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. There
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 the place is will be critical when planning, especially if this is 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. It is also 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 whole Walt Disney World property.
Here are some examples of how long it takes to get around. The drive from Disney’s Pop Century Resort to the parking lot for Magic Kingdom is 5 miles and takes approximately 12 min. Then you have to park, take a tram to the Ticket and Transportation center (where you also have to go through security) and from there take the ferry or monorail to the main entrance. So, from leaving your resort to arrival at the main entrance you should plan on a solid 30 min, likely more depending on lines for security and boarding the monorail or ferry. Taking the bus would save time because it drops you off close to the main entrance. Bus service from Saratoga Springs Resort to Animal Kingdom Park takes about 18 min and you may wait up to 20 for a bus to arrive so plan on 30-40 min.
Contained in all of this space there are 4 theme parks, 2 waterparks, 300 dining locations, 6 golf courses (18 hole and mini), 309 shops, 159 attractions, 52 live entertainment locations, 51 character locations, 270 buses, and roughly 3,000 cast members at a time.
So Many Options
There are technically 27 resort locations that are considered on Disney property. 17 of these resorts are Disney owned and the other 10 are other hotel chains. 8 of the Disney resort locations have separate Deluxe Villa Resort properties. So, in total 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 are sold. Dining locations vary from food carts, quick or counter service, table service, buffets, character meals, dinner shows to signature dining. Your cuisine choices include 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. 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. 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. Other options offered include the monorail, boats/ferries, and soon to include a gondola system. Services like taxis, Uber and Lyft, which offer “Minnie” vans, are other great options to use and 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