Planning a Family Vacation in Orlando

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magical_expressIf you are busy with kids and work, the last thing you want to do is spend your free time planning where to spend…your free time. Disney World and Visit Orlando have many ways to make your Orlando vacation easy, some of which I experienced on my recent trip to WDW with the Travelingmom bloggers.

The new Visit Orlando website helps with more than just Disney. The site offers booking through Travelocity so you can research, plan and book that family vacation to Orlando. Find hotels, flights, and discounts like Magicard, Orlando’s discount card.

What I like most about the site is the calendar of events, telling you what’s happening at all the area theme parks and other family friendly attractions. This month and next, you could go to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, or celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Studios.

If you are staying at a Disney resort, you don’t even have to think about how to get from the airport. Just follow signs to the Magical Express, which takes you to your hotel. If you’ve checked luggage, the service takes care of baggage claim for you and delivers your bags to your hotel room.

The Disney Parks

The FASTPASS system at the Disney theme parks lets you plan a ride on a popular attraction, without a long wait on line (you may have to wait till your ride, but you can go off and do something else). And Disney just announced FASTPASS for meeting Mickey. Get those autograph books and cameras ready!

If you have any questions about the parks, where to eat or how to find a particular character, you can ask the Disney Moms panel. This group of Disney experts (with a couple of Dads, too) know the parks intimately, and help you navigate the theme parks. They also answer questions about Disney cruises and Adventures by Disney.

Browsing through some of the information, all I could think of was – when can I come back? Sadly, none of the Disney moms was looking to adopt a snarky, middle-aged New  Yorker.

The Disney magic continues at check-out time, when your boarding pass shows up at your door. You can even check your bags in at the hotel. Getting your boarding pass at your hotel is an amazing service, since you likely didn’t pack a printer along with your laptop.

Note: Disney provdied free accomodations, meals and theme park tickets to the travelingmom bloggers.