The Kingdom Is Magic: Family 2018 Disney World Vacation (Part 7)

Am I saving the best for last?  Yes, you bet I am!  I won’t lie–Magic Kingdom is our family favorite park at Walt Disney World.  I’d say it’s the only place that truly has something appealing for each member of my family.  Remember that, at the time, my daughters were 9 and 6.  I can’t wait to give you a full account of the rides, the attractions, and the restaurants that we experienced.  By the way, we met many, many characters while at Walt Disney World.  I plan to write a separate piece detailing our encounters with them, so be on the lookout for that.

Rides

At this point, you probably know that I am the only member of my immediate family that loves high-intensity rides.  My wife will have nothing to do with them, my 6 year old is too young (in my opinion), and my (then) 9 year old is just starting to enjoy a few.  Therefore, I won’t have much to say about some of the bigger rides.  All in due time, right?  I have no doubt that one day my kids will love these things as much as I do.  For now, though, I’m going to address the rides aimed at the younger kids.

Jungle Cruise: This is a slow moving river ride, though you’re actually on a track beneath the water.  Trust me, you’re in no  danger of going off course.  During this expedition, you’ll see lots of jungle animals as well as a few natives.  It’s exquisitely designed and very realistic, but it’s not thrilling as far as rides go.  Fun?  Definitely.  We got one little jump when going through a cave–some robotic snakes caught my kids off guard and they let out a whelp.  Your captain entertains you throughout the ride with some super lame jokes, which I happened to love.

Peter Pan’s Flight: In 2017 we had no trouble getting on this ride, but for some reason during our 2018 trip, we couldn’t get on this thing without a Fast Pass, even right before closing!  Its popularity soared between the two trips!  My oldest daughter loves this ride, but my younger daughter didn’t want to do it in 2018–she thought it was too intense after riding it in 2017.  You’ll jump into a cute little boat and then take off into the sky.  This is an indoor ride that has you suspended from an above track.  Most of the ride has you looking down at the city of London and then the world of Never Never Land.  Everything is built to scale to make you feel much higher than you actually are, but you are still fairly high up–too high for my youngest daughter’s tastes.  Be aware, though magical, this is a very short ride that’s over almost as soon as it begins.

Pirates Of the Caribbean: I rode this back in 2017, but during this 2018 trip I got my oldest daughter to join me!  She enjoyed it thoroughly, though not as much as Haunted Mansion (more on that soon).  I got a kick out of the fact that she first thought Captain Jack Sparrow was an actual actor.  (He does look pretty real, to be honest.)  Again,  like Jungle Cruise, this is slow moving and more entertaining than anything.  If you’ve never done it, you sit in a long, flat canoe that takes you through a Caribbean locale set during colonial times.  You’ll see tons of automated pirates, villagers, animals, and Captain Jack Sparrow–and all of whom are doing something funny.  The ride occurs at “night,” so the ride is fairly dark with only “torches” lighting the way, but again, this is not a scary ride at all.  It’s pretty funny throughout.  I personally think it’s a little overrated, but it’s certainly a classic at Magic Kingdom and worth experiencing.

The Many Adventures Of Winnie the Pooh: This is one of those rides where waiting in line is almost as fun as the ride itself.  … Almost.  There are lots of little activities for kids to do in line as they wait, but the ride itself is surprisingly fun.  You will sit in a honey pot/car and ride along a track through the world of Winnie the Pooh.  At one point you’ll enter a dream of Winnie’s, and that’s when things get really weird (but in a good way).  Though it’s a short ride, both of my kids really enjoyed it.  It’s got a few sharp turns that my oldest enjoyed, and my youngest liked seeing all of Winnie’s friends.  The ride is not especially well lit, but I wouldn’t say it’s dark, either.  My youngest never felt frightened, so I’d say it’s a good all-ages ride.

It’s a Small World: You’ve got to do this classic ride, right?  Though pretty tame by today’s standards, It’s a Small World still retains a charming quality that makes the ten minutes well worth your time.  During this slow indoor boat ride, you’ll experience rooms created to represent different parts of the world with little dolls serving as representatives of that specific locale.  I personally enjoy the ending of the ride and its unifying message that my oldest daughter easily discerned.  Bright, cheery, and cute, It’s a Small World is a can’t-miss for the little ones.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: We didn’t really know what to expect with this, but we all had a blast!  During this slow moving ride, you sit in a “ship” with two lasers affixed to the dash.  At that point, you move through Emperor Zurg’s lair and blast away at anything with a target sign on it.  Your gun keeps a tally of hits, so you get to watch your score rocket up.  The carriage has a joystick in it as well that allows you to spin around.  This is handy for any targets you may want a second shot at.  All in all, we had a great time with this.  It was easy enough for my 6 year old to enjoy, but challenging enough for my 9 year old to take pride in her score.

Under the Sea–Journey Of the Little Mermaid: Though similar to The Many Adventures Of Winnie the Pooh in several ways, this ride has its own special quality.  You’ll sit in a shell as you slowly follow a track through Ariel’s domain.  Because you are under the sea, this ride is not especially well lit, but many of the characters are brightly illuminated so I wouldn’t describe it as “dark.”  My youngest got a little nervous when Ursula appeared at the end because the meanie is pretty big and very close to the shell.  However, she wanted to do the ride several times, so Ursula wasn’t enough to keep her away.  With your favorite music from the film and all of the fun characters, this ride was a hit with the entire family.

The Haunted Mansion: My youngest daughter would have no part of this, but my elder daughter decided to go for it.  She was very nervous in the beginning, but by the time it was over she absolutely loved it.  As you enter the ride, you’ll stand in a room with a large group of people.  Soon enough, the room gives the illusion of slowly descending.  Be sure to look at the pictures on the walls as you drop–there’s some funny stuff happening.  Once you finish your descent, a door appears and then you get into a buggy to ride throughout the house.  This is a very dark ride, but the mood is pretty humorous.  It could be intense for little ones who don’t pick up on the jokes.  When taken at face value, the holographic ghosts, tomb stones, and coffins could be considered scary.  My daughter heard the funny narration and noticed the gags, though, so she realized it was meant to be more of a thrill than a fright.  She loved it so much, we were sure to hop on a few times during our stay.

Attractions

Tom Sawyer Island: Though we didn’t visit this little island found in Frontierland in 2018, we gave it a try in 2017 and found it charming.  It’s exactly what it sounds like–a replica of Tom Sawyer’s backwoods turf.  You’ll follow paths, find small caves, cross a few hair-raising bridges, and eventually even stumble upon an actual military fort.  Be warned, though, you can only get across and back by using a small ferry.  As you’re on this little island, it’s easy to forget you’re at Magic Kingdom.  It’s a transitional experience.  We particularly found it appealing because it wasn’t nearly as busy as the mainland.  The kids had room to hike, explore, and bounce around.

Prince Charming Regal Carousel: I lost count of how many times my daughters rode on this carousel–they obviously loved it!  This huge carousel is pretty much right at the center of the kingdom, and though there is always a line, it moves fairly quickly because there are almost 100 creatures to ride upon.  You may remember that we like to close out parks, so once it gets near closing time, you can jump on this carousel pretty much at will.

Enchanted Tales With Belle: If you have a fan of Beauty and the Beast in your family, this is a must.  First of all, you enter an amazing room belonging to Maurice with so many fun, fun details.  You next enter a big room with the talking wardrobe.  At that point, she will ask for child volunteers to play roles in a reenactment of the famous story.  Trust me when I tell you that there is literally a part for every child in the room.  Next, you are ushered into Belle’s library.  The adults sit on benches and the children wait along the walls ready to rush in when appropriate.  Belle herself soon enters, and I guarantee you will hear a collective gasp when she does so.  The kids are absolutely mesmerized by her.  We were fortunate in 2017 that my oldest daughter got to play the lead role opposite Belle–we were amazed!  Best of all, every child in the room gets a photo opportunity at the end with Belle , and then the princess will personally give the child a small gift.  Like I said, if you’re a fan of Beauty and the Best, you can’t go wrong with this attraction.

Liberty Belle Riverboat: Though this is a steamboat replica in almost every respect, it clearly follows a track under the water.  It’s especially fun because the 20 minute ride is narrated by Mark Twain himself!  The ride takes you along a vast river which sometimes allows you a good view of the park.  It also takes you through the wilderness, though, and at that point you’ll see the life of frontiersmen and indigenous wild.  We did this ride in 2017 but passed on it during our 2018 trip.  I definitely think it’s worth enjoying at least once.  With three levels for passengers to sit, it wasn’t crowded at all and my daughters got to stand at the front of the boat exactly where they wanted.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor: If you need a break from the heat, this will be an entertaining 10 or 15 minutes.  While seated in a theater, Mike Wazowski informs you that they’ve figured out how to use laughter to fuel their batteries rather than screams.  At that point, his fellow monsters come out–digitally on screen–and try to make you giggle.  The jokes are corny but fun, and they even get the audience in on the act.

Mickey’s Philharmagic: Right next to the carousel, Mickey’s Philharmagic is another attraction that my daughters simply couldn’t enjoy enough.  I have no idea how many times we saw this show between our 2017 and 2018 trips, but it was a lot.  You’ll sit in what looks like a classic theater while wearing 3-D glasses.  Once the show starts, your kids will be mesmerized.  Donald Duck basically loses Mickey’s magical hat right before a symphony begins and must travel through the worlds of Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and more while trying to recover it.  Each world presents a famous song from the movie with astounding 3-D effects.  I caught both of my kids on several occasions reaching out for items that they thought were stretching from the screen toward them.  It’s also really fun because the back of the seat in front of you will blow out puffs of air in coordination with what is happening on screen, as well as a few other surprises that I’m not going to spoil for you.  Be sure to look behind you and up at the end of the show, by the way.  You’ll see a sight that delighted my kids every time.

Happily Ever After: This is the famous Magic Kingdom fireworks display.  Amazingly, they also shine a digitally projected show onto Cinderella’s castle.  These fireworks have ruined me–I can never view a 4th of July show again without muttering, “Can’t compare to Disney.”  The show on the castle is fantastic, the fireworks are gargantuan, and you even have a special treat at the very end in the form of everyone’s favorite fairy flying from the top of the castle across the park.  I wouldn’t want to be that performer!  Be aware, everyone wants to see this show.  You will be standing shoulder to shoulder no matter where you are in the park, and you will have to be assertive in maintaining your space.  Also, when the fireworks end, there is a mass exodus out of the park.  If you can stay for Magic Hours, make your way to the perimeter of the park and enjoy whatever rides are available until the masses have departed.

Restaurants

Be Our Guest: This was an impressive locale made to look like the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast.  We ate in the main ballroom, which, frankly, looked exactly like it did in the cartoon.  Amazing detail!  We were seated next to a window with fake snow falling through the night sky outside.  Dessert was delicious, the gray stuff in particular, but the food struck me as fairly mediocre, especially at the extravagant prices.  You’re not here for the food, though, are you?  This place is all about the ambiance.  I would like to say that the servers were especially nice here, and that’s saying something considering that all cast members in the park are incredibly helpful.  Be aware that you can eat here as a Quick Service lunch and save a Table Service dinner if you’re on the meal plan.

Cinderella’s Royal Table: Truthfully, I think this was the worst meal I had during our entire stay.  I got ribs in our hotel’s cafe that blew this place away.  Anyway, although the food was terrible, everything else about this restaurant was super cool.  The kids met Cinderella immediately upon entering and then we climbed a spiral staircase to the top of the tower and sat in a wonderfully designed banquet hall.  Each of my daughters received a wand with a star affixed to the top of it.  We also enjoyed meeting several princesses as we ate including Jasmine, Snow White, Ariel, and Aurora.  They were all very kind and gracious, as one would expect.  The wait staff, though, left a little to be desired.  With the gratuity built in to a bill that would buy us a week’s worth of groceries, our waiter didn’t put forth much effort.  We rarely saw him and he didn’t strike us as particularly friendly or helpful.  Keep in mind, by the way, that if you’re on a meal plan, this will count as two Table Services.  As an adult, I felt the whole experience was a bit of a scam, but my kids loved it completely.  I mean, you can’t beat eating at the top of Cinderella’s castle, right?

1900 Park Fare:  Located in the Grand Floridan, this buffet specializes in breakfast and dinner.  We ate late in the afternoon, and so we got to enjoy Cinderella yet again with all of her supporting cast.  I think my oldest might have experienced love at first sight when Prince Charming made his way to us almost immediately after we were seated.  We also met Cinderella’s evil step-mother who honestly intimidated the hell out of me, as well as her two mean step-sisters.  They blow through quickly, though, so have your autograph books at the ready!  Don’t get me wrong, they spend several minutes at each table, but once they move on they likely won’t be back.  Our waiter was pretty good, and when he found out that we didn’t have our autograph books ready, he took the books “backstage” and had the characters “sign” them.  I’m under no illusions that the actual characters signed them, but at least he had different handwriting for each signature.  Everything about the Grand Floridian is ornate, and this restaurant is no exception.  And though it’s a buffet, it proved to be my second favorite meal.  My only complaint is that they sat us in a corner and we were packed in so tightly that we all had to get up to make room if even one of us wanted to go back to the buffet.  Like the above restaurants, this is a place you need to reserve way ahead of time–we’re talking weeks if not months.

