Let’s Do DISNEY
At this time of year my Disney World bookings hit a peak as the best offers are released. It is one of the most popular family destinations in the world and one of my favourites! However, it can also be confusing to plan and lots of people I speak to don’t know where to start so here are answers to some of the most common questions I’m asked.
WHEN SHOULD WE GO?
If you are restricted to school holidays, Easter is a great time to visit. The weather is pleasant, warm enough but not too hot & humid. But, expect the parks to be busy as it is one of the most popular times of the year and flights and accommodation will be expensive.
A cheaper option in school holidays is last 2 weeks in August – you will find prices drop and the parks are quieter as lots of American schools are back. It will be hot though and be prepared for a downpour every afternoon. Outside of school holidays, I love early November. Plan your dates to get the end of the Halloween celebrations and the beginning of Christmas!
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK?
This isn’t the kind of holiday to leave until the last minute! Unlike other destinations bookings can be made up to 2 years in advance and the best offers are usually for early bookers. For peak dates like Christmas and Easter it is essential to book early as availability can go very quickly. Look out for offers – if you plan to stay in a Disney hotel try and book when the Free Disney Dining offer is released.
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO TAKE THE CHILDREN?
Disney has something for all ages and many people take babies plus grandparents. However, if this is a once in a lifetime family trip I think the perfect age for children to go is 5-9. At this age they are usually tall enough to go on the rides but still young enough to enjoy the Disney magic and meeting the characters. I wouldn’t worry too much about whether they will remember every detail of the holiday – you’ll have pictures and video to look back on.
SHOULD I STAY IN A DISNEY HOTEL OR A VILLA?
There are certainly lots of advantages to staying in a Disney Hotel. It’s easy to get around using the free transportation to the parks, they will even pick you up from the airport! You can enter the parks earlier and stay later and you are able to make Fastpass & Dining reservations further in advance. However, staying in a Disney hotel is almost always a more expensive option. For larger families and those who want more space, villas are a great choice. For less than the price of a deluxe hotel room you can have a 4 Bedroom Villa with full kitchen, games room and private pool – and you get your own bedroom rather than sharing.
DO I NEED TO DRIVE?
Driving in Orlando is pretty straightforward and if you are staying in a villa I strongly recommend you have a car. But if driving on holiday is not for you, lots of offsite hotels have shuttles to the theme parks or if you are in a Disney hotel you have free transportation included.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER THEME PARKS?
There is a lot more to Orlando than Disney! Depending on the age of the children, schedule in a visit to Universal Orlando, home to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There is also Seaworld, Discovery Cove, Legoland, Water Parks, Mini-Golf and a little further afield Busch Gardens and the Kennedy Space Centre. Research the ticket options as if you want to visit multiple parks you can save money buying combined tickets.
Read more of our travel picks here: www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk/category/travel/