Walt Disney World has been a home away from home as our primary vacation destination over the past couple of years. After having Annual Passes from 2017-2018 we made our first trek back to the park this year. Since it had been a few months we decided to make a list of our top things in each of the resort entertainment areas – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. Everyone’s list will be different but these are the attractions we see as priority when visiting each location.
We’ll start with the place that most people are likely to call Walt Disney World – the Magic Kingdom. Inspired and slightly modeled after the original Disneyland it was the first park to open and often the busiest. The theme is directed at children and children at heart and outside of any ride with mountain in the name (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain) everything is tame and manageable even with the littlest of little ones in tow. (This will change unless the new Tron ride is aptly named Tron Mountain.) It has all forms of entertainment and food options and much like the West Coast park that inspired it very little alcohol. Something becoming a little unique when it comes to Disney Parks these days. It is fun and probably the park you remember as a child and the one that most children want to visit. Here are our Top 5 picks for the one and only Magic Kingdom.
5. Jungle Cruise
This ride through a make believe jungle across the largest rivers in the world is full of jokes and puns that really take what could be a boring and dated ride and make it as good as the skipper hosting. If you’ve been you know the 8th wonder of the world is the back side of water. It is a fun ride and one that you really don’t want to miss.
4. Casey’s Corner
You are allowed to eat poorly on vacation. It is part of getting away from it all. Casey’s Corner is one of our favorites and no joke – split the foot long hot dog. Especially if you get it covered in bacon and mac & cheese. Also – drink a lot of water if you indulge in this treat. It is about 90% salt but 100% delicious so it evens out.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow… except it isn’t. Supposedly this is the last ride Walt himself worked on in Disneyland and was originally thought to be too close to home in Florida until public demand helped bring it to the park. Regardless of the legend or the recent updates it is one of the most immersive rides to have ever spun off a movie series.
2. Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a fun ride that has less story than spectacle. Unlike its close cousin Pirates it has inspired movies but nothing to write home about. The original concept was a Museum of the Weird which may explain why this is the most interesting and least scary haunted house ever built. Sure there is no fright but it is a fun ride you can do again and again.
Officially the “Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover” this is one of the most scenic rides in the park. A tour of Tomorrowland and get to see the original EPCOT concept, inside a couple of shops, a tour of Space Mountain and of course a page for Tom Morrow, a Mr. Tom Morrow – who never answers. The line is short, the ride is fun, you go places without going anywhere – you simply loop around. Don’t miss it and don’t take it for granted. The original PeopleMover in Disneyland closed in 1995 never to reopen and to my knowledge there isn’t another ride like it at any other Disney park.