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Thursday, November 11, 2010


Travel editor Serena Brower has invited a guest for today’s post. Author Rayna Vause is our go-to gal on all things Disney. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World for the upcoming holidays, she’s got some great suggestions for you. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! I’m thrilled to be here. And thanks to Serena for inviting me.

Have you ever wanted to ride a Segway? From the moment I saw EPCOT Center employees zipping around the park on the futuristic looking vehicle, I was determined to ride one. On this Travel Thursday, I wanted to share a few suggests on some fun things to do at one of my favorite places to go, Disney World. 

Being a huge Disney fan, I make multiple trips to the resort in Florida. I regularly peruse Disney’s website in search of new and fun things to do. After all, Disney World has more to offer then just the rides in the parks. During one of these searches I stumbled across it – The Fort Wilderness Backtrail Tour. Disney once again worked it’s magic and granted my wish. For the price of a ticket (magic isn’t free after all) I could spend three hours cruising around on a Segway. Woohoo!

We had to arrive early, a down side since I don’t like mornings. Still we got there almost on time. The staff fitted us with safety helmets, gave us bottles of water, then got us up and running on one of those awesome machines. They spent twenty minutes teaching the group how to maneuver, stop, start, and safely get on and off. Once the lesson ended, off we rolled, gliding along the paths and trails of Fort Wilderness campground. We traveled around a beautiful lake and along shaded tree lined paths. As we went, our guide shared some Disney history and trivia. We even stopped by the stables and met some of the horses. I had a great, but exhausting time. You’d be surprised how sore your legs are after three hours on one of those things!

Perhaps, riding a Segway isn’t your thing. There are a ton of other options that will take you behind the scenes and into the inner workings of the Disney theme parks and resorts. Another great tour I went on was the Backstage Safari at Animal Kingdom. Again, we had to arrive early, but it was worth it. It’s not everyday you get to pet a white rhino or watch an elephant get a bath, but those are just a few of the things you might see and do while visiting the animal pens in the backstage areas of Animal Kingdom. Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park is huge. In fact, it’s actually the largest of the four theme parks. Hence the reason we were driven from area to area because walking was so not an option. This tour is packed with a ton of information. We learned everything from the types of diets the animals are fed to how they are bred to how they are trained to respond to sound cues to leave the attraction and return to their pens. At the end we got our own private ride through Kilimanjaro Safaris and received a unique trading pin and travel mug. I love trading pins so that was a nice little perk for me. 

The creativity and ingenuity used to create this fabulous world is fascinating. Being a frequent traveler to Disney, I like to partake of the multitude of activities that can be found outside of the theme parks away from the crowds and lines. Going behind the scenes and learning how some of magic that surrounds you at Disney is conjured up is such fun. The many tours offered are definitely something worth looking into for your next trip to the House of Mouse.

I love Disney, too! Wish I were there right now. How about the rest of you? Have you been to Disney World or Disneyland? Any other special vacation spots you want to share? Let's hear from you. Post a comment to be entered in this week's book givaway from our Friday Book Club Author. -- AP    


Irene said...

The man who bought the Segway company rolled his machine off a cliff and died. The inventor is still alive. Makes me wonder what he was thinking as he rolled away....

Caridad Pineiro said...

I have so wanted to ride one of these! It would be awesome to do it around Disney with you. Next time!