So you begin to wonder what can you skip? Can you do it all? Is it even worth trying? What if you miss something? You finally ask yourself just how are you going to be able to enjoy the total Disney World experience in one trip with only a few days and can it be done?
Well, while you can't do it all in one trip, you can have the total WDW experience in one trip with a little planning and prioritizing; and we are here to help you do just that!
In this new series, we are going to take you park by park and list and explain what you have to do for the total Disney experience, including shops, restaurants, and extras. We will also discuss the best Disney resorts for the total experience, as well as tackle the water park question and what not to miss there and more!
Today, we are starting with the most iconic and magical park of them all:
The Magic Kingdom!
1. The Hub-This area is located right in front of Cinderella Castle and is where you find the iconic "Partners" statue (as pictured above). There are other little statues in this area; and it's a great place for a perfect Disney photo!
2. Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade-Every day at 3 o'clock, this parade of magical floats and popular Disney characters takes to the streets! This is a Disney parade at its best and a great way to see a lot of great characters at one time.
3. Wishes-Wishes is the Magic Kingdom's nightly firework display; and after you see this show, every other 4th of July will pale in comparison! This show tells a story, narrated by Jiminy Cricket, and features popular Disney songs and a moving soundtrack. Also, be sure to keep your eyes up to see Tinker Bell fly from the top of the castle and over the park! Seriously!
4. Main Street Electrical Parade-In addition to the Share a Dream Come True parade, the Magic Kingdom also offers a parade at night where characters and floats are lit by lights! It's truly magical, a big kid pleaser, and a Disney tradition!
5. Main Street U.S.A.-This part of the Magic Kingdom serves as the entry into the park and is themed after a turn of the century town. While there are no attractions here, there are lots of shops, plenty to do, and a lot of Disney history to discover. Be sure to take some time out to explore it for a total Disney experience!
6. Personalize Mouse Ears-A Disney tradition since the beginning, every first time guest to WDW has to purchase their own pair of Mouse Ears and have their name personalized on the back, no matter what their age! But don't be concerned, everyone is a kid at WDW and no one thinks anyone about it.
1. Splash Mountain-This ultimate log flume ride is the perfect family attraction as it offers fun scenery for the little ones and thrills for the adults; but the fun and thrills are not too intense for either respective party. Plus, you get the most bang for your buck on this ride in that it's one of the longest at WDW. Splash Mountain is VERY popular between young and old alike; and a great example of what Disney does best!
2. Pirates of the Caribbean-One of Disney's most famous attractions, Pirates of the Carribean is a classic but still as popular as it was when it first opened. This ride begins with an ominious passage into the pirate world; but after one dark drop, and a cruise through some cannon fire, the ride becomes hilarious with amusing, detailed scenes of pirates looting and running amuck. Kids are also sure to enjoy seeing Captain Jack Sparrow popping up now and again too! In all, this ride is pure Disney, a classic park attraction, and a big crowd pleaser!
3. "it's a small world"-While this ride gets a bad rap, it's one of the most iconic Disney attractions of all time! This boat ride takes you past scenes and dancing dolls reflecting cultures and countries from around the world to learn that it really is a small world and we are more like than we realize. Adults appreciate the message and the innocence, and all young kids really enjoy it; and whether you find it charming or not, you can at least say that you have done it.
4. Peter Pan's Flight-This is yet another classic Disney attraction that is still popular today! On Peter Pan's Flight, you board pirate ships that hang from the ceiling and literally fly out of the Darling children's bedroom, over a tiny, glowing London below, and through Neverland where you will see Mermaid Lagoon, the Indians, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee, more from Peter Pan. Young and old will enjoy this ride and it's definitely a must-do!
5. Space Mountain-This is the Magic Kingdom's most thrilling attraction as it is a roller coaster in the dark! On Space Mountain, you enter a space port where you will board a rocket which then shoots you up and down a long track through space! This ride is brisk and a little jerky; and due to the darkness, you can't see where you will drop next! For many guests, Space Mountain is the big kid's Dumbo and a rite of passage at Disney World.
6. Jungle Cruise-On this attraction, you will explore the major rivers of the world; but be prepared to laugh! This classic Disney attraction lets guests enjoy a cruise through the jungle as they encounter exotic wildlife (audio-animatronic) such as hippos, elephants, , and more. Your boat captain and tour guide is more of a comedian than anything; and their scripted jokes have been making guests chuckle for years!
7. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin-Located in Tomorrowland, this attraction lets guests become Space Rangers and help Buzz Lightyear defeat the Zurg! How? By shooting laser cannons attached to your slow moving ride vehicle at targets! While this attraction is mainly a kid friendly attraction, adults really enjoy competing for the best score; and its one of the park's most popular rides!
8. Dumbo-Dumbo is a classic attraction, a Disney icon, and a rite of passage for any kid who visits WDW. Disney has recently redone Dumbo so future generations can enjoy this traditional ride in a new and exciting way.
9. Mickey's Philharmagic-In this 3-D show, you are at a concert hall where the Mickey and the gang are about to perform, with a little help from the magic hat from Fantasia. However, Donald gets a hold of it and takes the audience on a wild ride through main musical numbers from classic Disney films, such as The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and more! Seeing Mickey and the gang in an attraction, as well as experiencing Disney movies like never before, makes this a must-do for a total Disney experience!
10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad-Next door to Splash Mountain is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, where you can ride a runaway mine train through the wild west! This coaster is relatively tame, but it does offer plenty of quick dips and sharp turns; and be sure to keep an eye out for all the details packed into this attraction!
Crystal Palace-This is one of the best character meals in all of WDW due to its gorgeous building, view of Cinderella Castle, and Winnie the Pooh characters. The Crystal Palace is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features these characters at each meal; and even if you don't have kids, you can still come! Many adults and older kids do!. We always eat here for breakfast; and with the great food, setting, and charming characters, we believe its one of the best character meals on property.
Cinderella's Royal Table-While expensive, and often difficult to get a reservation for, this character meal is the most magical of them all in that the dining room is located inside the castle overlooking Fantasyland and princesses drop by to visit with you! If you have a Disney princess fan in your family, this is a must-do, if possible, for a total Disney experience!
Casey's Corner-For a quick meal, drop by this quick service spot with its vintage baseball theme for awesome hot dogs, cracker jacks, and their famous corn dog nuggets! The decor is amazing and the food is delicious!
Aloha Isle-This is a quick snack spot in Adventureland where you can enjoy a cult classic Disney treat, a Dole Whip! A Dole Whip is pineapple flavored soft-serve that truly tastes like fresh pineapple; and all Disney regulars, including ourselves, say it's a must-do!