The Happiest Place On Earth! Disney World

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First thing’s first. Many people who haven’t been to Walt Disney World in Florida don’t realize that there are actually four, separate parks. Another thing many don’t realize is that the parks aren’t all that close to each other. While there is free transportation between the parks, it can take upwards of an hour to go from one to another. For this reason, I would never suggest planning more than two parks in one day. It simply isn’t an effective use of your time.

That being said, I strongly believe you need at least three days to fully enjoy all four Disney Parks. I would suggest spending one full day at Magic Kingdom. There’s so much to do and see there, especially if you have kids. In fact, if you have kids, plan on spending five days at the parks instead to prevent utter exhaustion from ruining your trip! The other three parks, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot all have very unique experiences in store. If you can, spend a day in each park. If you don’t have the time or the budget to do so, spend half days, but again, no more than two parks in one day! Hollywood Studios is great for adults and older kids who want to ride a bunch of awesome rides (though there’s plenty to do for little ones as well!). Animal Kingdom is perfect for the entire family, has one of the best rides (Mount Everest) and has a safari, which is quite similar to a real African Safari and totally worth the wait! Epcot has fewer rides than the other parks, but has the best events and dining. There are some great rides here, but the real attraction is walking around the park and tasting cuisine from all over the world. Also, if you must book a sit down restaurant, the suggestion is to do so 180 days before you arrive… that’s right folks 180 days!

 

Magic Kingdom
Rides and Shows

Definitely DO These:

  • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor (SUPER funny and always a bit different)
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Carribean
  • Parade in front of the Castle.. not sure how frequent it is, but it’s worth seeing
  • End of the night light show… AMAZING. Stay until closing.

If You Have Time:

  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (not the best, but worth checking out once)
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (great when you’re tired!)
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • It’s a Small World (tempting to put this as a skip.. but it’s a classic, so go ahead and torture yourself one time, for the experience of it all!)
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Country Bear Jamboree (surprisingly kinda awesome.. in a hickish, creepy bear kinda way)
  • Jungle Cruise

Skip:

  • Stitch’s Great Escape (for the love of all things holy, NEVER put yourself through the torment and physical pain that accompany this… whatever it is!)
  • Tons of character meet and greets… skip unless you’ve got kids with their heart set on meeting a character. The lines can get very long.

Shops and Food

Definitely GO to These:

  • Too many shops to list, but feel free to wander about and explore them all. Items can be purchased and waiting for you at the gates for when you leave (in most cases).
  • Storybrook Treats
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Columbia Harbor House

Skip:

  • I haven’t eaten at all of the restaurants, so I can’t say which to skip, but the restaurants and snack place above are superb and reasonably priced, for a theme park.

Disclaimer: There’s SO much more not listed here that Magic Kingdom offers. If you follow this guide, you won’t miss anything major, but be sure to check out their map when you arrive.

 

Animal Kingdom
Rides and Shows

Definitely DO These:

  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

If You Have Time:

  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Skip:

  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Primeval Whirl

Where to Eat:

  • Flame Tree Barbeque

Disclaimer: There’s SO much more not listed here. If you follow this guide, you won’t miss anything major, but be sure to check out their map when you arrive.

giraffe

Epcot
Rides and Shows

Definitely DO These:

  • Test Track
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Soarin’ (not my personal favorite, but everyone else in the world LOVES it)

If You Have Time:

  • O Canada!
  • Mission Space (not for the faint of heart… literally. Do not go on this if you have any heart problems, or any problems of any sort. It is intense)

Skip:

  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure (If you need a nap, definitely go for it, otherwise feel free to skip!)

Shops and Food

  • There’s are so many different places to eat in Epcot, so many types of food to try. My suggestion is to walk around and get small snacks rather than sitting for one big meal!

 

Hollywood Studios
Rides and Shows

Definitely DO These:

  • Tower of Terror (not nearly as terrifying as it sounds, but quite fun!)
  • Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starting Aerosmith (go single rider and ride this about 40 times… you will not regret it!)
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

If You Have Time:

  • The Great Movie Ride (cool, but not super exciting)
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

Food

  • Definitely GO to These:
  • Brown Derby
  • Mama Melrose
  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe
  • Backlot Express
  • ABC Commissary
  • Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner

Most of all, remember you are on vacation, and vacations are meant to be fun! Don’t worry about rushing and seeing everything. Don’t stress about the lines. Just sit back, relax, chat with those nearby in line, and enjoy the magic of it all. After all, you’re visiting Disney World, The Happiest Place on Earth.

2 Comments:

  1. No, Disney has far to many guest rooms and if they offered that beeifnt the fast pass line would be 20-30min long just with hotel guests. Universal has less then an 1/10 of the resort guest that Disney has so they can offer that feature and still keep the express pass wait short.

    • Agreed. I actually have never found any of the lines to be overbearing. Generally, I ride as a single rider and all of the parks have handy apps that tell you the wait time for each ride. It makes planning so much easier.

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