If you are planning a Disney vacation in the near future, be sure to check out these tips that will help you plan your Epcot visit! Please comment on the post if you have any questions or any topic requests for future blog posts.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Disney

Epcot is my favorite park because there are so many things to explore! The list below compiles only a few of my favorite special experiences in Epcot.

1. Turtle Talk with Crush, located in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, is a wonderful interactive experience for young children. As an adult, I marvel over the technology needed to make this attraction possible! Young children are invited to sit on a special patch of carpet in the front of the room while benches are available for older visitors to watch. There is a large screen in the front of the room, depicting an underwater scene. Crush, the sea turtle from Finding Nemo, appears onscreen and begins to interact with the kids. Crush is able to answer specific questions from the children and even makes jokes about things that are happening in the room! This attraction is both a novelty experience for…

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11 Countries, 1 Park

One of the reasons I love Epcot is because of the World Showcase. The World Showcase is a showcase of 11 of the various cultures, cuisine, and histories of some of the globe’s many nations. Walking through the different pavilions is a great way for families young and old to experience and learn about the many nations and cultures of the world. Each pavilion has different options for dining and shopping as well as attractions that are both entertaining and informative.

Mexico – The Mexico Pavilion offers two different dining experiences. The San Angel Inn is located inside the pavilion’s Aztec temple and offers traditional Mexican cuisine for both lunch and dinner. La Hacienda de San Angel is located across from the Aztec temple and offers zesty Mexican meals. The restaurant is open for dinner and offers great views of the World Showcase Lagoon. If Mexican food is not your favorite the Mexico Pavilion itself is not to be missed. Step inside the Aztec temple a discover authentic Mexican goods such as pottery, baskets, jewelry, and more. Don’t forget to visit Donald and his friends on the Gran Fiesta Tour. This relaxing boat ride attraction takes you on a trip with Donald as he explores the different parts of Mexico. Art enthusiasts should check out the Mexican Folk Art Gallery to view beautiful Mexican woodcarvings and bright artwork.

Norway – The Norway Pavilion is one of my favorites. Make sure to take a ride  Maelstrom, a boat ride into the history and legends of Norway. Norway is also home to Akershus, a royal banquet hall that  features character dining with some of the Disney princesses. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers a taste of Norway with dishes that are sure to satisfy the whole family. This is a very popular restaurant so I recommend getting and advanced dining reservation if you want to eat here. If all you need is a quick snack stop by the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe which serves coffee and a variety of pastries. Visit the Stave Church to view collection of authentic Norse weapons and artifacts. The Norway pavilion also features an array of shops that highlight Norway’s unique culture.

China – The China Pavilion offers a glimpse into one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Reflections of  China is a short film presented in circle-vision 360 that takes you on a journey to some of China’s most notable landmarks such as the Great Wall. Visit the pavilions art gallery where some of China’s great artistic achievements are available for viewing. The Nine Dragons Restaurant offers a variety of Chinese dishes including noodles and specialty seafood meals for both lunch and dinner. The Lotus Blossom Cafe is a quick service meal option that focuses on Asian dishes. Like all of the nations represented in the World Showcase, China has numerous shops selling authentic Chinese goods.

Germany – The Germany Pavilion is home to one of my favorite restaurants: the Biergarten. At the Biergarten you will dine on traditional German dishes such as different sausages and spaetzle while musicians provide traditional Oktoberfest entertainment throughout lunch and dinner. Sommerfest is a quick service option in the pavilion that offers well-known German dishes like bratwurst. Don’t forget to look through some of the shops in the pavilion. For a quick treat I recommend getting some caramel from Werther’s Karamell Küche!

Italy – The Italy Pavilion is a beautiful pavilion with architecture reminiscent of the city of Venice. The Italy Pavilion offers two sit-down restaurants. Via Napoli celebrates the fine dining of Southern Italy, serving authentic  Neapolitan pizzas and delicious pastas. Tutto Italia Ristorante offers traditional Italian meals featuring handmade mozzarella and pasta. Take a walk around the pavilion and  indulge yourself in some Italian candies! Throughout the day musicians, clowns, and acting troupes perform in the Piazza.

