Monday, December 5, 2011

A Different Way of Touring

Every time we go to Disney World, it is the most wonderful experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I have to admit it’s not a “vacation” in the true sense of the word.  I plan and plan and plan to tour with the least crowds or the shortest walks, but all that walking, all the crowds, the lines, the waits, the getting up for rope drop and staying through the fireworks really doesn’t make for a restful time.

Most dictionaries define vacation as “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday”.  How many times have we come home from our Disney trips, absolutely exhausted?  Why do we put ourselves through that?  Because we love Disney so much is really the answer, but I wonder, can you make Disney a real vacation experience?  Taking into account all the restrictions that most people have – vacation time, school schedules, airfare prices, climate, crowd levels, etc., what has to be done to make Disney a “vacation”?  I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking some more on the subject and here’s what I’ve come up with.  I’d like feedback on if this is how you travel; or any pros/cons. 
Making Disney a vacation rather than a “touring the parks” experience.  Can it be done?   
When I think of vacation, I think of a week on the beach or poolside sipping fruity umbrella drinks, eating to my heart’s content and sleeping in.  Alas, the later is not possible with young children, so I’ll just have to make do with a pool and plenty of kids activities.  Does Disney World have that?  Yup, check one!  However, what I don’t want on my vacation is a day so full of places to go, things to do that I don’t feel rested.  Does Disney World have that?  Nope…well, maybe…here’s what I was thinking.  Is it possible to go to WDW and stay at a resort and only hit a park once or twice during the visit?  I mean, you’ve traveled all the way out there and spent all that money to be located on-property.  How do you resist the temptation to check out the latest attraction at the EPCOT, or have to ride Rock n Roller coaster once?  What if your entire day was spent at the resort poolside, enjoying the many activities offered during the day, and maybe venturing out in the evening for a dinner at another resort?  Sounds heavenly.  Sounds like the makings for a Disney Vacation Club commercial doesn’t it?  No, I’m not advocating or promoting Disney DVC in any way.  We’re not DVC members and, for our family situation, it really doesn’t work; but I like the concept of using Disney World as a “vacation resort” as oppose to a “touring destination”.
The question in my mind has always been: is spending the extra money to stay on property just to enjoy the resort and not focus on the parks really worth it?  Or doesn’t it make better sense to find a vacation destination closer to home for those vacations you just want to use for rest and relaxation?
Coming back year to year just to enjoy certain aspects of the entire WDW complex really appeals to me because, frankly, you just can’t see everything WDW has to offer on one visit.  Combine trying to squeeze everything in day after day, with crowds, heat, sometimes rain, tired kids, and sore feet, I’ve found it’s just not possible.  Focusing on one park each trip would allow a better chance of delving into those Disney details that I just adore.   So, I think taking a step back and looking at Disney in pieces may be a better option.  Just need to convince my husband of that! 
Have you ever done Disney this way?  How did it work? 

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