How To Keep The Magic Alive on A Disney Holiday…
We all know how amazing Disney is and we all know that there is no better feeling than the look on your kids’ faces when they get up close and personal with Mickey & Co. BUT, and there is a but. Is it really that enjoyable for the grown ups?
The first time I set foot in Disney’s Magic Kingdom I was truly overwhelmed with emotion. I was 30 and childless on my first venture into the magical wonderland of Orlando. I promptly burst into tears as the stars of my childhood paraded down Main Street, singing their hearts out, giving Disney pilgrims what they came for… a spectacular sight to behold and lashings of sparkle! This is the stuff that memories are made of and I can still remember how I felt that day. I was back in the 70s and I was a kid again. Money can’t buy that sort of happiness… or can it?
Walt Disney seems to be making a mint from it. Thousands of tourists flock to the Sunshine State every year to immerse themselves in the fun and joy of Disney. Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t wait to rekindle that magic when I had a child of my own. Fast forward ten years, and I am itching to jet off with my son who has been promised this trip and had been spoon fed magical stories about this real life pleasure dome in the heart of Florida. I was not disappointed as his face lit up in wonder at the sheer brilliance of the place. The chunky cost of the holiday didn’t matter. Some things are just worth it. I had waited a decade for this moment. I was lucky enough to be able to do this on two consecutive years.
However, I was beginning to tire of being constantly ‘on the go’ from sun up until sun down to try an cram in every delight on offer at all of the parks. Aren’t holidays about relaxing? Surely we do so much dashing about all year round that we’ve earned a few days doing nothing with the most difficult decision of the day being which cocktail to choose from the long list at the bar.
This summer, we decided to go back to Orlando, yes, we were going to the parks and yes, we would embrace all they have to offer but in the back of my mind I remembered just how exhausting it is. With temperatures nudging into the 90s and lots of ground to cover by foot and by car, it can be challenging. This is where I decided to be a little adventurous and opt for a twin centre break instead of 14 full on Disney days. Would it work out? Would I be bothered packing up and driving to another location? I wasn’t sure but I knew I needed some R and R as well as thrills and spills.
The perfect compromise? Ten days in Orlando doing the parks with five on the coast to recharge my batteries and cool down from the searing heat of the city. We packed up and drove down to Clearwater that took roughly an hour or so from our Orlando base. The journey was a breeze. Air-conditioned Buick and open roads with very little traffic. Not once did I hear “Are we there yet?”
Orlando’s parks are truly amazing but I really was exhausted and Clearwater turned out to be the perfect antidote. A sun kissed, sugary white beach, blazing sunsets and clear turquoise waters await you once you’ve parked the car and checked in.
For the last four days of my holiday I was able to really chill out, knowing that the rest of the clan had had their fix of rides and rollercoasters. Everyone seemed to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a few days by the sea. Instead of coming home from Orlando feeling like I needed another holiday to recover, I felt rested, happy… and bronzed!
Next time the kids suggest a trip to Disney, just bear this suggestion in mind. The compromise worked wonders for our family this year and an argument free zone is worth its weight in dollars.
I love travel. I’ve been fascinated by other countries and cultures since my first foreign trip in 1985 and I’ve had serious wanderlust ever since.I also love to write about where I’ve been and tripsology lets me indulge that passion. I’m thrilled to be a regular contributor and editor. When I’m not writing I also run my own PR and publicity company.