Orlando Journals

Walt Disney World in Florida

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A February 2005 trip to Orlando by nickyjj

What a big ball! Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: Sunshine to snow, water to wine, 43 square miles of Florida fun is in Walt Disney World, and here I hope to share with you some of my top tips from my various trips there!

Walt Disney World in Florida

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Overview

Quote:
Having visited Walt Disney World several times, here are my top 10 attractions and things to do: 1. Visit Celebration (Disney town) 2. Take the boat trip from Port Orleans Resort to the Disney Village Market Place 3. Watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (outside the fast-food restaurant) 4. Tap you heels at the duelling piano bar on the Boardwalk (over 21 only) 5. Get the latest books and CDs at the Virgin Megastore at the Disney Village 6. Head for Rock n Roller coaster at MGM: the ride’s a thrill! 7. Check out Test Track at EPCOT and hold onto your hats! 8. Stay at the Beach/Yacht Club for a relaxing vac...Read More
Quote:
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World in Florida is the flagship of all the Disney hotels located at Walt Disney World (WDW) and is based upon a turn-of-the-century Floridian resort. The hotel is predominantly white and pink, with bright red roof tiles that make it visually quite stunning and almost like cotton candy: this is definitely the hotel that will appeal most to little girls who want to be a Disney princess!! There is the main building of the hotel, which contains the lobby as well as shops and restaurants and some of the more expensive hotel rooms and suites. The other hotel accommodations are located in seven buildings dotted around the property. The l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
4401 Floridian Way
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 824-2421

Disney's Contemporary Resort

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Hotel | "Disney Contemporary Resort"

Quote:
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the Disney luxury resorts and is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, just one stop on the monorail from the Magic Kingdom theme park and close to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts. Transport to other theme parks is via the monorail for EPCOT or via Disney buses to the other main theme parks, as well as attractions including Downtown Disney. The main lobby of the hotel is a futuristic (although slightly dated in the 21st century!) apex frame that houses some hotel rooms (deluxe), as well as restaurants and shops. The other hotel accommodation is in smaller blocks around the hotel ground. The rooms are very similar in size ,but yo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2005

Disney's Contemporary Resort
4600 NORTH WORLD DRIVE
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-824-1000

Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter

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Hotel | "Port Orleans"

Quote:
The Port Orleans French Quarter is classed as one of Walt Disney World's Moderate and up to a few years ago was actually two Disney resorts: Port Orleans and Dixie Landings. The good folks at Disney then decided that it would be cheaper to make one huge resort and now you have the French Quarter (formerly Port Orleans) and Riverside (formerly Dixie Landings). About the resort:Port Orleans French Quarter opened in 1992 and was one of the smaller moderate resorts with around a 1000 rooms. Based loosely on a Mardi gras/New Orleans theme the resort consists of seven buildings that each contain three floors with hotel rooms. All of the rooms have exterior doors (i.e. like...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 5, 2005

Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
2201 ORLEANS DRIVE
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-934-5000

Disney's Polynesian Resort

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Hotel

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Welcome to Disney's version of Waikiki and aloha! Disney's Polynesian Resort is one of the few original resorts that has been present in the world (of the Walt Disney variety) since it first opened in 1970s. Tropical palm tress, grass skirts, and a few pineapple juices welcome you to the wonderfully tropical world of the Polynesian resort hotel! Aloha!The rooms:As with other Disney deluxe resorts, all of the rooms can accommodate up to five guests, with two double beds as well as a day bed. There are also rooms available for guests with disabilities. The rooms are decorated in bright tropical colours and are light and spacious; some rooms feature small balconies, or those on the ground...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2005

Disney's Polynesian Resort
1600 Seven Seas Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 824-2000

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

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Hotel

Quote:
The hotel is themed around the great national parks of the good old US of A, with a stunning eight-story-high lobby complete with original totem poles as well as open fires; huge, comfy wooden chairs and recliners; and a well-themed staff.Outside you can walk around lush green gardens that appear like forests, with great big towering trees, whilst only being a few short minutes away by bus to your favourite theme parks! This hotel is located in the Magic Kingdom resort area, but as it was only built a few short years ago, it is not connected to the Monorail transportation system like the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, and Polynesian resorts. DiningArtist Point:Th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 28, 2005

