Originally Written by Marion Synder & Published 1/15/2016 – Edited & Republished with Permission
Amy Bashor never meant to become a Disney World expert. And she never intended to write a book. But Amy learned, as many of us do, that life can be full of surprises — and maybe even a little magic.
“PINK THIS, PRINCESS THAT”
Happily settled in Savannah, Ga, Amy didn’t give much thought to Disney World, even though it was just four hours away in Florida — an easy weekend trip. She had done “the Disney thing” with her parents while growing up. Then she and husband Craig had their baby girl, Samantha.
“In just a couple of years it was pink this, princess that, all over the house,” Amy says.
When Samantha was two years old, Amy and Craig took her to Disney World for the first time. Craig had fun, Amy says, but was probably ready to call one trip enough. Samantha and Amy, on the other hand, were captivated.
“Disney can be overwhelming,” Amy acknowledges. “You either like it or you don’t. There’s not really much of a middle ground. It can be a great escape from the real world.”
The family made a second trip and eventually purchased annual passes. That led to monthly trips for the next year, which Amy faithfully reviewed in trip reports for the MouseOwners.com website.
“At that point, one of my friends more or less dared me to write a book about it,” Amy says. “I found Theme Park Press and submitted the trip reports as a possible basis for a book.”
WRITING IT ALL DOWN
Publisher Bob McLain felt the reports were more like a diary that only those who knew Amy might be interested in. But he liked her writing very much. If Amy could combine tips and seasonal planning guidance with that diary, Bob said Theme Park Press would be interested in publishing it.
“A Year of Disney: Walt Disney World Travel Advice for Spending Every Month with Mickey.” Theme Park Press published the guide in 2015. A compendium of tips, planning advice, and charming stories about the family’s experiences, Amy’s book was well-received. Reviewers at Amazon.com call the book “a godsend” for first-time Disney World visitors and the trip reports “heartwarming, personal and sometimes a little humorous.”
PICK YOUR SEASON OR SING WITH CHIP AND DALE
Amy’s book details the advantages, cost savings and events found at Disney World year-round. January and February are great months to visit, with cooler weather, lower costs and smaller crowds. March and April bring the flower and garden show at Epcot, with food and wine pairings from different countries.
Late spring and the summer months offer longer hours, though Amy warns the parks “are crazy crowded and very hot.” Still, there’s the advantage of visiting early in the morning when it’s fairly quiet. “In two hours, you can go through and do a dozen rides, then leave the park, go back to the hotel and sleep, swim, or play,” Amy advises. “And Disney at night is wonderful with comfortable temperatures and beautiful lights. You can as much as you want to do.”
September and October are Amy’s favorite time of year, when the Magic Kingdom is decorated for Halloween. There are many special parties and parades in the early fall.
Unsurprisingly, in November and December Disney goes all out. While the magic kingdom has a “wonderful” Christmas party, Amy also recommends the Christmas world showcase at Epcot.
In addition, “I don’t think a lot of people know there’s a really big and fabulous campground at Disney World,” Amy says. “It’s a huge location and the best campground I’ve ever been to. The amenities are great. Every night, Chip and Dale do a little sing-along, there’s character interaction — and it’s all free.”
FAIRY TALES CAN COME TRUE — WITH PLANNING
Disney World is always a magical place to visit, but it’s “even more wonderful if you plan your trip ahead of time,” Amy recommends. “It really pays off.”
And while she never dreamed of being a published author, Amy is grateful for the opportunity and empowered by the experience.
“Everyone seems to have at least one book they’ve thought about writing. Like anything else, it just takes work,” Amy says. “I keep encouraging people, ‘Go write your book! I can’t wait to read it.’”