I remember when my partner and I had first booked to go to Walt Disney World. He spent the year leading up to it passing the ‘blame’ to me. It seemed that he was constantly apologising to his friends for wasting money on a ‘kids’ holiday or pretending that he wasn’t excited about going at all. But I knew that once he walked through the turnstiles, passed under the station and stepped foot on Main Street, he would see the castle for the very first time and get that warm fuzzy feeling – that feeling you get when you’ve finally found your happy place! No sooner were we back on the plane, he turned to me and asked “when are we going back?”, and from that moment on, I knew he was going to be my husband!
There are so many reasons why a couple of adults would want to escape to Disney World, but I’ve narrowed it down to just 5!
#1 – Food & Drink.
The phrase ‘theme park food’ makes me cringe. As soon as someone says it, all you can think about is over-priced burgers & fries, and if that is what you’re eating when you go to Walt Disney World, you are doing it wrong! There are over 475 food vendors across the resort with over 6,000 different food items to choose from, many of which are inspired by cuisines from around the world. Disney Springs is a treasure trove of delectable delights, from counter service quick bites and food trucks, to top-notch seafood and named restaurant chains. Then there are the resort hotels, each playing host to eateries designed to extend the theme from side-walk to side plate. Don’t even get me started on the parks! There truly are so many options for all appetites and budgets, you will be spoilt for choice! Don’t forget, it is strongly advised to make dining reservations for any table service, character or signature dining in advance. You can do this on the My Disney Experience app 180 days prior to arrival when you stay on Disney property (60 days if you’re staying off-site).
#2 – The Resort Hotels
Another common misconception is that Disney hotels are for kids, and if you and your partner want to have a relaxing evening without being surrounded by princesses and witnessing a post-park toddler meltdown, you should stay off-site. THIS IS WRONG! Disney is the largest single site employer in the USA, and with 30,000 guest rooms currently in operation and many more under construction, they must be doing something right! The service you experience in a Disney resort is second-to-none. Of course, the more you pay the better the facilities, but essentially the service is free and the standards they uphold are extraordinary. I would recommend staying in a moderate resort as this provides the best of both worlds when it comes to price and quality. I love to stay at Coronado Springs as the decor in the rooms is somewhat more toned down and mature than those found in the value resorts. We often enjoyed a romantic meal for two at the resort’s a la carte restaurant, Maya Grill, then wandered outside to the lakeside Laguna Bar to enjoy a cocktail or two before meandering back to the room for a good night’s sleep. There is even a fully equipped gym and running track for us to burn off those calories in the morning before hitting the parks (if we had time)!
#3 – Recreational Activities
There is so much more to do at Walt Disney World outside of the parks. If you’re the sporting type you can play golf on one of Disney’s 4 professional courses or try your hand at something less serious like Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf. You can go fishing, horseback riding, para-sailing, hire a canoe, learn to surf… the list is endless! And if that all sounds too much like hard work, why not take a break and enjoy a spa day at Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort? Then, once you feel rejuvenated, you can hit the Boardwalk and dance the night away at Jelly Rolls – home of the duelling pianos! Now you tell me, where else in the world you can do all that without leaving your resort?!
#4 – Entertainment
The thing that sets Disney apart from all of the other theme parks in the world is their variety of high quality entertainment. From fireworks to stage shows, live concerts to marching bands, parades to dance parties (the list goes on), you could genuinely spend a good few days in the parks without riding a single attraction. Our favourite type of entertainment is the kind you happen upon by accident. The Dapper Dan’s on Main Street are a delightful barbershop quartet who appear frequently throughout the day to put a smile on even the most exhausted face. Then there are of course the street performers at Epcot who perform mind-blowing acts native to each culture represented around World Showcase. Our all-time favourites are the Voices Of Liberty who perform in the American Adventure pavilion every day. This vocal harmony group perform their breath-taking a capella set frequently throughout the afternoon and literally give us goosebumps every time we hear them. Their repertoire features classic Americana and Disney favourites with seasonal extras during the holidays, and you absolutely must see them at least once – I promise you’ll be blown away!
#5 The Element of Surprise
If you walk around the parks with your eyes and ears open, you’ll find that there really is magic all around you. Whether it’s being wished a happy birthday by a stranger, having someone replace your ice cream after you dropped it or being gifted a glass of prosecco on your anniversary, there are small gestures of good will happening everywhere. You could stumble across your favourite character, find an impromptu musical act serenading you as you rest your weary legs, or even receive a random act of kindness from a fellow guest or cast member. All of these things are what help us restore our faith in humanity and remind us why we save hard all year to return to this magical place.
There are of course so many other reasons why we come back (like the shopping, the attractions and the fact that there is always something new, to name just a few) but these are the main reasons why we love Walt Disney World, and we’ll continue to come back for generations to come.