January 2nd through mid-February is Value Season at Walt Disney World. We’d never pulled the boys out of school for a vacation, but with junior high looming ahead of us soon, this past winter seemed like our last chance to take advantage of the value season. In addition to the rock-bottom room rates, we were able to find amazingly cheap airfare AND a special offer for a free Disney Dining Plan, making this vacation offer too good to refuse. So, the boys and I dragged Rich away from his computer (yes, he was retouching right up until the last second!) and headed for the airport just ahead of a snow storm. What perfect timing!
Waffles a la Chef Mickey, Contemporary Resort.
Some of the dining highlights of this trip were: hot dogs at Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom (our first-night-at-Disney-World tradition!), brunch at Chef Mickey’s (who can resist Mickey-shaped waffles?), lunch at Hollywood Studios’ Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (great food and cool ambience), and pizza & pasta at Via Napoli (located in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion).
Pasta & pizza (and dessert!) at Via Napoli, Italy Pavilion, Epcot.
Some highlights from Epcot: Rich’s view on Test Track, hanging with Chip at the Land Pavilion, our son’s picture of Chinese lily pads, me & my crew, Spaceship Earth.
What did we learn by visiting Disney in January? We learned that the Value Season rocks! I know that winter weather in Orlando can be a little unpredictable, but ours was perfect. It was sunny with temps in the 70s during the day, the evenings cooling down just enough to make us perfectly comfortable in light jackets. Crowds were better than during our summer trips to Disney World, allowing for much more interaction with the Disney characters and shorter wait times for rides and shows. Because we snagged the free Dining Plan, we were able to eat at a few places that are normally beyond our budget, such as Chef Mickey’s and Via Napoli (and we loved them both!) We also learned that the best place to watch the Wishes fireworks show (in the Magic Kingdom) is behind Cinderella Castle, just in front of Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom, lunch at Hollywood Studios’ Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.
Visit the Walt Disney World site to plan your vacation or to peruse their current special offers. If you’ve ever considered Disney World in the off season, but you’re just not sure – go for it! You’ll be oh so glad you did!
Our view on the way home. Can’t wait till next time!