Visiting Disney World for the first time was truly an experience. Like most things in life, nothing is ever perfect, especially not on this disastrous vacation. We had a lot of experiences that gave us the warm fuzzies and other experiences that left me wondering if I would even consider returning. Here’s the quick version of our love/hate experience at Walt Disney World.
Love – The people you bump into throughout the Disney parks are really quite the experience. There are folks from every walk of life, all ages, shapes and races. I think I heard at least a dozen different languages spoken during our time there, some of which I didn’t even recognize. It was truly amazing to experience all the cultural differences right in one place. Beyond that, people are crazy friendly and talkative. There wasn’t a single bus ride where we weren’t chatting with a family, learning about where they were from and talking about our park experiences.
Hate – Well, the crowds. We must have been in Disney World during one of the busiest weeks of the year because being in Magic Kingdom felt like swimming in a fishbowl with 5,000 fish. You could hardly walk anywhere without bumping into someone, getting your foot stepped on or tangled into a mass of people trying to get in or out of the park. At one point the crowd was so bad I felt like I was suffocating and had to duck into a shop just to breathe.
The Resort Options
Love – Port Orleans Riverside Resort was absolutely gorgeous! The landscaping, the buildings, the water, bridges, all of it. Honestly, I could have spent a week just hanging out on the resort property and been perfectly happy. There’s dining on site, bike rides, boats and so much to do. And the gardens are such a beautiful place to sit and just look at. If we ever go back I would definitely want to stay at this resort again just because it’s so pretty.
Hate – Most of the resorts are so far from the Disney Parks that you’re forced to use transportation to get to them. The bus system is stinky, crowded and often involves a 20 – 40 minute wait for the bus to arrive and then you get stuck standing on the bus most of the time (at least we did). The monorail isn’t an option for the Port Orleans resort but there is a ferry ride which again, has a really long wait.
The Cast Members
Love – Character greetings were absolutely INCREDIBLE for not only our children but for us parents. I don’t care how old you are, meeting “Mickey Mouse” will give you the butterflies and giggles. The Disney Princesses (and Princes) were so adorable interacting with children, hugging, chatting, answering questions and posing so sweetly for photographs time and time again. Never once did you sense boredom or dis-interest even after chatting up 100+ kids. Cast members throughout our resort were especially friendly always saying hello and asking if we were enjoying our trip.
Hate – While most cast members throughout the park were cheerful and helpful, there were a handful that were just downright rude and grumpy. One older gentleman in particular working at the gift shop you’re pushed through after meeting Mickey in Magic Kingdom was particularly rude. He yelled at me! Loud enough in front of the entire store he says “Miss, can you try to watch your children at a little bit?” …. I stood there red-faced, mortified and confused. I was 3 feet away from my daughter asking her if she wanted some Minnie Mouse shoes when she knocked a soft toy on the floor. I had my back turned to her literally for 2 seconds to pick up the shoes to show her and he had the audacity to yell at me.
Love – Our sit-down meals were are really delicious. One of my favorite meals was at Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom set in a Lady & The Tramp theme complete with a menu full of Italian options. I enjoyed a Chicken Parmigiana dinner and Tiramisu dessert that was just heavenly and came with portions so big I could have made two meals out of it.
Hate – Quick service dining options are pretty gross especially the hamburger, hot dog, chicken nugget scene. While all of our reserved sit-down dining experiences were good, you only get them if you make the reservations in advance which we didn’t get a chance to do for all of our meals. And as odd as this sound, with the Disney Dining Plan, all of your meals come with a dessert … not good if you don’t want dessert. I’d much rather have an appetizer be an option so money doesn’t go to waste.
Love – Unlike the drought going on in Illinois right now, Florida has no shortage of rain showers. Every day of our vacation started with sun and heat, followed by a thunderstorm that cooled everything off for a couple of hours.
Hate – Simply put, the weather in August in Florida is downright miserable. It’s ridiculously hot day and night, and the humidity leaves sweat pouring off you within seconds of stepping in the sun. It really made everyone (except my husband) pretty miserable and dehydrated. I don’t care what the circumstances are, there’s no way I’ll ever go anywhere NEAR Florida in August ever again.