Disneyworld & Epcot
Natalie from Abbotts Travel took her young family on holiday to Orlando visiting family and friends at the end of March. They had lots of family fun at Disneyworld and Epcot. The flight is just over 9 hours from London, quicker on the way back!
"We stayed for 11 days in Disney’s Art of Animation resort. We chose this hotel due to the ages of the four children and everything it had to offer.
Photos Natalie Fox
From the moment we arrived until departing, we loved every minute and were extremely impressed with the attention to detail and upkeep of the resort. The rooms were clean and cosy with really comfy beds and fabulous pillows. There was a great selection of dining choices including breakfast buffet and dinner. Plenty of fruit and vegetables and healthy options, and refillable drink cups that you can use in the resort.
It is more suited to younger children with its fun Little Mermaid, Lion King, Nemo and Cars themed rooms and features around the resort. There are two large pools with different movie themes around the resort which the children absolutely loved! The swimming pools were great for the kids to splash around in, with movies showing by the pool and it's open late, much to their delight.
At Epcot - the kids loved the Nemo ride and the aquarium. We all loved the Broadwalk, a short walking distance from Epcot for restaurants and near the Fantasia crazy golf. You can also take ferries to different parks from there or head back to Epcot.
We had long days, getting to the parks early to make the most of the early access for Disney Resort guests. With the fireworks not starting until 9:30pm it made for some late evenings. However, the transportation on the Skyline to get back to the resort was incredibly quick. The fireworks were spectacular and all set to a medley of Disney music. There were ever-changing projections on the castle and it felt really special and actually quite emotional!
Harry Potter World was amazing and more suitable for 5+ ages. There's a Hogwarts Express train that links Universal Studios with Islands of Adventure which requires purchasing both tickets but it's well worth it.
My new favourite rides are in Animal Kingdom. In the Pandora, The World of Avatar area, the Avatar Flight of Passage was like no other ride we’ve ever been on.
Typhoon Lagoon has recently been refurbished and is a great day out either relaxing on the lazy river, sunbathing on the beach, water slides, or swimming with the large waves. Dining options are also very good here, I really enjoyed the shrimp tacos.
Disney Springs is the new Downtown Disney which is great for shopping, restaurants live music and entertainment. A complex with restaurants, bars, live shows, bands playing, and clothing, surf and retail shops, including the world's largest Disney store."
Buy attraction tickets in advance and book your days in the park.
Multi-Day and combo tickets are much better value than single-day tickets if not purchasing as a package.
Plan your visit for the Spring and Autumn seasons if possible (try to avoid U.S. holiday periods). You will get the best combination of good weather and less crowds.
Skip wait times by making use of a quick-queue pass. Walt Disney World’s Fastpass+ allows you to choose up to 3 attractions free of charge. These choices are available to you 30 days before your park arrival. At Universal Studios, the Express Pass option is available for an extra cost. This is an unlimited pass to most attractions in both parks.
If staying at a Disney resort make use of early access into the parks. Arriving early allows you to do a lot more in the first hour of the day than later in the morning. Head for the big/popular rides FIRST as these are the ones that will draw the longest queues later on and try to save the shows for the afternoon when it’s hot and you need a sit-down in air-conditioned comfort.
Child Swap is a great option if a younger child can’t go on an older ride. It allows an adult to wait with a child unable to ride an attraction and then board without waiting in line again if you don’t want to miss out.
Make the most of the Memory Maker which captures a special photo of the whole group. There are a lot of photographers located around each Disney park who will take your photos in special locations. These get uploaded straight to your My Disney Experience App.
The Sky Rail and transportation between the parks are brilliant. Download Lyft or Uber if you're not hiring a car and want to visit Universal, Sea World, outlets, or diners.
Natalie Fox, Abbotts Travel
Photo (c) Disney
Call Natalie for advice and to book your trip.
Abbotts Travel, 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA, 020 8989 9445