Should you ever be asked, “Is Disney World worth it?” – the answer is: Yes. You will be in lines for much of your day – but nowhere near as much as I was expecting. You will be tired, and exiting the park takes upwards of an hour, but the spectacle is immense.
Disney’s Fast Pass program means everyone gets three to five rides scheduled during their visit. It gives you a 45-minute window to use your pass on the ride you selected earlier in the day, and means you can ride the best rides with only a short wait.
From there, you can wander the park, taking it all in, and only stop at things you think have a reasonable line. I wholeheartedly recommend the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor comedy show – which always has a short line and is hilarious for adults and children alike. I don’t recommend the Futureland go-karts, they are ultra-slow rail cars, not go-karts and aren’t fun at all.
We met Ariel, Minnie Mouse, and of course, Elsa and Anna. The line for the Frozen princesses was 95 minutes long (we should have used a Fast Pass) but the actresses were full of life, and left Maddie in complete awe.
The evening ended with a parade and the fireworks show, which rivalled any I’ve seen for length, intensity and visual impact.
It was midnight by the time we left the Disney parking lot, but Daytona Beach was less than 90 minutes away. So we drove to our next hotel, the Baymont Inn and Suites Ormond Beach for an overnight nap. In the morning, $10 was all we needed to pay to drive the Outlander down onto the beach itself, parking for a walk along the water, stopping to examine the shellfish spawning in tidal pools, and long enough for Maddie to discover that the Atlantic Ocean is far, far colder than the Gulf of Mexico.
One more stop in Gassoway on our way home helped break up the journey, and gave our family some much-needed rest for the drive back into Canada. Back to our homes, back to our regular lives.
The next day when I picked her up from school, having returned the Outlander, Maddie’s eyes grew wide once again. Not with joy this time.
“But where is the Mitsubishi?! I love the Mitsubishi!!”
Total Trip Costs: $1,855.42 USD
Fuel: $US231.42 USD
Riotel Florida (5 nights): $700 USD
Days Inn and Suites Sutton: $110 USD
Baymont Inn and Suites Ormond Beach: $100 USD
Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, Gassaway: $98 USD
Disney World: $336 USD
Adult Magic Kingdom: $124 (x2) USD
Child Magic Kingdom: $118 USD
St Petersburg IndyCar Grand Prix:
Adult Grandstand: $105 (x2) USD
Child Grandstand: $70 USD