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Dizzy for Disney World

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Jason Dundas and Kate Ceberano visited Walt Disney World in Florida. It's the world's biggest theme park — 50 times the size of California's Disneyland — covering 100 square kilometres. Make sure to wear your most comfortable shoes!

It's a place that needs several dedicated days to explore. There are four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site resort hotels, a campground, two health spas and physical fitness centre, other recreational venues and entertainment.

Disney's Fastpass reservation system reduces time spent in line at popular attractions. Simply slip your Park Pass into the Fastpass machine, receive a ticket with an assigned return time and enjoy the rest of the park while your place in line is saved.

Magic Kingdom was designed like a wheel with the hub in front of Cinderella Castle, spoking out across 43 hectares, it captures the enchantment of fairytales and you travel through lands learning how to be a pirate, match wits with funny monsters and conquer mountains. Main Street USA has spectacular parades with Disney characters, stage shows and fireworks. There are the favourite lands to enthrall: Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends, and Disney princes and princesses pop up, and little princesses can visit Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to be magically transformed.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner just might be shared with dressed-up characters, and of course there is a huge Emporium on Main Street USA for your souvenirs. Hollywood Studios gives behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style action with live shows, backstage tours and the glitz and glamour of the heydays of the 1930s and '40s. Neon, chrome, art deco and modern architecture capture the time perfectly. You could find yourself on centre stage under the spotlight in an American Idol experience, be part of a rock'n'roll fantasy and see attractions based on blockbuster movies and television shows.

See Broadway-style musicals, meet characters, watch parades and fireworks and scream on high-speed rides, be amazed at high-octane stunt shows and have a good laugh at live comic performances.

Disney's Animal Kingdom is home to more than 1700 animals from 250 species. It sprawls across 200 hectares of lush landscape. It's full of attractions, adventures and entertainment, at the same time being dedicated to nature and conservation. The park leads the way in animal care, education and research. There are seven areas to explore: Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Rafiki's Planet Watch, Asia and Dinoland USA. In each area there are real and fantastic animals, some close enough to pet or ask for an autograph. There are parades, performances featuring 20 bird species and Broadway-style musical stage shows.

Experiences include Backstage Safari Tour, Wild by Design Tour and Wild Africa Trek.

American-, African- and Asian-inspired food is served all day and souvenirs include authentic African art and imports such as baskets, masks and jewellery. Epcot Theme Park sprawls across 121 hectares It's divided into Future World and World Showcase. Spaceship Earth resembling a giant golf ball welcomes you at the main entrance.

Future World is full of sensational attractions, entertainment and shows, all focusing on technological advancements, innovation and wonder.

A collective of pavilions wrapping around a lagoon beyond Future World. Eleven countries are represented by attractions, culture and cuisine. Entertainers amuse in areas between the pavilions and often ask visitors to join in. At Kidcot stations, children can create souvenirs and meet Disney characters.

Rides cover one of the fastest attractions to gentle boat rides, thrilling hang-gliding and there are lots of interactive play areas just right to stimulate imaginations.

Entertainment is non-stop. See acrobats, musicians, mimes, dancers, drummers, comedians and Crush, a talking turtle.

Blizzard Beach Water Park has one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, as well as slides and rides for the whole family. There's a children-sized snow castle fountain play area, raft rides and a wave pool measuring half a hectare. It all begins with a freak snow storm blanketing Florida and in a blink a ski resort springs up with slalom courses, toboggan slides and iceberg walkways. Just as quickly, the weather shifts back to hot. Ice Gator, complete with scarf and hat, slides down a ski jump and lands in a pool of melted snow.

A Polar Patio is a private retreat with a deck and umbrella. A cooler of ice and bottled water, mugs, towel service and private locker are provided. Each patio has a personal attendant and waiter.

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is fun for the whole family. There are nine waterslides — some very fast and near-vertical — and a children's waterslide with little raft rides. Catch 2m waves in the Surf Pool and snorkel with real sharks and colourful fish in Shark Reef.

