Well, James and I went to Disney World at the beginning of this month and anyone that knows me will know that I was very anti-Disney World for a long time. However, since we visited, I have a different outlook on the property there in contrast to the property in California.
This first post will be an overview of what I thought of Disney World overall and later posts will talk about the various parks and lands specifically.
When we first arrived, we took an Uber from our hotel to Epcot where we boarded the Monorail to go to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and transferred to the Express Loop Monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
Nothing can beat the view of Cinderella’s Castle from across the Seven Seas Lagoon. It is truly magical. Riding the Monorail through the Contemporary was an amazing experience for me as I was on a Monorail(!!) going through what I consider to be the coolest resort hotel anywhere. I have wanted to stay there since I was a kid!
Once we got the the Magic Kingdom station, we hopped on the resort loop which stopped at all the resorts around the Seven Seas Lagoon. When we got back to the TTC, we boarded the ferry to the Magic Kingdom. The ferry was nothing spectacular and I would probably be fine not riding it again.
Being inside of this whole Disney World was pretty amazing. Definitely not the same experience as Disneyland where Anaheim is right there. Between the Monorail, ferries, buses and completely Disney (Reedy Creek Improvement District) owned, maintained and operated roads and land, it was magical.
I won’t get into the details of the individual parks here as I am planning on writing another post on those, but I will talk about some lessons learned.
First, people are 100% correct when they say to stay “on property” at a Disney owned resort hotel at Disney World. You get to pick 3 Fastpass+ tickets per day 60 days ahead of your visit (as opposed to 30 days with a regular ticket), access to Extra Magic Hours where different parks are open either earlier or later on some nights and being able to charge all of your purchases to your Magic Band.
The biggest convenience would have to be the excellent on site transportation at Disney World. Where we stayed, we had a shuttle that would take us from our hotel, to a few other hotels to pick up others, to Epcot only. If we weren’t going to Epcot, it was another bus or Monorail (or TWO for the Magic Kingdom) to get to any of the other parks. Timing on this shuttle was also not very good. If you wanted to go to Disney World, you had to catch the 7:20, 8:05, 11:05, 12:20 or 5:20 shuttles (7:25 is you were going to Universal – the only time to go there). If you wanted to return to the hotel, you had to catch the 5:45, 8:45 or 10:45 shuttles at Epcot or the midnight shuttle at the TTC.
That doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that the Magic Kingdom was only open until 11 all except for one night we were there and the other parks closed at 8:30 (Hollywood Studios) or 9 (Epcot – which also had Illuminations at 9) and you would have to wait a long time.
Another downer was the fact that to get out of Orlando International Airport, you have to pay an over-priced taxi or take a LONG bus ride or do what we did which is take a bus to the first stop outside the airport, then call an Uber.
That about sums it up for this post. Look forward to the posts where I talk about our trip and experience at all the 4 theme parks and Universal as well.