In the interests of full disclosure, let me say that we took our kids there about 25 years ago for three days and didn't stay in a Disney resort property. Also, I was there for a corporate event two years ago, and spent about two hours in the EPCOT park, but it was very controlled and was part of a group activity.
And I won't make this post the blog equivalent of showing you slides of our vacation, either. So with all of that out of the way, here are some quick impressions:
1. Staying in a Disney resort is the way to go. Your considerable investment to do so includes transportation anywhere on the property, among other perks. To be fair, the buses and monorails and boats are often crowded and may many stops, but it sure beats loading, driving and parking your car or a rental.
2. You don't even need a car to get there, thanks to the Disney's Magical Express airport transportation system. Our bags were retrieved by Disney and delivered to our room. And I dropped them off the morning we checked out and didn't see them again until we reached our destination airport. Handy.
3. The food is very good and there are lots of choices. Sit-down dining all the way down to a box of popcorn, it was all superb. We experienced a couple of service delays, but given the volume of visitors, that's almost unavoidable.
4. Service is number 1 with the Disney folks. I read somewhere that every "cast member," as they identify each employee, refers to all visitors as a "Guest," and that "g" is ALWAYS capitalized. I have never heard "my pleasure" so much in a short period of time in my life, as I routinely thank people for what they do for me. And they seem to really mean it, and are always ready to at least attempt to answer any question you might have!
5. Their MagicBands are very handy, too. A wristband with a chip that links to your account, issued to every Guest. No tickets or credit cards. We had been told that not every food stand or souvenir shop was set up to accept the MagicBands, but they were indeed accepted everywhere we went.
6. Yes, there are great fun rides, both old and new, and there are traditional and newer Disney characters roaming the property, but it's easy to forget the immensely entertaining and skillfully performed shows and other attractions. We attended the Lion King Celebration in the Animal Kingdom park and we agreed it was one of the best shows we ever saw!
A great trip (by the way, weather was completely without rain and temperatures in the mid 80's or higher all week) but it's great to be home. Back to reality tomorrow!