Walt Disney World is all about families and magical experiences, but it's not all spinning teacups and pixies either. In fact, Disney World is home to some of the best thrill rides in the world, as well as a few somewhat scary experiences!
To keep your trip as fun and peaceful as possible, particularly when traveling with little princes and princesses, it's good to know which attractions may pack a little to much excitement for your crew.
So let's take it park by park and see which attractions you may want to skip. However, for kids who are little braver than some, or who handle fast and even rough rides relatively well, we have listed some maybes, attractions which may not be too intense for your kids. While no one can predict just how your kids will react, we hope that you can gauge a little better with this extra listing.
Stitch's Great Escape-Even though this show features the lovable Stitch, anyone who remembers the beginning of his film knows he was kind of scary! This attraction is all about the part of the film where the aliens are trying to keep Stitch contained; but he is less than willing to comply. In this show, you are actually strapped into your seat as you witness Stitch's capture and frightening escape which includes moments of darkness and sensory experiences. While at times amusing, we think this is definitely too scary for little ones!
Space Mountain-Even though this classic attraction doesn't feature any inversions, it does take place almost entirely in the dark and promises a rough ride! It's a blast for adults and older children; but unless you have brave little ones in tow, you may want to skip this for a few years.
Splash Mountain-This water flume attraction is pure fun with warm, lovable characters and more; but when the lead character, Br' er Rabbit runs into trouble, small dips and drops, and finally the huge, trademark drop appear! While the ride itself isn't scary, the ride experience itself might be a bit too much for some.
Big Thunder Mountain-Like Splash Mountain, this fun and friendly ride isn't really scary in itself, but the rough ride, quick speed, and occasional stomach dropping dip can be a little too intense; but of all the Magic Kingdom rides we've listed in this post, it's probably the tamest and a great way to gauge what your kids will like or handle. There are one or two moments of the ride that take place in the dark; but for the most part, the ride is outdoors in the sunshine.
Maybes: Pirates of the Caribbean
Mission Space-This Epcot attraction places you in a very small and tight ride vehicle which then lets you experience what it's like to be blasted into outer space, including the heavy feeling of breaking through the atmosphere and a moment of weightlessness! Many feel this ride is way too intense and is known to make some guests nauseous. Therefore, we definitely waiting until your kids are much older before you give Mission Space a try. If your kids still want to give it a try, there is a milder version of the attraction available.
Maybes: Test Track, Maelstrom, Soarin
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror-Seeing how "terror" is in this attraction's name, you can get a pretty good idea of what's in store! This attraction puts you into an episode of the classic series, The Twilight Zone, and your ride vehicle is an elevator which drops you up and down repeatedly. It's one of the best rides at WDW, but it's definitely thrilling and probably a little too scary for some.
Rock n' Roller Coaster-This attraction is a roller coaster that takes guests from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds before taking you through two inversions and a corkscrew, as well as a few dips along the way. It also takes place completely indoors and mostly in the dark with an awesome Aerosmith soundtrack to rock along to. It's a fun ride, but definitely wild and packed full of thrills.
Maybes: Star Tours, The Great Movie Ride
It's Tough to be a Bug-This 3-D show can be found inside of Animal Kingdom's icon, the Tree of Life, and is hosted by Flik from Pixar's A Bug's Life. The story is that you have shrunk down to the size of a bug and you are getting to see what different bugs can do. The scary part is the sensory experiences. At one part, you get sprayed with Bug Spray by a massive Hopper and you feel as if bugs are running under your feet and behind your back towards the end. Many Disney guests agree that this show is just too scary and even creepy.
Expedition Everest-The newest addition to the Disney Mountain Range, Expedition Everest is a roller coaster that takes you in and out of Mount Everest. It's a fast ride with several drops; and at one point you even end up going backwards in the dark! Despite these thrills, the ride really isn't too scary and has no inversions or corkscrews, even though the storyline is that you are trying out avoid the legendary Yeti. You only see his shadow once during the ride; and unless you look up towards the end, you probably won't see him. Even so, some little guests may find it a little too intense.
Dinosaur-On this ride, you will go back in time in an attempt to save a particular dinosaur; but there's also a terrifying dinosaur on your tail, and a meteor shower is about to strike! This ride is dark, rough, and very scary, especially when you're being chased by the scary dinosaur which makes you feel like you're in a scene from Jurassic Park. Not only this ride too scary for young riders, you may find it too scary too!