America – The American pavilion allows you to take a glimpse into our nation’s rich history as it immerses you into a colonial-like environment. The American Adventure takes you on a trip through the history of America using patriotic music and audio-animatronics. Be sure to see to the Voices of Liberty or the Fife and Drum Corps to listen to classic American tunes. The Liberty Inn Restaurant is a quick service dining restaurant that serves American favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs. The America Garden Theater features different live shows and musical performances throughout the year so be sure to check your times guide to see if anything is playing while you are there.

Japan – In the Japan Pavilion you can take a stroll through a traditional Japanese garden featuring a beautiful array of ponds, trees, and shrubbery. The Japan Pavilion is also home to Teppan Edo, a restaurant in which Japanese chefs cook your meal right in front of you!  Tokyo Dining is another dining option that serves traditional Japanese dishes. Both of these restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. Throughout the day Miyuki, a Japanese candy maker, entertains those young and old as she makes traditional Japanese candy in front of you. Art lovers should check out the Bijutsu-kan Gallery for a glimpse into Japanese art.

Morocco – In Morocco Pavilion you can eat at Restaurant Marrakesh, which offers some delicious traditional meals from North Africa for lunch and dinner. Throughout the day Mo’Rockin, a six person musical group, blends music from across the globe for a fun-filled show that will delight the whole family. Be sure to check out the shops of this pavilion for authentic goods such as woven belts and brass pots.

France – My favorite pavilion in World Showcase places you on the streets of Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. There are two sit down restaurants in the pavilion. The first Les Chefs de France, open for lunch and dinner is a casual brasserie featuring French favorites. The second restaurant Bistro de Paris is slightly more upscale and is open for dinner only. It features traditional French meals and wines. This restaurant tends to be very popular so it is recommended that you try to get an advanced dining reservation. One of my favorite things to do in the France pavilion is stop by the bakery and pick up some bread and cheese for a quick lunch. Don’t forget to check out the French market for goods such as wine, soaps, and cosmetics.

United Kingdom – In the United Kingdom you can dine on English favorites at The Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. There is also a quick service dining place across the street that serves typical English food such as fish and chips. Also be sure to check out the World Showcase Players, a hilarious improv  group who perform throughout the day. Check your times guide to find out when they will be performing. There are also quite a few shops that sell merchandise ranging from British teas to athletic gear.

Canada – In the Canada Pavilion take a  journey into this country in O Canada!, a film presented in circle-vision 360. Le Cellier Steakhouse is a popular dining option for many. Open for lunch and dinner the restaurant focuses on the cuisine of the different provinces of Canada. This restaurant is extremely popular so I highly recommend getting and advanced dining reservation if you wish to eat here.

Tips for Navigating the World Showcase:

1) Be aware that the World Showcase tends to open later than the rest of the park. So check out the other great parts of EPCOT before heading over to the Showcase.

2) If you have young children and are thinking of skipping the showcase for fear that they will not appreciate it, fear not. In each nation there is a Kidcot Fun Stop. These areas target young children allowing them to interact with cast members from other countries and do crafts that represent the culture of each country.

3)Another great option for kids is the Kim Possible Spy Game, which is soon going to be converted to feature Agent P (Perry), from Phineas and Ferb, instead of Kim Possible. This interactive game gives kids which allows them to travel to each pavilion and help  solve a mystery.

4) If this is your first time visiting Disney and you have young children, Epcot and the World Showcase is a great park to start at because the park is pretty laid back. Furthermore some young children might feel that Epcot is a step down after experiencing the Magic Kingdom. However this is just a suggestion.

5) The World Showcase is a great way to meet Disney characters. Check your times guide to see which characters will be making appearances in each country.

6) Don’t rush through the nations! Stop and take a look around you. Each nation has beautiful buildings that represent the architecture found in each country. Try and appreciate the little things that Disney does to make you feel like you are really walking through the streets of Paris or strolling through a Japanese Garden.

Hope this has helped you become more aware of the different and exciting things to do in Epcot’s World Showcase

Have a magical day!

xoxo – Michaela

Vote for Your Favorite Rollercoaster!

