Recently we visited Disney Springs, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and The Magic Kingdom. We were lucky with the weather and although armed with Niagara Falls Ponchos they weren’t required. For a UK visitor beginning of September proved to be a good time to visit. The schools are back so the parks were quieter and mostly adults with small children were the guests. We actually got on most of the rides without long queues which made everything achievable.
We purchased 2 day tickets from the UK which as previously discussed was all that feasible to us in the UK. Not sure why but everywhere else in the world can purchase tickets from 1 day to well, whatever duration you want. In the UK we are restricted to 7 or 14 days and the 2 day park ticket was a limited time offer.
So these are just some of my observations of this bucket list visitors attraction and some random facts along with some tips.
Formerly known as Downtown Disney this has expanded into a shopping and entertainment complex. It is split into four distinct areas: Marketplace, Town Center, The Landing and Westside.
Tip: Disney Springs is the ONLY place in the whole of Disney World that offers FREE parking.
Fact: Parking costs $22 per vehicle per day (just increased) we were told that at the Magic Kingdom on 6 September there were 15,000 cars in the lot and that was a quiet day…..you can do the Maths!
Styled in a Spanish/Mexican theme there are attractions such as Coca Cola and Lego but the World of Disney Store is the store to end all stores. Just about to be revealed are changes inside but it is sure to be massive and hold all things Disney Park related. There is a section of upscale and recognisable brands amongst large restaurants and a bowling and cinema complex.
It is obvious that Disney’s intention is to keep visitors on it’s property and have enough to entice them not to visit other attractions.
Fact: DisneyWorld covers 39 square miles which is nearly 25,000 acres
When we visited Main Street was decorated for Autumn with Mickey Jack O Lanterns adorning every lamppost. It really is a magical place!
We parked and then took the monorail from the transportation centre. The other choice is by boat so you can mix it up to experience both. When Disneyland opened in California the monorail must have been really futuristic. Now we just take it for granted don’t we?
Fact: The Magic Kingdom is actually one floor high. This allows an underground network of tunnels to allow cast members to get to different areas of the park easily
Tip: Bring an empty water bottle to fill up at the many drinking fountains it will save you a small fortune
Fact: All the American flags in DisneyWorld are missing a star so that they don’t have to follow the Federal instructions about having them at half mast on different occasions
Fact: You are no more than 30 feet from a bin which is why it is one of the cleanest places to visit
Tip: Save your dollars and buy almost identical souvenirs from Walmart. Everything looks so tempting but take it out of the parks and it is just a Mickey Mouse item.
Tip: Use the Fast Pass facility. If you plan ahead there is no reason you can’t achieve a go on all the rides
Fact: In keeping with the history of the day there are no bathrooms at Liberty Square. Access to bathrooms is shared with the adjoining lands
Our tickets didn’t include the Memory Maker which an army of Disney photographers taking pictures with characters and in front of notable attractions but if you got in your package it will be fantastic to download some fantastic images. We had pictures with Goofy, Minnie and Mickey and the cast members were happy to take pictures with our cameras and phones. To buy the photos without the package was around $64 which is ridiculous.
There is no longer an Electric Light Parade in the evening before the fireworks but there is now ‘Happily Ever After’ which is a light show projected onto the castle and coordinated with the fireworks. It started at 08.30 and is sponsored by Pandora! It was spectacular and is visible from anywhere on Main Street. We watched from just in front of the flag near the station which meant we could leave quite easily and before the rest of the crowds.
There is no way of saying this though. It is very expensive and I would budget over $100 per day for food and other drinks at the very least.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
We did have a great day here but so much has changed as it goes through an update. There is the visible creation of a Star Wars land at the back of the newly opened Toy Story Land. The entrance is boarded up with construction fencing which isn’t very attractive. The Great Movie Ride housed inside the replica of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood is closed. There is no backlot tour and the New York scenery near the Muppets 3D has gone. It is almost like they don’t know what to do with the place. The major rides, the Rock N Roller Coaster (apparently U2 turned down the gig) and Tower of Terror are still the big attractions.
Fact: The Hollywood Tower of Terror is just under 200ft high. This means it doesn’t need to have a warning light to aviation on it’s roof
Walt DisneyWorld is though the most magical and happiest place on earth!