TIPS FOR AN OPTIMUM STAY at
WALT DISNEY WORLD VACATION KINGDOM
P.O. Box 10,040
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
How does one make the most of a holiday at a resort playground alive with enough recreational activity for more than one vacation? That's the challenge facing every one of the millions who trace a path to Walt Disney World Resort each year.
With three theme parks, two water parks, a nightclub theme park, 23 themed resorts, 99 holes of golf, dinner shows, horseback riding, water recreation and white-sand beaches, it truly is a Vacation Kingdom. Here are some tips and pointers to maximize the fun:
"Best" time to visit? Walt Disney World theme park hours fluctuate in accordance with anticipated "busy-ness." Extended hours, sometimes as late as 11pm or midnight, are set for peak vacation times, typically when most children are out of school for longer periods during the summer, at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
"Best" days? Typically, the busiest days in the Magic Kingdom are Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The busiest days at Epcot '96 are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. At Disney-MGM Studios, busiest days are Sunday and Wednesday. Conclusion: strategically plan your stay in order to enjoy the greatest number of attractions.
What time is the 3 o'clock parade? and other show information. Live entertainment in all three theme parks is ever-changing. Weekly show schedules are available at information locations: City Hall (Magic Kingdom), Guest Relations (Epcot '96) and Guest Services Building (Disney-MGM Studios).
The early bird catches...favorite rides. Walt Disney Travel Company has vacation packages admitting guests to Disney-MGM Studios, Epcot '96 and the Magic Kingdom an hour ahead of general opening on certain days of the week. Information may be obtained while staying on Disney property at Resort Guest Services locations, or by calling (407) 824-4321.
Cool it. Central Florida average daily high temperatures range from 70 degrees to 90 degrees depending upon the time of year. Cool, comfortable clothing and sunscreen are two ways to beat the heat. Two more: Typhoon Lagoon and River Country water parks (and soon: Blizzard Beach). During periods of extended theme park hours, guests may want to arrive early and exit the theme parks during "high day" to head for the cool waters. Remember: get a handstamp for later theme park re-entry.
Start at the heart. Arrive early at Epcot and walk past the queue-up for Spaceship Earth. Head for the heart of Future World, making your first destination "Innoventions." This is one of the newest Epcot attractions, and showcases products for the near future. Children are captivated by the numerous hands-on activities. World Showcase typically opens at 11am. See this section of the park later in the day. Figure on two days to experience all the Epcot adventures, including the many horticultural wonders.
Hold on to your hat. You'll want to make The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror your first stop at Disney-MGM Studios...but hold on to your hat! The newest attraction at the Studios is a thrilling 13-story drop faster than free fall.
First stop: Alien Encounter. A bone-chilling, spine-tingling encounter with an extraterrestrial monster as hideous as the mind can conjure is the centerpiece attraction of a transformed Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, a sensory thriller from Disney and George Lucas, contains some of the most elaborate special effects and show systems ever used in a theme park attraction.
Next show in __minutes. Tip boards are located in all three theme parks which provide up-to-the-minute reports on showtimes and waits. The boards are located on Main Street, U.S.A. near Coke Corner in the Magic Kingdom, on Hollywood Boulevard near the entrance to Sunset Boulevard at Disney-MGM Studios and in the southwest quadrant of Innoventions Plaza near the Future World Fountain at Epcot '96.
Fireworks. Tinkerbell "flies" from atop Cinderella Castle to light the Magic Kingdom skies with the famous "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks when theme park hours are extended during busy vacation periods. Best vantage points: all along Main Street, U.S.A.
...and more fireworks! Epcot Center's night-light extravaganza, "Illuminations," combines more than 600 pyro ignitions, hundreds of thousands of lights outlining World Showcase Lagoon. The show happens every night and can be viewed from locations along the entire perimeter of the lagoon. Optimum viewing: near the compass points. (American Adventure is South, Spaceship Earth is North.)
Special parades. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are guests of honor for seasonal Walt Disney World parades. Good viewing locations are along the entire Magic Kingdom parade route. Another best viewing location: favorite easy chairs in homes across America during special TV presentations of the parades.
Bright nights in the Magic Kingdom. "SpectroMagic," a nighttime spectacle featuring hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, special music and optional effects, is presented along the Magic Kingdom parade route during periods of extended park hours. Viewing hint: prime locations tend to be more accessible for the late show when the parade is presented twice nightly. Another hint: while many guests are enjoying the early parade performance (9 p.m.), many favorite attractions may be more readily accessible.
You travel on your...feet. The picturesque promenade walk around World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot is a favorite stroll. It is 1.2 miles yet merely a small portion of the walking exercise. Comfortable footwear is a must.
...and your stomach. Dining choices abound (there are more than 3,000 distinct menu items served at food locations in the three Walt Disney World theme parks), but early-day reservations can mean the best selection of meal-times and culinary options. Guests staying in Disney resorts may call 407/WDW-DINE to make reservations in advance.
Need more information? Walt Disney World, the world's greatest total resort, features 23 major hotels, a sylvan campground, an innovative vacation ownership club and convenient family vacation villas. They're all connected by a network of convenient transportation free to all guests, including buses, water launches and monorails. Reservations and information about overnight accommodations throughout the Disney vacation kingdom are available by calling 407-W-DISNEY (934-7639) or by contacting a local travel agent.|
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