 

See our previous post The Fast and Furious of Disney Parks for more information on these fun rides!

The Fast and the Furious of Disney Parks

For the most part people do not think of the Disney parks as “thrill-seeker” parks. That right tends to be reserved for parks boasting quite a few colorful steel coasters that rise high into the sky (Six Flags comes to mind). Despite this the Disney parks do offer numerous rides for thrill-seekers young and old. What sets these coasters apart from your average Six Flags coaster is the detail that goes into not only the construction of the ride and the queues but also the back story presented before each coaster. I have been to numerous theme parks that boast the tallest and the fastest, but when I think about my favorite coasters I always come back to the Disney parks. Here’s a list of the roller coasters you can find at the Disney parks.

1) The Barnstormer – Newly refurbished as part of the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom, the barnstormer takes you to the circus with the Great Goofini, a circus stunt pilot. This coaster is aimed towards younger children so if you have a child who is hesitant to go on coasters this might be a good place to start, as this coaster does not go that fast and has no terrifying drops. Height Requirement: 35 in.

2) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Get ready for the ‘wildest ride in the wilderness’ as you board a train to an abandoned mining town. This is a great coaster to ride with your family. It’s not too fast and its outside, so if you have young children who are fear the dark Thunder Mountain is a great choice. This coaster is located in both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom. Fastpass is available but depending on crowd levels you may or may not need one. Height Requirement: 40 in.

3) Goofy’s Sky School – Learn how to fly a plane with Goofy in this fun-filled coaster located in Disney’s California Adventure Park. This coaster features sharp turns and quick drops as Goofy teaches you how to fly. Fastpass is available and you may want to get one of crowds levels are extremely high. Height Requirement: 42 in.

4) Primeval Whirl – Located in Animal Kingdom this coaster allows you board a time-machine and go back to when Dino’s ruled the planet. This spinning coaster is not very fast but is boasts extremely sharp turns. The ‘time-machine’ is continually spinning and whirling in different directions meaning that each time you ride your experience will be slightly different than your previous rides. Fastpass is available for this attraction but the line are usually not too long so I doubt that you will need one unless crowd levels are extremely high. Height Requirement: 48 in.

5) Matterhorn Bobsleds – Come face to face with the abominable snowman as you climb to the summit of the Matterhorn Mountain. Built for Walt’s love of the Switzerland Matterhorn, this coaster located in Disneyland Park, features two exciting tracks (known as the Fantasyland side and the Tomorrowland side). While both tracks are equally fun the Fantasyland side features some sharper turns and is slightly longer than the Tomorrowland side.  While this coaster is pretty mild it is definitely fun for the whole family. Height Requirement: 35 in.

6) Space Mountain – Space Mountain is one of the oldest coasters in the Disney parks. On this coaster, which can be found in the Magic Kingdom and in Disneyland Park you board of rocket like vehicle  into space. This coaster is relatively mild but does feature sudden drops and turns. Furthermore this coaster is in the dark, so it may be scary to some young children. The ride differs slightly on each coast but whether you ride in California or Florida you are sure to have a great time. This ride is very popular so I would recommend getting a fastpass. Height Requirement: 44 in.

7) Expedition Everest – Board a train bound for the summit of the Forbidden Mountain in the Himalayas but beware you’ll find more than just snow and ice on your journey. This coaster located in Animal Kingdom is my favorite coaster in Disney. The ride features an 80 ft drop and goes backwards for a period of time. Depending on crowd levels this coaster can get busy fast so I recommend trying to get a fastpass. However if the wait-time is not too long I recommend using the stand-by entrance, as there is a wonderfully detailed ‘museum’ which helps depict the history and culture of the Himalayas and the people who live there. Height Requirement: 44 in.

8) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – This high-speed roller coaster is found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is not for the weak of heart. Board a super-stretch limousine and go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds as this limo zips you through the streets of LA so that you and fellow passengers can get to the Aerosmith concert on time. This is one of my favorite coasters in Disney World. Its the fastest coaster at the resort (the second fastest attraction after Test Track) and boasts numerous flips and turns.  I recommend getting a fastpass for this attraction as it is one of the more popular rides at Hollywood Studios. Height Requirement: 48 in.

