Happy 41st Anniversary !! How fitting that we have an aficionado of Disneyland- the Park where it all began- here today for the celebration. Lisa from Babes in Disneyland and will take a look at Walt Disney World 2012 and sum up the series to date!
Walt Disney World 2012
As a Disneyland blogger, I consider myself an authority on all things Disneyland. In the past, I had been asked by many of my regular readers for input on the differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I would typically answer with very general information regarding size, amount of hotel options, and the like. But in all honesty, my input was only based on the information I had garnered from others. Or through my experiences as a Disneyland Tour Guide during college. As I’d never even stepped foot in Florida, let alone Walt Disney World.
Disney Social Media Moms Conference
I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms conference held in Walt Disney World each March. Of course, I jumped at the chance to go! (On what I like to call my “fact finding mission” without my family.) Doesn’t it sounds crazy? The Disneyland Moms goes to Walt Disney World without her kids. As a journalist covering all things Disney, I felt like this would be the best way for me to learn about the resort for my readers back at home. In this way, I could prepare for when I did make the trek with my husband and three small children. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I attended the conference with two of my dearest friends. Who also happened to be fellow Disneyland bloggers, Suz Broughton and Marcy Massura.
The Full Scope of Walt Disney World Resort
As the shuttle pulled through the Walt Disney World main entrance, I was immediately shocked and overwhelmed by the sheer size of the resort. Growing up in Orange County, California, Disneyland is a second home to me and certainly as big as life. Even though I had always described Walt Disney World as “much larger” than the Disneyland Resort, nothing could have prepared me for the enormity of it.
I spent the five days of my trip visiting the different parks, attending events and learning everything I could. I saw as many shows as possible. We went on all of the attractions not found at Disneyland as well as those that I had been told were slightly different. The group also visited the Baby Care Centers, strolled through the shops and sampled food. You name it, I did it. I soaked in everything I possibly could while just letting go and having fun with my girlfriends.
I could write about my solo trip to Walt Disney World for days. But here are some of my favorite highlights:
Favorite Walt Disney World Magic Moment
By far, the most magic moment was the first time I walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom. My visit was a long time in the making and I was simply overjoyed to be on “the other Main Street.” When I went to City Hall to get my very first first-timer button, my excitement must have been contagious, as the City Hall Cast Member was so pleased to meet me (a fellow plaid), he gave us some special coupons to make or night even more special.
Favorite Walt Disney World Experience
As part of the conference, I experienced the Wild Africa Trek at Disney Animal Kingdom Park with some of the other bloggers at the conference. Check out the video of my experience. It was amazing.
Favorite Walt Disney World 2012 Restaurant
I spent my last morning in Walt Disney World before my flight back to L.A., with my lovely friend A.J. from Disney Food Blog. We ate delicious English Bull Dogs at the Rose and Crown, one of my new favorite restaurants of all time. I adore the atmosphere in the Rose and Crown. After lunch, A.J. took me on a whirlwind tour of the World Showcase in Epcot. It was so much fun to enjoy the park with someone who has so much love and admiration for the resort.
Favorite Walt Disney World Cast Member
Over on my blog, I wrote about a very “unfortunate” experience on Mt. Everest in which I…lost my lunch. Being that I was totally alone in the parks that day, it was pretty awful. The nurse in First Aid totally changed my day. Check out the post I entitled, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Favorite Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland Difference
I will always be a Disneyland girl through and through. However, I have to say that Walt Disney World is pretty darn spectacular. As a Disneyland native, I’ve found a lot of ways to make that resort “my own.” What I love about Walt Disney World is the that there are a lot of ways to customize your visit without having to be an expert. I can’t think of another resort vacation experience in which visitors can do so much to make their trips specific to their wants, needs and desires. From the dining experiences to the variety of price points and styles for lodging to the entertainment experiences, Walt Disney World has something for everyone. Thus, it is a true destination unto itself.
In the next few years, I hope to return to Walt Disney World with family in tow. I must share with them the magic of Walt Disney’s dream. Walt Disney died in a hospital about one mile from my home. It is said that in the moments before he died he was looking up at the ceiling saying that he could envision the map of his Florida resort above him. When I drive by the hospital located next to the Disney Studio, I sometimes wonder. Could he have ever imagined what Walt Disney World has become? What would he would think of it today??
It is hard to believe that 41 days have passed. We have enjoyed the amazing memories shared by so many Disney fans. Thank you to everyone who has participated by contributing an article and those of you who have stopped by daily and shared your personal experiences with a comment. What a fun and heartwarming way to count down the remaining 9 days to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary!