Disney World for Non Disney People

At some time in your life, you will find yourself at Disney World. Maybe it is a family reunion, a friend's wedding or someone decides you just have to go. I get it. The first time I went to Disney World, I was 35 and had a 6 year old and a 4 year old. For me, it was a family reunion. I never thought I would take a vacation there. And I never realized how much I would LOVE it.

The truth is, if you take some time to plan, you can manage most of the difficulties of a Disney vacation (long lines, crowds, etc.). When you get there, you get a vacation with a huge variety of experiences.

Outside Experiences

First, I didn't realize how naturally beautiful Central Florida is. No one thinks nature and Disney World. You can rent a boat and go fishing, ride a horse, take archery lessons and go on a wagon ride. At night, one of the resorts has a campfire where you can roast marshmallows. In fact, at Fort Wildnerness Resort, you can rent a cabin or a campsite and have a camping experience while going to Disneyworld. Most of the campers decorate their RV's for the Holidays and it is pretty fun to see. You may have to dig a little, but if you need a morning fishing, or an evening on the water, you can find it at Disney World.

Educational Opportunities

The World Showcase in Epcot has authentic pavilions from 11 countries around the world.  The King of Morocco actually sent Moroccan artisans to help design this pavillion. The Norway pavillion has a replica Norwegian stave church. Inside these pavillions are exhibitions from the country. As an example, the Japan pavillion currently has an exhibition on Japanese "cute" culture. These pavilions are staffed with cast members from the respective countries. Taking a 4 year old and a 6 year old on an international trip may be difficult. However, you can start exposing them to cultures around the world in Epcot. My kids are now in their teen years. The World Showcase continues to be their favorite part of Disney World.

Animal Kingdom educational experiences abound. Caring of the Giants allows you to get close to the elephants and observe them interacting with each other. Animation Academy is my daughter's favorite. This is something we do in Disney California Adventure, but they have it in Florida as well. She would just park herself at the Animation Academy and learn how to draw different Disney characters. I myself am not an artist. For me, drawing a decent Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck in 20 minutes is extremely satisfying.


The Food

This part is the most shocking. The food is really good. Now it is safe. I have yet to find bone marrow on a menu but I have found escargot. There are some really good dining options. From crispy yet tender fish and chips, to spare ribs at Morimoto Asia, to barbecue pulled pork at Flame Tree Barbecue there will always be something interesting to try. As well, there are some pretty unique dining experiences. You can eat lunch overlooking the savannah at Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can go to a Hawaiian Luau at the Polynesian. Of course, there is the long running Hoop Dee Doo which is super fun. Find a food Blog (I like Disney Food Blog) and explore the culinary options. You will be surpricsed.

Overall, Disney offers so much more than rides and lines. It does take lots of research and lots of planning. This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, you can create a unique vacation at Disney World.