Disney World: Overview

In November 2009, my mom, Diane, took my sister, Kaysie; Kelsey; my nephew, Kaleb; and me to the most magical place on earth. My mom, nephew and I had never been there before. It was a special year and I think my mom had been dreaming of this trip for a long time. The logic behind going in 2009 was basically because it was my mom's 50th birthday. To add to that, I was 25 and Kaleb would be turning 5 (his golden birthday) a few weeks after we got back.

Any good trip needs a name, so we decided to call this one "Diane's Disney Dream." After all, it was her idea! And because I know you were wondering, yes, we made T-shirts.

The Planning

We planned the trip for nearly a year. We talked to friends who had blazed the trail before us to figure out the best way to make the most of our time while we were there. We purchased resources to help us. Among the best we found was the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. We used the 2008 version, but you can buy the 2010 version on Amazon. I highly recommend using one of their itineraries. Based on the amount of time you have at each park, they lay out different scenarios to help you make the most of your experience.

The book also discusses busiest times of the year and we totally lucked out as we were there on the least busiest week of the year. The longest we ever waited for a ride was 20 minutes and that was before we discovered Fastpass (just another one of Disney World's brilliant ideas.)

After talking with some experienced friends, we decided to stay on the Disney World property at the Pop Century Resort. The transportation system around the Disney World properties made for a fairly stress-free vacation (no driving or navigating in an unknown city).

We also decided to use the Disney Dining Plan. I don't recall which one we went with exactly, but we had a quick service meal, a table service meal, and a snack each day. We didn't spend much money out of pocket above the dining plan.

We had such a blast on this trip and Kelsey and I talk often about wanting to go back. My mom loved it so much she wants to move and work there when she retires.