Walt Disney World Family Vacation

Destination Focus – Walt Disney World
By: Stephanie Mansell, August 2016

Our summer vacation this year was spent at one of our favorite destinations – Walt Disney World. We have been very lucky and have been able to visit many times, so we try to find something new to experience each time we are there. The kid’s ages and interests are always changing, so this is easy to do!

Years ago, we spent a lot of time meeting the princesses and other characters along with watching the parades and fireworks. We still enjoy those experiences, but the kids are more focused on the roller coasters – this year I finally got everyone on Rock n’ Roller Coaster and they loved it!!! Also, we were there for the first night the Animal Kingdom was open late and rode Expedition Everest 11 times in a row!

I often recommend Port Orleans Riverside to my clients as a fabulous moderate resort on property so we stayed there for part of the time to check it out and then went back to our family favorite – The Polynesian. Port Orleans Riverside did not disappoint! I have toured the property before but had not had the opportunity to stay there. We really enjoyed the beautiful grounds and all the amenities the resort offered. The pool area was a lot of fun, and there were lots of guests enjoying the fishing hole, horse-drawn carriages and the surrey bicycles they have for rent. It is also a lot of fun to take the boat ride over to the Disney Springs area for all of the shopping and dining options they have available. We also had a fantastic dinner at Boatwright’s Dining Hall while we were there.

One of my top tips for my clients is to get to the parks before the park opens so you can enter right after rope drop and enjoy many of the attractions before the parks fill up. My family likes to stay up late and we have even stayed at the Magic Kingdom until 3 AM if the park stays open that late so arriving before the park opens typically isn’t an option! This year we decided to make it happen and will be sure to do it every trip in the future! We walked straight to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (can have wait times up to 3 hours) and waited 10 minutes. After that, we covered the entire Magic Kingdom by noon with little to no wait time every where we went. We were able to go back and enjoy the pool during the heat of the day and enjoy the parks more that evening. It was such a great way to spend the day!

While we were there, we dined at some restaurants that we had never been to. Our favorite this trip was Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom! There are so many restaurants on property that you can always try something new. We also enjoyed the Animal Kingdom at night, the Star Wars fireworks in Hollywood Studios, and all of our old favorites.

Disney World is definitely our happy place! It is such fun to see everyone smiling, laughing, and really enjoying each other. We have made so many memories there already and plan to make many more magical memories in the future!