Maybes: Kali River Rapids
As if it wasn't obvious enough, we are huge fans of Walt Disney World and all of the activities and experiences to be had there; but there is one thing that us Disney World visitors lack that Disneyland visitors have always had; and that is the ability to walk in Walt's footsteps.
Now we know that WDW's Magic Kingdom is a glorified replica of DL's Magic Kingdom; but the fact remains that Disney World has never been graced by Walt's presence or had his touch throughout its early years.
Also, as the parks grow and expand and change, (which is a good thing and definitely something Walt would want), the reality is that the park that Walt once imagined is fading away.
However, not all is lost! If Disney World visitors know where to look, they can still see remnants of Walt's creations and original ideas at the Magic Kingdom today alongside of the park's new rides and entertainment.
So which attractions came from the imagination and direction of Walt himself? What remnants of Walt's original Magic Kingdom still exist today? Read on to find out!
"it's a small world"-In the sixties, Walt had the great idea of having other companies sponsor new attractions to be displayed at the 1964 World's Fair. This way, Walt could try out new ideas and concepts and have other companies foot the bill! Pretty good idea, right?
The idea for this classic attraction came from not only Walt's imagination, but also from Pepsi, a company looking for a product for the World's Fair, who were sponsoring UNICEF (
The theme of the world's children and Walt's audio-animatronics came together into what we all know today; but some doubted it would even happen! You see, Walt announced the plan for this attraction a little late giving Imagineers only a few months to get it done; but, of course, impossible wasn't even in Walt's vocabulary and the attraction did debut at the fair and became one of the company's most signature attractions ever!
The design came from the mind of Mary Blair, a Disney art director, who Walt chose for the job due to her whimsy, pastel trademark style; and for that famous song, Walt chose his go-to song writers, the Sherman Brothers.
Even though WDW's version is not the original "it's a small world" attraction, it still showcases Walt's ideas and decisions, as well as his success in creating attractions that withstand generations.
Pirates of the Caribbean-Probably the most famous theme park attraction of all time, Pirates of the Caribbean is also one of Walt's original attractions and a testament to his ability to create timeless entertainment.
Walt's original vision was to have a pirates walk-through wax museum; but with development of his trademark audio-animatronics, he began to see that this idea had a lot more potential!
Walt was involved in the extremely detailed design process, which even included a miniature model of the ride that was built at eye level so Imagineers could see what the guests would be seeing!
The Enchanted Tiki Room-Years before technology was made available for audio-animatronics, Walt was fascinated with mechanical toys; and when the idea for the Tiki Room begin to emerge in his imagination, he originally planned it as a restaurant that would come alive with tropical flowers and talking birds. However, like Pirates of the Caribbean, this idea had too much potential and soon blossomed into a full blown show!
Peter Pan's Flight-This attraction is one of the oldest in Disney parks history and holds the honorable position of one of the first attractions ever designed for a Disney park! It was there on the opening day of Disneyland, as well as opening day of WDW's Magic Kingdom; and it still produces LONG wait times even today.
Peter Pan's Flight showcases several things about Walt himself. The first being his creativity and desire to do new things. Walt was always thinking of how to improve something; and the fact that he took the standard dark ride and attached it to the ceiling, instead of running it on a track on the ground, illustrates his fearless ingenuity. Secondly, Peter Pan made quite an impression upon Walt when he saw a live stage performance of the story in his youth; and he really became a kind of Peter Pan when he grew up, leading us to Neverland, or Disneyland, where we don't have to grow up.
and his own animated version came to symbolize his company, such as Tinkerbell and the concept of never growing up, as well as what he does for his park guests. After all, isn't the Magic Kingdom a form of Neverland?
Carousel of Progress-Located in Tomorrowland, the Carousel of Progress was another attraction created for the 1964 World's Fair; and today, it holds the record of the longest running stage show in history! For many years, Walt had wanted to showcase the evolution of technology in some sort of land or attraction in Disneyland; and that idea and passion of his culiminated into this attraction.
The Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite classic "Walt" attractions in that it represents him in so many ways.For example, Walt was a historian, but he also was fascinated with the future, which is what this attraction is all about. Secondly, the show features the use of Walt's famous audio-animatronics! The leading character audio-animatronic really is a lot like Walt if you think about, an everyman who was enjoying the progress of the age and looking forward to the progress of tomorrow; and the time periods represented are periods that Walt's lived through during his life.
Plus, the theme song, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" really sums up Walt's philosophy, don't you think?
Check back soon to read more about what remains of Walt's original Magic Kingdom!
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated attractions at WDW; and it's also one of our personal favorites!