Thanks so much for reading.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.  I’m soon going to write about meeting dozens of characters and I’m also going to dedicate an article to the “magical” moments we enjoyed while visiting Walt Disney World.  See you soon!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s latest book HERE!)

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Having a Ball At Epcot: Family 2018 Disney World Vacation (Part 6)

I have to tell you–I love Epcot!  I know some of the rides are a little older, but I prefer to think of them as “classic.”  I really mean that!  Because we stayed at the Beach Club, we could literally walk into the back of Epcot in about five minutes.  Because of this, we spent many nights watching their fantastic fireworks.  But we did more than just the fireworks, as you’re about to find out …

Rides

Spaceship Earth — We did this both in the summer of 2017 and 2018.  I love it, but it’s definitely dated compared to newer attractions.  This ride takes place in the giant Epcot “ball.”  As you work your way up, you experience the history of our planet with special care given to our technological advances.  My nine-year-old and I find it to be a charming, educational ride, but it’s certainly not thrilling in the conventional sense.  I consider it a “must experience.” It’s the Epcot ball–you have to do it!

Living With the Land — Again, this is more educational than anything, but the slow boat ride is incredibly informative.  It details how different parts of the world grew food in the past and offers actual examples of cutting edge advances in farming techniques.  I personally found these innovations amazing.  For example, they showed how we can use fish farms and hydroponics to utilize the same space.  I also loved how they showed that many crops can be planted on pillars, thereby reducing the use of large fields.  I’m not sure how much our little ones enjoyed the actual ride, but my wife and I were very impressed by the educational aspect of it.

Soarin’ Around the World — I had to beg my nine-year-old to do this with me, and once she did, she loved it!  I think we rode it four or five times, mostly in that last hour before the park closed.  I personally would rate this as a “must experience” at Epcot.  In this ride, there are three rows of seats.  You strap in, and then the rows move out and up over a pit.  The row in front of us moved above us, and the row in front of them were at the very top.  You face a large screen which commences to take you through the skies on an adventure across the entire world.  Your row dips forward and back, simulating the feel of sitting in a hang glider.  It even blows wind in your face with accompanying scents.  You’ll see several wonders of the world with the ride coming to an end during the fireworks at Epcot.  I couldn’t get enough of this ride, and neither could my daughter.  I’d never ridden it before, and our first time enjoying it together felt absolutely magical.

Journey Into Imagination With Figment — Okay, this one was just weird.  I guess the little dragon guiding you through the ride is named Figment.  It briefly refers to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Flubber, and the Dexter Riley movies.  (I had to look that one up.)  It’s a strange ride about trying to determine the best way to utilize our imagination.  I’d skip this one.  None of us got much of a kick out of it, though it did have a nice gift shop at the end.  I would like to say, though, that the workers at the ride were incredibly nice and friendly.  That could be because we were literally the only ones on it.  (This was the last hour before closing.)

The Seas With Nemo and Friends Attraction — I didn’t actually ride this one, but my six-year-old adored it.  My wife rode it with her countless times.  My wife tells me you ride in a clam much like Under the Sea with very similar attributes.  Lots of neat scenery and video from the movies.  She tells me it’s a fun experience for the little ones.  Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

Gran Fietsta tour Starring the Three Caballeros — We found this little boat ride while in “Mexico” at the World Showcase.  It’s very similar to “It’s a Small World” except that it takes you throughout the country of Mexico.  It features puppets, beautiful architecture, and a musical video found on screens throughout starring Donald Duck, Panchito, and Jose Carioca–the Three Caballeros!  It’s a cute, engaging slow-moving boat ride that truly delighted us.  In fact, because it had such a short line, as soon as we got off we moved to get right back into line.  When we told a “cast member” (remember, this is how Disney refers to its workers), she moved us right to the front!  It’s kind of hard to find, but definitely worth the effort.

