In an attempt to get the time until our next holiday to pass quicker, I am currently doing every possibly thing I can think of to plan our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World – despite it still being months way! One example is that I’ve started to note down some ‘must-dos’ as I think or read about them. Some of these are attractions at the parks – although why I’m writing these down I don’t know, as there is no way I’d miss them! And some of them are smaller things, like snacks that sound yummy that I know I have to try. And that has lead me on to this post – my top 5 ‘must dos’ at each park for our next trip! I’ll be following this up with my must dos for outside of the parks and for food!
5. Walt Disney World Railroad – meant to be more of a means of transport around the park than an attraction, I believe, but we really love it and usually make sure we do it on our first day. We love the old fashioned trains and its a great way to see more of the park – and a nice way to have a short rest too! Since Toontown has closed, it only now stops at Main Street USA and Frontierland – and it probably takes as long to wait for the train and get to Frontierland as it would to walk it – but we always do a full loop anyway. Hearing the “Welcome aboard the Walt Disney World Railway” is another of those ‘I’m really here!’ moments for me.
4. Tomorrowland Transit Authority – this has made my list because in all of my trips to WDW, I’ve never been on it! And other than that fact that last time we were there, it was closed for refurbishment, I’m not really sure why – that certainly doesn’t account for missing it on all our other trips! From what I’ve heard it is a ‘people mover’ that takes you around and through some of the attractions in Tomorrowland. sounds right up our street, so can’t wait to check it out for myself!
3. Main Street USA – ok this is a bit of a cop out as it is an entire area of the park, but I really do love spending time here as a whole. So many people rush through to get to the rides, but I love browsing the shops, seeing the sweets being made, watching the street shows. Its all part of the magic!
2. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – one of my favourite attractions, and one that my hubby loves to thrash me at several times while we’re there!
1. Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade – again I’m cheating as these are two events, which we do in one evening, so I’m counting them as one. Wishes is an amazing fireworks show which quite frankly puts any show I have ever seen here in the UK to shame – and they do it every night! MSEP I’m really excited to see as our last trips have featured Spectromagic. While they are similar in that they are night time light parades, I’m really excited to see it.
5. Living with the Land – this is a much overlooked slow moving boat-ride that is part dark-ride and part greenhouse tour. I’ll admit, the first time I did this I thought it was boring, but when we went on it on our honeymoon, my husband loved it! And his enthusiasm for it, and the fact that it was closed on our last trip, means that I’m really looking forward to trying it again. I also suspect that we might well end up taking the Behind the Seeds tour, which is an hour long walking tour of the greenhouses.
4. Captain EO, starring Michael Jackson. I know very little about this 3D movie, other than it has taken the place of Honey I Shrunk the Audience and that it stars Michael Jackson. And it is the latter that means we will be making sure we find time for this on our next trip. I wouldn’t class myself as a fan although I like his music ok, but my husband is a massive fan – we had tickets to go see one of the This Is It concerts before his untimely death and I know it will always be a regret of my husband’s that he was never able to see him live.
3. World Showcase – ok, now I’m really pushing it with the cheating since this is half of the park! But it is not really the rides or films in the individual countries that I specifically love (although I do like them!) – it is the wandering on through. Some of my best memories are when we just spend an evening wandering round the World Showcase, popping into the odd shop, maybe buying a snack somewhere and taking lots of photos. It is magical.
2. Soarin’ – while I’m not sure this has ever been quite as good as when I did it the first time and it totally blew me away, I still can not wait to do it again. The music, smells (or is that my imagination?) and feeling of flying as you soar through the sky is just incredible.
1. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – it doesn’t matter how many times I see this, it amazes me every time. Featuring lasers, fireworks and fire in the World Showcase Lagoon, it is a not to be missed show that is worth camping out early for, for a good spot – and that is not something I do very often, even at Disney!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
5. Beauty and the Beast Live onstage – this is a mini musical as the story is acted out on stage, featuring all the characters and best of the songs from the film. I love it!
4. Studios Backlot tour is an attraction that tells you about some of the techniques used when making films and then takes you around the ‘backlot’ of the studios – it not real, as in its very much a ride not a real studios tour, but it is still fun and you get to see some real props.
3. Animation Academy is located in the Magic of Animation building. The part I’m referring to is an art class where the cast member takes you though drawing a particular character – you have a go at drawing it while they demonstrate using a projector at the front of class. I’m so rubbish at drawing usually, but this is quite formulaic and it is really good fun. The cast members have to move quite quickly, so it is perhaps not for very little ones. And at the end of it, you come away with a great drawing!
2. Toy Story Mania – a 4D Midway Mania, arcade style game that is really so much fun even though the queues are always very long!
1. Fantasmic! – this never fails as my number 1 attraction at DHS – it is such a great show, found in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. It shows 2 to three times a week and you need to get there pretty early to get a good seat – or in fact to get a seat at all – and if it is showing twice one evening, the second showing will usually be less busy. You see into Mickey’s dream, turned nightmare as images are protected onto ‘screens’ of water, with lights and fireworks. It can be scary for little ones, but if they can cope with it, it’s probably one of my favourite shows in all of Walt Disney World.
5. Dinosaur – I like this ride because even though I know what is coming, it still makes me jump! It feels very ‘Jurassic park’ – with the concept being that you travel back in time to rescue a dinosaur. You can get thrown about a bit, so it is not the most comfortable ride but it is one of the best at Animal Kingdom, in my opinion.
4. Finding Nemo – The Musical – this is a really clever and enjoyable live puppet show (although think musical, rather than Punch and Judy style puppets). It features some familiar and new songs and tells the Finding Nemo story.
3. The Tree of Life – the attention to detail that Disney is so famous for, I think can be summed up by one look at this tree. It stands at 145 foot tall and into the trunk is carved 320 animals. One of my favourite things to do at Animal Kingdom is to take some time out to wander around the trails around the base of the tree and just look at all the amazing animals carved into it.
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris – my favourite ride at Animal Kingdom. Having ridden it numerous times now, I do find the back story to it to be more and more annoying – all I really want to see is the animals. But it is worth putting up with for a ride around the ‘Harambe Reserve’ with a view of the most amazing animals, including elephants, giraffes, zebras and lions – in a way that I would never be able to other wise see them.
1. Festival of the Lion King – I really love this show! In fact I think it is far superior to the West End production. It tells the story from the film, using all the songs. It never fails to amaze me just how could the performers are – some of them are incredible – both the vocal performances and the acrobatics. I couldn’t go to Animal Kingdom and not see this at least once.
Next week’s post will feature my must-do’s for outside of the 4 main parks.
BRiTMiCK is a blog aimed at British visitors to Walt Disney World, helping you to make the most of your holiday. Follow @Britmickuk for the latest on whats going on at BRiTMiCK and other Disney sites.