If You Go

by Cara Goldsbury, Author of The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer


Getting There

Major airlines servicing Orlando are Delta, United, American, Continental, Southwest, Northwest, America West, Air Canada, and US Airways.

What To Do

Walt Disney World is comprised of four main theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and the Animal Kingdom. Additional offerings include two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, as well as Disney’s Wide World of Sports, six golf courses, and miles of waterways for boating and fishing. Head to Downtown Disney where you’ll find over 70 scene-setting restaurants, shops, and nightclubs as well as Cirque du Soleil, Disney Quest, and an AMC 24-screen movie theatre.

When To Go

Each season at Walt Disney World has its pros and its cons. Busy season brings congested parks, long lines, and higher resort rates but also greatly extended park hours and nightly fireworks and parades at the Magic Kingdom. The slower seasons offer half-filled parks, little waiting in line, and lower hotel rates along with later opening times, earlier closing times, attractions that are closed for rehab, and often the elimination of the nighttime parade and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Here is a guideline to avoiding the parks at their worst:

Busiest: President’s Day week ´the last three weeks of March until the week after Easter ´the second week of June until the third week of August ´ Thanksgiving weekend ´ the week of Christmas until just after New Years

Busy: the last two weeks of February until early March ´ the month of October ´ the week after Easter until the second week of June

Least Busy: the second week of January through the first week of February (avoiding the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January) ´ the third week of August until early October ´the month of November excluding Thanksgiving weekend ´ the week after Thanksgiving until the week of Christmas, a special time when the parks and resorts are festively decorated for the holidays

The Weather

Summer brings uncomfortably muggy and warm days with almost daily afternoon showers while winter offers many days of beautiful sunshine along with the occasional cold snap. Peak hurricane season begins in August and runs through October, so be prepared for a washout. The best months of the year with delightfully mild and humid-free weather, relatively small amounts of rainfall, and no danger of hurricanes are November, April, and most of the time in early May.

Getting Around

Disney’s complimentary transportation system of buses, ferries, and monorails is in most cases extremely efficient. Taxis can be found at every resort and theme park. If you prefer to rent a car, the convenient Central Florida Greeneway toll road from the airport makes for an easy 25-minute drive to the parks. Once inside the Disney World grounds, excellent signage will direct you to all destinations.


Send for a free Disney vacation planning video or CD-ROM (call 800-515-9450 or visit www.disneyworld.com to order) and call the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau (800-551-0181 or 407-363-5871) for maps of the area as well as a visitor’s guide on the many area attractions. Log on to the following Disney-related sites on the Internet where you will find thousands of tips along with photos, menus, and much, much more: www.disneyworld.com, www.luxurydisneyguide.com, www.wdwinfo.com, www.wdwig.com, and www.mousesavers.com.


Call 407-WDISNEY or your travel agent for Disney resort reservations. Dining priority seating can be arranged at 407-WDW-DINE.

Provided the following credit is given, you are welcome to reprint this article for free.
Cara Goldsbury is the author of The Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World: How to Get the Most Out of the Best Disney Has to Offer.   Visit her at www.wdwluxuryguide.com.


Vacation Homes – The Hotel Alternative


By Nigel G. Worrall

You’ve finally saved up the money to take that dream family vacation – the one you hope you and your kids will remember for a lifetime. You’ve chosen a destination and researched all the activities in the area. You’ve asked the boss for the time off. Now all you need is a place to stay.

This leads to the usual “accommodation dilemma” families face – unless you just won the lottery and have unlimited funds to spend on your trip. Do you crowd the entire clan into a single hotel or motel room for a week or two, giving up any personal space or privacy and the relaxation that comes with your hard-earned vacation time? Or do you essentially double your costs by putting the kids in a separate room so you can get some peace and quiet? That is, if the adjoining rooms you requested when you made your reservation are actually available.

Believe it or not, there is a way to have your privacy and afford it too. Instead of a hotel or motel, book your stay at a vacation home.

Vacation homes – private homes rented for vacation accommodation – are the hottest new travel trend in America. The homes are primarily located in upscale neighborhoods near popular tourist destinations, and range from clean and comfortable to decadent and luxurious. Even the simplest home is professionally cleaned and prepared to comfortably accommodate guests. It’s bound to have a private bedroom for parents, a separate sleeping area – and possibly more than one – for children or other guests, a full kitchen with dishes and cooking utensils, a deck or yard, at least one bathroom, a living room with a television, and more – far more than you’d ever find in a typical motel or hotel room. And all for about the same price.

When it comes to extras, vacation homes offer the gamut – from game rooms to swimming pools, from spa tubs to plasma TV’s to high speed internet access. There’s something available for every budget and every taste and style – from families on a budget to discerning travelers who demand the very best.

Compare that to a hotel room, where you get a bed (or two), a chest of drawers with a TV in it, maybe a small table and a couple of chairs, and a bathroom. If you want to eat, you have to go to a restaurant. If you don’t feel like going out, there’s a small selection of overpriced snacks and drinks in the mini-bar. If you’re hungry for something more elaborate, you’ll have to call room service – and that means a 20 minute wait (at least!), an extra charge just for bringing already expensive hotel food, and of course you’re limited to what’s on the menu. If you want to lay by the pool, you have to compete with all the other guests for a lounge and towels – and then share the water with a bunch of strangers. You may even have to pay to park your car. And if you want privacy and time away from your kids, you have to pay for another room!

When you compare vacation homes with typical hotel and motel rooms, there really is no comparison. If you’re looking for a vacation that offers true privacy, comfort and relaxation for your entire family, don’t settle for another overpriced, overcrowded hotel. Book your stay at a vacation home – you may never want to leave.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin