Walt Disney World Resort – Tips from a Disney cast member
January 1, 1970
by Marie Cim
Walt Disney said: “that’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up”. And I could not agree more. So if you want to become a child again during one trip, what could be better than the place Walt Disney dreamed about before dying? Let me present to you the world of fairies, speaking animals and singing princesses.
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida is the biggest entertainment complex of The Walt Disney Company. Opened in 1971, it was developed by Walt Disney himself who died during its construction. Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, finished the construction and decided to give the name of his brother to the complex. The park in Florida is the only one which is not called Disneyland or Disney Resort. If you want to imagine what Mickey father dreamed about at the end of his life, you should definitely go to Walt Disney World.
The complex is composed of 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 27 themed hotels, several golf courses and a shopping center, Disney Springs, which contains a cinema, a theater, restaurants, and a bowling among other things. It is the most visited vacation resort in the world
The first theme park is Magic Kingdom. It is based on the Disneyland Park of California and on the fairy tales and the most famous characters of Disney. Its main symbol is the Cinderella Castle and the park itself is divided into 6 parts like Main Street, Adventureland, Fantasyland or Tomorrowland.
The second one is Epcot. This park is twice as big as Magic Kingdom and was the most important part of this project when Walt Disney imagined the complex. It promotes human achievements and international culture. It is divided into two parts. One has a very futuristic vibe and the other one is a showcase of 11 countries.
The third park opened was Hollywood Studios (my personal favorite since I used to work there!). Disney’s Hollywood Studios represents the world of the cinema industry. If you take a deep look at the park, you can see that it is subtly divided into 2 parts. The first one is the world of Hollywood celebrities and the second one shows the life of all the workers in the cinema industry, the backstage of all the glitters.
Finally, Animal Kingdom was the last opened park. Like the other ones, he is composed of different parts. Among them, you can find DinoLand U.S.A, Africa, Asia or, the brand new one, Pandora! If you love animals and nature, Animal Kingdom is definitely the place to go.
Now, let’s talk about the fun part of Walt Disney World: the attractions! Here is a list of my favorite ones.
The Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Moutain. This rollercoaster is my absolute favorite one! Half indoor, half outdoor, it allows you to have the best view of Animal Kingdom. Even if it is kind of scary the first time you do it, it is the kind of attraction you can do again and again. While I was working for Walt Disney World, I used to go to Animal Kingdom just an hour or less to do this roller coaster 4 or 5 times in a row.
To stay in the scary attractions, you have to try the two main attractions of Hollywood Studios: The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I was working next to them and used to spend the day hearing people screaming. People working at the Tower of Terror are so talented to immerse you in the universe of the attraction. And concerning the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, what is more exciting than riding a roller coaster while listening to ACDC or Aerosmith?
But if you don’t like loops and big drops, Walt Disney World has a lot of great family attractions. The one I prefer, and by far, is Soarin’ Around the World. This attraction gives you the opportunity to fly over the most breathtaking places around the world while feeling the wind and the heat or smelling the flowers of isles thanks to diffusers. I literally cried when I did it for the first time!
Two other family attractions are pretty similar and both pretty cool. The first one is in Magic Kingdom and is called Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The second one, at Hollywood Studios, is Toy Story Mania. They are both shooting games and, trust me, parents will love it as much as children do.
Best places to eat
If I listen to my heart, I would say that the best place to eat is Sunset Ranch Market in Hollywood Studios. Why? Because that is where I was working! You can find anything there: pizzas, burgers, salads, ice creams, etc. At Hollywood Scoops, you will find amazing sundaes or ice cream cookie sandwiches.
But if you want to be fancier, you have to go to Be Our Guest Restaurant. This Beauty and The Beast themed restaurant is the most famous restaurant in the Walt Disney World Resort. Don’t forget to ask for Lumiere’s special “grey stuff”!
One thing I discovered, and liked, going to the United States and to Disney, is the funnel cake. It doesn’t exist in France and it is one of the first things I tried at Walt Disney World. If you want to try one, you can go to Funnel Cake in Epcot. But my advice is to get one at Sleepy Hollow to eat your funnel cake with the perfect view of the Cinderella Castle.
If you are looking for a little snack, I would say that the best place to go is Main Street in Magic Kingdom. There, you will find a lot of shops with sweet snacks. And with all the amazing odors diffused in front of the shops, you will not resist. While you are there, take a look at the souvenirs shops and try a princess dress or Mickey’s ears.
Now that you have all the advice you need, go enjoy the magic of Disney! Open your eyes, look around and become a child again. The complex is full of little details and secret. Look after the peanuts on the floor in front of the Storybook Circus. Prick up your ears when you arrive at the attraction Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid to ear the seagulls. Look at the handprints at the walk of fame in Hollywood Studios to find the ones of Audrey Hepburn. And don’t hesitate to speak with the cast members. They will help you with everything and even tell you some stories about the park. It is up to you to decide if these stories are real or not…