WDWorld Traveler: The P2B Guide to Walt Disney World (Part 1: The Basics)

Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. One of many oversized fantasy buildings you and your family will be pictured in front of.
Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. One of many oversized fantasy buildings you and your family will be pictured in front of.

INTRODUCTION

I’m Neil Trama, part time DJ and full time lover of life. I’ll be covering Walt Disney World (and various other travel and food related topics) for Place to be Nation. I’ve followed the Place to Be since the Scott’s Blog of Doom LiveJournal days and I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World since 1993 and blogging about it since 2007.

I actually got the inspiration to write these articles from the “Movies of the P2B Generation” series. The concept of there being a “P2B Generation” interested me. As I thought about our founder Justin, newly minted father of two, and myself as a recently married man, I realized that so many members of “The Nation” are hitting a particular stage in life. The point where we are planning our summers not by scraping together enough spare cash to jam ten people into a little motel room at the beach, or camping at concert festivals, or even (gasp) taking a road trip with our buddies to WrestleMania. But rather we are planning family vacations and couples’ getaways with our significant others. To this end, I’m combining my firsthand knowledge of the Place to be Nation with the excess of Disney vacation planning information floating around my brain to present the “WDWorld Traveler – P2B Guide to Walt Disney World.”

This is the only place on the internet where planning a Walt Disney World vacation will be approached specifically with the “P2B Generation” in mind. Over the course of six weeks, I’ll be giving you not just the lowdown on the best hotels, rides with the longest lines, and the easiest way to snag a table at a Disney princess breakfast…but also the hotel pool bars with the biggest beer menus, where to find some high quality AC in the Florida heat, and yes, I’ll even tell you where Kevin Nash threw Rey Mysterio like a lawn dart into the side of a production truck during a taping of Nitro.

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The P2B Guide to Walt Disney World assumes that readers have a basic understanding of what Walt Disney World is (a vacation destination outside Orlando, FL with theme parks, water parks, a crapton of hotels, and other jazz) and have at least some interest in visiting at some point in the near future (if you’re interested in camping at a National Park or going to a beach in the Caribbean, why would you read an article on Walt Disney World anyway?)

THE BASICS

The Walt Disney World Resort (and that is its full name) opened in 1971 outside of Orlando, FL as a sequel to the Disneyland Park, near the Walt Disney Studios lot in Anaheim, CA. What started as a theme park (Disney’s parks are “theme” parks not “amusement” parks) with a few hotels and a campground, has grown to include four theme parks, two water parks, eighteen resorts, a campground, a nightlife district, golf courses, a sports complex, residential areas, an outsourced hotel district, and more. So…it’s big.

Making the most out of your vacation requires a game plan and some beforehand knowledge of how everything works. In recent years, Disney itself has begun to embrace the obsessive Disney World vacation planning culture spawned by the internet. Through their own “My Disney Experience” website and app, future guests can make restaurant reservations, reserve ride times, special fireworks viewing locations, and Disney character meet-and-greets, or even check-in to their hotel days before leaving home. But how do you do all this? Why would you? Do you have to?

Quite simply, no, you do not HAVE to do any of this planning. You can ignore this article, stop reading, just show up at the front gate on the first day of your trip and have a great time. But if you want to make the absolute most of your vacation (and if you haven’t booked yet and haven’t seen the prices of everything yet, trust me you will want to get your money’s worth) then you need to put in a little bit of legwork ahead of time and make sure all your (Donald) ducks are in a row before you leave home.

Over the course of this series of articles I will tell you:
1. How to get to Walt Disney World
2. Where to stay
3. When to ride your favorite attractions (Disney rides are “attractions”)
4. What restaurants are worth trying and need booking ahead of time
5. Why you’re going to love Walt Disney World

Lastly, if you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation or thinking about it, feel free to shoot me an e-mail with any of your vacation planning questions and I’ll try my best to answer them. If they’re interesting, I’ll include them in the article regardless of if they pertain to the article or not…cause hey, reader participation is fun! E-mail neilt@placetobenation.com!

Author: Neil Trama