9) California Screamin‘ – Located in Disney’s California Adventure Park, this coaster is the longest and fastest coaster at Disneyland Resort. Designed to look like 1930’s wooden coaster, this steel coaster boasts twists and turns as well as an 108 ft drop. This tends to be a popular attraction so I would recommend getting a fastpass. Height Requirement: 48 in.

I hope this guide to the Disney coasters helps all of you thrill-seekers out there next time you the visit the parks.

xoxo – Michaela

Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY: Best of Animal Kingdom

While Animal Kingdom is vastly different than the other three Disney parks, the meticulous attention to detail is equally, if not more so, present there. Walking through Animal Kingdom truly feels like walking through a jungle, a town in Africa, or a street in Asia, depending on where you are in the park! Here are a few of my favorite Animal Kingdom attractions:

1. If you are in Animal Kingdom, you cannot miss Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition. True to the theme of the park, this attraction is fairly self explanatory: it is a safari through a wildlife refuge. However, this safari is made more interesting by the fact that your tour group is sent to find poachers and rescue a baby elephant! Not only does this make the safari more exciting, but it educates guests about the dangers of poaching. Depending on the day, the line for this ride can be long. Check the wait times before riding as you may need to get a fast pass.

2. It’s Tough to be a Bug! is a great 3-D movie experience for children. Once you enter the theater, you are named ‘honorary bugs’ by Flik from A Bug’s Life.You’re 3-D glasses are even shaped like a bug’s eyes! Flik introduces you to many different types of bugs including spiders, stinkbugs, and butterflies. Warning: young children may be frightened during this ride. At a point in the attraction, Hopper, the evil grasshopper from A Bug’s Life,takes over and tries to bug spray the audience. Smoke fills the auditorium and spiders drop down from the ceiling. However, Flik quickly takes over and the show ends happily. Before you are allowed to exit, Flik invites all of the real bugs in the audience to leave. You will see shadows of tiny bugs crawling and feel something moving under your seat! The wait for this attraction is usually extremely short, so don’t worry about a fast pass.

3. Festival of the Lion King is a wonderful Disney experience that you don’t want to miss! This mini-musical includes incredible musical talent, amazing acrobatics, and even a fire eater! Based on the movie The Lion King, this show includes four performers: a young man, a young woman, and an older man and woman. Each one is assigned to a section of seats. Each section will be taught the sound of an animal, either a warthog, giraffe, lion, or elephant. After the audience ‘calls’ the animals with their sounds, the animals will appear along with Timon and Pumba! (Note: no real animals are present during the show.) First, a group of acrobatic ‘monkeys’ take the stage, performing gravity defying stunts! This is always one of my favorite parts of the show. Later, the older man, as Scar, sings Be Prepared as another performer takes the stage twirling a baton of fire. My favorite part of the show is when the young man and women sing Can You Feel the Love Tonight while two ballet dancers dressed as birds perform on stage. This involves the female dancer being lifted in the air on a wire and ‘flying!’  During the finale, the older woman sings Circle of Life while all of the performers return to dance on stage. When this show is over, I always have goose bumps! It is truly amazing.

I hope you find these tips helpful! What are some of your favorite attractions in Animal Kingdom? Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica

Disney for Teens

Many people think that Disney is a place for only young children but that would be a false statement. Disney can be fun for people of all ages including teens. As a teenager myself I enjoy going to Disney just as much as I did when I was younger. Despite the fact that the parks have not changed much since I was younger I still end up enjoying myself just as much as or even more than my previous trips. Many times when you visit the park as a youngster you’ll be excited and overwhelmed by everything that’s going on around you and you fail to realize how much detail Disney puts into all its rides and attractions. When I got a little I began to realize this and it only made me appreciate Disney more. Furthermore Disney has rides and attractions that are great for teens. Disney is definitely a place that a teen can enjoy visiting with friends. In fact one of my most memorable trips to Disney was with my a few of my friends. I’m all for going to Disney with your family but experiencing the park with some of your close friends can be a new and fun experience too.