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Frozen Ever After — This was a HUGE hit with my six-year-old, and probably the most daring ride she’s ever done.  She thought she was big stuff!  It was a very fun ride.  You ride in a boat through several moments from the movie.  The ride is fairly tame, but there is a thrilling moment when you go downhill backwards.  The scenery is intricate and beautiful, and the music, of course, titillates.  Be aware, though, the ride ends fairly quickly.  I would definitely use your “Fast Pass” on this one.  The lines were consistently very long.  We got in line with 30 minutes to closing and had to wait about 40 minutes.  Of course, if you’re in line when the park closes, they let you finish out the ride.

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Attractions 

Illuminations: Reflections Of Earth — These are the fireworks that go off every night before closing.  We watched them from the World Showcase, which is the back part of Epcot.  They weren’t as extravagant as Magic Kingdom’s, but they were better than virtually any other fireworks show you’ll see!  Best of all?  We had plenty of room to get a great view.  At Magic Kingdom, you are packed together no matter where you stand for the fireworks.  At Epcot, this wasn’t the case.  Like I said, because Beach Club was only a five minute walk from the back of Epcot, we took in the fireworks often and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival — We love movies, especially Disney and Pixar movies.  This short little festival included rumbling chairs, smells, and even some splashes of water!  Though all of the shorts are in 3-D, Get a Horse proved the best 3-D I’ve ever seen in my life.  It was perfect!  The other two shorts included Piper and Feast.  We’d seen them all before, but the 3-D made them feel fresh.  And, like I said, Get a Horse was insanely seamless.  Seriously.

Turtle Talk With Crush — My wife and I did this with the kids in 2017 and then my wife did it again with my youngest this latest trip.  It’s actually pretty cool and worth experiencing no matter what your age.  You sit in front of a giant screen.  Pretty soon, Crush from Finding Nemo appears.  He talks a bit about ocean conservation, but he somehow also interacts with the audience.  He actually asks the audience questions, then replies to their responses.  It’s pretty amazing because he physically points in the direction of people he’s interacting with, his mouth moves in accordance with the people’s names he saying–it’s quite a sight to behold.

Canada — Yes, you read that right–Canada!  Again, Canada is part of the World Showcase and it was super cool.  There was a great castle to view from the outside, a lovely garden, a small mountain, and even a totem pole!  Also, we took in a short film called O Canada!  Hosted by the always-hilarious Martin Short, this movie is basically a promotional piece to get you to visit Canada.  Let me tell you–it worked!  I learned more about Canada and saw more of Canada during this little movie than ever in my whole life!  Now I’m itching to pay the land up north a visit!

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World Showcase — Just in general, we were excited to explore this entire back half of Epcot.  Our girls weren’t terribly interested in it, but my wife and I could have spent a whole day wandering around this area.  We didn’t actually enter many of the locales, but we promised ourselves that one day we would.  If just walking by on the path awed us, imagine what the interior would do!

We didn’t do nearly everything there is to do at Epcot, but we did about as much as we could at this stage of our daughters’ lives.  I’m hoping there will come a day when they are willing to do Test Track and Mission: Space with me.  We met many of the characters, but I’m going to write a separate entry on that because we met a lot of them.  Maybe all of them?  Surely all of them.  Thanks for reading!  Magic Kingdom will be up next!

By the way, most of the above photographs were taken by my wife, Kristen.  I wanted to give credit where credit is due!

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(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s latest book HERE!)

Traveling To Disney World: Family 2018 Disney World Vacation (Part 2)

Now that you’ve booked your trip to Disney World in Orlando, you need to actually get there.

Our daughters are both under ten, so driving from Central Illinois all the way to Orlando did not seem like the ideal means of travel to me.  We are very fortunate in that we have a local airport, Central Illinois Regional Airport, that flies to the Orlando/Sanford International Airport.  Using Allegiant Air, you can fly to Orlando/Sanford in about 2.5 hours.  That sure beats 20+ hours in the car.

I know flying can be expensive, but when you take into account the gas, the food, the hotels costs, and the incidentals of driving, flying seems far more convenient and not that much more expensive.  It was very nice to wake up in Illinois and go to bed in Florida.