It first opened in 1975 and has changed names several times; but today, it is known as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
This attraction is a covered, swift moving tram with individual connecting cars that runs above Tomorrowland and even through several attractions! These cars have two bench seats facing one another, with is great for conversation!
So what is so great about this attraction? After all, there's really little to no story, no characters, and no thrills. Why is it one of our faves?
We have several reasons. First of all, this attraction offers us a bird's eye of Tomorrowland, as well as a beautiful view of Cinderella castle. Also, being lifted up over the park in our own private car gives us the feeling of being removed from all of the crowds and activity from below. We often retreat here to escape and get a breather, especially during peak season! Also, the seating which enables us to sit across from one another is, as we already stated, ideal for conversation. Our family likes to recall our adventures from the day when riding the PeopleMover, as well as plan out the rest of our day!
This attraction is leisurely, but at times it can move pretty swiftly! There's almost always a breeze created by the car's consistent movement, which is awesome because it really cools you off; but it's gentle enough that many parents often hop aboard with tired toddlers so they can grab a quick nap!
Secondly, we enjoy the PeopleMover because of where it goes, such as into the belly of Space Mountain! If your kids are still too small to ride Space Mountain, or you're a little wary of this attraction's thrills, a ride aboard the PeopleMover can give you a little glimpse inside! One time, we got to see the inside of Space Mountain when the lights were on! Apparently, they were doing an update on the attraction; but it was awesome getting to see a rare view of this classic ride.
The PeopleMover also goes inside of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, an attraction that's a big hit with kids! They get to see guests firing their laser cannons at the Z targets in order to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg in this dark, but fun and colorful attraction. Finally, the PeopleMover gives guests a loft view of the inside of a Tomorrowland store, Mickey's Star Traders.
The third reason we are fans of the PeopleMover is because it's one of the best attractions to ride during the rain! While the ride is open air, there is a covering over the track to keep you sheltered from the sun and rain; and because there is rarely a line, and lasts several minutes, we often hop aboard to wait out a sudden Florida shower while still getting to enjoy the sights of the park.
Finally, we are fans of the PeopleMover because of it's history. When passing through one of the buildings, you will see Walt's model for Epcot. Many guests don't realize that Epcot was originally not supposed to be a theme park, but an actual community where you could go to live and work!
This may lead you to ask yourself just why an old model of Epcot is hidden away in the Magic Kingdom? Well, there is a connection; and that connection is the PeopleMover itself! You see, Walt's vision for his Epcot community was to have PeopleMovers be one of the primary modes of transportation. The other would be the Monorail, which would encircle the outside of his community. His intended for the PeopleMovers to transport people to and from their jobs, schools, shopping districts, and church on Sunday. He believed that traffic, accidents, smog, and pollution would be eliminated because PeopleMovers accelerate magnetically! Think about it, we wouldn't have to be concerned about gas prices with this type of technology!
Therefore, the PeopleMover is one of the last remnants, as well as a testament, to Walt's vision and plans for the future that is still entertaining and transporting guests today!
This is why the PeopleMover is one of our favorite attractions and a must-do on our Disney vacations! Is it yours too?
What are the best attractions for kids at Walt Disney World? We've decided to share our top picks from each Disney park. Be sure to share with us your faves too!
Magic Kingdom: Peter Pan's Flight
The Magic Kingdom has so many awesome kid rides, but we to have to stick with the classic Peter Pan's Flight. This gentle, yet exhilharating ride takes kids from the Darling Nursery, over nighttime London, and all around Neverland. The fact that the pirate ship shaped ride vehicle is attached to a track on the ceiling sets this attraction apart and adds an exhilarating feel. What's even more impressive is that this attraction has been in the Magic Kingdom since opening day and has been a big favorite with kids for generations. That's why Peter Pan's Flight is our top pick for kids at the most magical park of them all!
Epcot: The Seas with Nemo and Friends
This attraction takes guest aboard a clam shell for a pleasant and colorful trip through Nemo's world! The technology in this ride is fantastic as you can see characters from Finding Nemo swimming in a real fish tank with live fish! You can also catch a ride with Crush on the EAC! But that's not all! After you exit your clam, feel free to explore an enormous, air conditioned, indoor area that offers plenty of exhibits and tanks where you can see live fish, manatees, and even dolphins! This is excellent for young kids who need a break from the heat and crowds and who want to explore and experience at their own pace. That fact, accompanied with the popular Finding Nemo theme, makes this our top pick for a kid's attraction at Epcot.
Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania
This attraction is still relatively new and is very popular with guests! In fact, next to Epcot's Soarin', it's probably the most notorious attraction for long waits. However, there's good reason for this; and that's because Toy Story Midway Mania is an excellent ride and our top pick for kids at this park. This attraction makes you feel as if you are the size of a toy in one of the most impressive and entertaining queues at WDW with it's giant board game pieces, Lincoln Log cabin, scribbled drawings of Buzz and Woody, and larger than life Andy's room. During the ride, you fire a pull-string cannon at interactive 3-D screens hosted by Toy Story characters in games that resemble old boardwalk midway games. The Toy Story theme is big with kids, but they also really enjoy this attraction in that it's interactive and they can play along! Also, parents seem to really enjoy this ride too because you can make it a competition, making it great for the whole family.
Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris
This attraction is so unique and definitely one of the best on property. On Kilimanjaro Safaris, guests board a safari vehicle and set across what looks to be the African savanna to see live African wildlife roaming freely! Families fit comfortably on bench seats within the safari vehicle and animals can be seen on both sides. Kids really enjoy seeing the animals walking around in clear view and watching for their favorites. In fact it may be hard to get them off once the ride is over! This ride really makes a trip to the zoo pale in comparison; and because it's not only an entertaining, but also a unique and educational experience.
In honor of this year's fantastic summer Olympics, we decided to pick a few categories that resemble those judged in the Olympic competitions and see which Disney World attractions are worthy of a medal! Take a look!
Endurance: This category is for the attractions that have stood the test of time, that keep delivering amazing moments generation after generation. Here are our winners:
Bronze: Jungle Cruise
This attraction came from the mind of Walt Disney himself and is still popular with all ages today. The Jungle Cruise really embodies the spirit of adventure and the Jungle Cruise captains and their hilarious jokes keep us coming back.
Silver: Peter Pan's Flight
Peter Pan's Flight was there on opening day and it still generates long, long lines even now! It stands apart from other dark rides because the pirate ships in which you ride run on a track attached to the ceiling. The flight over London, and feeling as if you are really running off to Neverland with Peter Pan, delights kids and gives adults the sensation, if just for a moment, that they too are kids again.
Gold: Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is worthy of the gold medal because it has been and still is one of the most popular and iconic attractions of the Disney Company. Even today, with our technology and special effects, Pirates continues to thrill, amaze, and delight. Pirates of the Caribbean has even inspired one of the most popular film franchises of the same name; and has adopted Captain Jack Sparrow himself into the attraction for guests to locate.
Fastest: This category is for the fastest attractions at WDW! In short, these are the rides which are our equivalent of Jamaican runner Usain Bolt!
Bronze: Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest wins the bronze in this category because, once your coaster goes backwards to escape the Yeti, it definitely picks up speed and makes you feel as if you are rocketing in and out of that mountain! This ride is smooth, but quick, and is great for those who feel the need for speed!
Silver: Rock n' Roller Coaster
This attraction is famous for speed because its storyline is that you are riding in a stretch limo which is speeding through Los Angeles in an attempt to make an Aerosmith concert. This ride begins with a literal launch from 0 to 60 under three seconds! It's the epitome of an adrenaline rush and is definitely worthy of a medal in this category.
Gold: Test Track
Test Track is currenlty being refurbished but it holds the honor of being the fastest attraction at WDW as it reaches speeds up to 65 mph! This occurs during the finale, the part where your car rockets out onto the outside track and reaches this high speed for a moment or two. Therefore, it wins the gold.
Longest: Like the Olympic Long Jump, this category is for those attractions that offer us the longest ride.
Bronze: Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is eleven minutes long and it deserves a spot on the medal stand because few thrill rides at WDW offer this long of a ride. The length of ride time definitely makes the wait in line worth it!
Silver: Kilimanjaro Safaris
This ride lasts around eighteen minutes and is one of Disney's largest and most unique rides ever! The grounds for this attraction cover a number of miles and the scenery is always changing because the entertainment isn't staged, it's live with live African animals!
Gold: Carousel of Progress
Carousel of Progress is about twenty minutes long and is unique in that it is both a ride and a show, as the theater actually rotates! This attraction also medals because it holds the honor of one of the longest running stage shows ever!
Technique: When you're watching an Olympic sport, you always have the announcers analyzing and commenting on an athlete's technique. For this category, we are awarding attractions whose design and setup are flawless and continue to impress.
Bronze: Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents has been impressing guests since its beginning; and it still impresses us today. For one, they are incredibly life-like; and if you pay attention, you will see some of them fidget or even doze during the speeches! Secondly, this attraction continues to grow and change because when we elect a new president, a new audio-animatronic must be made and he must deliver a speech. It is one attraction that is never done.
