To set the scene for this post, look at the title again and sing it…. in the tune that is oh so familiar!
Yes we know – we are big kids! Okay, so we admit it – the whole reason we were in the area was to visit DisneyWorld not to do our Caribbean cruise at all. Hearing and reading other people’s stories we figured that we would only want to do this once in our lives and to do it properly so we booked to stay at the Disney All-Star Music Resort for 11 nights (reviewed at Tripadvisor so we won’t talk about it here).
Getting to Orlando in itself was an interesting experience though. We had Amtrak train tickets from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, except upon arriving at the train station, there was track work as it was the weekend. Hang on – were we back in Sydney? Man, we think back to how much flack public transport in Sydney get yet here at Fort Lauderdale station, the passengers were told nothing at all. We were told to just stand “there” (which was really nowhere in particular) and that a bus was coming! The ticketing and luggage staff could barely squeeze a smile from their lips, let alone make eye contact or answer any questions meaningfully.
So all we knew was that instead of the train, we were going to be chauffeured to Orlando in coaches. What we learnt by the end of the trip is that it would take us approximately 3 and a half hours which wasn’t significantly different from the train but we prefer rail travel over bus travel any day. Fortunately, we also got one pit stop for food and a toilet break so it wasn’t all bad 😉 Arriving into Orlando, we were dropped off at the train station with our luggage, which was in the middle of nowhere. Now, how to get to DisneyWorld?! There was a taxi rank and as we made our way over, we were intercepted by “Amtrak” transfer shuttles who would get us to the resort at a flat fee of $30USD which we thought seemed reasonable. We had nothing else to compare to so we will never really know.
DisneyWorld is in a league of its own! We have visited Disney Land in LA and Paris and had heard that World was huge but to what scale? One could never really comprehend until you get there. We bought 8-day Park-Hopper Passes and we put them to good use. It is simply not possible to do one theme park in one day. We were so fortunate to have arrived just after New Year’s (5th of Jan to be precise) and the holiday crowds had obviously headed home by then. The longest ride we had to wait in line for was the “Winnie the Pooh” one in Magic Kingdom. The rides are getting more interactive these days: the Toy Story rides have you shooting for points as you travel through the ride. We had so much fun on the Buzz Lightyear 3D ride, we went on it 4 times. So in those 8 days at the theme parks, we enjoyed character breakfasts and lunches, themed dinners, saw parades, went on rides, enjoyed the shows and ate and shopped for Disney-themed products!
If you happen to be anti-Disney though, never fear – there are so many other attractions in the area. On our other days from the theme parks, we spent at SeaWorld, Kennedy Space Center and Downtown Disney. The advantage of spending almost one and a half weeks in the resort was that we had down time and believe it or not, we didn’t get theme-parked-out!
View more photos of our trips at Photo Gallery.