Disney World for the Anti-Disney

RM-Be-Our-Guest-GargoyleI know this guy.  To protect his identity, let’s call him Brad.  Brad’s a nice guy – young, married, couple of kids, avid sportsman – Brad hunts everything for which there’s a season, including alligators.  Recently, Brad overheard another friend ask me about a recent trip to Walt Disney World.  Brad stepped on up to join our conversation and said, “My wife wants to take our kids there.” and then…Brad actually shuddered.  In dread.  He proceeded to explain that he sincerely hoped that his in-laws would be up to the task so he wouldn’t have to go (on vacation with his children).  Hunh.  I’d heard these Anti-Disney-ites exist, but had never actually come face-to-face with one until Brad.

I’ve met people who have been to Walt Disney World and found it not to their liking.  I’m okay with that!  They tried it, (usually with no planning whatsoever) didn’t like it and don’t want to go back.  I think, “Yay!  One less person to take up space in line!”  I respect their opinion and understand that they probably need to go somewhere that requires little to no advance Belle and Gastonplanning or research.  But Brad has never been to Walt Disney World or any other Disney theme park.  His opinion is that Disney parks are just a bunch of carnival rides for little kids with some Disney characters thrown in and he’d rather stay home and do sportsman stuff.

Here’s the deal – I would never try to convert an Anti-Disney person.  Certainly none of them are reading this now.  I would, however, be completely sympathetic to the families of these rare, closed-minded and stubborn individuals and would like to offer some potential enticements for the Anti-Disney-ite in your life.  The idea here is that they join you for vacation and during the day, you go with the children to the parks while the Anti-Disney-ite takes in other activities.  At least you could all meet up at the end of the day and share a nice meal.  You’d all be on vacation together technically, and everyone would be having a good time.

IMG_3020Disney World for the Anti-Disney

While the family is riding Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, their Anti-Disney-ite could be…..

Fishing – One option is some serious bass fishing.  Sure it’s catch and release, but this awesome package for the angler in your family also includes a guide, rod, reel, tackle and so much more!  For a more relaxed and on-your-own experience, dock-side fishing is also available (catch and release).  Read all the details here.

While everyone else is exploring Africa in the Animal Kingdom, the Anti-Disney-ite can be….

Boating – They can take their pick!  Canoes, catamaran, motorized boats in a huge variety of sizes – there are a bunch of boats to choose from and some wonderfully beautiful waterways to explore.  Check out all the details here.

You and the kids might be having the time of your lives meeting Stitch and your beloved Anti-Disney-ite can be enjoying…

A Segway Tour – The Wilderness Back Trail Adventure is available for some off-road exploration!  At the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, your Anti-Disney-ite can not only learn to ride a Segway (if they don’t already know how), they can experience a scenic tour off the beaten track, far away from theme parks and characters.  Interested?  Get the scoop here.

While the family hunts the elusive Yeti, your beloved Anti-Disney-ite can go…Expedition Everest Queue Yeti Museum

Bowling – Not just any bowling, but retro bowling with the added bonus of an incredible menu!  Splitsville in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs is the place to be for folks who like to bowl or eat or listen to live music.  Explore the possibilities here.

To the Movies – There is one of the coolest theaters I’ve ever heard of at Disney World!  Near Splitsville, in Downtown Disney, you can find a dine-in AMC 24 Theater.  If your Anti-Disney-ite cannot find anything else to do (or the weather is lousy), this may be just the ticket (see what I did there?).

Golf – Raymond has played a round of golf at Disney World and really enjoyed the beauty and challenge of the course (The Palm).  He mentioned that the service in the pro shop was excellent and the rental clubs were of high quality.  Two thumbs up for golf at Disney World from my favorite golf enthusiast!  Everything you need to know is here.

RM-Rose-and-CrownLounges – When all else fails, there are a staggering number of lounges, bars, and pubs at Walt Disney World.  Places to watch sports, hear live music, sample interesting wines and beers from all over the world – if your Anti-Disney-ite wants some relaxation indoors, away from the kid-filled crowds, there are some really great places to enjoy adult refreshments and soak up the atmosphere.  For any and all Disney beer-related information, Beers and Ears is the place to go.

What did I miss?  Do any of you have an Anti-Disney family member or loved one?  Have you coaxed them on a Disney vacation yet?



My Walt Disney World Wish List

DVC Resort Bay Lake Tower / Walt Disney WorldOur list of “must-do’s” for every visit to Walt Disney World is pretty long and seems to get longer all the time.  Sometimes I think we may need to shorten that list or stay longer on vacation, otherwise we may never have enough time to try some of the items on my Walt Disney World Wish List.  (I’m humming that song from Tangled, “I’ve got a Dream” as I type.)

This is not the pie-in-the-sky list of things I’d do if money were no object (that’s a list for another day).  I’m not talking about extravagant or expensive add-ons here, I’m talking about things I know about and have always wanted to experience, but have never made the time.  This list, if I gave it enough thought, would actually be pretty long – so I’m narrowing it down to 5 completely random items.

1. Spend more time on the Boardwalk.  I’d like to stay there someday because I love the The Boardwalk at Walt Disney Worldresort’s proximity to Epcot, but I’d be happy just visiting again at a leisurely pace.  I’ve only been there once, to eat at the Flying Fish (delicious with great service), and didn’t have time to fully explore and experience all the area has to offer.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to eat at the Trattoria al Forno – the restaurant replacing Kouzzina.  We love Italian food!

