Top 10 things I love about Disney World.
10. The meal plan. Our first trip to Disney World I knew there was one thing I did NOT want to do and that was walk by a snack stand and have to tell the kids they can't have a Mickey Ice Cream because it is too expensive and if you are hungry we brought our own snacks of cheese and crackers. That just didn't sound fun to me and Disney World is supposed to be fun. So when we discovered the meal plan we thought this was perfect for us. This way if the kids wanted a Mickey Ice Cream then they could have a Mickey Ice Cream, period, smile on our faces, eat away kids! which brings me to ......
9. Mickey Ice Creams. It is a staple in our Disney diet. We eat one practically every day. I love that they are good quality ice cream, creamy and rich, with good quality chocolate, thick and yummy. I love that they don't melt terribly fast and that if you break the chocolate off you don't necessarily lose the whole thing on the ground. I also love that if one of your kids does drop it or it completely falls of the stick and into the mulch (yeah, we know from experience), the cast member selling it will just give you another one. This makes mom smile.
8. The weather in Florida. While we have had both warm and downright cold days in Disney World for the most part the weather doesn't really seem to be an issue. We dress for the day and it isn't a focus. Even that really rainy day we had this year didn't really seem to be a big bother for us. I love that.
7. Park-like atmosphere. I love that Walt wanted the whole park to be more than an amusement park. His vision included grassy areas, planned beautiful gardens, and trees. I love that you can walk around the parks and around the resorts and feel that you are in a luxorious park, or even a fancy plantation home or in the gardens of a true castle. I love that the themes are carried out in all the small nooks and crannies. Some of the prettiest garden areas in the parks are close to the bathrooms. We have spend a many day in the parks just walking around and enjoying the sights other than the actual rides. I love that too.
6. Themes of the resorts and parks. It's all in the details. Every part of Disney is truly "Disney". You feel like you are walking on an old time boardwalk back in times' past at the Boardwalk Hotel. You feel like you are truly in a New Orleans Station at the Port Orleans - Riverside Hotel. When you are in Italy in Epcot, you truly feel like you are there. And that goes on in every aspect. Walking down Main Street is like going back in time.
5. (Sticking with #6 and #7 ) So much to do other than ride rides. Each year we try to spend some time experiencing other parts of the resorts. We have gone swimming in the heated pools. We have explored other hotels. We have spent time at Downtown Disney. We enjoy spending some time doing something else other than going into the parks and riding rides. Even in the parks we have enjoyed exploring the other opportunities. We have walked through the rose garden in Epcot. We have explored the animal habitat areas in Animal Kingdom and spent a great deal of time one year identifying the different birds in their aviary. We have enjoyed the animal petting area, watching the various shows, and sometimes just sitting on a bench people watching. Even the shopping is fun.
4. The Restaurants. Oh my, the restaurants in Disney are great. We love that because of the meal plan we have the opportunity to eat in really nice restaurants that if we were paying out of pocket, we might not have been able to eat there. We like both the buffets and the sit down service restaurants. Epcot has great garden salads at the counter meals and we love to eat at Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios. The kids have eaten dinner in some very fancy restaurants and they are able to practice their manners. The food is delicious also. Each sit down dinner takes us usually 2 hours from beginning to end to eat. It is an experience in itself and we love that too.
3. Cast members. The cast members are all wonderful. (except one who made my daughter cry) We love talking to them, asking them questions (they are so knowledgeable). And they are so helpful. They are everywhere and when I 'grow up' I wouldn't mind being a cast member too. Even those who are the trash picker uppers are the best. Everyone is so friendly too. We get the best tips and information from them. I see so many visitors in Disney who ignore the cast members and don't give them another glance and I feel so sorry for them because they are missing out on so much information. Our first year, because we talked to the cast members, we were given the opportunity to see Cinderella privately and were given all the time we wanted with her. We had our photos taken and probably spent a good 30 minutes with her. It was wonderful. We also were given front row tickets to see The Lion King Show in Animal Kingdom and Dad was asked to be a part of the show. It was so cool. Because we talked to cast members we were also told the best times to see things, the best places to go, and some fun things to do. We learned about Kim Possible Missions, the roller coaster simulator and the make your own video game. Very cool stuff. AND cast members go hand in hand with ......
2. Pin Trading. We LOVE pin trading. You get pins from the Disney stores or Kiosks and then you can trade pins to get other pins that you want from cast members or other people. Most other people (visitors) don't want to trade but the cast members are required to trade any pin that you want. You have to trade one pin for one pin and it has to be a Disney official pin. We got into pin trading our second year. We found that it could be a very expensive activity and the next year we purchased pins in bulk to trade. Again this year we purchase a lot of 100 pins to share amongst us all to trade. Even then we felt like we didn't have enough to trade. It is pretty addicting. It also has been wonderful for our youngest because she has to talk to the cast members if she wants to trade.
1. Parades and Street Shows. I love that every time you turn around it seems that there is a parade or a street show going on. You can stop and watch if you like or you can continue on. We tend to stop and watch and we are never disappointed. We love that.