I just got back last week from a trip to Orlando and felt the need to write this post. But, first, let’s start this off with a hard truth: I’m not into Disney. Favorite Disney movie? Don’t have one. From an early age, I proclaimed that I wasn’t into cartoons and fake storylines. I only had time for real people on screen and in books (is this translating into the reasons I predominantly watch documentaries and read non-fiction as an adult?!).
With that context in mind, it’s no surprise that I was never into Disney. I never asked for a trip to Disney World as a kid—I’m not sure it was even on my radar. But, as a thirtysomething, I found myself standing before Cinderella’s castle. And, guess what, I had fun. No, I didn’t wear mouse ears, but I legitimately had a great time. So, I’m writing this post as a brief intro to Disney World for those who aren’t into Disney.
DISNEY WORLD FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T INTO DISNEY
One more disclaimer: I’m not into amusement parks of any kind. I don’t like the crowds, I don’t enjoy roller coasters (hello, motion sickness), and I burn at the first sight of sun.
All that being said, Disney is just as crowded as I expected, but it’s so clean and well run that it barely bothered me. Seriously, it’s pristine. And, we spent enough time either in the shade waiting for rides or in the rides themselves that I never felt as if I was going to end up with a sunburn.
START YOUR DAY AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM
Most of us non-Disney aficionados probably think of the Magic Kingdom when someone says Disney—and that’s where we started our day. I can’t imagine there’s a better spot to begin your trip as a non-Disney fan because you’ll 100% understand the hype as soon as you see the charming village that leads up to Cinderella’s castle. This place is well done. No detail has been overlooked. Even if you’re not into the stories and have no clue who the characters are, you can still appreciate the thought and effort that has gone into every last inch of the park.
One piece of advice? Get to the park early, but plan to send one person in to stand in the massive line for coffee at the Starbucks that’s waiting for you as soon as you walk in.
When it comes to going on the rides, everyone will advise you to use FastPass+ to sign up ahead of time for the attractions that you definitely want to check out. While there will still be a ride even with the FastPass+, this is a step not to be missed. As far as the actual rides go, even a non-Disney fan will enjoy Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s a Small World is iconic, so you’ll want to add that to your list, but it is what it is—which is stuck in 1950.
HEAD OVER TO EPCOT’S WORLD SHOWCASE
I can’t speak to the rides in Epcot’s Future World since I don’t do roller coasters, but I did enjoy visiting a few of the 11 countries in Epcot’s World Showcase. Of course, it’s Disney so it’s pricey, but the food and drink aren’t your typical amusement park fare. Again, this place is just perfectly executed from start to finish.
We drank tequila and beers in Mexico before settling in in Italy for pizza and red wine. If I could eat and drink my way through all amusement parks then perhaps I could get into this scene.
A FEW MORE DISNEY TIPS
I didn’t want to leave you without a few logistic tips for your Disney trip. First of all, don’t go in the summer if you can avoid it for obvious reasons (it was SCORCHING when I was in Orlando just last week). Second, layer. It could be hot during the day, chilly in the evening, and then pour rain out of nowhere. Don’t get caught unprepared. Lastly, SUNSCREEN. That Florida sun is hot, y’all.
Oh, and get a Dole Whip. Pictured above.