Walt Disney World®, Orlando
A timeless classic
Long at the top of the list of best family destinations, Walt Disney World®, Orlando, needs no introduction. Whether you've dreamed of it since your childhood or allowed yourself to be charmed by the magic of this fabulous site, a trip to Walt Disney will undoubtedly end up on many 'best experiences ever' list. The huge site covering an area of 111 km2 is constantly updated with new attractions and activities, new facilities and new shows, all reflecting the latest film releases from the company and major film studios. In just a few hours, you can find yourself at the gates of iconic Disney Castle, eyes wide open, a smile cracking from ear to ear, and ready to embark on a wonderful adventure.
This is what the world of Mickey and Friends has to offer, young and old alike.
Theme and water parks
The Walt Disney World® site is divided into 4 distinct theme parks, each offering a multitude of attractions intended for both children and adults: thrilling rides, characters, animation, music and more. In addition, its 2 water parks are sure to offer you hours of fun under the hot Florida sun.
Magic Kingdom Park
With over 40 attractions and rides alone, Magic Kingdom Park is where you can meet all of your favorite Disney characters. All the beautiful princesses are there, including Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine and Snow White, as well as Aladdin, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, the Monsters Inc., the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Seven Dwarfs, to name a few. just a few of the celebrities you might run into. The streets are brought to life with spontaneous musical and theatrical performances and the famous Mickey's Day Parade and stunning evening fireworks. Please note that times and sites may vary.
For lovers of science, geography and technology, Epcot Park is a must-see. Come and interact with your favorite characters in their respective element, whether in space, on the ocean floor, or in their homeland. So come take a boat ride with Elsa in the winter world of Frozen, dive to the bottom of the ocean with Nemo and party with Donald Duck in Mexico! Many interactive science and technology experiences are also offered at Future World, where imagination is the key to fun.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Live the movie set experience and find yourself in the midst of all the action of your favorite movies at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Star Wars fans will be delighted, both by the rides and the various indoor and outdoor exhibitions, so Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, Yoda, BB-8 and Luke Skywalker invite you to the confines of their universe.
Are you more of the Pixar type? No problem! The all new Toy Story Land is now ready to welcome you. With Woody, Buzz et Cie, you will be immersed in the fabulous world of toys, Disney style! Then, to test your limits, you can end your visit near the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ™, where a haunted elevator will make you experience strong emotions.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Animal lovers cannot resist the attractions offered by Disney's Animal Kingdom. Divided into different worlds, including Africa, Asia, the Oasis, DinoLand, Discovery Island and Rafiki's Planet Watch, this theme park offers a host of shows and interactive encounters. A safari or a walk in the jungle will allow you to greet a wide variety of land and water animals, while a visit to DinoLand will impress you with its life-size dinosaur skeletons.
The new Pandora - The World of Avatar attraction offers you an adventure in the heart of magical nature. Several extraordinary experiences await you, including an exciting 3D flight on the back of a banshee, a walk in a bioluminescent forest and a hike through floating mountains.
A Walt Disney package cannot be complete without going through one of the site's 2 water parks. Whether it's relaxing on the beach, scuba diving or having fun in the waterslides, these 2 destinations are brimming with experiences that are sure to please everyone.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon: Water rides are featured here, offering thrills for young and old alike. Cruise down the air tube rapids or tackle the dizzying waterslides. Then, during the summer months, Lilo and Stitch join you for a big tropical party inspired by the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Surfing has always attracted you? The innovative and safe wave pool offers you the chance to take a private lesson to learn the basics of this popular sport.
Disney's Blizzard Beach: Under the theme "ski resort", the refreshing atmosphere of this wintery park is sure to make you forget the heat of Florida. Mount Gushmore, one of the tallest and fastest slides in the world, awaits you. A leisurely stroll on the river is also offered to you, or come and relax on the white sand beach. Young children will also find something for themselves in an aquatic play area with an ice castle-shaped fountain and in the water slides suitable for toddlers.
Activities and entertainment
While planning your Disney trip, you will probably be tempted to attend one of the many shows that are on view, do a little shopping or just relax a bit under the shade of a palm tree, question of taking a break between two rounds of the merry-go-round! The entertainment and activities are as varied as their locations, so you'll be spoiled for choice.
A must-see is without doubt the awe-inspiring Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage musical, presented on Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, featuring Beauty, the Beast and all the animated props taken from this timeless Disney classic.
Captain Jack Sparrow's pirate training course will teach you the basics of piracy and swordplay, plus hone the art of scheming! This school is located at Magic Kingdom Park.
Every evening, Disney's Hollywood Studios presents Disney Movie Magic, a screening of the great Disney classics in alternation. In addition, the musical show under the stars Fantasmic! features Mickey Mouse, in a grandiose scenario where good and evil collide in one of his dreams.
At Animal Kingdom Park, you will have the chance to attend the Festival of the Lion King, with its life-size puppets telling the colorful story of Simba, to the tunes of popular songs from the film.
Several other film heroes are also featured in numerous performances, such as Nemo, Elsa, Indiana Jones, Guardians of the Galaxy, Alice in Wonderland and many more. Of course, Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Goofy and Daisy roam the streets every day and are always ready to hug you and take a photo with you!
