My youngest is Mickey mad and the allure of Walt Disney’s empire shows no signs of wearing off. Seeing Mickey in real life would bring even BIGGER smiles.
For over 50 years his creations have dazzled children all over the world and the chance to see the beloved characters in the flesh has made Walt Disney World Florida the most popular, and most profitable, attraction in the world. Here is a short guide to making your child’s Disney dreams come true.
Step 1: Don’t tell them you are planning!
If you are looking for a cheap holiday to Florida in 2013, don’t mention the ‘D’ word until the plans for your Florida trip are more definite. Youtube hosts a plethora of children dying to meet Mickey Mouse, that even the hardest disciplinarians will find it hard to withstand. The best way to build up the kids’ excitement, whilst giving you time to sort out the mountain of logistics, is to keep them in the dark about where you are going on your trip - and keep a camera ready to record their priceless surprise.
Step 2: Find the right package for you
Walt Disney World covers over 30,000 acres of Florida. Since 1971 the fantasy city has grown into sprawling mass of 33 themed resorts and hotels, 4 theme parks. 2 water parks and 6 golf courses - it even has the self-governing powers of an incorporated city. Since the vast majority of attractions, hotels and restaurants on site are owned by Disney, the best way to get a good deal is to buy an inclusive accommodation and admission package known as a “Magic Your Way” ticket.
The basic package comes with plenty of freebies such as souvenir luggage tags, discount vouchers for mini golf and credits for arcade games, but the ticket is scalable according to your admission and hotel needs. Hotels are split into 5 useful categories: Deluxe, Moderate, Value, Disney Vacation Club Villas, and Cabins and Campgrounds. With admission, it is wise not to book too many add-on options - remember that the main four theme parks are huge and you cannot get refunds if you realise you don’t have enough time to see everything.
Step 3: Book your flights
Although you can book flight-inclusive packages through Disney, you can find better deals by scouting around yourself or through your travel agent. For cheap holidays to Florida’s playground look for direct flights to Orlando in late May, early June or early September to avoid the main school holiday rushes.
As the most popular children’s attraction in the world, it is small wonder that the internet is awash with unofficial guides and Disney aficionados sharing their handy tips. This in mind, make sure that you research heavily and factor in all the costs involved before letting the kids’ in on the secret.