The Ultimate Disney Guide

Hey Perfectors,
For the incredibly long delay in me posting my last blog I have decided to treat you with a magical post! I was fortunate enough to be taken to Disney World in Florida for my Summer holiday this year. I have been to Disneyland Paris on previous occasions but never to Disney World. This blog post is not me claiming to provide you with all the answers for your trip but here are some tips I can suggest from what I experienced myself, in addition to guidelines I was given.

Rides

Magic Kingdom
I cannot deny that the Magic Kingdom is definitely the most magical and exciting park but is not that thrilling for the adrenaline junky within me.
Top Attractions:
1. Space Mountain
2. Splash Mountain
3. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
4. Big Thunder Mountain
5. Haunted Mansion- I was petrified to go in to find it was not scary!
Relaxing and worthwhile Rides:
1. Under the Sea
2. Peter Pan’s Flight
3. It’s a Small World
Those to avoid:
Astro Orbiter- Is perhaps the most disappointing ride I have been on, not only in Disney but in all my experiences of theme parks. Having queued for 45 minutes, which was the longest queue I experienced during my entire trip, the 1 minute ride is extremely boring and uneventful.

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Epcot
Top Attractions:
1. Mission: Space
2. Test Track
3. Soarin’
4. Spaceship Earth
A tip: Inside the Innoventions building (number 6 on the map) is an attraction called Sum of all Thrills, which is an opportunity to devise your own rollercoaster, and to then experience it for yourself inside a full rotating simulator.

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Hollywood Studios
This is definitely the park for the adrenaline junkies to visit because for sure it has the most thrilling and high speed rides of all the parks.
Top Attractions:
1. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
3. The Great Movie Ride
4. Star Tours

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Animal Kingdom
Top Attractions:
1. Expedition Everest- Definitely worth getting fast track for- my top ride!
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris
3. Lion King show
4. Primeval Whirl
5. DINOSAUR- Recommendation from my boyfriend (I covered my eyes the whole way)

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Blizzard Beach
Top Attractions:
1. Teamboat Springs
2. Summit Plummet- Amazing ride just managed to injure myself
3. Cross Country Creek- I advise this after lunch to just have a nice relax in the sun

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Downtown
Although there are no rides at Downtown Disney, I cannot recommend it highly enough:
1. Disney Quest- full of interactive and arcade games, with another opportunity to create and ride your own rollercoaster
2. Live music and freestyling
3. Amphicar Rides – the only experience we didn’t indulge in was this due to the very high price, but exploring the lake at night in these water cars looked incredible.

Dining

Through much deliberation we agreed that the Disney dining plan for us was not the route that we would go down when arranging the holiday. The price for us just seemed a little expensive for the food they would provide. Moreover, it limited the type of food we would be able to eat, such as Quick Meal Service.
On reflection, I believe this was the best decision as it allowed us to have a variety of experiences during our stay. If fast food is not your ideal food, then much like me you may find it a bit of a struggle. Having said this before arriving at Disney we organised and booked several restaurants having reviewed the menus, which enabled us to avoid the fattier foods.
In general, the food is rather expensive – even for a quick meal it can accumulate to around $30-$40 for two, which for a burger I believe is too expensive. However, the really big cost occurs when purchasing alcoholic drinks, although these cannot be purchased in some of the parks.

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My top recommendations:
Teppan Edo in Epcot: Teppan Edo can be found in the world section of Epcot, where you can experience a variety of cultures and tastes. The restaurant itself is incredible but does involve sharing your dining experience with other tourists. The food being cooked on your table is created whilst several tricks are performed. The atmosphere is incredible and the waitresses are extremely attentive to your needs.
Crystal Palace in the Magical Kingdom: This is not only the perfect place to take your children to meet the characters, but I can guarantee the big kid inside you will also enjoy this experience. This is an all you can eat experience which almost sets a challenge for around $42. This may sound expensive, but in fact resulted in one of our cheaper evenings.
Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom: This is a very similar experience to Crystal Palace but it feels like a completely different experience, due to the characters, the food and the atmosphere.
Fulton’s Crab House in Downtown Disney: Personally this had the most beautiful setting of all the places I dined at. Overlooking the beautiful lake, in the evening, it is an incredibly picturesque view, with even the opportunity to see the fireworks. The food was incredible at the restaurant with a variety of different seafood and platters to dive into.

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Queues

Having only booked a week in Disney, I was very worried about not being able to experience all aspects of Disney. The fact we weren’t with younger children probably helped our ability to complete the entirety of all the parks. The queues themselves were in fact not as long as I had expected, with the longest being 45 minutes. That is not to say some queues weren’t longer but we avoided those. The best advice I can give whilst queueing is try to go onto the main ride, such as Seven Dwarf Mine Train, during the evening parades. My reason for suggesting this is the children will most likely be leaving the park and the majority of visitors will be watching the parade, minimising the queue times significantly. Moreover, pre-booking your fast passes for all the rides is essential to optimise your efficiency during the day. During my time in the parks, I learnt that after using your three fast passes you can in fact go to the kiosk and get additional times but only one at a time.

Weather

Having gone in the height of summer I can definitely say I had the full impact of the summer weather. The main problem I faced was not the sun (burn) but the humidity, often seeking an indoor attraction just to stay cool. In Britain, we often face dark skies and heavy rain but the peculiar thing is the skies will be clear and blue, then seconds later a torrential thunder storm which will have you soaked right through! In an attempt to stay cool we aimed for indoor attraction during the peak of the heat (11am -2pm) and drank water continuously throughout the day. Others carried around small towels for their neck and purchased the water filled fans that Disney sell.

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Parades

Every person I know who has been to Disney emphasises how incredible the Disney parades are. It is one of my fond and vivid memories of Disneyland Paris as a child and I was intrigued to go back. The Magical Kingdom parades are fantastic, in particular the Disney Electric Parade, which in the evening is mind blowing. They have continuous parades throughout the day in the majority of the parks, such as Frozen and Princess parades.

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I hope all this helps you enjoy your Disney experience.

Disclaimer: I couldn’t rate my experience any more highly and was so fortunate to be indulged in this holiday, with memories and experiences I am unlikely to forget. It is definitely an experience worth saving for or waiting for but it is a very luxurious trip and magical trip, so beware as thus the prices correspond…

xxx

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