Saturday, April 11, 2009

Resort Trivia: The Walt Disney World "Navy"

The WDW resort uses a large number of water vessels to get people around the resort, including in the parks, between resorts, and between resorts and parks. In fact, in terms of number of vessels, WDW has the 7th largest navy in the world.

"So are you, like, totally biased?"


(What, you want more details??)

OK, OK...

I love Disney World and Disney Cruise Line (DCL) to the point of obsession / addiction. I have to get back to WDW at regular intervals or I develop twitches and other bizarre symptoms. (I'd like to get back to DCL more often as well, but I have to win the lottery first).

That is not to say, however, that I think Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line are perfect, Utopian entities with nothing wrong in them, There are things that irk me or disappoint me about WDW (I've had a much longer history with WDW than DCL), or the company's policies as they affect the parks and resorts. I will offer "Disneyholic laments" throughout the blog. I still think, however, that Walt Disney World is a phenomenal vacation place. It is better than most other vacation destinations, in my opinion (why that is is a topic of an upcoming post), but it is, like any human endeavour, imperfect and sometimes driven more by the bottom line than by common sense. However, it is still, on the whole, fairly true to Walt's original vision. I pray that will never change, though sometimes I do worry.

And yes, if I could, I would live in the Castle! (Photo Credit: Me!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Walt Disney World, Pt. 1

The most important thing about Walt Disney World (aside from the fact that it exists) is this: You can't see it all in one visit. So don't even try. Trust me, you'll be happier on your vacation if you acknowledge this one fact from the beginning.

Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, over 30 resort hotels , most of which are individually themed and worth visiting on their own, a downtown area filled with great shopping and dining, championship golf courses, watercrafts you can rent, mini golf, a car racing get the idea. Don't try to see it all at once. It isn't humanly possible and besides, not seeing it all adds to the fun. As in: "Well, we didn't get to Blizzard Beach or DisneyQuest this time, but we'll catch those on our next trip." See how easy it is to get addicted?

Actually that's a great marketing game plan on Disney's part. By making it impossible for you to catch it all at once, they make it more attractive for you to come back. Clever, these folks! Sort of like putting nicotine in cigarettes, but Disney is actually very good for your health, unlike cigarettes.

When Walt Disney searched for a place for his East Coast theme park, he wanted to get enough land so the park won't be choked off by business and the surrounding city, the way Disneyland in Anaheim turned out to be. Consequently, the Disney Corporation, under the guise of various sham companies, bought a total of 47 sq miles (about twice the size of Manhattan) in Central FL, of which only about 1/3 is developed. When you're in WDW, you are immersed in the Disney environment, and it is very easy to forget there's a different world outside. Adding to the blessed isolation is the fact that WDW has their own very developed transportation system (boats, ferries, monorails, and buses), so you never have to drive while there. Unless you really want to.

Personally, I think the ability to NOT need a car is part of what makes a vacation restful. But I digress.

Below: A unique view of Monorail Purple (Picture credit: Me!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

The All-Important Ticker

Countdown Ticker

One of the first thing you want to know about Disneyholics like me is that we can't live without our countdown ticker. This all important graphic, which any Disneyholic can customize, tells us how long before we get our next fix Disney vacation. Some tickers (one of which usually runs on my computer) count down to the seconds left until the trip. Not that I'm obsessed or anything.

I've been known to stare at the countdown clock for several minutes at a stretch, savoring the dwindling seconds. My son, who is growing up a Disneyholic like Mom (that's my boy!) would often bounce up to my laptop to check just how long we have, on previous trips. I'm hiding the ticker on this trip because I'm trying to surprise him the day of...we'll see if I can keep my mouth shut long enough...

But I still check the ticker often while he's at school, you know. And after he goes to bed. And when he does his homework.

131 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, 45 seconds...44...43...42...41...40...

About Me

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When not planning my next Walt Disney World vacation, I write about medicine and science for various publications. I'm a bookworm and have recently fallen in love with knitting. I am owned by 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a 12 year old son who loves Disney as much as I do.