One question that I often get asked by friends when they are going to Disney World for the first time is: “What are the must-sees”?
My not-so-helpful answer is usually “Well it’s ALL a must-see!”………..
OK, OK, I know what they want to know…..so I am going to take the next few posts to discuss the attractions at each park that my family considers “must-sees” on each of our visits.
Now of course, each family’s “favorites” are going to be dependent on the personalities and ages of the family members. Clearly toddlers and preschoolers are going to have different favorites than teens or adults.
And one other disclaimer while I’m at it: this list is no where close to complete! To get a comprehensive idea of all the Disney World attractions, you will want to refer to a good Disney guidebook such as The Complete Walt Disney World, Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World, or if you want to know everything that you didn’t know you needed to know, the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
But if you want a quick glance at what WE see every time we visit, well then keep reading……..
Let’s start with the Magic Kingdom, since for most people, Disney World = Magic Kingdom. And if you have little children, you will probably spend the most time here…
As you probably already know, Magic Kingdom has a number of different “lands”, each with it’s own rides, attractions, shows, and theme: Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Adventureland, and of course, Main Street USA. When you enter the park, Main Street USA is the first thing you see, heading right up to Cinderella’s Castle. At the end of the street, on the right you will find Tomorrowland, where we will start.
My family enjoys several things here and we actually disagree on our favorite…so we do both. I really love Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club, and I know that many don’t necessarily agree with me on this, but I love corny jokes and the audience interaction here just makes this show an awful lot of fun in my opinion. A unique aspect here is that you can text jokes in while you wait, so if you have kids that just love “that” kind of joke, well send it in and the cornier the better! Warning though: every audience member has the potential to be featured on the screen as a part of the show….so if you can’t deal with the idea that you may become “that guy” in front of hundreds of others who will enjoy a good laugh at your expense….then skip this. If you do go, and find that your smiling face is suddenly part of the show, then by all means, enjoy and don’t worry about looking silly! After all, will you ever reaaallly see these people again? Plus, your kids will love it!
My husband and daughter on the other hand are Buzz Lightyear junkies. A while back, we discovered some “secrets” to getting higher points on this ride….it’s all about choosing where you shoot. Let’s just say that certain targets are worth more than others… In any event, the line for this ride typically moves fairly quickly, but you can also use FastPass here to make the most of your Tomorrowland time. Each “car” can seat two people, who each control a “blaster” where the idea is to accumulate enough points to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg…or something like that. Yeah, basically you just shoot at things and try to get the highest score. (And so it is now clearly evident why my husband and college-age daughter find this a favorite, lol.) One especially neat part though, is at the end where you will see pictures of you during the ride…..and I have to say, I had NO idea I concentrate the way I evidently do, while fighting the Evil Emperor Zurg. (Note: the picture is actually from Disneyland’s version, which is slightly different….but you get the general idea. Also Note: when looking at the score, you can clearly see why my husband prefers this ride to me!!)
Let’s talk Fantasyland next. Have small children? You will spend a significant part of your vacation here. Be prepared. But even for those of us who are grownups, there is a special magic to this part of the park. What is our favorite here? Mickey’s Philharmagic. This is an indoor 3-D show featuring Donald Duck, and what happens when he takes over Mickey’s orchestra. You will wear 3-D “opera glasses” while watching the show, and be prepared for all kinds of things to come at you…and I mean that literally. In our experience, this show may be one of the hidden gems of Magic Kingdom, as we rarely, if ever, face a long line here. Mickey’s Philharmagic is a great show, and we won’t visit Magic Kingdom without seeing it at least once.
OK, this post has gotten pretty long, so we’ll leave it here for now, and next time discover the rest of our Magic Kingdom favorites.
Have a magical day!