons

From grumpy teenagers to tourists that are too ‘grownup’ to enjoy a whimsical theme park, Disney has been pulling out the big guns to impress. More so than ever before, the Walt Disney World resort is bursting with new and exciting offerings for guests of all ages and tastes. Never again can a visitor label WDW as a place for children. Featuring exquisite dining, breathtaking resorts, and attractions that highlight non-princess franchises – Disney has truly become a destination for all. Let us talk about some of the strongest ‘selling points’ for those that may need to convince a Disney Hater to join in on the fun. Let us begin!

1. Posh and Unique Accommodations

Is your trip buddy already complaining about a cartoon-themed hotel? Disney has more than enough alternatives. For those that associate vacations with the word ‘luxury’, there are several Deluxe Tier hotels that make guests feel like visiting royalty. For example, the Victorian-era themed Grand Floridian hotel immerses guests with its turn-of-century elegance and feminine décor. Another popular choice, the tropical Polynesian Village Resort, surrounds guests in paradise as evidenced by the island theming and the ever-present scent of pineapples. A little further down the beaten path lies the Animal Kingdom Lodge. These accommodations feature African-inspired décor and its own on-property safari! (And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of Deluxe options.) For guests with a smaller budget, there are several sophisticated and modern options within the next hotel tier (Moderate). Many guests enjoy the relaxing vibes of the Caribbean Beach resort or the romantic bayou atmosphere of Port Orleans – Riverside. Whatever your theming or budget preference, there are many Disney hotels that are rich in amazing service, yet practically character-free.

Polynesian Bungalows

Photo Credit: Disney

2. Exquisite Dining

Another complaint Disney haters like to air is that theme park food is low-quality and over-priced. And while Disney food isn’t the cheapest, there is an array of delicious restaurants that rival the finest establishments. All of the Deluxe Tier hotels are home to some of the best purveyors of steak, seafood, and exotic cuisine. Favorites include The Contemporary Resort’s California Grill, Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Narcosse’s at the Grand Floridian. Meanwhile, the glamorous Boardwalk shopping and dining area (near the EPCOT-area hotels) is home to the Italian gem of Trattoria al Forno and the delectable Flying Fish. And last but not least, the reimagined Disney Springs area is abundant with new dining options. Save the typical chain-restaurants for home and bring your friends to Morimoto Asia, the Boathouse, or the indulgent D-Luxe Burger. After dinner, grab an artisanal pastry or gelato cone while strolling around the district. Foodies can be rest assured, there really are many restaurants that focus on amazing entrées as opposed to ‘safe’ family-friendly choices.

Trattoria al Forno

Photo Credit: Disney Food Blog

3. Fabulous Shopping

While the property is full of unique souvenir shops for Disney lovers, you may wonder if there are ‘real’ world options. Why yes! There are several. Traveling back to Disney Springs, this shopping district is full of name-brand stores that adorn the most popular outlet malls. Ladies of the group can droll over leather kate spade handbags and trendy Zara clothing. Dads and boyfriends can splurge on a pair of Oakley sunglasses or get a real razor-shave at The Art of Shaving barber shop. From Alex & Ani to Sanuk to Under Armor athletic wear, any Disney skeptic can spend hours treating themselves to non-Disney purchases. (Just don’t forget to bring some treats home for family and friends.)

Disney Springs

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

4. Festivals Upon Festivals

EPCOT has been the long-standing favorite for a more sophisticated crowd. (Up until fairly recently, this was the only park that served alcohol.) While EPCOT may not be the undeniable king of adult beverages today, it is still the king of festivals. Formerly treated as seasonal events, the park now has festivals running throughout the whole year! The celebrations are as follows. Wintertime celebrates artistic passions with beautiful exhibitions at the Festival of the Arts. Then, the springtime Flower & Garden festival covers the park in amazing blossoms and Disney topiaries. Next, the extremely popular (and delicious) Food & Wine Festival keeps EPCOT very well-attended in the fall with its selection of goodies. And lastly, during November and December, the International Festival of the Holidays celebrates this festive season with special music, performances, and storytellers. While every festival has a unique theme, they all provide unique food booths, inventive drink options, and seasonal entertainment. So basically, there is never a bad time to visit EPCOT!

Epcot Food and Wine

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5. Beloved Galactic Franchises

For a couple of years, the parks have been abuzz with news of additions that will win over the most stubborn guests. For instance, EPCOT has patiently been awaiting the completion of its own Guardians of the Galaxy coaster! However, the piece de resistance is brewing right within Hollywood Studios. Opening in the fall of 2019, the jaw-dropping Star Wars land (Galaxy’s Edge) will transport guests to a galaxy far far away. While this park is already home to two interstellar attractions (the 3-D Star Tours motion simulator and the Star Wars Launch Bay meet and greet area), this new addition will provide immersion like never before. Guests of this land will have the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon, officially choose to fight or join the Resistance, and even drink Luke Skywalker’s favorite blue milk! If the perfection of Animals Kingdoms’ Pandora: World of Avatar is any indication of how breathtaking Galaxy’s Edge will be, then the Disney haters should already be convinced. Move over Harry Potter World, there is a new park expansion in town.

With so many reasons to love WDW, there’s no doubt that any Disney skeptic can be brought to the light. We wish you happy planning and good luck in soaking up the fun-filled universe of Disney!


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About Rebekah

Rebekah is a life-long Disney enthusiast who is thrilled to be sharing her passion with fellow fanatics! As someone who lived on a Disney diet in childhood, her appreciation for the company has only grown over time. When Rebekah isn't planning her next trip, she can be found reading, blogging, obsessively exercising, and participating in the musical theater community.

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