Why Disney World is NOT Your Typical Theme Park Experience:

Luxury

Oh NO – Disney is not just about rides! You have your offerings from Deluxe Resort Accommodations that offer spa treatments along with upscale dining options not found in typical theme parks; as well as dinner shows and more – during normal non-Covid times. Disney World is not just about just riding rides – it encompasses a cluster of full blown experiences to fulfill all your senses. You can take a full Disney World Vacation WITHOUT EVEN HITTING UP THE PARKS if you didn’t want to. In fact, a lot of adult-only vacationers spend the majority of their time at the resorts. Even vacationers with children like to make sure they include a lot of resort time. All Disney deluxe resort accommodations offer several restaurants, pool side grills and bars as well as inside lounges located on premises, where some Deluxe Resorts will offer you alternate modes of transportation like the monorail, skyliner or boat to the parks. Disney’s Moderate Resort accommodations will offer you a restaurant, possibly 1 or 2 lounges and always pool side bars; Caribbean Beach now offers the skyliner and Port Orleans French Resort has always had a river boat to Disney Springs as well as busing to the parks. Value Resort accommodations will offer a quick service cafeteria located inside, with outside pool bars; Art of Animation and Pop Century now offer the skyliner and busing.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Fact: A $120 bottle of water? Yes… The restaurant Victoria and Alberts, a AAA five diamond star restaurant located inside the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa sell a $120 bottle of water that contains water from a 15,000 year old glacier water from icebergs located in the remote polar region of the North Pole.

Interested in night life? Disney Springs has it all plus more. Disney Springs’ endless choice of restaurants will keep you full with countless shopping options to keep you busy all week long. Ever been in a car that doubles as a boat and drives right into the water? Springs has it! Want to take a ride in a hot air balloon? Springs has it! Rumor has it that Cirque du Soleil will be returning some time in Fall 2021.

Disney Springs at night

Sights

Oh my goodness, 🤩 everywhere you turn is a sight to be seen when you are walking around Walt Disney World! Each resort is unique themed to the extreme from the ground up with some outstanding architectural work. Whether you want to feel as though you are staying in Africa at the Savanah watching zebras and giraffes from your room’s balcony, or, maybe you want to feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness or maybe the Caribbean, perhaps the Big Easy, to your choice of modern, or Hawaiian, to the most luxurious Victorian style elegance.

Take a tour of Disney World’s most themed resorts. Inside the parks you are encompassed with beautiful grounds, gardens, flowers, decorative architectural theming and magical sights to be seen everywhere you look.

Smells

Disney World has iconic scents and smells. Yes SMELLS.. Smells so divine! Each theme park, guest shop, resort lobbies and even RIDES and attractions have their very own unique smells. Disney World fragrances do something to your mind where you associate each smell with a memory and excitement. These smells are so wonderful that people actually buy them to smell while at home, from candles to hand sanitizers and now essential oils!

Disney even has their own line of bath products such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions and body butter. You can purchase them in the Disney Resort Gift Shops and online at ShopDisney.com.

Experiences

These just aren’t JUST rides – they are full blown experiences and shows to blow your mind! Some are shows mixed into rides! Even just talking to some of the Cast Members can make an experience. Having a boat ride back from your resort to Magic Kingdom is an experience in itself – or maybe taking the friendship boat from Yacht and Beach Club to Hollywood Studios! Inside of Disney World you will find attractions like no other in the world. You must see it to believe it.

Theatrical Themed Bars and Lounges

Disney Signature Cocktails. Where else are you going to find a bar that is themed to Indiana Jones or an elegant lounge that is Beauty and Beast Fairy-Tale themed? How about “a tropical paradise with tiki cocktails, good food and island ambiance”? That’s right – only in Walt Disney World!

List of exotic lounges to try (when things are back to normal past COVID times) while visiting WDW most located outside of the parks:

  • Jellyrolls
  • Trader Sams
  • The Enchanted Rose
  • California Grill Lounge
  • Top of the World Lounge
  • Dahlia Lounge
  • River Roost (Hopefully Disney hires back the amazing cabaret performer Yehaa Bob)
  • Oga’s Cantina at Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios (by reservation only available 60 days in advance)
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – theming from the motion picture Indiana Jones

*Always check back on availability, hours, and what may be opening or closed during your stay even while visiting because things seem to be changing overnight these days!*

Disney Signature Dining

Some are theatrical themed and some have amazing entertainment. So much is cultural themed with dishes for the most adventurous pallet. Some restaurants are located inside the parks, some located at Disney Springs and some located at the Resorts. Yes – you don’t have to eat “theme park” food during your stay at all, or as little as you wish. You have plenty of choices. Maybe you want German cuisine and performers; or perhaps enjoy traditional Irish food while watching some amazing Riverdancing. There is just so much more.

