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Days With Mr. Disney

Orlando, Florida

Cinderella's Castle Childhood dreams needn’t be adult nightmares. There’s a popular idea that a Disney vacation is strictly for kids - and that moms and dads are there to organize and pay for things while the youngsters enjoy themselves with Mickey, Donald and Co.

Not so. Walt Disney World, Orlando, caters for kids large and small, mom, dad and everyone else you can think of. Booking a vacation at a Disney resort is very definitely fun for all the family.

Apart from the usual rides, shows and well-loved Disney characters, there are plenty of attractions designed to entertain adults. Disney is pretty good at arranging activities so that mom or dad – or both – can get time off to have a look around. So why not spend some time in the France pavilion? Disney’s designers have lovingly recreated the streets of Paris for you enjoy a real romantic break. You can shop in chic boutiques offering very nearly all the designer goods you would find on the Champs Elysées. And when you’re exhausted after a busy morning hitting the cash registers you can chill out at a variety of authentic Parisian cafés and restaurants.

Disney Safari
Disney Safari Those of an adventurous turn of mind could explore the possibilities for excitement presented by one of Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris. Disney’s very own small-scale safari park is populated by genuine animals for the African savannahs – take a guided drive to see the giraffe and hippos and you’ll be transported in an instant to the endless grasslands of the Masai Mara.

Both these activities, of course, offer possibilities for the whole family. Disney World is also carefully set up to cater for all budgets as well as all tastes. The Disney World complex is vast, and contains many hotels – or ‘resorts’ as the Corporation calls them. The sales literature stays away from the ‘H’ word for a very good reason: not all the accommodation on offer is in hotels. Four types of resort are available, depending on how you want to spend your time and money.

If you’re an independent and outdoors type, you might like to consider the Fort Wilderness campground. You can take your own tent or RV, or stay in one of the campground’s self-catering cabins. The campground is a miniature vacation destination all to itself – there are activities for kids, trails to hike and fun sing-along campfire evenings for you to get to know your fellow campers.

Epcot Center If you want to stay in more solid accommodation the first level is one of Disney World’s ‘Value Resorts’. As their name suggests, these are excellent value - so they represent a great option for families planning a vacation on a limited budget. The All-Star Music Resort, for example, is a great hotel and entertainment center. Like all of Disney’s resorts of all levels it is themed – the theme in question being, of course, music. The Disney Corporation takes its theming very seriously. The All-Star Music Resort allows you to enjoy music of all styles from country to jazz, and even has a pool shaped like a grand piano! Like all the Disney World resorts, Value Resorts are within easy striking distance of all the central Disney World attractions and transport there and back is completely taken care of.

The next level up are the Disney Moderate Resorts. Again, they’re all themed. Rooms are a little more spacious than those at the Value Resorts and the range of facilities on offer is a little wider. The Caribbean Beach Resort, to take an example, has some room service – there’s none in Value Resorts – and a variety of other small perks and features not available to Value guests.

If you want to sample the very best Disney has to offer, you should book a place at a Disney World Deluxe Resort. Deluxe guests get the best rooms, world-class restaurants, concierge and bell service and access to spas, health clubs and even a business center and wi-fi internet access for those who just can’t bear to be away from their desk. Pretty well representative of the class is the Boardwalk Inn – a fantastic state-of-the-art modern hotel with all the amenities you could wish for in a home-from-home, plus a great pool and close proximity to all the major Disney World attractions.

Cinderella's Castle One of the great advantages of taking a Disney vacation is that there is so little you have to worry about – everything is taken care of. All you have to do is roll up, and Mickey and Donald will take care of you. Well, maybe not personally – but you can still be guaranteed a good time!

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