Teens at Disney:

Rides: There are many great rides that are appropriate for teens. Some of my favorites include Splash Mountain, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Test Track, Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, and Space Mountain.

World Showcase: Personally walking around the World Showcase in EPCOT is one of my favorite things to do in Disney. Disney does a great job of immersing you in different cultures and for teens (or any other people) who aren’t big on rides, walking around the World Showcase can be a great option. There are many different restaurants, shops and attractions that represent the culture of 11 different countries.

Downtown Disney: Downtown Disney is a great option for teens who want to have a fun easy-going night without having to be in the parks. Downtown Disney has a great shopping district with a large variety of shops that will appeal to teenagers. Furthermore there are numerous restaurants and giant movie theater. Overall I think that Downtown Disney is a great place for teens to visit.

Blizzard Beach/Typhoon Lagoon: While both of Disney’s water parks are great for people of all ages, teens are sure to have a fun time. Blizzard Beach hosts a 12 story water slide the ‘Summit Plummet’ while Typhoon Lagoon boasts a giant surf pool with waves up to 6 ft high. Both parks are a great place to cool off on a hot day.

Have a magical day!

xoxo -Michaela

You’re a Star: Experiencing Hollywood Studios

I absolutely love Hollywood Studios. Disney, as always, has created a wonderfully detailed environment in which every guest truly feels like a celebrity! This post will include some of my favorite rides and restaurants of the park, but just walking around the streets is an experience in itself!

1. Star Tours is my favorite ride in Hollywood Studios. Since I am coaster-phobic, I don’t enjoy the thrill rides in this park (Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster). However, I find Star Tours very exciting! This 3-D ride immerses you in the world of Star Wars. After putting on your 3-D flight glasses, you enter your star ship. C3P0 accidentally starts the ship, and you adventure begins! The best part about this ride is that you rarely have the same experience twice! There are several different scenarios which you can experience, including navigating an asteroid field, facing Darth Vader, and racing in Tatooine. One of the audience members will be chosen to be projected on a screen as the ‘rebel spy’ that you have to protect. Do not ride this if you are prone to motion sickness! It can be very jerky as it realistically simulates the movement of flying through space, swerving through obstacles, and moving into lightspeed! The sensation can be very unnerving. For me, it actually feels like riding a rollercoaster! The line for this attraction is usually moderate to light, so don’t worry about getting a fast pass!

2. Toy Story Mania!, along with Soarin’, is one of the most popular rides in Disney World! If you want to ride this without waiting for hours, you will either have to go to the park very early or get a fast pass. However, this ride is so popular that fast passes sometimes run out by mid-day. When planning to ride this attraction, I like to get to Hollywood Studios right as it opens and immediately get in line for Toy Story Mania! If I’m in a large group, I usually take everyone’s park tickets to get fast passes before joining them in line. The line should be around a 30 minute wait if you get there right away. If you did not get a fast pass before entering, make sure to get one after you finish riding if you want to ride it again! Similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in the Magic Kingdom, Toy Story Mania! is a shooting gallery style ride where you move through the area in carts. However, what makes this attraction special is that the entire ride is in 3-D! You might feel a rush of air as you pop a balloon, making this a experience even more fun and realistic. This ride is spectacular and the line to ride it is almost as fun! You are seemingly shrunk to the size of a toy as you see crayons, board games, and even a talking Mr. Potato Head towering over you!

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3. The Great Movie Ride is one of the great classic rides in Hollywood Studios. The wait is usually short, so this is a great ride to fit in between thrill rides! Be cautious when bringing children on the ride as there are a few frightening moments. When entering the ride, a large group of guests enters a moving tram that is driven by a tour guide. This attraction is essentially a tour of classic movies (some of which children may not be familiar with) including Singing in the Rain!, Casablanca, Mary Poppins, The Public Enemy, Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tarzan, Fantasia, and The Wizard of Oz. Each movie has a set (some of which talk or move) which you are able to view. There are two scenarios that are possible on this ride: your tour guide can be kidnapped by either a cowboy or a gangster. When entering either The Public Enemy or Western Set, your tram will be caught in the middle of a crossfire. When you tour guide gets out of the tram to stop the commotion, your tour will be taken over. Your new tour guide will lead you through several parts of the ride until you reach the Raiders of the Lost Ark set. When the gangster or cowboy sees the large ruby, they attempt steal it, ignoring warnings of a curse. When they touch the stone, smoke appears. After the smoke dissipates, all that remains is a skeleton. Your original tour guide will return and lead your group through the remainder of the ride. As I mentioned previously, there are a few frightening moments on the ride that your young child may not like. The Alien set, in particular, is suspenseful as it appears as if the Alien is about to drop onto your tram at a point. However, this is overall a very enjoyable ride that will educate children about classic movies!