Sounds

Everywhere you go inside of Disney World you are always hearing Disney-made and owned music themed uniquely to the very spot you happen to be standing in. If you are in a resort lobby – there is specific music for that. Walking into any of the parks you will hear music themed specifically to the type of park you are in. Each ride and attraction has it’s very own music that when you hear, will bring many memories for years to come. Stepping into a Disney bus – yep there will be Disney music played in there too and I am not talking about only Disney Movie Music but some music played by orchestras. The resorts even have their own unique music themed specifically to that type of resort. There is even music for Halloween and Christmas time only played during these times!

Back in 2017 Hollywood Studios had a live orchestra play Pixar music. It was simply fantastic

Disney World has customer service magic like no other!

Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

*Do you want culture and authentic architecture with cuisine to match? Try Epcot! Let’s not forget about Epcot’s Food and Wine Festivals where you can “eat and drink around the world”.

If you’re unsure about Disney World being just like any old typical theme park please know you’re mistaken and please go try it out- choose between more than 25 hotels to stay at. Do a little research before you go!

There are so many interesting and unique little hidden gems inside of Disney World that make it so unique and special.

Have anyone you’re trying to convince to visit Disney World?

Read about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review Here

Hiking and Nature; Walking Cures Covid Boredom

Nature Views Fill The Void In The Heart

My how life has changed! Back when Covid hit last March, we were all basically afraid to leave the driveway. It was really hard to relieve some of the boredom and mental anguish of what was going on in the world around us. Having Disney World and Disney Land closed made what was happening in the world all the more REAL. Prayers to the 400,000 Americans that have lost their lives to Covid-19. As someone who was always planning their next family Disney World Trip – I knew I was in for a real struggle, and some real emotional damage. I was someone who not only was planning an upcoming trip, but a trip for the following year after! In 2019 we traveled to Disney World three times! I am forever grateful and thankful for all the wonderful trips we have had, not just in Disney but all over. We went in April 2019 and stayed at Port Orlean’s French Quarter. August we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and New Years Eve through the first week of January 2020 we stayed at the mother of all DW resorts The Grand Floridian.

I knew then that things were not going to be the same for a while so I needed to find some ways to help my whole family – and also as an outlet, a way to keep myself sane! We needed something we could do together while getting exercise all at the same time. So my sister-in-law introduced me to the All Trails App.

It is difficult to put into words how the time walking outside each day really affects and lifts my mental health and wellness. It gives me something to plan with my family. I know they have said it has been proven that nature cures depression – yes! I am telling you it works. As someone who loves, lives and enjoys to plan – I find myself battling so much sadness. I feel grateful and blessed that we are all OK, & healthy and that we have survived Covid but I still feel this deep sorrow… to be missing out on such precious time traveling with my children; while they are still “small” yet not so small. You know really where I would love to be with them.

Being on the “go” 24/7 came to a screeching halt. I was working at an elementary school, (now on leave) and was able to work around the kids being at school. I would pick them up from school and each night of the week we had a different sport, or club that they were running to. In the beginning of the quarantine, it was nice to have a break, but being the very social person I am, has made it a heavy burden to bear. The scenic views we discover while on the trails are absolutely majestic and soul-warming – reassuring that it will be ok. It will be ok even if we don’t see our family, our friends and our favorite mouse for a while.

We even spotted a frozen waterfall about 2 weeks ago at the Wallkill Valley Wildlife Refuge – picture above.

The only way my children have been staying connected with friends is by playing online, and of course they are online for virtual learning all day. I find hiking to be my only way to disconnect from electronics and find special time with them. I love going on a hike into the woods, only to find a beautiful clearing with water! In the spring and summer these water ways are filled with butterflies, turtles, birds and more. Since it has been winter here in North Jersey it has been a little rough to hike in the cold, but it is still interesting to see what we might find when we venture out.

Additionally, when the kids are finished with school each day we go to our local park which has a beautiful track to walk. This is about a 40 minute walk and we all seem to really look forward to it. We can disconnect from school embracing the good vibes of nature. The movement forcing our blood to flow and fresh air helping lift everyone’s moods and focus. Amazing conversations can happen – most of the time. My youngest is still 10 (who suffers with POTS and EDS) so sometimes he still has a meltdown here and there. We have been lucky enough to spot some wildlife here and there on the park track like snakes, deer and most recently a Barred Owl!

Barred Owl

I have also gotten really excited about the sunsets we see while walking at the park after school as well. There is just something about it that is so beautiful & it brings this calm peaceful feeling. This spring I hope to find pretty flowers and butterflies to photograph while out and about exploring.

Bald Eagle

Hiking is FREE. Hiking is safe: outside – safe and distanced from people. It makes you feel like you are “away” almost on vacation. You never know what you are going to see!

What are you doing to safely pass the time during the pandemic?

Do you have any plans of an adventure into the unknown? Click here for some Walt Disney World Planning Tips

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