Disney Overload

Trip Start Apr 30, 2013
Trip End Jun 19, 2013

Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, May 10, 2013

We felt that we couldn't visit this part of the world without having a look at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World is huge. It is larger in area than Ballarat. The sprawling complex has 4 major theme parks, 5 smaller parks and precincts, 5 golf courses and 32 hotels (24 of them Disney themed hotels).

On the evening we arrived, we walked around the nearby Downtown Disney, which was mostly a collection of souvenir shops and restaurants. It did have some entertainment, including the permanent Cirque du Soliel show "La Nouba". We have seen a number of Cirque du Soliel shows, including one in Melbourne recently, so our initial inclination was skip this one, until we noticed the juggler was Anthony Gatto. Byron (our son, who is a keen juggler) probably would not have forgiven us if we had bypassed a chance to see him juggle. As it was, we enjoyed the show immensely, including the juggling (he did a 7 ring pull-down, while bouncing a ball on his head). Each Cirque du Soliel show has a different theme to it. This one had a somewhat dystopian theme.

The next day Neroli, who wasn't feeling well, wanted to take it easy and stay around the hotel. I on the other hand felt I needed a bit of exercise, so I decided to walk to "Disney’s Hollywood Studios", which, fortunately for me, is nowhere near Hollywood. I can tell you confidently that Walt Disney World is not set up for walking, but I managed it anyway. It took about 2 hours.

The footpaths (or sidewalks as they would call them here) are not very extensive. They just cover each precinct. So I had to be a bit creative when it came to choosing a place to walk. There was a worn track in the grass in places, so it looks like a few others do the same thing from time to time.

It also struck me while I was walking, that Walt Disney World is not set up for cycling either, despite it being flat and spacious. Walt Disney when buying all this land in Florida, envisioned building up an experimental city that would be a model for city planners around the world. It never happened. The transport here is very unimaginative. It is all road. They have gigantic car parks and a huge (around 325 evidently) fleet of (complimentary) buses, shipping customers between theme parks and hotels. To be fair, they do have a monorail and a ferry, but neither of them were of much use to us.

My comments about cycling could be extended to all of Florida (or at least the bits we saw). It is flat (the highest elevation is 105m), but we saw very few bicycles.

As for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it was OK. It was similar to other movie studio theme parks. The Studio Tour was similar to the one at Disneyland Paris, but not as good. I didn't get to experience too much of it because it rained a lot and the place seemed to grind to a halt when it rained. A Disney employee told me I shouldn't walk through the rain because of the possibility of lightening strikes.

In the evening I went to the Magic Kingdom (by bus this time) and caught their light show (called "Celebrate the Magic") and their fireworks. They were both enjoyable.
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Lyle on

Good to see you're having a great time!

bn2010usa on

Thanks Lyle. We are. We are in Washington DC atm. (Still catching up on the blog).

Dale on

Did you skip everything in between? I stayed in Savannah and Charleston for a few days each.

bn2010usa on

We didn't hang around much, but we did spend time in Savannah and the Outer Banks.

Stephen on

The lack of bikes is a sharp contrast to the low countries in Europe. Then I suppose America has a far greater love affair with the car.

bn2010usa on

At least in Florida that would appear to be the case. It was different in Savannah. It was nothing like Amsterdam though (or even Melbourne really).

kristen on

I am SO glad you posted the mickey mouse pancakes! my favorite!! :D

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