Over our years of travelling to Walt Disney World, I have discovered one big pet peeve when it comes to my holiday, and this is the misconceptions other people have of it. I have spoken to countless people who have admitted how much they would love to try a Walt Disney World holiday, only to follow the statement up with a reason why they don’t; and usually that reason is based on a misconception of Disney and how they would have to holiday.
Usually, I smile and nod, but inside I am wishing I had the time to politely correct these wrong ideas and false beliefs. While I do truly believe that not everyone will enjoy a Walt Disney World holiday (crazy people that they are!), I do get annoyed when people make this decision on incorrect information; you could be missing out on the best holiday you’ve ever had! So, to help anyone who is pondering over whether a Walt Disney World holiday is right for them, here are a few of the misconceptions of Disney that I’ve heard most often; and what I wish I had the time to explain in response!
Its all fast food
Like everywhere in the world, let alone the USA, you will most certainly see an abundance of Burgers, Fries, Hot Dogs and Pizza. While this is perfect to appease picky eaters of all ages, most people don’t enjoy the thought of spending their whole holiday subjected to fast food. What most people don’t realise about Walt Disney World is that there are hundreds of different food outlets and options, and most of these don’t include Burgers or Fries. Even the “Quick Service” food options offer so much more choice than many believe; sushi, filled pitas, fresh sandwiches, fruit platters, chowders, soups and salads can all be found throughout the Parks & Resorts, and World Showcase in Epcot in particular is great for a world of choice and flavour (excuse the pun!). Similarly, Walt Disney Worlds Table Serivce Restaurants boast some of the top establishments in Orlando, and the vast choice of cuisines means being able to enjoy so much tasty food that you wont ever have to order a burger – unless you want to!
Its not for young kids
Now that I have kids and I’m talking more and more to other parents, I have a lot of people who tell me they feel that they’re children are “too young” to enjoy Disney. Given my 4 year old has already been to Orlando 3 times, you’ll see I’m off a different opinion. Whilst choosing to take babies, toddlers or preschoolers to Florida is ultimately a personal decision, based on personal circumstances (see my full opinion on it here), my experience is that there is more than enough for young kids to do to keep them occupied and allow them to have a wonderful holiday. There are plenty of rides without height restrictions for little ones to enjoy, every restaurant is child friendly, there are baby care centres and everywhere is pram accessible. Many people also worry about their children being too young to remember the experience, and while a lot of young children won’t, you’ll be surprised at what they do take away from it – and you’ll love the family memories you’ll have made together
Its not for adults
Before our boys came along, my husband and I did three “grown up” trips to Walt Disney World, and a lot of people couldn’t seem to understand the adult appeal that Disney can have for those travelling without children. In reality, Disney does an incredible job catering to its adult market. There are golf courses and spas, fine dining, nightclubs, bars & wine cellars, extreme water sports, special tours and experiences, RunDisney events and of course, big thrill rides and rollercoasters. Going to Walt Disney World as an adult is one of the most fun things you can possibly do! A big worry is that if you go as a couple, you’ll be the only pair walking about amidst a hoard of families; this couldn’t be further from the truth! Particularly true if you choose to travel during school term time, you’ll find that the majority of the crowd in Walt Disney World are couples – young and old – celebrating engagements, honeymoons, anniversaries, or simply a child-free trip!
Its all rollercoasters
A lot of people comment that they don’t see the point in considering a Walt Disney World holiday because they don’t like rollercoasters so it would be a waste of a Theme Park Ticket. And yes, I agree that the Park Tickets are expensive and therefore should be used for maximum value. However, there is so much more to Disney that you can get a huge amount of value out of your Disney Ticket without ever having to step into a queue for a roller coaster. The majority of rides in Disney don’t have a height requirement, generally meaning they are gentle experiences, whilst still managing to be good fun and a little thrilling. There are also an abundance of special rides, like the Safari at Animal Kingdom, not mention the wealth of Live Shows, parades, Character meet-and-greets and 3D cinemas. Regardless of your preference for more or less thrilling attractions, there will most certainly be attractions to your taste and liking in Walt Disney World.