This incredibly popular Epcot attraction is worthy of the silver medal because accomplishing the task of taking dozens of guests on a realistic hang gliding adventure is such an impressive undertaking! Secondly, the use of the curved, bowl screen and the bench gliders which are lifted up and above one another are clearly seen by guests when they walk in. So the curtain is, in a sense, pulled back for us to see; but once the ride begins, it seems so real that we are completely fooled to the point where we feel the need to lift our feet because we don't want to hit the tops of the trees!
Gold: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This attraction is deserving the gold medal because it is a technical marvel. The massive, and realistically creepy, hotel houses elevator shafts that do exactly what engineers in real society have been trying to avoid! Drop! If that wasn't all, these elevators actually leave on shaft for another during your journey and are programmed to drop in random sequences. That is one smart elevator!
Boats: Like the rowing, sailing, kayaking, and other boating sports, this category is for the best of the best of those classic Disney boat rides.
Bronze: "it's a small world"
This classic attraction is home to one of the most well-known theme songs ever; and it is one of those rides that everyone thinks of when they think of Disney. It's an icon; and because of that, it deserves a spot on the medal stand.
Silver: Pirates of the Caribbean
This attraction is one of the best boat rides because, after all, it is a pirate attraction and what is a pirate without a ship? Pirates of the Caribbean takes guests into a world of humor and adventure as it sails past vivid scenes of pirates in action. It's a classic and very popular so this is why Pirates of the Carribean has to be one of the best boat rides at WDW.
Gold: Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is another classic attraction and it's worthy of the gold for several reasons. One reason is because the boats are awesome. They are designed after those vintage boats like you would see in old adventure movies. Unlike other boat rides at WDW, the Jungle Cruise boat is more of a fixture than just a means of transportation during your sail down the most exotic rivers in the world; and you also have a captain piloting your boat who is the true star of your experience.
All-Around Champion: Just like Gabby Douglas, this category is for the overall best attractions at WDW that enchant all ages and generations and offer both a great story, design, a pleasant journey, and a few thrills too!
Soarin' wins bronze because this ride appeals to all and never ceases to amaze. Soarin' offers the sensation of flight; and the feeling that it generates is what makes it thrilling, making it suitable for kids, parents, and grandparents or for those who are wary of Disney's thrill rides. The beautiful scenery, ending with a flight over Disneyland during its fireworks show, makes this attraction worthy of the bronze.
Silver: Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain wins the silver because it appeals to young and old alike and is one of the best examples of a story being used in an attraction. As you float along, things get a little worse and a little more thrilling, just like how Brer Rabbit progressively gets closer to danger. Splash Mountain immerses you into another world and its adorable and immersive scenery makes it a great ride for kids too. Then there is that trademark drop which still thrills us every time! This is why Splash Mountain earns the silver.
Gold: Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean wins the gold for all-around champion because it has it all. Guests of all ages having been flocking to this classic attraction for decades to step into the pirate world and see and experience its gags, details, and design, as well as to feel that sense of thrill and adventure that it's known for! Many say that Pirates is one of the most, if not the most, successful theme park attraction ever and there is no doubt that it is something special.
That is our award ceremony! Do you agree or disagree? Which attraction were you cheering for? Share with us!
We don't know about you, but when it comes to Epcot's Future World, we usually ride our favorite attractions and then spend the bulk of our time at World Showcase. this means that we barely take notice of Innoventions. However, on one rare occasion, we dropped by and were pleasantly surprised to find a new attraction, Vision House.
Vision House is a model of a working home has had been built and furnished to be environmentally friendly.
At this attraction, you are given a guided tour through this house to see how the how the design, furnishings, and appliances are meant to help the environment. Fortunately, there are no restrictions or barriers, and you are free to move about as you would in any normal house.
Unlike other displays of green technology, some of the things used in this house are affordable and will actually save occupants money! Also, even if you aren't interested in "going green," Vision House offers a lot of ideas for those wanting to update or even build their own homes!
When our guide ushered us into the house, we found ourselves in an open living space featuring an open kitchen, dining room, and living room. Our guide then told us the story behind the family who had undertaken the Vision House project, as what would see is a replica of their actual home.
Our guide then showed us some of the furnishings and appliances used in the home, such as the recycled table and chairs, the sink which helps conserve water, and a really great dishwasher which also conserves water and has an awesome feature!
In the living room, you will find a cut-out in the wall exposing the home's unique insulation: it's made out of old blue jeans! It's less irritating and more efficient.