2. Spend Christmas at Walt Disney World.  We’ve visited Walt Disney World at Christmastime on more than one occasion, but we’ve never been away from home for Christmas Day.  A time in our lives – a window of opportunity – will open in the future that will allow us to take some of our most beloved holiday traditions on the road.  When that time Christmastime at Walt Disney Worldcomes, I’ve got a list of things I want to see and do.  For example – I love doing the resort loop to see all the gorgeous Christmas decorations at the resorts, but I’ve never seen the Wilderness Lodge at Christmas and I hear it’s spectacular!

3. Bowl at Splitsville.  We’re not avid bowlers, mostly because the closest lanes are 30 miles from home and are pretty rundown (a little sketchy, to be honest).  We’d bowl more if we had a better facility – bowling’s fun!  The thing about Splitsville is that I’ve heard so many great things about the food!  So bowling would be a treat, I think, and if it were combined with great food and beverages, it would be an experience!  The next time we find ourselves at Disney World on a rainy day, I’m going to suggest we make our way to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs for some bowling action!

4. Rent a watercraft.  I want to cruise around in a little boat and see the Walt Disney World property from a different perspective.  I’d rent my boat at the Contemporary Resort’s marina so I could explore Bay Lake.  Zipping around on the water and seeing the sights sounds both fun and relaxing to me.Crossing Bay Lake

5. Skip a day in the parks to go exploring.  Except for the days we arrive and leave, we’re always gung-ho for park action.  The luxury of skipping a day has never been mine.  We usually spend between 5 and 7 days on a Disney vacation.  I want an 8th day.  Stuck right in the middle of the week to go out and see what’s at all the resorts I’ve never visited before.  If staying at Bay Lake Tower (our home resort), I could walk over to Magic Kingdom and catch a bus to a resort I’m curious about, then return to Magic Kingdom and do it again.  For sure if I had the time and I was at Disney World at anytime during the last four months of the year, I’d love to see the guests’ decorations for Halloween or Christmas at Fort Wilderness – I hear they are a fantastic sight to see.

That’s it!  Those are the first five things that came to mind.  Have you done any of these?  What’s on your Walt Disney World Wish List?

Embracing the Rainy Day at Walt Disney World

Rainy Day in Disney's Animal KingdomI’m going to be a little bossy here for a second (imagine that!):  Do NOT go home from your Walt Disney World vacation whining about the weather.  Do. Not. Complain.  In the summer, it rains in Florida.  A lot.  If you don’t realize that going into the trip, you’re going to be surprised and disappointed!  Plan for rain – during certain times of the year, you’ll need to plan for daily rain.  That’s right – it rains every afternoon sometimes – a quick shower that comes and goes, but may be a torrential downpour for a while.  The average monthly rainfall is over 7 inches for June, July and August.  It’s HOT in Florida, too – but I’ll save being bossy on that topic for another day.

Back to the rain. You have two choices when it rains.  Tough it out or pack it in.  Here are my suggestions for IMG_3351embracing the rain – no matter which choice you go with.

1. Make like a good Boy Scout and bring a rain poncho to the parks during the rainy season.  Shoes that are water resistant or will dry quickly are helpful, too.  Flip-flops can become hazardous, near deadly instruments of torture in a downpour as they become very slippery on both the bottom and the foot bed….beware! Walt Disney World in the Rain

2. Hang in there.  Try to stay as dry as possible and wait it out.  Go for an indoor attraction like Mickey’s PhilharMagic or Hall of President’s in the Magic Kingdom, a movie in Epcot’s World Showcase (in Canada, China, or France), wait in the LONG (but dry) line for Soarin’ in Epcot’s Future World, check out the Great Movie Ride or MuppetVision 3D in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  In Animal Kingdom, you can see It’s Tough to be a Bug.  If it’s not raining hard, grab a snack and a seat and people-watch for a few minutes.  Wait and see if the clouds clear up.

3. Shop.  There is no shortage of shops in Walt Disney World!  Take the time to browse – if you’reIMG_1194 usually rushing from thrill ride to thrill ride, you’ll find an undiscovered treasure trove of unbelievable Disney items for wearing, decorating, eating, and collecting.  Find souvenirs and gifts for everyone including your dog.  Just the number of different hats is staggering.

4. Head on over to Downtown Disney for bowling or a movie or both.  We wouldn’t normally spare the time for an activity we can experience at home, but rainy days may call for some adjustments and accommodation. Splitsville, the new bowling hotspot in Downtown Disney and an AMC Theater (complete with dine-in options) are side by side in the Westside district. Walt Disney World Resort Pizza Delivery

5. When the going gets wet, the wet get going.  Pack it in, people – sometimes the rain just won’t let up – everybody’s wet, cold and cranky.  This is the time to head on back the resort and order a pizza, watch some TV and rest up for better weather…which should come around unless you happen to be in Orlando during a hurricane.  Then you have my permission – encouragement even – to dismiss my bossy directive at the beginning of this post and complain away.  Whine til the cows come home.  If your entire vacation has been wiped out by a hurricane (it’d probably have an oddly mild name like Dudley), you deserve sympathy and a do-over.  I hope this hasn’t ever happened to any of you and hope it never does.

What are your Walt Disney World rainy day tips?