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The NYC Magic Traveler: Intro to Walt Disney World Resort

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Intro to Disney World
Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Intro to Walt Disney World, Florida

So, you have never been to Disney World and now you are planning your first trip ever? First, read this quick intro to Walt Disney World so that you have an idea of where you are about to go and what you are about to see.

1. Why is it called a resort? Because a loose definition of a resort is a property that contains lodging and other amenities to provide almost everything you may need without having to leave the property. Walt Disney World Resort is a true resort, in this blog's opinion. The amenities include: option for a dining plan, pool, workout opportunities (some smaller hotels have a running trail, others have a workout room, spa, etc.), golf, mini-golf, movie, water parks (extra cost) and Disney Springs (see #3).

Intro to Disney World
The Boardwalk, Disney World, Florida

2. Where is it? Walt Disney World Resort is located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in basically, its own city. If you fly, the nearest airport would be Orlando International Airport (code MCO).

Intro to Disney World, Florida
Main Terminal, MCO Airport, Orlando

3. What is there to do? There is more to the Walt Disney World Resort besides the 4 theme parks and the 2 water parks: you have lodging, golf, mini golf, sports, dining at the hotels and the shopping and entertainment complex known as Disney Springs. People have been known to stay at the resorts without going to the theme parks at all.

Intro to Disney World, Disney Springs
Disney Springs

4. Where can I stay? There are literally hundreds of places to stay on and off the Walt Disney Resort property. Finding the right one can be tricky but keeping reading our blog articles and we will help to guide you. Disney owns many of the hotels on its property. They also have what they call Disney Good Neighbor Hotels. For one thing, they cannot house everyone that wants to visit. The resort is often sold out in peak times. For another, it is probably good business to be friends with your competitors. Some of the Good Neighbors, such as those at Bonnet Creek are actually on Disney property, a cool thing. Finally, they offer some perks connected with Disney, like a concierge to help plan your time there.

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Disney's Saratoga Springs Spa and Resort

5. How much will it cost? No doubt about it, Walt Disney World Resort can be pricey. But there are ways to maximize your dollar and have the time of your life. The minimal cost to spend, would be a ticket to one of the theme parks for one day. They can run more than $100 per park, per day. However, there are small discounts if you buy a multi-day pass or if you buy a park-hopper pass, a ticket that allows you to go to a different park on the same day. You can also purchase tickets at a small discount through other methods, such as employee discount sites, retirement and auto club sites, etc. Then there are the many small booths lining the highways near Disney selling tickets. Make sure you understand all of the limitations and if you have to attend a (sometimes long) presentation and/or tour for a time-share or not.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Ticket Window at Disney's Animal Kingdom

6. Is Disney World the only Disney resort? The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is only one of several Disney theme park properties (the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide, Inc): Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris in France, Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in China and Tokyo Disney in Japan.

Intro to Disney
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California

7. Does Disney Springs cost anything? Disney Springs, at the Walt Disney World Resort, is currently admission free, even the parking.

Intro to Disney
Disney Springs

8. Is there something for all of the ages of my family? Yes, there is. For teen-agers, prepare them that the thrill rides are scattered throughout the resort and not all in one park. Each Walt Disney World Resort theme park has a children's area, usually one water ride (in addition to the two water parks), wheelchair accessibility attractions and many attractions that are considered ride through experiences. In addition, there are Epcot's festivals, Magic Kingdom's and Hollywood Studios' special events and the famous nighttime spectaculars during normal times (events may either be postponed or scaled down during safety, health and weather situations).

Intro to Disney
Rockin' Roller Coaster, Disney's Hollywood Studios

9. Why doesn't Disney have extreme rides? Walt Disney wanted to design a park that the whole family could enjoy together, rather than have some family members continually sitting on the side, holding the packages, waiting for the kids to come off the ride.

Intro to Disney
Tron, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, Disney World

10. Is it true that there is a lot of merchandising? Yes, there is. While Walt was the dreamer, his brother Roy was the realist. It was Roy's idea to tie in merchandising to the movies, the television shows, the characters, etc. But, Disney is smart to license their merchandising to outside vendors. You can buy authentic, less expensive souvenirs at stores off the property such as Wal-mart, CVS, Walgreens and the many outlets in the area.

Intro to Disney
One Man's Dream attraction, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Come back for more articles to help you plan and enjoy your Disney World trips.

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Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 if the copyright act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This article is my personal opinion. I am a travel agent. I am an Amazon Associate.

All text and photos copyright Marcia Crayton All Rights Reserved 2023

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