The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation

The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation

by Steven M. Barrett

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Barrett, who has visited the parks almost weekly for over a decade, shares his expertise with itineraries for each park geared to the interests of three different groups: adults and teens, families with younger children, and seniors.


Barrett, who has visited the parks almost weekly for over a decade, shares his expertise with itineraries for each park geared to the interests of three different groups: adults and teens, families with younger children, and seniors.

Editorial Reviews

Endless Vacation
Make your visit to Walt Disney World a magical experience with this guidebook. ..especially good for parents with young children.
July-August 2003
An ideal planning guide, and most especially recommended for vacationing parents with young children in tow!

Product Details

The Intrepid Traveler
Publication date:
Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation Series
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.39(h) x 0.61(d)

Read an Excerpt


A few miles southwest of Orlando, Florida, lies one of the most popular spots on earth, Walt Disney World Resort (WDW). This huge complex contains four separate theme parks, more than two dozen hotels, scores of restaurants, a campground, water parks, golf courses, miniature golf courses, two evening entertainment complexes, a shopping and daytime entertainment district, an adult educational venue for business groups, and a sports complex. Whew! WDW is magical but it's also complicated and often crowded. The unprepared visitor can easily be overwhelmed and left with less than magical memories: long lines, heat and sunburn, exhaustion, expensive food, crying kids.

Don't let that happen to you. WDW is a wonderful place to visit. With proper planning, any WDW visit can be fun from beginning to end. This book is dedicated to giving you the insider tips, practical advice, and customized touring plans you need to have one of the best vacations of your life.

When to Go

You can have fun any time of the year at WDW. In terms of crowds, however, the best time to go is the period from after the Thanksgiving weekend until the week before Christmas (the last days of November and the first two and one-half weeks of December), when the parks are least crowded. The next best times to visit are the first part of November through the weekend preceding Thanksgiving, January 4 through February 7, and the week after Easter through early June.

The most crowded times to come are Christmas Day through New Year's Day, Thanksgiving weekend, the week of Presidents' Day, spring break for colleges, the two weeks around Easter, and mid June through late August. If you visit during the these ultra-busy times of the year, you can expect to pay more for your hotel room and you won't be able to experience as many attractions because long lines build early in the day. However, theme park hours are longer during the busiest seasons and there is more live entertainment on offer.

At slower times of the year, some attractions will probably be closed for maintenance or refurbishment, park hours will be shorter, and you'll have less live entertainment to choose from. These drawbacks are outweighed, however, by the pleasant ambiance created by lighter crowds and generally shorter lines. Furthermore, cooler weather tends to prevail during slower times of the year.
The slower late November and early December time period offers an additional benefit: Walt Disney World is perhaps at its most beautiful during the slowest time of the year! Christmas decorations abound in the parks and hotels. For example, the five million (and still counting) lights in the "Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights" are draped over the streets of the Backlot Tour area of Disney-MGM Studios. In addition, special Christmas events, shows, and parades are scheduled in the parks for your enjoyment. At Epcot, you can make reservations for the "Candlelight Processional," a program that includes a choir, orchestra, and a guest celebrity who reads the Christmas story in America Gardens Theater at U.S.A. The American Adventure Pavilion. At Magic Kingdom, tickets go fast for "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party," scheduled for ten or so December nights, usually from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This party includes special holiday shows, a Christmas parade, caroling, complimentary family photographs (recently, the photo area near Pirates of the Caribbean was one of the least crowded), and free hot chocolate and cookies. Since many attractions remain open for party guests, it's a great excuse for Disney to keep the Magic Kingdom open late.

You've probably noticed that the best times of year to visit WDW are during the school year. A message for parents with kids: it's worthwhile to take your kids out of school to visit WDW if they can afford the short absence from the classroom. Otherwise, try for late May or early June, before the summer crowds hit their peaks.

Gay visitors take note: the unofficial "Gay Pride" day(s) are generally celebrated around the first weekend in June and many celebrants visit the Magic Kingdom on Saturday of that weekend

What People are saying about this

Sandy Fenton
The Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation" is a terrific guidebook!
host of "Let's Talk Travel with AAA" on Clear Channel Broadcasting 6/7/03

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