The sports complex
The contemporary 230-acre ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex boasts state-of-the-art professional facilities that can accommodate over 60 sports and a host of athletic events for all ages and abilities. Come and compete with your team or simply experience the excitement from the stands.
Beauty and training centers
If you feel like pampering yourself a bit, know that some hotels have spas, which offer a full range of luxurious beauty and relaxation treatments. What could be better after a busy day! Visit the Mandara Spa, located in the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, for a Balinese treatment, or unwind at the Senses Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort with a enveloping massage. Plus, athletes don't have to worry as the site has 6 fitness centers equipped with top-of-the-range equipment, enough to keep fit even during your Disney vacation.
You will certainly want to bring back a souvenir from your stay at Walt Disney World®, whether it is Mickey ears, a soft toy or a sweater. It will no doubt be difficult for you to choose among the countless stores offering items bearing the image of the company! In addition to all of these, you will find other popular banners such as Colombia, Kiehl’s, Oakley, Kate Spade New York, Lacoste, Coca-Cola and even Lego®. More than 300 shops are spread over the entire site to make your stay more magical.
Plus, if you're visiting Walt Disney World® at a party like Halloween or Christmas, expect seasonal surprises all over the site.
Accommodation and catering
An all-inclusive Disney package is often the option that people will choose for peace of mind. With so many attractions, it is impossible to visit the entire site in one day. Staying on the site itself is therefore the easiest option to make your visit profitable. With 31 hotels spread across the site, it's easy to find a room to suit your needs and budget. A price range from "Value" to "Deluxe" allows everyone to find what they are looking for. Some hotels, including the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel and the Four Season Orlando, offer vacation packages that include daily tickets with access to theme parks.
If wilderness lies dormant within you, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort Campground is designed for you. Able to accommodate both tents and RVs, the campground offers all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable. In addition to offering a host of activities such as archery, pony rides or the rental of watercraft, the campground located in the heart of lush greenery allows you to experience the Disney experience otherwise.
When hunger strikes, you will certainly find something to replenish your energy in the more than 400 restaurants on the site. Internationally inspired dishes are offered at the many family buffets, in the fast food outlets, and in the casual or upscale restaurants. In addition, it is possible to opt for the prepaid meal plan and thus enjoy yourself without having to take out your wallet! Some restaurants also host dinner shows, to satisfy your thirst for entertainment. For gourmets, festivals and culinary workshops take place at certain times of the year at different sites to introduce you to new flavors.
Plan your visit
As you will have noticed, Walt Disney World® is full of activities and while it is impossible to see and visit everything in one day, you can plan your visit to Mickey's country so that you are right back home. , filled and the head filled with wonderful memories.
The right period
It is first of all important to choose the date on which you wish to travel. In fact, ridership varies depending on the period chosen, thus influencing the average waiting time at each attraction, and your level of pleasure!
If possible, avoid school vacations and Canadian and American statutory holidays, as well as the summer period. Also, remember that summer in Florida can be extremely hot at times, so you will need to take this into consideration. The best time to go soak up the magic of Disney is from September as the weather gets warmer and the return to class reduces the number of visitors. In addition, you could come across a great deal on a Walt Disney package by agreeing to travel out of season.
This will depend on several factors, including the period chosen. You must calculate more time for each of the attractions you wish to visit during periods of high traffic. Also, choose the theme park that appeals to you the most and list the attractions you want to see. Depending on whether you are traveling with very young children or with teenagers, your activities and the speed of your travels will vary. Don't forget to take meal breaks and toilet breaks into account as well! These are places where you may need to line up. Once everything has been taken into account, you can then decide to spend 1, 2 or 3 days in the same park before visiting another. Many people also decide to take the opportunity to visit the city of Orlando and the surrounding area. You ultimately need to calculate the travel time to the site, whether you are traveling by car or by plane. A trip to Walt Disney World® can therefore vary from a single day to a full week, depending on individual tastes and schedules.
What to expect
To get the most out of your visit, plan for the weather: rain gear, warm clothes for chilly evenings and headwear, sunglasses and sunscreen for days when the sun is shining down. You're probably going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, so good shoes will help.
To save time, you can purchase a FastPass + that allows you to pre-pre-book access to attractions, entertainment, and character encounters, thereby reducing wait times. Plus, some restaurants accept advance reservations, saving you time at mealtimes. If you and your family are loyal Mickey fans, purchasing an Annual Pass can be a great option if you plan to return more than once.
Also, if your English leaves something to be desired, be aware that audio guides are available in multiple languages for many of the theme park attractions. Also remember to get and study the maps of the different parks before your trip to better find your way when you arrive at your destination.
Finally, do your research: do some research online and consult brochures to help you plan your Disney vacation.
Walt Disney World® has been, since its opening in 1971, a simply magical place and an ultra popular travel destination. Having seen nearly 150 million visitors walk through its doors in 2017, it's no surprise that you too are considering this fabulous location for your next vacation. Easy and quick to get there from Quebec, your visit to the magical world of Disney will undoubtedly be forever etched in your memory and that of your children.