Disney's Wilderness Lodge
901 West Timberline Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 824-3200

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

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Hotel | "Disney's Yacht Club"

Quote:
I love this hotel because the service is impeccable, down to the staff members who open and close the doors for you when you enter and exit the hotel. The staff is also dressed in a clean nautical theme and the lobby is expertly themed with low ceilings, benches, and port holes! Check-in is always fast and efficient, and the concierge is knowledgeable and able to secure most dining requests and other activities guests require.The communal areas are all beautiful, with lots of great touches: kids love the large globe in the lobby, and even the individual towels in the public restrooms are rare luxuries in this day and age!The shop is spacious and stocks the usual range...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 28, 2005

Disney's Yacht Club Resort
1700 EPCOT RESORTS BLVD
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
407-934-7000

Disney's BoardWalk Villas

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Hotel

Quote:
Disney's Boardwalk Inn is one of the select Disney Deluxe resorts and is located in the EPCOT/MGM area of the 43 square miles of Florida swampland, aka Walt Disney World. The Boardwalk recreates a turn-of-the-century American boardwalk, with dining entertainment and restaurants amid carnival sights. More than just a hotel, this is an entertainment extravaganza!As well as having hotel rooms at the Boardwalk Inn, the Boardwalk Villas is a Disney vacation property, although the two areas as separated within the hotel complex. Services and amenities:The hotel offers a high level of services, including room service, self-service laundry facilities (very handy when staying...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 28, 2005

Disney's BoardWalk Villas
2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Orlando, Florida
(407) 939-6244

Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Attraction | "Animal Kingdom Part 1"

Quote:
Disney's Animal Kingdom is the newest Disney theme park, and it's also by far the biggest (about twice the size of EPCOT centre!), so you will be doing a lot of walking! How to get there? Buses operate from all Walt Disney World (WDW) resort hotels. Beware, however, that even when you get off the bus, you have a very long walk before you actually arrive at the theme park entrance! If driving, you arrive in a massive car park and then take a bus directly to the theme park entrance. If you arrive early in the day, there will virtually no queues anywhere! A Disney cast member told me that when going into the park, head left, as most guests will turn right! (I’m not too sure if t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Attraction | "Animal Kindgom Part 2"

Quote:
Asia: Kali River Rapids (FASTPASS) The main thing I can say about this ride is that YOU WILL GET WET!!!!!!!!! The water rapids are great. When we went, it took me 3 hours to dry off in the Florida sunshine, so it may be wise to take spare clothing and leave it in the lockers at the entrance to the park. If you feel other people did not get quite wet enough, there are water squirts at the end of the ride so that you can make even more of a splash! Dinoland USA: DINOSAUR (FASTPASS) This is great ride that is part simulator and moving ride, and stars Mrs Cosby (AKA Phylischia Rashad) from the Cosby Show. The pre-attraction queuing area is breathtaking, a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 824-4321

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

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Attraction | "Typhoon Lagoon"

Quote:
As one of three water parks at Disney World, legend has it that Typhoon Lagoon was formed when a typhoon hit Florida and left the water behind and a ship struck on top of a hill (watch it when the ship blows!!) What is there to do? There is a really good mix of activities here for all ages. If you are feeling very brave, then ride the water slides. The Humunga Kowabunga speed slides really do test the bravest adults and children and are absolutely awesome. Tip: Don't ride this straight after lunch and make sure your swim suit is firmly attached to your body! You can reach up to 30 miles an hour on these slides according to lifeguards, and some of the slides are up to 400 feet lo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
1801 West Buena Vista Drive
Orlando, Florida

Walt Disney World's Blizzard Beach

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Attraction | "Blizzard Beach Water Park"

Quote:
Blizzard Beach is one of the three water parks at Walt Disney World in Florida (see my other review of Typhoon Lagoon for more information on that water park). What's it like? As the name would suggest, there's lots of (fake) snow at Blizzard Beach, which is a rather strange cross between a snow resort and a beach. There are lots of palm trees, as you would expect with Florida, but added to this are a ski resort lodge, ski lifts, and a large, snow-capped mountain. Only Disney could invent a legend like this for a theme park!! What is there? There are 17 slides at Blizzard Beach, and the best (and fastest one!) is Summit Plummet, which is 120 feet long. This is a great...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Walt Disney World's Blizzard Beach
1534 W Buena Vista Dr
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 560-3400