In the next part of the house, you get to see the bathroom, laundry room, and the bedrooms. Of all the rooms, we found the bathroom to be the most interesting and amusing! The shower can actually have a limit you can set to put an end to your kids' endless showers; but the high-tech toliet takes the cake! It is self-cleaning and features lights, music, heat, and more!
One of our personal favorite features is that each room has its own temperature setting, bringing an end to the fights over the thermostat at your house! What a great idea!
The final section shows the garage and a work area, as well as a portion of the backyard. While our guide showed us dozens of things in each room and section,I found the concrete roof of the house to be especially fascinating as it's cheap, efficient, and won't have to be replaced like the typical roofs you see.
Vision House was crammed full of innovative ideas, new technology, and environmentally friendly additions. Our guide showed us dozens of things in each section, much more than I explained in this post, and there were even more things to see; but there wasn't nearly enough time for it all in one tour.
We also have to point out that our guide was excellent. You could really sense his passion and interest in the project; and what was even more helpful was that he had taken some of the elments of Vision House and incorporated them into his own house! It was great to hear from someone who had firsthand experience with what we were seeing.
We really enjoyed our tour through Vision House; and again, whether or not you are into helping the environment, you will definitely get some great ideas for your own home, as well as a glimpse at the new methods and technology being developed. We definitely recommend you drop by Vision House at Epcot's Innoventions to check it out for yourself!
Tired of dealing with long lines at Walt Disney World? Is the FastPass machine return time hours from now or out of tickets altogether? You're not alone! However, there are some attractions at Walt Disney World that usually offer short waits, even during busy times of the year! Check out our list of short wait attractions at the most magical park of them all: the Magic Kingdom!
~Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover-This attraction is one of our personal favorites and one of the most underrated attractions at WDW. This breezy, lesiurely, yet covered, ride over Tomorrowland takes you inside some of its attractions and offers a great view of this part of the park. It's also a great opportunity to get off your feet, chat with your family, and just relax! It usually has little to no wait; and if there is a line, it moves very quickly!
~Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room-This classic Disney attraction came from the mind of Walt himself! The wait for this visit to the Enchanted Tiki Room to see and hear the Tiki Room birds, as well as the flowers and tikis is usually a short wait!
~Carousel of Progress-This is another classic Disney attraction and another one of our favorites! This is both a ride and show in that guests watch a family experience and enjoy new technology throughout early decades of the 20th century, and then in the future, all in a theater that rotates to each scene! This charming show can accomodate large numbers of guests and almost always has a short wait!
~Walt Disney World Railroad-This 20 minute railroad trip is an entertaining mode of transportation that takes you all around the park! Because the railroad can hold large numbers of guests, the only wait you may have to endure is waiting for a train to pull into the station. This attraction is also a great way to get off your feet!
~Tom Sawyer Island-Take a raft over to this wooded island and explore at your will trails, forts, caves, and bridges! There are no lines or wait times here because you are free to see and explore this island and its offerings at your own pace. However, at times, you may have to wait for a raft to reach the island.
~Country Bear Jamboree-Located in Frontierland, this classic Disney show offers some charming, backwoods entertainment. Usually the only wait you may have to contend with is waiting for the next show to begin; and young guests especially enjoy this attraction.
~Swiss Family Treehouse-This Adventureland attraction lets guests venture up into the Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse to see the amenities and comforts this resourceful family created after they were shipwrecked. Because this a walk through attraction, there is rarely a wait; and if there is a line, it typically moves rather quickly.
~Hall of Presidents-Another one of our favorite Disney World attractions, the Hall of Presidents is one of the best shows at Walt Disney World as guests get to see audio-animatronics of every American President, as well as a stirring, historical film. The large theater holds a large number of guests so the only waiting you may have to do is waiting for the next show to begin; and the waiting area is cool and comfortable with historical displays to enjoy!
~Stitch's Great Escape-This Tomorrowland show lets guests experience the havoc Stitch's unleashes when he escapes on board a space ship. While Stitch is cute, this show can definitely be scary, especially for little ones; but the line is rarely long.
~Mickey's Philharmagic-Another one of our favorite attractions, this 3D show takes guests on a adventure throughout musical scenes of many popular Disney movies, such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast! Since most theaters at WDW accomodate large numbers of guests, this show usually doesn't have a line; and again, the only wait time is waiting for the next show.
~Liberty Square Riverboat-This 3 leveled riverboat takes guests on a relaxing cruise around Tom Sawyer Island and back in time! This ride offers rare views of certain areas of the park that you don't normally see from the pavement and is narrated by Mark Twain. The riverboat can carry large numbers of guests, so if the boat is ready to go, you shouldn't have to wait!
