I've been thinking a lot about vacation expectations recently. I've heard several time people disappointed in their Walt Disney World trip and I do believe much of that is based on conceived notions of what the parks should be.
If you have never been before, you may think you know what Walt Disney World is -
- A place for kids
- A very expensive vacation
- A place for lots of rides and burgers
These are all half truths.
A Place for Kids
While obviously, Walt Disney World is extremely kid friendly (with only Victoria and Albert having a dress code and age restrictions), it is also a great place for adults. Walt Disney envisioned his park as a place for a family to be together. So yes, while the children have a great time, it is the hope for the parents to enjoy the experience as well.
A Very Expensive Vacation
While I can't deny that in any way shape or form, let's go back to the time audit I learned from Social Media Guru Maria Bailey - $1 per minute. For entertainment from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m (give or take depending on the park and time of year), we're getting way more than our money's worth. Compare it to a beach vacation - yes, a beach is free during the day, but with a 3 year old, the beach is good for 2-3 hours max (at least in my world). Or, a trip to the local aquarium. For an adult, it's $35 (plus $5 more for the 4d movie) and $21 (again, add $5 for that movie) for a child. that' $40 for 2-3 hours. And, I don't think I'm ready to take a week long vacation in Baltimore, so while we might have an afternoon of entertainment, it's definitely no vacation.
Walt Disney World offers 4 theme parks filled with all of the entertainment possible for children of all ages. One price, albeit a steep one, includes all the attractions, shows, movies, fast passes, and so much more.
|More than meets the eye at WDW|
A place for lots of rides and burgers
Rides at Disney Parks are known as "attractions." To many, that may seem like a simple wording difference, but it is a big difference if you look more closely.
Dark rides are prime example
let's look at The Haunted Mansion. Haunted House ride or more? More. Themed queue - you really feel as though you're walking into an old decrepit house. Then, you are welcomed inside as you watch the rooms stretch, and then you are lead through a dark and scary walkway. This attraction tells a story - it does not simply scare you like a local Halloween Haunted House.
Even a roller coaster, like Expedition Everest, has a very well themed queue- slow down and look at the wall to see what the they found on their expedition! While you may easily realize you are not actually in Nepal, the mountain and decor are themed to at least help you imagine being on that runaway train. And, beware of the Yeti! If nothing else, you make get an ill feeling from strobe lights.
As for the burgers
Okay, burgers are everywhere. And to me, they taste the same in all of the counter service locations. But, you can find many choices other than burgers. There are dozens of table service (sit down/waiter) restaurants with delicious, and to many, unique foods. One of my favorites is Kouzzina by (Iron Chef) Cat Cora. It's Greek, which is one of my usual favorites, but I've had several fantastic experiences and haven't found anything quite as good at home!
|A meal at Kouzzina starts with a sampling of olive oils and olives!|
If you want burgers, head to just about any counter service restaurant. Same with not-so-exciting pizzas. But, if you're looking for chicken, seafood, pasta, salads - they are all possible to find. And, if you have any allergies or special dining needs, Disney is amazing at helping you with those, too!
What have we learned?
Well, if you are purely a thrill-seeking junky and only want to ride roller coasters, Walt Disney World isn't the best fit. If you're in for an experience that truly takes you out of modern day and into a completeg experience, Walt Disney World is for you.