On my recent trip to Florida, I actually started out in Orlando, attending the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association meeting.

We didn’t have time to do the full Disney/Epcot thing, but we drove over to Disney and spent a few hours at Disney Village (formerly known as Pleasure Island) to get our Disney fix.

The area is mostly shopping, but there are a few attractions, including a hot air balloon ride that I was perfectly happy to watch from the ground as it ascended 400 feet into the air. Windy City Times writer Matt Simonette waited on line an hour for the five minute balloon ride.

Disney Village is free with plenty of parking. It’s not the Magic Kingdom, but with just a few hours, it was worth a visit.

Matt Simonette, my counterpart at the Windy City Times

The world’s largest all-Disney department store