We hope our list will help you beat the long lines and enable you and your familyto enjoy Disney attractions without long waits!
Germany is one of our favorite World Showcase pavilions at Epcot. Not only is it a beautiful pavilion, but there is a lot to see, do, and experience here! Many guests visiting the World Showcase tend to walk past these pavilions or fail to fully discover all they have to offer. We hope today's Royal Destination post on Germany will show you the best of the Germany pavilion!
When a guest walks into Germany, they will feel as if they walked into the pages of a story book and rightly so! Germany was home to many of the fairy tales and stories that we grow up with, some of which Disney has used as inspiration for their own films! The different architecture represented in this pavilion are representations of different periods throughout Germany history, but with a particular emphasis on the types that mirror the fairy tale era.
Be sure to pay special attention to the clock tower, especially on the hour! Also, Disney characters are known to frequent Germany, particularly Snow White! She can be found almost every day at certain times around the pavilion. You may also find Dopey too!
Germany also has terrific shopping spots! Here you can find a variety of different items native to Germany such as Christmas ornaments, painted eggs, ornate beer steins, crystal jewelry, German toys, soccer merchandise, and cuckoo clocks that showcase German craftsmenship!
Remember that the Cast Members working in these shops are actually from Germany and often enjoy answering any questions you may have regarding the real Germany. Hearing their stories and gaining knowledge from these Cast Members not only brightens their day, but is fun and interesting for you. Think of the knowledge you take away as a different kind of souvenir!
Next to the Germany pavilion is a minature village and train set. These minatures cover quite a bit of space and there's a bridge for you to walk over so that you can see it all!
This display is a charming addition to Germany, and little guests especially enjoy watching the trains make their way through the tiny towns and over and under bridges.
Pay special attention to this display during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, as Disney often puts minature topiaries, that copy the actual topiaries you find throughout the park, in these scenes!
Germany offers several dining opporunities, including Sommerfest and Biergarten. However, our favorite spot in Germany to grab a bite is at Karamell-Kuche! This snack spot is new and quickly becoming a popular destination.
Here you can purchase caramel goodies, including caramel candy and snacks from Werthers. The bakery here has been gaining attention for it's caramel creations, such as a caramel cupcake, unique caramel apples, and other creative caramel treats. We also hear that the caramel corn here is excellent too!
Unique Caramel Apple Treats at Karamelle Kuche
Are you a Disney Mountaineer?
A Disney mountaineer is a guest who has tackled all of Disney's "mountain" attractions on their Walt Disney World vacation. Many of Disney's biggest and most thrilling acttractions can be found inside their fantastic mountains; and the experiences they offer are some of Disney's most wild, popular, and intense!
To be a Disney Mountaineer on your next trip to Disney, you need to have a plan of attack and the proper equipment. Know the best time to visit these mountains, have a park map to know how to know their location, and be aware of the health risks. Then, with a FastPass secured in one hand and your camera in the other, you're ready to become a Disney Mountaineer!
Mountain #1: Space Mountain
Space Mountain was Disney's very first mountain! Today, it still dominates the Magic Kingdom's skyline at 180 feet!
Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster in the dark! You and fellow mountaineers will board two connecting rockets, which seat three guests per rocket, which take you on a wild ride of sharp turns, dips, and drops through the blackness of space!
Space Mountain is unique in that it offers two separate tracks; but don't worry about missing out on one over the other. They offer pretty much the same experience. Also, while you feel as if your rocket is hurdling down the track, it's actually only going about 28 mph!
This particular mountain ride doesn't have any inversions or major drops, but it can be very rough and jerky at times. There is a height requirement of of 44 inches for young mountaineers; and those attempting this challenge should be aware that the line for Space Mountain can be really really long. Be sure to attempt to scale this peak early in the day and early in your trip. Otherwise, be properly equipped with a FastPass.
Mountain #2: Summit Plummet
The wettest mountain in the Disney mountain range, Summit Plummet is the tallest and fastest water slide in the world, located at the top of Mount Gushmore at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park.
Summit Plummet is 120 ft. tall free-fall slide that resembles a ski jump. When it comes time for you to slip down this chilly slope, you will slide at 50 to 60 mph in both sunlight and in the dark before splashing to a stop at the bottom of the peak. Be sure to look up to see your speed!
Summit Plummet does require mountaineers to be 48 inches tall; and the line can get very long. We recommend tackling this peak when the water park first opens in the morning!
