Oh my lanta. As you all know, we went to Orlando for 8 days at the beginning of the month-our first ever trip to Disneyworld. I’m a big Disneyland person, but I am so glad we got the opportunity to go experience the chaos of Disneyworld. My first impression was that I am SO GLAD we went in the off season, as I cannot imagine how crowded that place gets in the summer! Today I’ll give you my impression of each of the parks, next week I’ll go more in depth with some tips and tricks I picked up on my trip!
Magic Kingdom is a classic park, modeled after Disneyland. As such, you still have some of my favorite classic attractions, with some differences. I really liked the familiarity of some of the rides, but also appreciated that I was getting a new experience. Most notably: The Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, and Small World. I felt that a few rides that are at both parks are much better at Disneyland, namely Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. I felt these rides were a little lack luster at Magic Kingdom, and WHAT IS WITH THE PHOTO SPOT ON SPACE MOUNTAIN?
I loved the huge castle, the new Fantasyland, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was incredible! It was also amazing to see The Main Street Electrical Parade again. We went in the off season, and as such we were able to walk on to all the attractions. We really could have seen everything here in one day.
Hollywood Studios was a fun park, but really could have been a 1/2 day park for us. Many attractions were closed while we were there, and the signature “Ear Hat”has been torn down and that area is under construction. We loved the Rockin’ Roller Coaster (don’t let the fact that this is indoors fool you, it goes upside down!), The Indiana Jones Stunt Show, Tower of Terror, and the Great Movie Ride. We also appreciated cocktails at the Hollywood Brown Derby, Pizza from Pizza Planet, and meeting the Incredibles. We did not get to do Toy Story Midway Mania as the line was over 80 minutes long all day and no fastpasses were available.
Animal Kingdom was our favorite park, hands down. There are very few rides in this park, but something about the ambiance and the themeing of the areas just put us in an amazing mood. Expedition Everest is an incredibly fun ride, and the queue is great. We rode it 5 times the day we were there. We were amazed by Kilimanjaro Safari, and loved walking through the animal sections in each of the “lands”. Even the children’s area, themed to Dinosaurs was a lot of fun. Do not miss the Festival of the Lion King. Or the rum infused dole whips. Vaughn and I also had an amazing dinner at Yak and Yeti that was delicious and the atmosphere in that restaurant is just amazing.
We did Epcot on our last day, and everyone told us it was a one-day park. I wish I hadn’t listened to them! We only really got to experience the World Showcase and a few things in Future World, but I wish we had time to see everything. Our favorite Pavilion was Morocco. The rides in this park aren’t the main attraction (the one in Mexico is the worst), but the food, drinks, and fun exhibits all over the park are lovely. I was really impressed by the fun themeing when you get off the rides though- An Aquarium at the end of Nemo, Fun outer space games at the end of Mission Space, and even photo ops with cars at the end of Test Track. This is definitely more of a grown up park. We also had an expert guide in my friend Adrienne, who is currently a Cast Member at Epcot, and I’m so glad we did!
We also spent a day at Universal, and my thoughts are pretty clear- Harry Potter World is awesome, as are a few of the other rides, but much like Universal California, this park is poorly maintained, and many of the attractions need an update.
While the themeing of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were amazing, the roads were narrow and crowded, and this was in the OFF season. I would never visit this park when it was busy because we waited in 1+ hour lines at all of the major rides except the Dueling Dragons Coaster. It was so fun to grab a butter beer, hop on the Hogwarts Express, and head over to The Three Broomsticks though! I would take the time to walk through each of the shops, even if you don’t buy anything-they have some fun themeing.
See ya next week with some tips for your WDW travel.