Hello gang! It’s time to wrap up the list of our favorite things at the Disney World Parks. Honestly, it’s hard to narrow this list down to 10 things. I could (and do) go on and on about how great we think Disney is. There is pure magic and fun at every turn and has been such a wonderful vacation destination for us these past few years. Without further ado, here’s our completed list:
- The park icons. The iconic symbols of each park inspire joy and wonder. Larger than life, they serve as the focal point of each park. Cinderella Castle greets visitors from the top of Main Street U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth looms over Future World in Epcot and the Tree of Life towers majestically over Discovery Island in Animal Kingdom (Hollywood Studios lost their iconic Sorcerer’s Hat in 2015 to clear a better view to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.) You can’t help but feeling giddy at the first sight of any of these icons when you enter the parks. Not getting a photo in front of these landmarks is considered a Disney crime, so snap away.
- Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom. This is a ride that will never be the same twice. A man-made savanna serves as a beautiful backdrop for many species of animals native to Africa. Do this ride first thing in the morning when the park opens to see the animals more active and definitely bring your camera. We love the relaxed pace of this ride and how it serves as entertainment and education!
- World Showcase. Traveling to 11 countries in one day? It can happen, at Epcot. World Showcase offers visitors the chance to eat, drink, and shop at nations around the globe. Where else can you start the day in Paris with a freshly baked croissant, dine on Japanese sushi for lunch and grab a pint with your fish and chips in a traditional English pub in the evening? We especially love the immersive theming of each country, and always allow a lot of time for exploring in this part of the park.
- Hollywood Boulevard. We consider the entrance to Hollywood Studios one of the best themed areas in the Disney parks. You’ll be transported to the golden age of Hollywood in the 30’s and 40’s. It makes a backdrop for some amazing photos, especially with the gorgeous replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the background. We love to take a break at the Trolley Car Cafe at the intersection of Sunset and Hollywood and people watch while we relax with a coffee and a cupcake.
- The nighttime shows. There are fireworks, and then there’s Wishes. The nightly fireworks “spectacular” at the Magic Kingdom blows us away every time. From the soundtrack featuring many familiar Disney songs, to the centerpiece of Cinderella Castle, awash in light from Disney’s largest fireworks show, it’s a breathtaking end to a magical night at the Magic Kingdom. We recommend waiting it out as the crowds leave and catching the “Kiss Goodnight” which signals the park’s closing. Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is very different, but equally as impressive, as it tells the story of Earth from past to future, in fireworks, fire, lights, and projections in World Showcase Lagoon. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind show. Try to catch it at least one time during your visit.
So, there is our list. How does it match up with yours? Hopefully this will be helpful when planning your next trip to the parks. Like I said, there is so much to love about Walt Disney World Resort, but these are the things that make our trip complete.