Let’s Go to Disney World!
So, you have decided to plan a vacation to Walt Disney World. I am so excited for you! It’s a magical destination that everyone should experience. I am obsessed with the place and would live in Florida and go there weekly if I could! (GOALS😊) I want everyone who visits Walt Disney World to leave loving it as much as I do. Sadly that is not always the case. The key to having the magical vacation you are dreaming of is proper planning. Knowing these Disney World facts will help you understand why planning is so crucial.
The Place is Huge
The number one thing you need to know when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World is the place is huge! I mean, there is a reason it’s not called Walt Disney Town or even Walt Disney Country. World is the proper way to describe it. Understanding how big it is will be critical when planning, especially if it’s your first time there. So let’s start with some facts to give you an idea of its size.
The total Walt Disney World Property is roughly 43 square miles! So, that is 43 miles x 43 miles x 43 miles……..Yikes! This is approximately 25,000 acres. This really only helps if you understand the whole acre thing. If not, a football field is roughly an acre, so 25,000 football fields. Apparently, that’s about the same size as all of San Fransisco or two times the size of Manhattan (this is literally the only size comparisons I could find anywhere. I have no idea why) Below is a map of the entire Walt Disney World property.
Contained in this space are :
- 4 theme parks
- 2 waterparks
- 300 dining locations
- 6 golf courses (18 holes and mini)
- 309 shops
- 159 attractions
- 52 live-entertainment locations
- 51 character locations
- 270 buses
- roughly 3,000 working cast members
- approximately 57,000 other people trying to have a magical vacation
For a little more perspective, here are some examples of how long it takes to get from a few different locations.
Pop Century Resort to Magic Kingdom-driving
It’s 5 miles to get from Disney’s Pop Century Resort to the parking lot for Magic Kingdom and takes approximately 12 minutes. 12 minutes? That’s not so bad. But wait, you aren’t actually at the park yet. That’s just the actually driving time. This does not factor in the time it takes to pay for parking and drive to your parking spot. Then, you will walk over to catch a tram to the Ticket and Transportation center, you may have to wait a little bit. At the Ticket and Transportation Center, you will go through security, there will be a line, and then you will get in line to take the ferry boat or monorail to the main entrance of Magic Kingdom. This will take around 45-60 min! You went 5 miles.
Saratoga Springs Resort to Animal Kingdom-bus
Bus service from Saratoga Springs Resort to Animal Kingdom Park takes about 18 min. It is a 7-mile trip. You may have to wait 20 min for a bus. There are also 5 bus stops within Saratoga Springs, so you may be on the bus for 10 min picking up guests at other stops. It’s best to plan for 40-50 min transportation time from Saratoga Springs to Animal Kingdom Park.
This information is not meant to scare you off or make you dread the prospect of navigating Disney property. Its intention is to give you the information you need to effectively plan your trip. This is not like going to your local amusement park. Disney is a world unto itself.
Pro Tip – This is not so much a tip just one more tidbit of useful info. On average, you will walk 10 miles a day while at Walt Disney World😳 Welcome to vacation😉
Disney World Facts
There are 27 resort locations on Disney property. 17 of these resorts are Disney owned and the other 10 are owned by other hotel chains. 8 of the Disney resort locations have separate Deluxe Villa Resort properties. So, technically there are 35 separate resort locations on site that you have to choose from. This makes for a total of roughly 36,000 different room options. 😳 To narrow down your room choices a little you can select from a standard room, suite, villa, cabin, or even a treehouse!
With over 300 dining locations there is no lack of options when it comes to food. In fact, there are over 6,000 different food items sold across the property. Dining locations vary from food carts, quick or counter service, table service, buffets, character meals, dinner shows to signature dining. Your cuisine choices include American, Asian, Cuban, French, Mexican and Polynesian to just name a few. There are also some not to be missed “Disney” foods like Dole Whip, Le Fou’s Brew, Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars, Tonga Toast and The Gray Stuff. With all of these dining opportunities, eating can take up a lot of your vacation time and money. Planning what and where you will eat is a must.
Getting Around the World
So we have established the fact that Walt Disney World is a huge place with lots of places to go and things to do. Now you have to consider how you are going to get to all of these places and how much of your time is it going to take? Like everything else Disney, there are lots of options. Disney has a massive transportation system that is complementary to all guests.
Transportation options include:
- boat /ferry
Buses are the most popular and widely available option. While the bus services are great, they can be very time-consuming. Often buses make a couple of stops along the route and you have to figure in the time you wait for the bus also. A good rule of thumb is to allow 60 min to get to a park from a resort using the bus system. Private services like taxis, Uber and Lyft, which offer “Minnie” vans, are great options to use also. They are often the best choice for getting somewhere quickly.
Now You Are Ready
My goal was not to freak you with all of the overwhelming