Disney, visitors are faced with a myriad of excellent
accommodation choices – everything from deluxe
resorts to more rustic family campgrounds. The nice
thing to find out when choosing is that within the Disney
Park all rooms are designed to house families –
that means enough space for rambunctious kiddies to
play while mom, dad or grandma put their feet up, watch
TV, and enjoy a glass of wine.
My family felt
that staying within the Disney grounds was the perfect
solution for us. That meant that we would happily avoid
all worries about renting cars and negotiating crowded
parking lots. And best of all, as on-site guests we
could enjoy exclusive early morning access to the most
popular rides in the Park. Boy, was that ever helpful.
chose a Polynesian theme...
because it was located directly on the monorail line,
our resort of choice became the languid and lovely Polynesian.
That meant nice, easy rides to the parks each morning.
Then later in the afternoon when we began to see signs
of child ‘meltdown’ we could hop the train
and get back to our hotel in a flash.
We especially enjoyed
the laid back vibe at the Polynesian. At the end of
the day it was an inviting haven to come home to --
the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the
crowds in the Park. Think South Pacific ambience –
enormous swimming pool, sandy beach, cool breezes, swaying
palms, waterfalls, thatched roofs and over 75 different
types of tropical and subtropical flora and fauna. The
lobby (dubbed the Great Ceremonial Hotel) was Hawaii–Central.
Guests stayed in ‘longhouses’ – hotels
units that were spaced intermittently throughout the
for us, was a row of three, large, adjoining hotel rooms
within a longhouse. Grandmother and grandchildren slept
in the center room. That’s where all the cartoon
watching, afternoon napping, snacking, storytelling,
secret sharing and jumping on the beds took place. Each
set of parents had their own quarters – one couple
on either side of us. That meant that parents enjoyed
some private quiet time and the kiddies, when necessary,
could access their parents with a simple knock (make
that, bang) on the door. It was a perfect arrangement!
Mouse called each morning...
the moment the Disney's Magical Express bus from the
airport passed through the main Disney Gates the children
in our party were wired. The first morning they were
up at dawn ready to go off and explore. Grandma wasn’t,
so she conspired with her son-in-law next door. We informed
our little charges that everybody must rest quietly
in bed until Mickey called to wake them up. Each morning
after that when ‘son-in-law in disguise’
called the room, the children sprang out of bed and
raced to the phone. In a high pitched voice ’Mickey’
informed the kiddies that they were splendid for not
disturbing anybody early in the morning. He reminded
them to eat their breakfast, put on their sunscreen
and that he would see them in the park later that day.
The ruse worked. With apologies to Walt Disney, I promised
myself I would tell my grandchildren the truth about
those wake-up calls only when they went off to college.
big! Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando covers a total
of 47 square miles (twice as large as New York City
at 23 square miles). It contains four theme parks (Magic
Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s
Animal Kingdom), two water adventure parks, 22 resort
hotels, 99 holes of golf, two full-service spas and
much, much more.
Since each of the
adults in our party knew at least one mom who had already
visited Disney, we held pre-departure networking sessions
with these experienced gurus. From their helpful suggestions
and by visiting the Disney
World website, our strategy began to take shape.
are many different types of entrance tickets one can
buy. We chose the Magic Your Way Base Tickets and then
added privileges that gave us the most programming flexibility.
We learned that the longer your stay with Mickey, the
less your ticket costs are per day. For example, a ticket
that might begin at $59.75 per person per day on Day
One of your visit is reduced to $46.50 per person per
day by the time Day Four comes around. To help us to
decide which type of entrance ticket to choose, we used
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