Mountain #3: Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is a fun, log flume attraction set inside and out of yet another Disney peak. Located in the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland, Splash Mountain delivers thrills, a story, and a splash!
Splash Mountain transports guests into the cartoon world of Brer Rabbit from the Disney film Song of the South, as Brer Rabbit decides to leave home to find his "laughing place." As the story progresses, your log weaves inside and out of Chickapin HIll and takes you up and down a few small dips before your log slips down Splash Mountain's biggest drop!
The drop is 5 stories high; but don't worry. It's an angled drop and even young mountaineers are known to enjoy this ride! However, you will get wet, especially if you are sitting in the first and second row!
All mountaineers should note that Splash Mountain is one of the most popular attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Fortunately the line is known to move much more quickly than Space Mountain or Summit Plummet. Also, there is a height requirement of 40 inches in order to scale this peak.
Mountain #4: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Right next door to Splash Mountain is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a runaway mine train coaster ride!
Mountaineers will note that this mountain doesn't pack as many thrills as some of the other Disney mountains do, but it's quick pace, sharp turns, and sudden dips definitely earn it the title of "the wildest ride in the wilderness!"
Big Thunder Mountain is known for its detail. As you rumble up, down, through, and around the mountain, keep your eyes peeled for funny sights and gags as a sudden flood derails the mining town of Tumbleweed! Also, if possible, tackle this mountain at night for a different experience and sights you haven't seen before!
At times, you may find a short wait for this mountain; but it does have the capability of keeping mountaineers stalled for some time. If you're not wanting a wait, pack a FastPass! Also, mountaineers must be 40 inches tall.
Mountain #5: Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is Disney's newest mountain! Located in Asia at Animal Kingdom, this Disney mountain offers a wild ride with a twist and a mythical creature lurking about the peaks.
On Expedition Everest, mountaineers board a train that will make its way up into the Himalayas, but notice that there are warnings everywhere cautioning folks against the Yeti, the mythical keeper of the mountains. Before you get very far, you will find that the Yeti has torn up your tracks and is on the trail! To get away, your train rockets backwards inside the mountain before going forwards inside and out of the frosty mountains! If you keep your eyes open, you just might see him!
This Disney mountain offers thrills for sure, but it's another that even young guests enjoy. It's also a smooth ride. Expedition Everest is probably the most popular attraction at Animal Kingdom, so arrive early or grab a FastPass. However, if you do have to wait, don't despair! The line takes you through a travel agency that offers expeditions into the mountains, complete with its own Yeit museum; and all of it is very entertaining and interesting to see. Once again, mountaineers much reach a height of 44 inches themselves to reach this mountain's heights.
So what do you think? Think you can scale all of these Disney peaks?! They truly are some of Disney's very best; and while they offer some thrilling moments, there's still plenty of fun and Disney magic thrown in. If you are on a Disney Mountaineer, share with us and comment below! Let us know what your favorite Disney peak is and your experiences. Also, it you want to become a Disney mountaineer, we want to hear from you too! But be sure to plan accordingly and pack some FastPasses when you embark on your adventure! Happy climbing!
Flights of Wonder is a show located in Asia at Animal Kingdom. It is housed at Caravan Stage, a covered theater facing a stage that resembles old ruins.
This 25 minute show is really fantastic as you get to see some amazing species of birds fly overhead and witness how well trained they are, as well as learn a little about them. Plus, the show's hosts and storyline are pretty entertaining!
Today I'm focusing not just on Flights of Wonder; but its pre-show located outside of Caravan Stage at a little covered stand like what you can see below.
Before the theater is opened and guests are allowed to take their seats for the show, a professional handler takes to this stand with a bird to educate guests waiting for the show and to answer their questions.
The bird pictured above is an owl named Twister! We learned that despite being a large bird, he doesn't weigh much at all; and his bones are actually not dense at all but almost hollow!
We also learned that owls, along with other kinds of birds, actually pant in the heat! It was extremely hot so Twister panted most of the time!
Like most owls, Twister's head turns almost all the way around and it was fun to watch him turn this way and that as he checked out his audience!
You could also tell that Twister's handler was very passionate about birds and telling us about Twister. It was encouraging seeing the Animal Kingdom staff so dedicated and excited about their work and their animals.
If you're planning on seeing Flights of Wonder during your visit to Animal Kingdom, arrive at the show about 20 minutes before showtime to see one of the birds you will encounter in the show and to learn a great deal about them. This is also a great opportunity to get some cool, close-up photos! Hopefully, you might see Twister!