4. The 50’s Prime Time Café is one of my favorite restaurants in Disney World. Not only does this restaurant offer excellent and moderately priced food, but you are able to travel back in time to experience a real 50’s dining experience. Always make reservations before attending as this restaurant is very popular! The waiting area includes a model of a 50’s kitchen and living room, which are both great photo opportunities! When your waiter comes to collect your party, they will introduce themselves as your ‘Cousin.’ Make sure to say please, keep your elbows off of the table, and avoid spilling anything, otherwise your ‘cousin’ will humorously reprimand you! The menu offers delicious, home-style food, including meatloaf, pot roast, spaghetti, and fried chicken. While waiting for your meal, enjoy the 50’s sit coms displayed on the black and white TV near your table. Make sure to clean up your plate when you are finished eating to receive a sticker declaring you a member of the Clean Plate Club! This is a delightful experience for all ages, so come prepared to have a good time!

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I hope that these suggestions help you and your family to have a wonderful time in Hollywood Studios! Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica

Soarin’ through Epcot: My Favorite Rides

While the Magic Kingdom will always hold a special place in my heart, Epcot is my favorite of the four theme parks. I can spend hours walking (and eating!) through the World Showcase. Also, Epcot is home to my favorite ride in the entire park: Soarin’!

1. Soarin’ is a flight simulator located in The Land Pavilion. This is one of the most popular rides in Disney World…during the day the wait times can be over two hours! When riding Soarin’, I have a strategy. I like to get to Epcot as soon as the park opens (be careful as the World Showcase opens at a different time as the rest of the park) and immediately rush to Soarin’. This involves lots of pushing through the crowds, so make sure you know exactly where you are going. If you get lost on the way to the ride, you lose the advantage and will probably have to wait for a long period of time. When you arrive at the ride, the line for the ride itself and the line for the fastpasses are equal. I like to ride Soarin’ first (wait is usually approximately 20 minutes if you get there immediately) and get the fastpass upon exiting the ride (it will be deserted). This allows you to ride Soarin’ twice in one day with minimal wait time! If you are prone to motion sickness, do not ride this attraction! You sit in a row of chairs (make sure to securely button your seatbelt, stow away all carry-ons, and leave flip-flops on the floor) and are lifted up 40 feet in the air. The sensation of being lifted is more intense if you are in the front row of chairs. (Also, if you are in the front row, you are the highest row and you don’t have other people’s feet dangling in front of you.) Once you have been lifted in the air, you will fly over famous sites of California, including the ocean, a snow-covered mountain, and Disneyland! You will be able to feel the wind rushing, truly creating the sensation of flight. Also, you will experience the smells of pine trees and oranges as you travel through California.

2. Test Track, located in the Test Track Pavilion, is the fastest ride in Disney World, traveling at 60 mph. The wait for this ride can be long, so either plan to get a fastpass or ride single-rider. The single-rider line moves faster, but you are unable to sit with anyone in your party. The wait for this ride is very interesting as it displays cars going through various stages of testing. In the ride, you are a test crash dummy going through various dangerous scenarios. You go through bumpy terrain, test brakes (with and without ABS), go through environmental chambers, make sharp turns, and, finally, speed up to 60 mph! This ride has no drops; the sole thrill is the speed. This is a very fun ride and is appropriate for both thrill seekers and coaster-phobics!

