Walt Disney World holidays have always been family favourites, and with some excellent multi centre holidays available for 2013, there’s every reason to make at least one fun-filled stop in Orlando this year, says Charlotte Rivington.
Walt Disney World is so named because from the moment you pass its gates, you are transported to a magical world where anything is possible. In 2010, nearly 17 million people relived their childhoods in Walt Disney World alone, making it one of the most popular theme parks on the planet.
For those uninitiated, Walt Disney World is the overarching Disney Resort in Orlando, which is spread over 33,000 acres. Within Walt Disney World, however, there are several different parks, including four theme parks and two water parks. As you can imagine, each theme park is distinctly different, but how do you tell them all apart?
Probably the best known park, the iconic Cinderella Castle looms over six different areas of adventure: Main Street, USA; Adventureland; Frontierland; Liberty Square; New FantasyLand and Tomorrowland.
Magic Kingdom is the primary park for big rides, and it’s most popular attractions include Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Wishes Nighttime Spectacular (a breathtaking fireworks display), Cinderella’s Castle, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
Twice the size of Magic Kingdom, Epcot is split into Future World, which showcases innovation and technological advancements, and World Showcase, which offers a taste of the cultures of 11 countries.
Famous for its futuristic simulations, you can (at least pretend to) hang-glide over California with Soarin’, travel on a realistic spaceflight to Mars with Mission: SPACE, and travel through some of the world’s greatest cities on the ‘Pavilion’ virtual tours.
Epcot has several excellent eateries that don’t just offer international food, but highly-recommended, full international dining experiences, including Chinese, French, Moroccan, and Japanese cuisines.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Combining live shows with backstage tours and special celebrity events, Hollywood Studios gives you a feel for what it’s like to be part of film history.
Ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to an Aerosmith soundtrack, attend one of the Star Tours, led by C-3PO, R2D2 and Darth Vader, see how the first Indiana Jones movie stunts were achieved in a 30 minute live show. Plus, you can get The American Idol Experience by appearing on a full replica of the set.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The biggest Disney theme park is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which features over 1,700 animals from 250 species.
The Animal Kingdom is divided into 7 areas: Oasis; Discovery Island area; Camp Minnie-Mickey; Africa; Rafiki’s Planet Watch area; Asia; and Dinoland, USA area.
The biggest attractions include tours that allow you to get up close and personal with hippos, crocodiles, and other exotic animals. There’s also an Expedition Everest ride, a river raft trip through an Asian rainforest, and petting zoos. You’ll find all of your favourite animals here.
Features unique to Disney:
FASTPASS – Pre-purchased passes that reduce waiting times for rides.
PhotoPass – Photocards bought inside the park, used to store professionally-taken photos online that you have taken throughout the day. You can ask photographers for multiple shots, and you only pay at the end when you actually order the prints, or a range of merchandise customized with your pictures.
So what are you waiting for? Ocean Florida operates cruises all around the world and has some excellent options for those wishing to make multiple stops in different cities.
Make 2013 a Disney year!
Charlotte Rivington actively blogs about Travel, Beauty, Food & Drink covering everything from the latest fashion trends to tasty food. During her spare time she loves shopping, discovering new products & enjoys getting lost in new places as she writes away.