Celebration Planned Community

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Attraction | "Celebration"

Quote:
Celebration is the town that Disney built and follows Walt Disney’s original vision for what became the EPCOT theme park: a utopian society that reflects the values of America (although it’s really more of an idea of what America never was, never is, or never will be). The town of Celebration opened its doors to residents in November 1996 and is situated at the edge of Walt Disney World (not part of Disney World Resort, as it is on separate land). Although it is not really what you may consider a tourist attraction amongst the hustle and bustle of Orlando, I enjoyed my trip here to see the town that Disney built, and it is a nice afternoon out to relax away from the theme parks and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 18, 2005

Celebration Planned Community
NW Osceola County South Of U.S. 192
Celebration, Florida

Epcot World Showcase

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Attraction | "Grown-Up Shopping Fun at EPCOT"

Quote:
If you enjoy the odd bit of retail therapy like me, then Walt Disney World’s 43 square miles might just have the odd shop to tempt you, and if you move away from Mickey Mouse ears and Donald Duck hats and head to EPCOT’S World Showcase, then you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. World Showcase is made up of 12 host countries that consist of rides, attractions, restaurants, and shops, with the countries on offer including France, Morocco, the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, Norway, Japan, Italy, and China, amongst others. Each pavilion, as they are known, offers a wide range of goods from their host countries. Here are my top five places to shop at EPCOT: 1. The Japanes...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 20, 2005

Epcot World Showcase
World Showcase Lagoon
Orlando 32830
(407) 939-8687

EPCOT - Grown-Up Fun!

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Story/Tip

What a big ball! Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prootoype Community of Tomorrow, is my absolute favourite of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, as it is by far the most interesting for adults, as it offers a great mix of Disney-style entertainment (without as many Disney characters) and education. What is EPCOT? EPCOT is split into two areas - Future World and World Showcase. As you walk into EPCOT, you enter Future World, which is a fantastic mix of rides and attractions that look at technological advances in the world, such as automotive and space technologies. World Showcase offers 12 countries for you to explore (see below for more information). Tips for EPCOT: ...Read More

Downtown Disney

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Downtown Disney is the place to head for at Walt Disney World for shopping, dining, and dancing! Downtown Disney is located at the very edge of the Walt Disney World (WDW) property and consists of: The Disney Village Marketplace Pleasure Island Downtown Disney Westside Downtown Disney is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening away from the parks. You can get there on Walt Disney World buses marked Downtown Disney (and also from any of the theme parks). The furthest place to come from is The Magic Kingdom, and this takes about 10 minutes. The nicest way to get to Downtown Disney is the boat that runs from the Port Orleans resort down the river. It runs eve...Read More

Disney Village Marketplace

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The Disney Village Marketplace at Walt Disney World (WDW) in Florida forms part of the Downtown Disney area, which is the place to head for shopping, dining, and nightlife in WDW. Disney Village at Walt Disney World in Florida is one of the best places to shop in WDW. The Disney Village (known as the Marketplace) offers a brilliant range of Disney shops and is free to enter. It is completely accessible to people in wheelchairs. Opening times: The shops are open from Sunday to Thursday between 9:30am and 11pm and on Fridays and Saturdays between 9:30am and 11:30pm. When is the best time to go? It is a great place to head for if it's raining, but lots of other people ...Read More
Quote:
Overview Over the last few years, I have flown many times from Manchester in the UK to Orlando, Florida with a variety of airlines, including British Airways, Britannia, and Delta and have not always been particularly impressed with the levels of service and amount of seat room onboard the 747-200 used on the route. Booking: The best and cheapest way to book is to either book your flights direct with Virgin Atlantic over the internet (www.virginatlantic.co.uk) or to book them as part of a package holiday, including accommodation, with Virgin Holidays (www.virginholidays.co.uk). I would recommend shopping around on the Internet for the best prices and airline.network.co.uk is...Read More