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Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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The Magic of Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World (WDW) is a magical vacation destination. Covering an expanse of over 47 square miles, it includes four major theme parks, three water parks, a sports complex, six golf courses, a shopping center, and two nighttime entertainment complexes. WDW also boasts seventeen themed resort hotels and a campground.

Walt Disney World has something for everyone -- the theme park enthusiast, the naturalist, the sports enthusiast, the romantic, and the gourmet. Walt Disney World has both high technology and low technology, fantasy and reality. The gardens of Walt Disney World are gorgeous. Its transportation system is expansive and efficient. Disney's employees, known as cast members, are helpful and strive to make you -- the guest -- happy.

Of course, the four major theme parks are the main attraction at Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom (MK) is a wonderful collection of adventure, heritage, fantasy, and science fiction. Walt Disney's dream of an Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow (Epcot) showcases both technology and world culture in a unique mix of attractions and exhibits. At the Disney Studios you can see television and movie production and enjoy many of your favorite films and shows from the past, too.  Disney's Animal Kingdom, the newest jewel in the Walt Disney World crown, is a blend of nature and adventure packaged with all of the exotic atmosphere that Disney's Imagineers could muster.

In addition to the major parks, three water parks and a handful of other attractions are available to resort guests. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn would be right at home at the old swimming hole, River Country. Typhoon Lagoon is a lush tropical paradise...hit by a tremendous storm not long ago. Blizzard Beach was Florida's first ski resort...until the snow from the freak winter storm melted. There are several Disney-themed miniature golf courses and for the more serious sports enthusiast, 99 holes of "real" golf, tennis, beach volleyball, fishing, swimming, hiking, and water skiing.

Downtown Disney includes three areas of shopping, dining, and nighttime fun.  The Village Marketplace is a wonderful collection of unique, interesting, and fun stores and boutiques.  Pleasure Island, is primarily a nightspot with shopping, dining, and nightclubs - but many of the shops and restaurants are open during the day, too.   The West End is the newest addition to Downtown Disney and adds additional restaurants and shops.

Another nighttime option is Disney's Boardwalk.  Scattered along the boardwalk is a wonderful array of clubs, restaurants, and shops.  The atmosphere is a throwback to 1930's Coney Island with the vendors, street performers, games of chance, and other amusements scattered about.

Walt Disney World provides hotels and resorts themed to almost any taste. If Victorian elegance is your thing, the Grand Floridian can satisfy. Modern, urban tastes are met at the Contemporary resort. If the sun and sand of the Pacific islands interest you, the Polynesian Resort would be a wise choice. Resorts reminiscent of turn-of-the-century New England, the ante-bellum South, and Key West are also available. Wilderness Lodge, one of WDW's most elaborately themed resorts, is the epitome of the national park lodges built during the 1920's and 30's. The wild northwest pine forests, wood burning fireplaces, and geysers are the specialty here.  The newest resort at Walt Disney World, Animal Kingdom Lodge, abounds with details such as a thatched roof, a rope bridge spanning the multi-story lobby, and lovely chandeliers decorated with African tribal headdresses and all of that topped off with a spectacular 30+ acre savanna stocked with giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and hundreds of avians.

Over two hundred restaurants provide abundant meal options ranging from the finest and most romantic multi-course meals to family dining to fast food from food courts and snack pushcarts. At Walt Disney World you can feast on fine French cuisine, be entertained by belly dancers as you dine on Moroccan faire, or relish a New England-style clambake.

It is very difficult to understand the size, scope, and variety of Walt Disney World until you have actually been there. The theme parks, attractions, resorts, and restaurants of WDW offer something to everyone. No matter what your interest, you are sure to find loads of fun for everyone in the family.

Without a doubt, the magic of Walt Disney World makes this a wonderful and unique vacation destination!

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MousePlanet® is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at www.disney.com. This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary, editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change. Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.