Our Trip to Walt Disney World in September, 2009
Friday October 30th 2009, 2:52 pm

My daughter, Jennifer, and I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando for ten days in early September. I would definitely recommend going there at that time of year if you can. I couldn’t believe that there were absolutely no crowds and no waiting for anything. I was prepared to wait in line, or at least have to get a Fastpass for some of the attractions. It was great that we were able to go on even the most popular attractions more than once, with no waiting.

The weather was hot, but not as bad as I expected. We had a heavy thunder shower the first day we arrived, and on three or four days there was a shower, which lasted about 30 minutes, in the late afternoon. The temperatures averaged in the low 30’s during the day, and in the mid 20’s during the evening, which was very pleasant.

We stayed at one of the Walt Disney World resorts, which was very convenient. Transportation by bus, ferry or monorail is there to transport you wherever you want to go, whenever you want it. We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, which is the only resort which has a ferry to take you down a river to Downtown Disney. This pleasant and relaxing boat trip takes about 15 minutes.

The first day we arrived at our resort by the Disney Magic Express bus from the airport in the early afternoon. This is free for people staying at a Walt Disney Resort. After getting settled in our room, we took the ferry to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. We were tired after travelling all day, so we didn’t feel like going to one of the theme parks. As we were getting ready to return to our room, and get ready for our dinner reservation at Boatwrights Restaurant, the skies opened up. It started to thunder and lightening with the heaviest rain I have ever seen. For safety reasons, the ferry stopped running so we had to take one of the Disney buses back to our resort.

Early the next morning we took the Disney bus to the Epcot theme park. Epcot is made up of two sections, Future World and the World Showcase, and is our favourite of the four theme parks. We saw several shows and attractions at Future World but our favourite was Soarin in the Land Pavillion. We ended up going on the Soarin ride three times during our trip. In Soarin you are strapped into your seat and the flying is simulated. You are only a few feet from the ground flying above a giant movie screen with the most amazing scenes. It feels as if you are soaring through the air with the breeze and scents of nature around you. You fly over mountains, oceans, orange groves, ski slopes, forests, deserts, river rafters and many other things. Disney uses machines to put scents into the air as you are travelling over the sights, so you feel you are actually there. I had to keep reminding myself that it was only simulation, and that we couldn’t fall out. It was scary the first time, but very exciting.

The dining plan was included in the cost of our trip so we could order anything on the menu, and we didn’t have to pay anything extra for it. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. Unfortunately the most delicious desserts were included with every meal, except breakfast, and these were hard to resist, so we didn’t. We had dinner reservations on day two at Chefs de France restaurant in the France pavillion in the Epcot World Showcase, and the food was excellent.

On day three, we had breakfast at our resort and took the Disney bus to Epcot again. This time we spent the day going through the pavillions at the World Showcase. The pavillions are operated by countries such as Mexico, Canada, France, Britain, Morrocco, Norway, Japan, China, Germany and the United States. All the employees at these pavillions are from these countries. There are very good quality goods from these countries to purchase and restaurants to try their food. We did a lot of shopping, and it felt as if we were actually in these countries. I bought more things at the United Kingdom pavillion than I did when we went to London, England earlier this year. The prices and the quality of the goods was excellent. We had our dinner at the Rose and Crown Pub in the British pavillion. I had the bangers and mash, which were very good.

The next day we got up very early because we had an early breakfast reservation at the Tusker House Safari Buffet in the Africa area of Animal Kingdom. After breakfast we went on the African Killimanjaro Safari, which is a 20 minute ride though the African landscape. We saw many African animals, which can live in this area because it is similar to the African climate. We spent the rest of the day going to several shows and attractions, such as It’s Tough to be a Bug, Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo - The Musical. Disney uses a lot of 3-D and scent technology in the shows which really adds to the entertainment value.

We had another breakfast buffet reservation the next day at the Hollywood Studio theme park, which used to be called MGM Studios. It was very hot and muggy all day today, which we seemed to mind more than any other day so far. We walked the Streets of American which had the street scapes of some of the largest American cities and saw several stunt shows and musicals. This is the Labour Day weekend so the crowds are larger than they had been the last few days, though not as large as expected. The poor economy in the States this year is really affecting the attendence. We had dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre Restaurant, which was quite an experience. The seating was in 1950’s era cars, which faced a drive-in theatre, and which showed clips of 1950’s sci-fi movies and commercials. It was very entertaining, and the food was good too.

The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom theme park, which seems to be the most popular. It was hot but not as muggy as yesterday. We took the Walt Disney World Railroad through Frontierland, Fantasyland and Mickey’s Toontown Fair. The train didn’t go through Tomorrowland because of construction work, which won’t be finished until November. We went through the Hall of Presidents, the Haunted Mansion and on the Liberty Square Riverboat, which are all very good. We had lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern, and saw several more attractions before having dinner at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. In the evening we relaxed beside the pool across from our room.

The next day was Labour Day, and we went to Animal Kingdom again to see some of the things we didn’t have time to see the first time. These parks are so big that it is hard to see everything in one day. In the late afternoon, we took the bus to Downtown Disney and did more shopping while waiting for our dinner reservation at Wolfgang Puck’s Cafe. This was the only disappointing meal we have had on the Disney Dining Plan, which is surprising because Wolfgang Puck is supposed to have a good reputation. Maybe he needs to look at his quality control at that location.

On the day after Labour Day we went to Magic Kingdom again. We went through Adventureland, which we missed the first time. We saw the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, and went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, among other things. After lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe, we went to see Mickey’s PhilharMagic show, which was very good. I am not a big fan of cartoons or the characters, but I enjoyed these shows. In the afternoon we saw the Dream Along with Mickey show in front of the Cinderella’s Castle.

Our trip is starting to wind down so for the last two days we did things at a more leisurly pace. We spent more time in the resort pool, returning to areas we especially enjoyed and shopping. The crowds were much lighter after the Labour Day weekend. We had dinner at the Coral Reef Restaurant, which is very popular because the tables are next to a huge aquarium. We had a very good table beside the aquarium. We watched the sharks, sea turtles, porpuses and schools of exotic fish swimming beside our table while we are eating fish. The aquarium tanks are three levels deep, and you can see scuba divers in the tanks cleaning the rocks and feeding the fish. It was quite something to see.

We really enjoyed our trip to Walt Disney World. It was a little too much Disney for me, but I am glad I went just once. We took a lot of pictures and bought a lot of Disney T-shirts and memorabilia to remind us of our trip.

Until next time,

Anne