Travel: Walt Disney World

Embrace your inner child at Orlando's magical kingdom
ByCatriona RigneyMonday , 02 March 2015
Travel: Walt Disney World

It’s not called the most magical place on Earth for no reason! With fairy tales, music, parades and rollercoasters at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside…

Sleep Like a Princess At the Grand Floridian
Any of the hotels at Disney World are guaranteed to blow your mind, but the Victorian-style Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the cream of the crop. The rose-scented lobby in the main building boasts its own orchestra playing each night and if your room is in one of the out-buildings, you can get ferried in a buggy by the friendliest hotel staff you’ll ever meet!

INFO: Rooms start from Dhs1,899 per night, excluding taxes, +407 824 3000, www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/grand-floridian-resort-and-spa

Disney-gramming
Make your friends super-jealous with those Mickey Mouse selfies as they happen, thanks to the free Wi-Fi throughout the resort. Thank you, Walt!

All Aboard the Disney Magical Express
Get the Disney feeling from the moment you touch down in Orlando by catching Disney World’s very own bus, which whizzes you straight to your resort hotel in no time at all. 

Skip the Queue
Make sure you don’t waste hours of your precious time queuing for rides by getting FastPass+. This new and improved system means that if you book your park tickets in advance online, you can also choose three rides – free of charge – that you don’t want to queue for! 

The Sweetest Dreams
The ‘no chocolate before bedtime’ rule went straight out the window thanks to these daily delights waiting for us on our bed.

Step back in Time at Magic Kingdom
Relive your childhood at Magic Kingdom (or just your love of Disney movies if you’re slightly older – don’t be ashamed) with rides such as Peter Pan’s Flight and Pirates of the Caribbean, or completely terrify yourself on Space, Thunder and Splash Mountain. The park just got a whole new extension called New Fantasyland, with its crowning jewel being the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Be Our Guest
Is Beauty and the Beast your favourite Disney film? Then make sure you dine at Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom, which is based on the ballroom where Belle and Beast have their famous dance. It’s so authentic, fake snow even falls outside the window!

Sing & Dance along Main Street
The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade down Magic Kingdom’s Main Street is an institution that can’t be missed. Catch it at the foot of Cinderella’s castle, where you’ll see amazing floats sail past with all the Disney princes and princesses on board (Frozen’s Elsa is the clear queen bee at the minute) to all the songs you know and love – chances are you won’t be able to stop yourself singing along. Our fave was Maleficent’s fire-breathing dragon – no sign of Ange, however.

INFO: Daily, 3.30pm

Scream at Hollywood Studios
Prepare to have your heart in your mouth in this park as you plummet to the ground on the Hollywood hotel ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, or the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith – even Steven Tyler’s blaring vocals throughout don’t drown out the screams. Head here if you’re a movie buff too, as you can revisit some of the best films of the past and walk through iconic sets.

Call the Ranger
You might be in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re in the African plains, right? Head to Animal Kingdom for Kilimanjaro Safari, the most authentic safari experience you’ll find this side of the Atlantic. Depending on the time of day, you could spot giraffes, rhinos, elephants and cheetahs – don’t panic if you think they’re going to charge right into your truck. The barriers are well hidden!

Become a Disney VIP
If staying in a Walt Disney World hotel isn’t cool enough, guests get to avail of Extra Magic Hours, meaning you can stay in the park and go on rides long after the general public have left!

Fantastic Fantasmic
Make sure you check out this show at Hollywood Studios. Mickey takes centre stage and everyone in the audience gets a ‘magic’ wand that lights up in time with the music and stage lighting. Make sure you don’t lose it either, as it works in all the other Disneylands worldwide

DETAILS
INFO: Walt Disney World, Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States, www.disneyworld.disney.go.com
PARK TICKETS: A one-day ticket for Magic Kingdom costs Dhs385 and Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot costs Dhs356.
FLIGHTS: Emirates fly to Orlando via New York. Prices cost approximately Dhs5,395 and vary between dates.
Currency: $1 = Dhs36.7 

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