10. There is Something For Everyone
If you are looking for rides that will make you scream head over to Animal Kingdom, take a ride on one of the famous mountains (space or splash) or head over to Hollywood Studios for the Tower of Terror. Want something a bit more low key? The teacups put you in the drivers seat, or head over to Epcot for some simulation rides. Kid friendly rides abound in all the parks as well as activities to keep them busy. If you aren’t a ride person watch a show or head over to Epcot to try your hand at a video game with you as the main character! No matter what your preference is, you are sure to find it at one or all of the parks.
9. Travel Around the World (at Epcot)
The World Showcase area at Epcot is a great way to spend the afternoon. It consists of 11 pavilions, representing different countries from around the world: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, UK, and Canada. When I was at Epcot I got a cannoli and a coffee in France and bratwurst in Germany. The guy at the cash register in Germany sounded German so we asked him about it. He said he was really from Germany and that Disney World tried to make it authentic as possible!
Jay is known for his lack of shame and his playful nature so it wouldn’t be a trip unless he did something mildly embarrassing. After dinner we headed over to Canada to check out this alleged authenticity. He went over to a young woman in the gift shop and said: “someone called me a hoser and I’m wondering if that is good or bad.” It was incredibly hard not to laugh and/or take the woman off the spot, but she responded in a very polite, typical Canadian fashion: “Well, I don’t really like it…”
8. The Electrical Parade
I was super excited that the Main Street Electrical Parade had started up again just months before our visit. This parade (currently) runs nightly at the Magic Kingdom Park and features floats and people covered in “electronically controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack.” It’s a unique experience and definitely worth sticking around for!
7. Get a Picture with Your Favourite Character
Who doesn’t want to meet a Disney princess or Mickey Mouse? Even though you know the person inside is just an average Joe like yourself, there is still something exhilarating about seeing your childhood heroes walking around the parks. Check out Character Central to read about all the different characters and plan ahead (check the individual parks) if there is someone you can’t bear to miss!
I LOVE fireworks and Disney World’s reputation does not disappoint; you will find some of the best fireworks in the world here.
Check out Illumination: Reflections of Earth at Epcot, which features fireworks, lasers, and fire. Make sure you watch the water to see beamed images from around the world. In addition, Hollywood studios produces Fantasmic and Magic Kingdom puts on Wishes Nighttime Spectacular! All three are very different and worth a look!
5. You Get to Ride the Teacups
No trip to Disneyworld would be complete without a spin on the Mad Tea Party ride. It is based on the Unbirthday scene in Alice In Wonderland and is known for causing motion sickness. Each teacup has it’s own steering wheel, letting the riders control the amount of spin they experience. My first mistake was going on this with two men- they both went slightly maniacal trying to out- spin the other. My second mistake- getting on the second time. barf But seriously, try it.
4. The Customer Service
If every company ran their customer service like Disney, the world would be a much happier place. According to an article from Forbes, a few things Disney prides itself on are:
- Being “show ready,” aka maintaining a very high level of cleanliness and order
- Being “assertively friendly.” You know that research that says that the mere act of smiling can make you happier? I think Disney alone has proved it many times over.
- Having effective communication.
Disney isn’t perfect and it only take a Google search to find unhappy Disney customers, but their track record is much higher than most companies and they are actively trying to improve even more. An excerpt from this article shows just how far Disney’s commitment to great customer service goes:
On a visit to a Disney theme park, a little girl and her mother came to a fenced-off construction site. To her mother’s dismay, the little girl threw her favorite Disney doll, Belle, over the fence. When park staff retrieved the doll, it was in a sorry state, spattered with mud, dress torn, hair bedraggled. Attempts to find a replacement in the shop proved futile: Belle had been replaced by a newer model. So the doll was taken first to a makeup artist, who washed her and styled her hair, then to the wardrobe department, which made her a new dress, and finally to a “party” with other Disney princesses, with a photographer in attendance.
Good as new, Belle was returned to her owner that evening, along with a photo album that showed what a great time she’d had during her “makeover.” Later, in a thank you letter, the girl’s mother described the moment of Belle’s return as “pure magic.”
3. It’s The Happiest Place on Earth
Forget the rides and the characters and the food, what Disney really sells is happiness. They provide a place where you can go and forget all the worries of the “real” world and become engaged in a world of magic and wonder. And really, who doesn’t want that?
2. Use a Fast Pass
One of the most impressive aspects of Disney World is the Fast Pass system. The four Disney parks rank at the top for the most visited parks in the world, yet I waited in line for much less time than I have at any other park in my life. The Fast Pass allows you to essentially reserve a time to come back and go on the ride, or participate in the attraction. With a Fast Pass you get to stand in a special line, cutting your wait time by multiples. You have to plan ahead to use the system since you can’t hold multiple fast passes at once, but do it right and you get that much more bang for your buck.
In fact, they are so effective that I felt incredibly guilty. Here I am (below) at Space Mountain feeling like a horrible person for walking past hours worth of line with my Fast Passes. I felt like I was cheating! In addition to these you can also check wait time boards around the park so you can go on the rides with the shortest lines. Other parks need to adopt these techniques- pure gold.
1. It Makes You Feel Like a Kid Again
When we first decided to go to Disney World Jay was somewhat apathetic. He knew he’d have fun, but thought it was going to be childish and that we could have more fun somewhere else. Ask him now and he’ll tell you that it was his favourite trip we’ve taken. There is enough at the parks to keep the adult in you entertained, but also enough lack of judgement to allow you to release your inner child.