Updated: Jun 2, 2019
Living in Orlando gives me a unique perspective on travel to the Walt Disney World theme park area. The place can be overwhelming even when living in the area, but coming for a few days can be an exhausting prospect. The key to a few days in the 'Kingdom' is planning ahead of time and making sure to know exactly what things are a priority. The thing to do is to make a list - then cut it in half and that is probably the itinerary you should use. Travel inside Disney World takes a great deal more time than you expect. Think about keeping the joy and ditching the fervent need to see everything. You can spend months going to the theme park and still not see everything - trust me - I have lived here for nine years and I still have yet to experience everything.
In May of 2013
I spent four nights at the Pop Century Hotel - just to take a little vacation at a resort, even if only 30 miles from my home. I found the most wonderful meal at the food court at the resort - and ate it every night I was there. They have this whimsical and fantastic shrimp and goat cheese flatbread that was spectacular. In addition, they had strawberries packaged with a couple tablespoons of chocolate syrup and whipped cream - which I had for breakfast by taking it back to my room and keeping it overnight in the refrigerator. After nine years, I had a new favorite thing to do for dinner!!
Things change all the time at Disney World so it is always fresh, yet ever constant. new things arrive and excite the need to visit, but even after they have been experienced, there are still reasons to go. Sitting in the Grand Floridian with a Kindle and reading a good novel is accompanied by the 3pm piano that sits on the second floor and fills the storied lobby was one of my constant joys. It cost nothing, yet gave me peace and a feeling of being present in a place filled with beauty and idealism.
Although Walt Disney was entrenched in the thoughts of a man who believed he could decide for others how they should live, he did create a world that was artificially beautiful where dreams of perfection could exist for a few hours. He was a representation of reality, flawed with orientation to the time in which he lived, yet with the hope of showing his guests something new. As much as there is a practicality that has made the Walt Disney Company continue to exist that would not have happened had it only been run on dreams, the experience in the park still provides a sense of memory of a world where things work out just as we had hoped.
For me, The Wonderful World of Disney on each Sunday night when I was a child was a time of separation from the rest of the week, where the magic of Walt as he talked to me from his office made me feel included. I was a part of the magic. At the Walt Disney Resort, I find complete immersion into that memory, which is the selling point on which the company has long depended. It is corporate manipulation at its best and worst, there is no doubt. Still, the frosting on the kingdom is not spread through mouse ears. It is spread through my own memories, and for me, that is enough.