Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lessons Learned at Disney World

121712For the past week, we have been enjoying Disney World because we bought an annual pass which allows us unlimited access to all four parks. I just wanted to share some things that I learned this week.

General:

1. Bring a water bottle that you can refill at water fountains.

2. Granola bars or other high energy snacks would be good to have. Sunscreen if you burn easily too.

3. Pick a designated spot to meet in case your party gets separated. We never had to go there but it is good to have a plan just in case.

4. Go to local Walmart and buy your Disney souvenirs there.

5. Look for a hotel on Hwy 192 which is near Disney.

Epcot -

1. We went to ride the major rides as soon as we got there.

2. First though, we went and got a Fastpass for a future ride. Then we rode the ride and could ride it again. Soarin and Test Track were the big rides there. There are still many of the same rides and shows that were here from 20 years ago.

3. Of course the World Showcase is always interesting to learn about other countries.

4. Buy 1 meal and split it between 2 people because the portions are large.

5. Buy a bottle of soda outside the restaurant because you get more for your money in a bottle than in a cup filled with ice.

Animal Kingdom -

1. The first thing we rode on was the roller coaster at Expedition Everest - legend of the Forbidden Mountain. There was an excellent display of information about climbing Mt. Everest. It was very educational.

2. I saw a lot of live animals. The safari ride was amazing!

3. We also enjoyed taking the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We looked through a glass window at a lot of insects and spiders. The staff person there gave explanations about each animal in their cases. She explained a lot about the tarantulas and how they breed. We also learned about Walking Sticks and Katydid. There was a button on the wall that would allow you to talk to her and ask questions.

4. The best thing I think here was the show Finding Nemo - The Musical. It was an awesome show and if you ever have a chance to see it, it is worth the time. My husband who is not a fan of musicals really enjoyed this.

Hollywood Studios -

1. We had a good time here and it brought back a lot of memories. The last time we were here was about 20 years ago and it was interesting how many of the shows were the same.

2. Rockin’ Roller Coaster with Aerosmith and Hollywood Tower of Terror were the major rides for us here.

3. Toy Story was a busy interactive ride so getting a Fastpass helped rather than waiting in line for over an hour.

4. The Lights Motors Action! Stunt show was awesome.

5. Lunch at the Commissary was reasonable.

6. Beauty and the Beast was a great show.

Magic Kingdom -

1. if we only had time for 1 park, this would be the one we would go to.

2. Space Mountain, People Mover, and the Carousel of Progress will always be memorable.

3. It was just fun to walk around and see the different characters.

4. The New Fantasyland opened up this month and we were disappointed. There wasn’t much there because it is still under construction. The crowd was outrageous and the line for The Little Mermaid was two hours long so we got a Fastpass and came back later. The Fastpass for this ride was a 15 minute walk from the ride and this caused the crowd to make a bottleneck jam. The Belle ride was broken all day and we never got to go to that.

5. The castle of course was beautiful all day long whether in broad daylight or at night when it was lit up.

6. Tall Tale Inn and Café - in Frontierland; Taco Salad where beef comes in a tortilla bowl. Then you go to the salad bar and fill it will lots of good toppings.

Have you been to Disney World? If so, what other advice would you give? Please share.

5 comments:

B. Redd said...

This is very helpful. We are going to Disney World in January. We have never been. Thanks for the tips.

Clix said...

ERMAGERHD! I love, love, LOVE Disney World. Srsly. So I have to comment.

1. Bring a wide-mouth water bottle. Then you can go in one of the counter-service restaurants and ask for a cup of ice or ice water and then dump it into your bottle. Also, if you like? bring little flavor packets. Twist the lid back on the bottle, shake, and enjoy! Alternately, if you're traveling light, leave the water bottle and just go in and get a cup of ice water whenever you're thirsty. It's free! :D

2. I always bring snacks of my own - I'm partial to Cheerios or granola bars, myself. Something lightweight and high-fiber, to keep me feeling full. Park food can be expensive, but OHHHH if you know what to get it's lovely! Favorite treats include candied almonds, available in Adventureland and at the Hub and the rice dream from Norway in Epcot.

3. Place and time, although cell phones can be VERY useful! :D

4. Take a camera. The Disney photographers around will gladly take pictures with yours as well as with their super-duper nice ones. :) Also? Digital pictures never need to be dusted! :D

5. I like staying on-property. There's soooo much to see and do just in the resort areas alone!

E1. I think my favorite part of Epcot is the performances: Voices of Liberty, Jammitors, Mo'Rockin, Mariachi Cobre are always on my list.

