So you have decided to take a family vacation and have decided that it is going to be at Walt Disney World.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can seem overwhelming with 4 Theme Parks, 2 Water Parks, more than 20 Disney Resort hotels, a multitude of dining, recreation and other fun things, you can throw your hands up in the air wondering where to go first or what to do!
In a series of articles I take a look at some topics with the help of veteran Disney travelers to give you some advice:
Fifth – What are the must see attractions for the first time travler?
If you are thinking that going to Walt Disney World is just going to see kiddie rides, well, you’ll have to broaden your vision just a little bit wider with four theme parks.
You will be able to see storybook magic happen at the Magic Kingdom. Experience cultures from around the globe at EPCOT. Explore the world of animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and celebrate the glamor of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
No matter which theme park you go to there is always a must see attraction and if you are going for the first time it can be overwhelming wondering what to see, so to help, I have asked three Disney travel experts their recommendations of some attractions “must sees” when at Walt Disney World for the first time.
Nationally recognized Disney expert and historian, Lou Mongello, when asked which attractions he would recommend for the first time traveler, of course, had a list of almost 20 attractions to see, but his very first one is located in the Magic Kingdom:
The Walt Disney World Railroad. One of the best ways to get around the Magic Kingdom is to hop aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad. It’s an relaxing 20 minute ride on an authentic steam powered train. Trains were a passion of Walt Disney and railroads exist at every Disney park around the world. Lou also mentions several others found in Magic Kingdom park: “Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and it’s a small world.”
Both, Lou Mongello and Stuart Sternberg, creator of Disney fan website, WDWFanZone have lots of great recommendations at specific parks. Like Lou, Stuart has great advice about what attractions to see, and can give you advice about two other great theme parks: “I think Disney’s most underrated theme park is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If I had to pick two can’t miss attractions for a first time visitor at Disney’s Hollywood Studios they would be Toy Story Midway Mania and Muppet Vision 3D with honorable mention to the Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster though the latter two are probably not appropriate for young children.”
Another park you can enjoy as a family is EPCOT: “If it’s your first time at Epcot you will find that it is split into two parts, Future World and World Showcase. In Future World a first timer must visit the Land and go Soarin. Also, the Living Seas With Nemo and Friends offers a wonderful aquarium and the very popular Turtle Talk with Crush. Another can’t miss attraction at Epcot is Test Track. I think World Showcase is great to stroll around and take in each of the country’s pavilions. At night World Showcase takes on a wonderful but different personality and a must do is Illuminations Reflections of Earth fireworks show.”
Mike Rhalmann, co-host of the BeOurGuest Podcast, believes when it comes to touring Walt Disney World for the first time, theming works best and Walt Disney is big on themes. “I think the first time visitor to Walt Disney World needs a nice ‘sample platter’ of what the true ‘Disney experience’ is all about.” Mike explains, “First, I would suggest a tour of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.” Mike said, “This is where the theme parks all started, and you can see classic story-telling at its best. Next I would suggest some thrill attractions like Space Mountain, Expedition Everest (at Animal Kingdom) and Splash Mountain. These are fun for most of the family. My next stop would be to see where technology has taken attractions in rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Soarin! Finally, no evening would be compete without seeing one of the awesome nighttime spectaculars like Wishes, Illuminations or Fantasmic! This is the perfect way to wrap up the story of your day in the parks!” Mike says.
Stuart Sternberg, creator of Disney fan website, WDWFanZone explains that “the great thing about Disney is that most of the attractions are designed for children and adults to enjoy together.”
Good point, and I think all three of my special guests can agree that when it comes to making memories, having a place where both parents and their kids can enjoy their time together and make memories is what it is all about.
You can find out more Stuart Sternberg at his website, WDWFanzone.