September 12, 2015

Our Inspiring Disney Summer Vacation

Going to Walt Disney World is always a lot of fun!

Especially true for our family as my girls, both the little and the older one, really are irreducible Disney fanatics. I know…I have only one child…but Disney’s magic strongly operates on my wife as she kind of reverts to childhood around Disney characters.

For me, being exposed to Disney’s culture is also very inspiring from both a personal and business standpoint. Disney people or cast members should I say, are always positive and happy. They also encourage you to cultivate and follow your dreams.

Disney World in the Summer

Before the actual trip, we apprehended the type of weather we were going to get, as Florida is supposed to be so hot and humid in the summer, particularly in July. To Floridians, summer months are the worse weather-wise; still probably better than our cold and snowy winter. So going over there in the heart of July, we were expecting a lot of heat and thunderstorms.

But even though it rained every single day, it wasn’t that bad. Rain showers were never that long, cooled us a bit and often dispersed the crowds. We had to adjust our plans due to heavy rain on only two days over our 2-week stay.

I have two suggestions if you go to Disney in the summer.

The first one may seem obvious but try to avoid mid-afternoon exposure to the sun.

You have a lot of options to accomplish this objective. For instance, you could organize activities in the morning or later at night and take an afternoon break. You could also choose rides with a shaded or air conditioned waiting line like Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom). It also a great idea to use one of your Disney’s FastPass on refreshing rides like Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) or Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom).

My second suggestion is to make your plans more flexible.

Our schedule was tight when we visited Disney’s during winter time as we often went there for only 5 to 7 days. We always had to plan carefully to maximize our stay.

This time around, affordable summer specials allowed us to enjoy Disney’s spectacular venues for 2 full weeks.

Being there longer, we could afford to adjust our plans along the way. Some special events like dinner reservations with your favorite Disney’s characters sometimes cannot be moved. But most of the time, we tried to keep our plans as flexible as possible.

For example, we chose sunny humid days to go to Water Parks. They are a lot of fun by the way!

For the first time, we also visited Deluxe Resort hotels. These beautiful hotels are accessible even for Value or Moderate Resort guess. You just can’t sleep there.

Many restaurants in these hotels offer better food and special settings. Most of them don’t cost more if you enrolled in Disney’s Dining Plan and they probably offer the best value. Ironically, you can often book a last-minute reservation at one of these restaurants as most people think they are too expensive. They make a practical plan B if you had to cancel elsewhere.

Dining at a Deluxe Resort restaurant can also provide a great excuse to ride the Monorail or one of Disney’s enchanted boats. If you happen to be there in the evening, they often provide a fantastic view of Disney’s magical fireworks.

Quality That Translates into Value

One of Disney’s best business practices is to offer quality that can be translated into great value. Customers will always be willing to pay more if they can get value. With Disney, buyers feel they can get their money’s worth.

Many of Disney’s products can be more expensive but they almost always feel better and last longer. Our Disney coffee mugs from our first trip way back are still in great shape and we still use them.

If that sense, Disney people never do things half way. They do everything in their power to ease your stay. For instance, Disney cast members always point you in the right direction with a smile and make sure you get answers to all your questions. 

As with any vacation, we endured minor hiccups that were swiftly fixed by Disney’s effective customer service. The only real problem happened on the way back, outside of Disney’s influence…as my wife lost her luggage in the airport system. But that’s another story by itself.

We experienced two great examples of Disney’s top notch service.

First, Lady D slipped while boarding the Monorail and cut her leg pretty bad. We were promptly directed to a First Aid Center. After a quick signature, a nurse looked at her leg and quickly treated it. She also gave her something for the pain and we were immediately assigned a room where we could rest for a while. After a brief nap, Lady D was good to get back to our activities for the rest of the day. So we were satisfied and out of there probably in less time than it takes only to fill out forms in our local hospital emergency system.

Of couple of days later, I forgot my credit card in a restaurant located in another Disney Resort. Even before we noticed it, we got a call to inform us of my oversight. My card was expedited to our hotel and we just had to pick it up at the front desk later that night.   

Constant Evolution to Create Magical Moments

The Disney Universe is continually improving as Disney people always strive to create even more magical moments for everyone. Every time we visit Walt Disney World we notice something new.

Exciting new rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this year. By the way, this one is a blast! But we suggest you to use a FastPass on it to avoid waiting all day.

We were also intrigued by imposing renovations at Animal Kingdom. Looks like an amazing new area coming soon: Pandora-The World of Avatar, expected to open in 2017.

We are also thrilled about rumors of a Star Wars Land in and around Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  

It’s amazing how Disney people are able to constantly reproduce Disney’s distinctive touch. It’s probably due in part to their exceptional attention to detail.

A couple of years ago, Disney introduced Magic Bands. Along with all developments around My Disney Experience applications, all this new technology really enhances you stay in incredible Disney’s Resorts and Parks.   

Apart from being very convenient, Disney’s Magic Bands are cool and comfortable to wear. Everyone likes to use them. Disney has also created a whole new market around them as Magic Bands are now entirely customizable with pins and stickers.   

Another example of Disney’s constant evolution is how things run during lunch time at their Be Our Guest Restaurant. At this venue, you can pre-order your meal using the Internet or make your choices at the front door. After that, you can sit wherever you like in one of the three large castle-style rooms without telling anyone where you’re going.

Then, the coolest thing happens: your location is detected by your Magic Bands (or pucks if you don’t have bands) and waiters bring your ordered food to your table.

Wow! What new amazing thing will they think of next?    

Different Possibilities to Organize Your Venture

Disney’s Resorts and Parks offer a multitude of options to entertain and brighten your stay. They propose a wide range of activities as well as a great selection of hotels and restaurants.

You could easily visit Disney and improvise along the way and surely have a wonderful time.

Personally, as you might suspect, I prefer to plan ahead and maximize exciting possibilities offered by this kind of trip.  

If you are like me, you will take time to analyze and look for opportunities to get better organized.

You could plan you visit the conventional way with Disney’s brochures, their vacation planning DVD or their full of information website.

You can also find plenty of useful ideas on a vast number of web sites or blogs dedicated to Disney.

We will recommend this one: 

That’s the site we mostly use to plan our last summer trip. Along with many other suggestions and tips, it proposes cheat sheets with touring plans and strategies for every Disney Park.

I hope you have the chance to visit Disney soon!

Please take a moment to tell us about your next or last trip there.

Do not hesitate to ask questions on any specifics. We will be happy to give our opinion about it.

Photo by me

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