E2. I never get tired of Soarin' - but it seems everyone else feels the same way! XD Fastpass! :D

E3. I've been on Test Track once. Mehhh. I prefer Mission: Space. Shorter line, better story, lots of fun!

E4. Epcot is known for having the best park food, so if you're going to have a table service meal, better make your reservations early!

E5. Illuminations, the pyrotechnics show around World Showcase Lagoon, is definitely worth sticking around for.

A1. Yes, yes, YES to Expedition Everest! My favorite ride in all four parks. When you're going up the main hill, you can look to your LEFT and see all the way to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! I love getting to AK at rope drop on a slow morning and going through the single-rider line. After about six or seven times in a row I'm FINALLY ready to move on to something else! ;D

A2. I love talking to the "Cast Members" (staff). Especially at AK, there are a lot of people there from other countries. Everyone is always very helpful, and sometimes you get a chance to talk to them about where they're from. It's neat!

A3. Festival of the Lion King is another awesome musical.

A4. DO NOT MISS Flights of Wonder! Even if you have F.O.B. you should go see it. And if you don't know what F.O.B. is, go see it and find out! ;D

H1. Rock'n Rollercoaster is the Hunk's favorite ride. I like it a lot, but because it goes sooo fast, it's over that much faster! ;)

H2. Tower of Terror - meh. Being dropped just wasn't that scary. Interesting weightlessish feeling, up-and-down tugs... for me, it was actually relaxing. Quite comfortable. :P The hotel was amazing, but unfortunately, the line was mostly outside, so you don't get to take in a lot of the detail. :(

H3. Beauty and the Beast felt rushed in a way that FOLK and Nemo didn't, to me. I like the Indy show and the Backlot Tour. Also, see about going to one of the Jedi trainings. SO CUTE! ^.^

H4. Star Tours and Muppets 3D are also lots of fun.

H5. If you can finagle it, Lunch with an Imagineer is awesome. *I* loved it, at least. Great food and a fantastic group.

Clix said...

And then there's the Magic Kingdom... *takes a breath*

M1. I want to live here. No, really.

M2. It's worth getting to the park before it opens to see the Opening Ceremony. (I cry.)

M3. I love, love, love riding the trolley with the Dapper Dans.

M4. Space Mountain is wonderful - definitely worth grabbing a FP right away! The PeopleMover is kind of a hidden gem. There's rarely much of a wait, and it gives you a different angle to look at some of the rides. There's almost always a nice breeze, and it's very relaxing. And as the rides and attractions in Tomorrowland change, so does the Peoplemover!

M5. I love the railroad for many of the same reasons. If you keep your eyes peeled, sometimes you can get a peek "behind the scenes," too!

M6. Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion are delightful, too. Just good, sometimes-silly fun! There are a couple of places on Tom Sawyer Island where you can see the TM train go by, and if you stand tall and wave, people on the coaster wave back! It's fun :D Also, Haunted Mansion has a new interactive section to the queue.

M7. I can't wait to go back to New Fantasyland! It was in soft opening when I went in October. Did you get to see either of the new restaurants?

M8. Two of my favorite "streetmosphere" performances are PUSH and The Notorious Banjo Brothers and Bob. They probably won't be listed on the Times Guide, BUT if you go to City Hall and ask the guest services staff, they can look up performance times and locations.

M9. For lunch, get a waffle sandwich at Sleepy Hollow. SOOOO good! Only served 11-5, though.

M10. And of course, a trip to the Magic Kingdom wouldn't be complete without the Electric Parade and Wishes, which makes me cry EVEN MORE than the Opening Ceremonies do! (I even cry when watching it on youtube!)

Pat Hensley said...

@Clix Thanks so much for all of your suggestions. I think I missed some stuff and since we have an annual pass, we can check out some of the things you mentioned! I saw the Be Our Guest restaurant but the lines were outrageous so we didn't get to eat there. I didn't see another one there but will look for it when I go again.

Clix said...

*laugh* You have no idea how much of a challenge it was to list only my absolutely-very-most-favorite things! Esp. at MK! RE Be Our Guest, at dinner they're table service, which means it's more expensive but no line - they take reservations. So you may be able to call and find out when there's an opening (since it just started, they're probably mostly booked solid!) and plan around that! ;D

http://allears.net/menu/menu_be-our-guest.html