/ Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

WDW Radio is pleased to welcome Emma Godbold as a new writer for the blog. Emma lives in the East of England and has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a teenager. In between trips, Emma can be found reading about Disney history or researching and planning her next Disney vacation. She also writes her own blog at www.daydreamingdisney.com.

by Emma Godbold

International visitors – A different Disney?

Do international visitors experience a different Walt Disney World vacation? Do international visitors plan WDW trips differently? Do we pack differently, shop differently, or eat differently? Well I hope to answer these questions and more with my series of posts based on what it’s like to be a Brit in Walt Disney World. I hope that my posts will help international visitors plan for their next trip, prompt discussions with visitors from all over the world, and reveal to everyone how international travelers sometimes experience ‘a different Disney’.

Deciding when to visit

I know that most Disney fans will try to get to WDW as often as they can, whether they live in the United States or the United Kingdom.  Sometimes our trips from the UK to Florida can be restricted by money, or time off work and school. The average UK visitor will book a WDW holiday in advance, therefore allowing more time to save and plan for the trip. UK visitors will often visit for two weeks at a time because of the cost and planning involved in traveling from the UK.

So here are my first two tips on what to consider when deciding when to visit, from a British point of view…..

1.  Weather –

A Walt Disney World holiday is NOT a relaxing beach holiday! Orlando is HOT in the summer, and unlike most places in the UK summer can last for weeks, not days. The summer months will also see the most rainfall, many hot afternoons will result in heavy rainfall, although a great excuse for you to pick up that souvenir poncho.

I used to recommend November and December as ideal ‘weather’ times to visit. It should still be warmer than what you’ve left at home, with lower rainfall. However….nothing is set in stone, especially when it comes to the weather. We made our fourth December visit to WDW last year when Orlando was suffering from record low temperatures and the parks were full of hats, scarves, and gloves; it felt just like home!

2. Crowds –

If you have children you will be looking at taking your WDW trip in UK school holidays. If you do not have children you may well be looking at taking your WDW trip when the UK children are back at school. Regardless of whether you have children or not the UK visitor should also be using the internet to look at when the US school or public holidays are likely to increase the crowds at WDW.

Special festivities and events such as Star Wars weekends, marathon weekends, Food and Wine, Pop Warner cheerleading events, Halloween and Christmas also draw more people to WDW. The average UK visitor finds WDW overwhelming at the best of times, so if you have to visit at a busy time of year it’s important to research park ‘busy days’ and either use the Fastpass system to your advantage or just take it SLOW, let everyone rush around you!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this first post and I look forward to sharing more British insight with you in the future…cheerio! 🙂