One of the places that most kids want to visit is Disney World but what about adults? When Stampin’ Up! announced that Leadership this year would be in Orlando, my husband and I decided that we would take advantage of the location and make a mini vacation out of it! On our list of places to visit was of course Disney World; my husband had never been and I wanted to go back since it had been 20 years since my last visit. We only had 2 days to try and do as much as we could, so we had to make some tough decisions as to what we would do. In the end we decided to spend 1 day at Magic Kingdom and the 2nd day we split between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I had so many people tell me that HS and Epcot could be done in ½ a day, but we really could have spent a full day at each as we didn’t get to see everything we wanted at each park. It’s ok, it just means we have something to go back there for!
We both had an AWESOME time and it was even better than what we thought it was going to be! We had some of the best weather (it was near record highs the entire week we were there and no rain). We were so excited to be there each day we started snapping away as soon as we got inside the park! Our first step at each park was to get a map and set out exploring this happiness on earth!
We started off right away with the rides, and we really didn’t have to wait long in line to get on them. Overall the wait for the rides at Disney were never more than 30 minutes (and that was not the norm – it was more like 5-15 minutes and sometimes no wait at all). This is not to say that there weren’t a lot of people there it just seemed we always hit the rides at the right time. One of the things that Disney had was a ‘Fast Pass’ on the more popular rides. You could take a ticket that would essentially hold your place in line; you return at a time indicated on the ticket and enter the shorter ‘Fast Pass’ line. These ‘Fast Passes’ were found at all of the Disney parks.
As you would expect, there are Disney characters everywhere waiting to meet you. At first I felt a little silly lining up to meet my favourite characters since I was an adult without any kids, but then I was like “really…..I’m at Disney World”, turned around and joined all the other kids & adults patiently waiting to meet and get my picture with them! Unfortunately I was only able to meet 1 princess, but if I had to pick just one to meet she would definitely be in my top 3…..I met Snow White!! It turned out that there were a lot of us (child-less adults) lining up to get our pictures taken with them.
I think one of my favourite things was seeing all the kids dressed up as their favourite princess/character (I had never seen so many princesses in one place) and the pure joy and excitement they had when they got to meet each character, give them a hug and get their autograph! We hope that when we have our kids we will be able to bring them here and experience this excitement with them; like so many things lately this just solidified that we are ready for a family. I often hear people say that they want to wait to bring their kids to Disney until they are the right age to remember it all but I say don’t wait….seeing the big smiles on their little faces would be a good enough reason for me!
I’m not going to lie, our visit to Disney was expensive! We paid a lot just for our park passes but if you buy passes for multiple days it gets less expensive (in our case we didn’t get any deal since we were only there for 2 days). I know there are Disney packages out there but since we weren’t just doing Disney while we were in Orlando we didn’t look into them. We ate there and although it wasn’t cheap it wasn’t nearly as bad as what we thought it was going to be. We could definitely see the benefits of packing a lunch when you bring your family but we also heard from some people that they had bought a meal plan as part of their Disney vacation package so that is something we will keep in mind for next time. Another thing to keep in mind if you are trying to visit on a budget is the photographers at the park; Disney had their own photographers all over the park willing to take group pictures but be warned it is expensive! The first time they take your picture they give you a card that you can use for the rest of your stay and they just scan it every time they take your picture. Once you get home you can go online and view them and then decide if you want to buy/download a picture or buy a CD of all of them. One picture, whether you order a print or download it is $15…..to get a CD of all of them will run you $170! The good thing about the photographers is that they would take pictures for you using your own camera as well.
Even though we only had 2 days there, we had a fantastic time and we were kind of glad that we could experience it together for the first time without kids….so we could act like big kids ourselves and look forward to taking our own little family some day.