Everything BUT the Parks

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Everything but the Parks
All you can do without visiting the theme parks
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Sue Holland

Welcome to Everything but the Parks

Friday, April 13, 2001

Sue Holland is — without peer — MousePlanet's most prolific trip report contributor.

Her trip reports have become very popular for MousePlanet readers. The reason for that popularity is that Sue visits Walt Disney World (WDW) so often that she tends to do things that a "typical" tourist wouldn't do. She goes to the out-of-the-way places and enjoys the little details that make the resort such a wonderful vacation destination.

If you haven't read Sue's trip reports, this is an excellent chance to catch up!  There's a link to all of Sue's reports in the margin to the right.

"You're going to Disney again?"

Hi everyone! Thanks for clicking on the link to this column. Hopefully you'll find information and opinions that will be both helpful and interesting. What you'll read are obviously my opinions, and not those of the Walt Disney Company. I won't waste your time by writing about anything I don't have firsthand knowledge of, though. Feel free to write with any ideas for articles you'd like to see in the future, and I'll try to work that research into my upcoming Disney trips.

Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy the view while you can,
you won't often visit the major Walt Disney World parks with Sue!

Speaking of trips, I'm sure many of you have had friends ask you where you're going on vacation, and when you reply, "Walt Disney World," your friends respond with something along the lines of... "Again?"

For many, the initial trip that's planned as a once-in-a-lifetime vacation ends up being the first of many trips over a lifetime. Walt Disney World (WDW) is so vast, with so many things to do, that you can visit repeatedly without running out of things to do. It's often not until you have made several trips that you start noticing the many little things that set Disney apart from the outside world.

Yes, it's crowded. Yes, it's hot and sticky in the summer. Yes, it's expensive. But, it can make you so eager to return that you'll gladly forget about all the negatives.

As you visit again and again, your priorities shift. It's no longer necessary to ride each and every attraction; instead, you focus just on your favorites. This allows more time to try different restaurants, browse through the many Disney resorts, sit in the shade with a good book, lay by your Disney pool, or any other myriad of activities.

The Casitas Quiet Pool, at Coronado Springs Resort

I find that my favorite things to do on WDW trips are things that have nothing to do with WDW. WDW just happens to provide a safe, clean, attractive and friendly environment in which I can engage in recreational and social activities.

What you enjoy also depends on who you visit with. A trip with young children is completely different from a trip made by an adult couple without kids. Both can be wonderful, but in different ways.

In future articles I plan to cover those things that are mostly outside of the four main theme parks of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney-MGM Studios. These include things such as the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resorts located in Vero Beach and Hilton Head Island, as well as the Disney Cruise Line. I will also discuss traveling solo, with different-sized groups, and even with people you've never met before.

The Disney Magic

By the time this article is published, I should be either at WDW or at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort. The next article begins a series featuring this resort. Although Hilton Head Island Resort is a DVC resort, rooms have not yet sold out with club members, so nonmembers can book units there. About five hours away from WDW, anyone driving down I-95 from northeast Florida passes right by the Hilton Head exit.

Sue's Disney Vacation Club Towel... with an appropriate
message for this frequent guest!

Until next time, thanks again for stopping by, and best wishes for a safe and healthy Easter or Passover season.

Contact Sue at sue.holland@mouseplanet.com.


Sue has been hooked on Walt Disney World since her first visit in 1972 with her parents and younger brother. She kept returning more frequently until she moved to Florida in 1986.

After joining the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) in 1997, she now visits almost monthly. She also spends time at the DVC's non-WDW locations, and is experienced with the Disney cruise ships.

She takes many of these trips on her own, but she's also toured WDW with large groups of people, including families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

She works as the Administrative Services Division Head for a large residential facility administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families. She currently resides in Southwest Florida with her teenage son.

Sue is one of our most prolific trip report writers. Read her trip report archive here.

You can contact Sue here.

Get the latest info about the resort at “Park Update: Walt Disney World.”


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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.