3. The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a great ride for small children and the young at heart. On this ride, you travel in slow-moving oyster shells as you join Dory and Marlin on their quest to find Nemo. You are able to see into various aquariums and the characters are projected into the tanks along with the real fish! Young children will be delighted! When exiting the ride, be sure to check out the rest of the pavilion. There are many fun things to explore, including a dolphin show and many aquariums with exotic fish.

I hope you find these tips helpful! Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica

Experience the Magic: My Favorite Rides in the Magic Kingdom

Before I begin, I should say that I am coaster-phobic. When it comes to thrill rides I am about as brave as the average three year old. However, because Disney’s rides are geared toward younger guests, I feel comfortable riding most rides in Disney World.

1. Space Mountain, located in Tomorrowland, is my favorite rollercoaster in the park. While it is one of the most thrilling rides in Disney, it is pretty tame in comparison to rollercoasters in other theme parks. While the track is very similar to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the thrill comes from the fact that the ride takes place completely in the dark. There are two different tracks choices that you will be placed into randomly when entering the line, one of which is slightly more intense than the other. In my opinion, the track that begins on your right is the scarier option, however they are very similar. To decrease the thrill factor, try to sit in the middle as the first and last seats of the ride get pulled around more. Make sure to get a fast pass for this ride because the line can fill up quickly!

2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, located in Frontierland, was my first rollercoaster. I was six and, despite my phobia of rollercoasters, I loved it! While this ride is fun for everyone, even thrill seekers, it is definitely appropriate for the younger crowd and coaster-phobics. Be sure to either get to this ride during a slow part of the day (early morning, during parades) or obtain a fast pass. The line for this ride is outside and in the warmer months the wait can be unbearably hot!

3. Mickey’s PhilharMagic, located in Fantasyland, epitomizes the magical nature of the Magic Kingdom. This 3-D movie experience allows the audience to follow Donald Duck on his adventures that occur after he steals Mickey’s magical hat. Donald travels through many Disney classics, including Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Lion King, and Aladdin. Be prepared for a light spritzing of water, delicious smells, and a fun surprise at the end when Donald flies through the audience and lands safely in the back wall! This experience is perfect as a break in the middle of the day as the line is always short, the theater is air-conditioned, and the padded seats are extremely comfortable.

4. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, located in Adventureland, is a great ride for younger guests. The wait is usually manageable (5 – 20 minutes) and the ride is relaxing and fun. I like to ride this at night when it is cool and you can feel the wind rushing across your face as you fly on the magical carpet. Similar to the Dumbo ride, the carpets move up and down and tilts (at your command) as you fly in a circle.

5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, located in Fantasyland, is a great children’s ride. While the wait can be daunting, the games set up along the line are almost as exciting as the ride itself! Children can play in Pooh’s house, complete tasks in Pooh’s garden (including pulling a gopher out of the ground!), play vegetable musical instruments, and uncover favorite characters on an interactive touch-screen wall of honey. As you rub your hand across the honey, you slowly reveal a favorite character! When entering the ride, you sit in a large honey pot as you view a blustery day in the Hundred Acre Wood. You even enter one of Pooh’s dreams, get to bounce like Tigger, and meet all of your favorite characters!

6. Pirates of the Caribbean, located  in Adventureland, is a great ride option for when it is hot outside. The wait time is minimal (5 – 25 minutes) and the building is air-conditioned. This is a slow-moving boat ride throughout a pirate city with one very small drop at one point in the ride. Be sure to prepare any small children for some mildly gruesome sights of skeletons and a scary (yet beautiful!) scene where your boat floats past a ship that is in the midst of a battle. Cannons land near you and you might be slightly splashed. Be sure to look out for Captain Jack Sparrow! He can be seen hiding three times during the ride.

7. Mad Tea Party, located in Fantasyland, has been one of my favorite rides since I was a child. Based on the tea party scene in Alice in Wonderland, the ride includes large teacups that spin around an oversized teapot. If you are prone to motion sickness, do not ride this! The teacups are capable of spinning very fast! However, you control the spinning so you can adjust the excitement level to your tastes. The wait times are manageable for this ride and it is very nice to occupy and delight children. Look closely at the teapot to see the door mouse!

I hope that you find these recommendations helpful! Keep reading for recommendations for other parks! Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica