How to Have the Ultimate Disney Vacation

Make family memories to last a lifetime with these tried and true tips for experiencing Walt Disney World® Resort.

Aug 12, 2014
  • Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
  • Splash Mountain water ride at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
  • View from Lake View Room at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Explorer Island water slide at the Resort in Orlando, Florida
  • Sonny Eclipse show at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
  • Space Mountain ride at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
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Celebrate with your favourite Disney characters, visit some of the park’s most popular attractions and watch a fireworks show above Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom® Park.
Photography Jeff Krause
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Prepare yourself for the 5-storey waterfall at Splash Mountain®, where you can expect to get soaked—especially if you are leading the way with a front row seat.
Photography Brett Kiger
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The perfect size for families, the Lake View Rooms at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort overlook the surrounding lake, golf course and pool area.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
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Take a ride on the 242-foot (74-metre) water slide at Explorer Island, where you can also enjoy the Family Pool, Lazy River and Splash Zone.
Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
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Choose from a variety of American favourites, such as hot dogs and barbecue pork sandwiches, as you enjoy alien entertainment from Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.
Photography Jeff Bergman
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Thrill-seekers will love the big drops and steep turns through a dark abyss on Disney’s Space Mountain® attraction.
Photography Angelo DeSantis

After spending four days at Florida’s Walt Disney World® Resort with my husband, parents and two sons, I discovered a few basic rules for getting the most out of the experience.

Let the kids lead.

I’m a Disney fan. I love the movies, and I cherish my own memories of visiting Magic Kingdom® Park as a child. For my kids, Disney is the coolest place imaginable. Everything is geared to their enjoyment, and choices for entertainment abound. That’s why, on our trip, we let the boys rule. They chose the rides, where to eat and what to do—a real break from the school, homework, chores routine of home.

Visit during the “Golden Age.”

When we visited Disney, my kids were 8 and 5—both in the midst of the “Golden Age for Ears,” as I call it. They were tall enough to enjoy every ride (for the more exciting rides, kids must be at least 44 inches tall), young enough to believe in the “magic” and old enough to remember the experience. Riding a roller coaster for the first time with our boys and seeing the thrill (bordering on panic) on their faces was priceless for us. And for our kids to hear their mom screaming with laughter at the drop of the Splash Mountain® attraction reminded them (and us) that we were once kids, too.

Stay in the park.

If you are going to Walt Disney World® Resort, reduce the stress and increase the fun by staying in the park itself. This has been the best option for anyone visiting the parks since the first Disney resorts opened 40 years ago. For the ultimate experience, stay at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, situated inside the gates of Walt Disney World® Resort.

The Resort features several dining options, a luxurious Spa, celebration spaces, and acres of recreational pursuits such as golf, tennis, basketball and water slides. But for little ones, the best part is Explorer Island at the heart of the Resort. The 5-acre (2-hectare) playground includes a 7,590-square-foot (705-square-metre) family pool with a lazy river winding around a “ruined” mansion, a climbing wall, water slides and the Kids for All Seasons club.

Relax . . . or skip the lines.

Kids can be oblivious to all of the things that bore and annoy adults, such as lines, or people hogging tables at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. Childhood goes by so quickly, and kids need to be kids: They deserve to be wild and scream and laugh—a lot. Disney’s the perfect place to celebrate all that’s fun about being a child, and kids will love it even more if they don’t have to wait in line. With a FastPass+, reserve access to your favourite experiences, such as the Space Mountain® attraction, before you even get to the park.


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2 Comments about How to Have the Ultimate Disney Vacation

  1. caspad says:

    Can you comment on the transportation to/from the park from the Four Seasons Orlando? Were you waiting for the buses? Were they crowded?
    Did you actually stay on property? Did you use the Disney concierge at the hotel at all? Did you go to the Character breakfast?

    This article would be more useful with details about the hotel and about the park. Instead it seems that the article was written to fit the 5 stock photos provided by Disney and the Four Seasons. Why is there a mad dash for seating at Cosmic Ray?

    • Caroline McCoy says:

      Thanks so much for your comment. We’ve passed your question about transportation to the property so that someone can work with you directly. The recommendations in this article are those of one of our trusted family contributors, and images were sourced to illustrate these recommendations. As always, we appreciate your feedback.

      Kindest regards,
      Caroline

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