This is one of the main reasons many people have for stating that they don’t want to go to Walt Disney World; it’s expensive to get there, to stay there and to eat there. For this one, Im not going to sit here and tell you that a Disney Holiday is cheap; while there are ways to do it on a budget (cheap flights, rent a villa…), there are certain factors (such as park tickets) which means that the upfront cost of going to Disney is always going to seem expensive. However, the value for money from a Disney Holiday can be phenomenal, particularly if you can book an offer such as Free Dining. Similarly, whilst the cost of food and merchandise within Walt Disney World can be more expensive than should you eat or buy your souvenirs on International Drive, for example. But it is important to remember that in comparison to what we pay for food etc..at home in the UK & Ireland, eating out within Walt Disney World is not badly priced; and eating outside of Disney is most certainly cheaper!
You need to hire a car
The majority of people who have been to Orlando before will insist that car hire is a definite necessity to be able to navigate the expanse of Orlando. In my opinion and experience, car hire can most certainly be handy, but it is not a necessity if you plan and organise your holiday correctly; please don’t let a worry about driving “on the other side of the road” stop you from enjoying a Disney trip. A little research will bring up a lot of hotels that offer a regular shuttle to and from the Theme Parks, and a lot of International Drive can be accessed by the I-Ride trolley. In particular, choosing a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel comes with the perks of free airport transfers and free regular shuttles to all Disney World Theme Parks & Resorts, meaning car hire really isn’t as necessary as many make it out to be
Yes, spending upwards of 12 hours on your feet, in the theme parks each and every day can be exhausting, but it is my feeling that if you come back from Walt Disney World feeling like you need another holiday, then perhaps you haven’t paced yourself correctly. Whilst many people do take a “hell for leather” approach to Walt Disney World, a little bit of strategic planning can help you pace your trip to ensure you get to see and do all you want without being left exhausted at the end of it. For Walt Disney World Resort Guests, utilising Extra Magic Hours to get a lot of popular rides done while is quieter allows the ability to take a break from the parks midday – perhaps for a nap or just a relax by the pool. This can change the pace of your trip and allow for a little more down time without loosing out on time in the Theme Parks; overall you’ll find it a much more enjoyable and relaxing way to see Walt Disney World.
Its all about the characters
Disney films and characters are hugely popular and therefore it stands to reason that there will be a heavy presence of characters in the Parks. However, there is so much more to Walt Disney World than the attractions and meet-and-greets themed around well loved and known characters. There are plenty of attractions without character theming, such as Everest, Jungle River Cruise and Ellen’s Universe of Energy, and I promise you can spend a holiday at Walt Disney World without having to have your picture taken with a character unless you really want too! With so many different types of attractions, live shows, parades and fireworks, Disney can be as much about the characters as you want to make it. You may have to blinker yourself to avoid spotting any characters all together, but I can assure you there is so much more to this magical place than being able to meet your favourite movie stars!
It’s just one theme park
The huge size of Walt Disney World can sometimes be very hard to comprehend, particularly if you have never been . Spanning over 47 square miles, Walt Disney World encompasses 4 separate Theme Parks, 2 Themed Water Parks, 2 Dining & Recreation Areas and over 20 Hotels. With so many different attractions, activities, shops, restaurants, pools, and a host of other activities you can be guaranteed that there will be something for everyone at Walt Disney World, and no one need ever be bored. Disney is definitely more than just the one theme park, but what it has to offer you in terms of experience and memories make it so much more than any other Theme Park
When is comes to Walt Disney World, the best thing you can do is some thorough research with an open mind. Try to shake off what you’ve been told and enter this world of magic free from what you think you know to discover the endless possibilities of what it is and what is can be. Have you had any misconceptions about Walt Disney World? Let us know what they have been by contacting us here.