The Magical Universe of Disney World
Since 1923 Walt Disney has been lighting up the silver screen with some of the world’s most recognisable characters. His introduction of Steamboat Willie over 85 years ago changed the face of cartoons, welcoming Mickey into the world and thrilling millions of children for decades to come.
For the last 45 years, Mickey has been thrilling children off screen too at the truly spectacular Disney World Resort in Florida. For many little ones it’s their dream to walk up to Cinderella’s Castle or watch Donald Duck waddle on by, and for many parents they’ve made dreams come true.
But it’s not quite as simple as booking a holiday to Disney World. With over 27,000 acres and 27 themed hotels, deciding where to stay in the park is key.
Thankfully, we’ve decided to take a whistle stop tour of some of our favourite major resorts so you’ll have a holiday that the children will enjoy to infinity… and beyond. Sorry, we couldn’t resist.
The most famous park at Disney World, the Magic Kingdom makes the jaws of children drop and make little girls feel like princesses. The centrepiece is of course Cinderella’s Castle standing 107ft high overlooking the park.
Divided into six lands, the park is full of exciting rides, attractions, and nods to some of Disney’s favourite films including Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, and Beauty and the Beast.
Accommodation around the area includes The Cabins and Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort which offer a place to stay on a budget, whilst the Grand Floridian Spa and Polynesian Village add a little more luxury to your holiday.
The Magic Kingdom is the perfect place to stay for those wanting to catch a glimpse of all the characters as well as catch a whole host of parades and magnificent firework displays.
The Animal Kingdom at Disney World is simply fantastic. It combines adrenaline-pumping rides with fantastic shows, and of course a wide range of species which remind us of all the great films Disney has produced including The Lion King, Dumbo, and Finding Nemo.
The park has plenty of places to stay including Kidani Village and Jambo House which fit in with much of the park’s African theme, whilst the Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most popular stays in the whole of Disney World.
However, it’s the Tree of Life which is the most standout area of the park. The tree celebrates all things living and highlights Disney’s dedication to conservation and animal care.
Spread across six lands, it’s difficult to decide whether seeing lions, tigers, and rhinos in lands which replicate their natural habitat are as exciting as the likes of Expedition Everest, a thrilling rollercoaster which will even have the Mum’s and Dad’s whooping, but either way it’s a place that everyone should discover in Orlando.
Opening in 1982, much of the park and Future World in particularly is centred on space with the Kennedy Space Center just an hour’s drive away. Spaceship Earth, the spherical building pictured, is one of the world’s most recognisable structures and takes visitors on a time machine themed ride which is currently hosted by Judi Dench.
Of course the iconic actor isn’t actually there but her narration guides you through the ride taking you back to the years of cavemen, onto the fall of Rome, and then right through to the Apollo 11 moon landings.
It’s one of the most intriguing parks in Walt Disney World, and the World Showcase will remind you a little bit of home whether you’re from the United States, Italy, China, or the United Kingdom.
If there’s one thing Disney knows about, it’s show business. The company has produced some of the world’s biggest movies including Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, The Muppets, and recently Frozen, which has made every little girl around the world wish they were Elsa.
The park features a mini Hollywood Boulevard paying homage to a number of classic films, whilst Pixar Place and Animation Courtyard has a number of attractions based on the likes of Toy Story, Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid.
It’s one of the most exciting parks to visit at the moment with a 14-acre Star Wars Land expected in the near future with a Millennium Falcon inspired ride as well as Toy Story Land which will likely come in time for Toy Story 4, which Tom Hanks confirmed not long ago.
It really doesn’t matter what your interests are when it comes to Disney World, there really is something for everyone, just make sure you know which park you wish to visit, and book your stay accordingly.