A few words about Allegiant Air–yes, they had that scathing news report a few months ago.  We’ve flown Allegiant four times now in the last two years, and not once did I ever feel that our lives were endangered.  However, annoyances will arise with this airline.  They are a budget carrier, and it shows.  Three of the four times we flew with Allegiant, we had delays.  This is partly just air travel.  Everyone has delays.  One time, though, last summer, we were on the plane about to pull out three different times before they postponed the flight to the next day.  I’m talking we got on the plane, then we got off the plane.  Then we got on the plane, then we got off the plane.  Then–say it with me–we got on the plane, then we got off the plane.  My kids were great through the whole thing, but they were very confused.  The most irritating part about that ordeal is that it was impossible to reach their corporate headquarters.  I should say, though, that Allegiant put us in a nice hotel that night, and gave us each $100 vouchers with a one year expiration date.  We used those vouchers to offset the cost for this most recent trip!  I’d also like to say that all of the Allegiant employees we’ve dealt with have been very kind and professional.  Allegiant is not the most luxurious way to fly, but I certainly have no trepidation about getting on their planes.

Central Illinois Regional Airport is a dream.  It’s so clean and well-maintained.  The employees are very good there as well.  Orlando/Sanford International Airport is a little more dicey.  If you get there during off hours, it’s not bad at all.  However, it’s been packed to the gills each time we’ve been there.  It’s an international hub, so that stands to reason.  Once again, though, the employees were great.  I have a little inside information for you, by the way.  If you find yourself stuck in the Orlando/Sanford airport for any length of time, check out the international wing.  You walk down a long corridor before you enter it from the main wing.  It’s wide open with plenty of seating, plenty of shopping, plenty of restaurants, and big, clean bathrooms.  It looks much newer than the main part of the airport as well.

One more tip for flying with Allegiant.  Backpacks count as personal items, not carry-ons, as do purses.  To save money, I checked a suitcase, my wife checked a suitcase, and then our daughters shared a checked suitcase.  We did not use any carry-ons, but we each had a backpack for which we were not charged.  These personal items must fit under the airliner seat, though, so be sure to check your dimensions.

Okay, so we’ve made it to Orlando/Sanford International Airport–now how do we get to Disney World?  Ah, you’ve heard Disney runs a shuttle to Orlando International Airport, right?  Here’s the thing, Orlando/Sanford is not the same as Orlando International.  They are two different airports about forty minutes apart.  You’ve got some choices.  You can hire Lyft, Uber, or a taxi.  Lyft and Uber were out of the question for me–I’m not trusting a stranger to drive my family in Florida.  Taxis were about the same price as simply renting a car.  So … I rented a car.

I know what you’re thinking–“Scott, that’s crazy!  You rented a car just to sit in the parking lot of your resort!?”  Well, no.  We timed our flight so that it would arrive late Thursday evening.  We wanted to check in and hit Hollywood Studios right away Friday morning.  So, I rented a car from Alamo, which is a very short walk down a sidewalk outside of the Orlando/Sanford International Airport.  (Of course, I set all of this up ahead of time at the Alamo website.)  We rented a car, drove to a nearby hotel, spent the night, then drove to our resort first thing the next morning.  I parked at the resort, checked in the family, then left them to explore the resort as I returned the car at the Disney Car Care Center which has an Alamo onsite.  The Car Care Center is pretty much in the middle of the Walt Disney World grounds–it’s close to everything.  When I returned the car, I only had it for 24 hours–a one day rental.  (Actually, I only had it about 15 hours, but that’s okay.)  You see, this way you don’t have to pay a full week’s worth of car rental fees!  Great, right?  Best of all?  The Alamo at the Disney Car Care Center will shuttle you back to your resort.  In fact, they told me they’d take me anywhere I wanted to go as long as it was on Walt Disney World grounds.  Furthermore, they will also pick you up!  When it was time for us to leave, Alamo sent a shuttle for us, loaded up all of our luggage, and then drove us to the Disney Car Care Center in order to check out another car, which I then turned in to the Alamo at the Orlando/Sanford International Airport.  It’s a really fantastic service!

Of course, all of this requires careful planning.  You need to figure out what you need, communicate what you need, reserve what you need, and you need to keep all confirmation numbers on you.  I literally kept all of my confirmation papers in separate color-coded folders in my backpack with me–but I’m a little … you know.

And that’s how we got from Central Illinois to Walt Disney World and back!  Thanks for reading!

The next installment will arrive soon, and it will detail the resort we stayed at in 2017 and the resort we stayed at in 2018.  Hint: not all outlandishly expensive resorts on Walt Disney World grounds are created equal.

CIRA Airport 2018

(Did you enjoy this article?  Check out Scott William Foley’s latest book HERE!)