Disney legend has it that the park was created in the wake of a mammoth storm. Surfboards were hurled into palm trees and boats were tossed through the thatched roofs of beach houses — and on to mountains. Miss Tilly, a shrimp boat, was swept on to the peak of the volcanic Mt Mayday. She still sits there, and every half hour, the boat's whistle blows and the volcano attempts to dislodge her by shooting an enormous geyser.

Mt Mayday is 23 hectares of tropical paradise. It's full of waterways, rivers, rapids and slides.

Beachcomber Shacks are private retreats with wooden roofs on the sand. Polynesian Resort in the Seven Seas Lagoon, where Kate, Jason and the crew stayed, is a tropical paradise with white sand lake beaches, koi ponds, lush vegetation and thatched roofs.

Eleven two-storey and three-storey village longhouses flank a Great Ceremonial House resembling a royal Tahitian assembly lodge. The 847 rooms are decorated with rich tropical colours and furnished in bamboo and rattan.

Inside the Great Ceremonial House, water cascades over craggy volcanic rocks and there are 75 species of towering coconut palms. There is a torch-lighting ceremony and traditional fire-knife dancing with drumming and chants.

Things to entertain include the Nanea Volcano Pool featuring a 13m volcano with waterfall and tubular waterslide, fishing, boating, waterskiing and parasailing on Bay Lake an Seven Seas Lagoon. Each night the lagoon has a dazzling Electrical Water Pageant.

Spirit of Aloha is a dinner show a Polynesian luau feast held in an open-air dining theatre. Guests are entertained with traditional music as well as music from Disney films.

There's a 24-hour high-tech game room, wet-play area, bicycle rental and the Never Land Club is for children between three and 12 years. They also love being entertained at breakfast by Lilo and Stitch.

Each area has its own guest services, which gives you every bit of information you need to enjoy your visit. From what to wear to eating outlets and everything in between.

Location

Thirty minutes from Orlando Airport in Florida.

Cost

Walt Disneyworld four-day Magic YWay with Park Hopper is around $278 for adults and $256 for children. For five days it's $285 and $264 and seven days $295 and $273. Disney's Polynesian Resort rooms start at $403 a night.

V Australia has flights to Los Angeles.

Fares from

  • Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne $1789
  • Adelaide $2089
  • Perth $2389
Sale and validity dates and other conditions apply. Connecting flights to Orlando are available.

Prices correct at May 19, 2011.

For further information


Magic Kingdom Park
3111 World Drive
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32830
United States
Ph: +1 407 824 4321
disneyworld.disney.go.com

Epcot
1675 N Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32830
United States
Ph: +1 407 939 62442
disneyworld.disney.go.com

Disney Hollywood Studios
1510 North Cove Road
Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32830
United States
Ph: +1 407 939 6244
disneyworld.disney.go.com

Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Osceola Parkway
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32830
Ph: +1 407 824 4321
disneyworld.disney.go.com

Visa: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months' validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.

Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz. Outlets take two parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.

Time zone: California is GMT -8.

Currency: The American dollar.

International dialling code: +1.

User comments
Totally disappointed with your segment on Walt Disney World... your people really need to start doing their homework. Your presenters told the viewers there are only 4 theme parks in Walt Disney World - there are 7 primary theme parks spread over 27,000 acres, in contrast to the 450 acre Disneyland complex in Anaheim - it's not in Orlando, it's near the city of Orlando & is actually bigger than the city of Orlando - it has its own freeway system and the longest monorail system in the world, over 24 klms - the Spaceship Earth geodesic sphere is the most photographed object in the world - World Showcase with it's micro versions of other countries around the world is not part of EPCOT, it is on the opposite side of the lake and is its own theme park precinct - and EPCOT stands for Experimental Community Of Tomorrow - the Magic Kingdom is not 'like' Disneyland, it is an exact replica of Disneyland - you didn't even mention Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. Go back & do it right
My children were very disappointed tonight been asking all week when getaway would be on to watch the disneyworld special. we all sat ready and waiting and it didn't come on the tv RBT was on for the hour can you please explain

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