Home » The 7 BEST Parts of a Walt Disney World Vacation No One EVER Mentions

The 7 BEST Parts of a Walt Disney World Vacation No One EVER Mentions

Image - Flickr, drdeer

We all know that Walt Disney World is a place full of incredible and unique experiences. If you’re going for the first time, you’re no doubt looking forward to conquering Space Mountain, navigating the Jungle Cruise, exploring World Showcase, or flying high above Pandora.

But while those are the moments that grab all the attention, a Disney vacation is so much more than that. In fact, the best parts of a trip to the Vacation Kingdom are so often much smaller than that — not as grandiose, but no less vivid.

Those are the feelings we’ll work through today: Not the bold sensations you’ll see in Disney’s advertisements, but the simple pleasures you’ll find when you explore the resort yourself.

1. Seeing the Walt Disney World sign for the first time

Image - Flickr, drdeer

As you drive down I-4 toward Walt Disney World, the anticipation is overwhelming. Billboards advertise the newest attractions; Universal and Sea World and all the other amusement offerings of the Orlando area appear right beside your car or bus; the green highway signs point out that these exits are for, yes, the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and so on.

But your Disney vacation is not official until you drive past the big one — the official Walt Disney World sign.

There are a few located at each highway entrance to the property, but they are all grandiose and instantly iconic. When you drive underneath them, you know: you’re finally there.

2. The first time opening your resort room door

Image - Flickr, isfullofcrap

In the 1990s, Michael Eisner figured out that being the Vacation Kingdom was as much about the resort hotel experience as it was about the parks and recreation. If you can give people truly memorable hotel experiences, they’ll come back again and again.

And so, more and more resort hotels opened at Walt Disney World, and they became more and more important to the guest experience.

When you arrive at, for example, Port Orleans Riverside and open your hotel room door, you see a beautifully designed and appointed accommodation that evokes the vacation spirit. That moment of discovery, coupled with the famed closed-circuit TV station broadcasting the “Must Dos of Disney” on repeat, is a small but important ritual in the Disney vacation experience.

3. The early morning stroll around the resort

Image - Flickr, maflanders

But the true magic of the resorts happens not when you arrive for the first time, but when you leave it for the first time to visit one of the parks.

Provided you and your loved ones aren’t late risers, an early morning walk around your resort is as peaceful as Walt Disney World gets. Grabbing a cup of coffee from the counter service location of your choice and walking through the morning dew is a magical revelation. The coffee tastes fresher, and the air smells sweeter. It’s all the beauty of Walt Disney World, but without the hustle and bustle. 

4. When you have trash in your hand, and spot a garbage can instantly


Depending on where you live, finding yourself with trash in your hand can be one of the most uncomfortable moments of your day. Some cities have trash cans every block, while others keep them hidden away in private stores and restaurants.

In some places, it’s customary to carry your trash with you in a bag until you’ve found a suitable receptacle. It can all be quite stressful.

Disney, on the other hand, nearly always keeps trash cans within plain sight. In fact, the cans have become so iconic that fans even buy souvenirs of them.

Their perfect placement, combined with the fun designs they all share, make them some of the only trash cans in the world that make you smile when you see them.

5. The smell of Walt Disney World after it rains


Just as the morning can be the most peaceful part of a Walt DIsney World vacation, the moments after a sudden rainfall can be just as relaxing (as long as you were properly prepared).

The ground is still wet. The air is still crisp. The smell of grass and greenery is filling the atmosphere. It truly is unlike anything else.

If you get caught in the rain, it’s not too fun. But if you’re able to avoid it, make sure to be one of the first people back out in the parks once it stops. You’ll find them at their very best. 

6. The peaceful bus ride back to the hotel


Each morning, guests at Walt Disney World pile into buses (or the other forms of transit, for the lucky ones) and make their way to the major parks. On every single bus, there’s a palpable energy of excitement and wonder. Everyone wonders what’s in store for them.

The bus ride home, however, is … not like that.

As the final guests squeeze on, and the bus driver closes the doors to doom the rest in line to a wait for the next bus, you feel a calm wash over the passengers. When the diver turns off the lights and the bus goes dark, some children fall asleep. Some adults rest their eyes. Some lean against their boyfriends or girlfriends and think about the day they just had. Some just talk quietly about their plans for tomorrow.

Everyone, though, is at peace. It was a fun day. Everyone is happy.

7. The feeling of lying down after a long day in the parks

Image - Flickr, osseous

A vacation to Walt Disney World can be something akin to a marathon. If you aren’t used to walking long distances or standing for large amounts of time, it can feel not too dissimilar to a day spent at the gym.

Unlike the gym, however, you’re usually up and moving form 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM — later if you don’t have small children. That can really take it out of you.

So, at the end of the day, when you finally make it back to your resort, take off your shoes, and lie down on the bed, that’s the simplest pleasure of all. It’s the pleasure of a day conquered; it’s a pleasure that is so simple, yet so powerful.