The Disney experts are brilliant when it comes to detail! I mean, there are some next level tricks they have employed to make you immersed in the Disney atmosphere. Last week I talked about my family's TOP 5 FAVORITE SMELLS at WDW, and I could ( and likely will) write a post about the visual tricks used throughout the Magic Kingdom. (I am such a GEEK) Today though, my advice to all WDW visitors is; Watch where you walk.
No, I'm not talking about crowds, strollers or the groups that feel it necessary to stop in the middle of the walkways to contemplate their next move, blocking the flow of visitors trying to get from point A to point B, causing a traffic jam and anxiety! (Sorry, I have feelings about those who block traffic) No, I'm talking about looking down every once in a while. The park pavements are beautifully and purposefully created with texture fitting the area around it and riddled with details that are most often overlooked. Here are a few of my favorites and where to find them. No photos because 1) I didn't take them and 2) Why show everyone exactly where they are and ruin the fun of the hunt?
First up is a huge compass rose. You will find this beauty in the vicinity of the Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. You have or will walk all over this spot a few times on your visit. Heck, I didn't even realize the pavement color had changed! There is at least one other compass rose in the park that I know of, but my lips are sealed so you can explore.
Next up is a hidden gem or I guess gems in Adventureland. The pavement in this "land' is imbedded with broken tiles, "jewelry" and "gems". It's as if a pirate was off to burry his treasure and dropped a few items. The particular spot to look for is an area that is imbedded with a few gold coins, jewelry and gems in one place, grouped together. You will know it when you see it by it's high concentration of loot. This would actually be a cute scavenger hunt idea for your little pirates.
Now over to Hollywood Studios. Two giant foot prints are often overlooked; one of a dinosaur, and one of a "Walker". I'm really embarrassed that I didn't pay attention to these areas before because they are pretty obvious when you do notice. I know when I said dinosaur, you probably thought I meant Animal Kingdom, but no, there is a dino print at the HS park. Trust me! If you never find it, message me and I'll tell you where.
The Animal Kingdom I have to just talk about on the whole! I really don't have a favorite thing to walk on in this park but that doesn't mean I don't suggest looking down. It just means there is SO MUCH to see. Where ever you walk in this park, you are stepping on animal, leaf and even human prints. There are remnants of old buildings, straw, places that are "worn out" or "muddy". The walkways are really a work of art that adds to the feel of you surroundings, whether we notice or not. Check it out when you go, its very interesting.
Epcot is home to my absolute favorite thing to walk on in all of Walt Disney World! The Fiber Optic Pavement! If this awesomeness has an official name, I have no idea what it is. It was a distraction for my tired babies when they were young and is so much fun to watch people discover. Now, obviously you WILL see this without having to pay attention...at night... but if you leave the park early you will walk over it without ever knowing since it looks just like regular walkways during the daylight. After dark, these paved squares look like you are stepping on tiny stars, then they change color and create many different patterns. You really have to see it if you never have, it is some very futuristic Disney magic.
Last but not least is not something you should step on but is a delight when you look down and notice. It is what you could call a "seasonal" or "moving" attraction. (insert giggles) We were lucky enough to witness this bit of Disney cuteness on our last trip. If we had been in a hurry, rushing to the next ride and not looking around us we would not have witnessed the mamma duck walking her adorable babies from a grassy area to a water area. This fluffy entourage had it's own Disney Cast Member as a protective escort. The DCM kept a polite distance between the duck family and the onlookers till they were out of traffic. Cuteness overload, so be on watch for friendly natives next time.
That's it. That's my reasons to Look Down and Watch Your Step at Walt Disney World. Remember to look for the little things that make big magic! Do you have a favorite not mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments!
If you are here, reading this post, then you have at least basic knowledge of the magic that is Disney. From the moment you arrive, Disney grabs hold of your senses and you are completely immersed in a whole other world. The colors and textures attract you visually, the music and atmospheric sounds ( birds, crickets etc.) are picked up by your ears and the tastes are too many to go into right now; all of these things help you build strong, vivid memories of your experience. They even cater to your sense of smell by using manufactured and naturally occurring smells in different areas of the park and that's what I found myself and the kiddo's discussing recently. Without further adieu, here are our top 5 smells of Disney World!
A day packed with the expectation and excitement of Disney World is sure to catch up with even experienced visitors. If you are a first timer and find your family on the verge of a monumental, vacation destroying melt-down, have no fear, head to one of our family’s favorite spots to take a break.
Do you have a favorite resting spot in the Magic Kingdom? Tell us about your “rest-a-spell” spot in the comments section
On our trips to Disney World we have stayed in Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts and even Off-site. We love them all for different reasons but our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (for now) is hands down, the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness! I know what you may be thinking; “Why?”, “There are so many more options to choose from, why stay in the woods?”, “No thanks, I’m not camping on vacation.” I get it. I do. Before you mark it off your list of possibilities, let me try to convince you!
The Ft. Wilderness campground first popped up on our radar almost 10 years ago when, on our first visit, we headed out of a busy Magic Kingdom at closing time with HUNDREDS of other tired visitors and saw the boat lines vs. bus lines. While we registered the fact that there were places to stay a boat ride away from the MK, we didn’t think any more about it. Wow, cool boats, oh well, let’s get to the bus.
A couple of years later, we ate dinner at the Trail’s End Restaurant, even remarked on how neat the area was. Our daughter played on the playground while we waited for our reservation. The vibe was relaxing and friendly but we never explored much of the surroundings till we went back a third time a few years ago with my parents, niece and nephew.
On a hot crowded day in the park, we were heading back to our off-site lodgings for a break, when I remembered the Ft. Wilderness had a great shaded playground, wasn’t overly crowded and had things we wanted to check out. We (all 7 adults and kids) took the quick boat ride across the lake for a rest instead of driving back to our condo. We got some drinks and snacks, my parents sat in rocking chairs watching the kids run around and play on a nearly deserted playground then we went exploring. We walked around past the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and saw 3 live deer eating in a little grassy spot! Now, we live in a rural area and deer are not new to us, but seeing 3 deer within reaching distance in the Disney World Ft. Wilderness was pretty cool. The kids then went off to explore the stables. In the words of my dad, “I could just stay here the whole day”.
Now, on to our stay! In 2015, I started planning a trip for April 2016. One of my favorite sites for Disney Crowd and discount ticket info, Undercover Tourist, was just starting to offer HOTEL RESERVATIONS. What? Let me check it out. Browsing through the offerings, I came across the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness and the price was somewhere around 33% off the regular nightly cost. Let’s do it! We did and now we are hooked! The cabins (at the right price) may have ruined us for all other resorts.
What’s so great about it? I’ll tell you.
We did not even get around to the campfire sing-along, s'mores and carriage rides. Or the archery classes and horseback rides! There is always next time. I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if your family might be even remotely interested in a cabin stay, I cannot encourage you enough to try it out! You don’t know what you are missing.
My name is Joni...