My top 10 attractions at Walt Disney World

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Is there any way at all to create a top ten list of all the attractions at Walt Disney World?  I felt I was reasonably successful in coming up with my top ten places to eat at Disney World, but what about the attractions?  There are so many attractions — as of this writing, there are 123 attractions of every style sprinkled throughout the big four parks — Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.  How is it going to be possible to rank a top ten list out of that?!! Well, I did my best, so here it is, starting at number 10!

10) Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballaros

  • This attraction is one of our favorites — located in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, it has a lot of everything.
    • A relaxing boat ride
    • A nice, romantic setting
    • A fun story involving Donald, Panchito, and Jose Carioca
    • Most of the time, there is very little line
    • On hot days, a nice respite from the heat!

9)  Peter Pan’s Flight

  • My main problem with Peter Pan’s Flight isn’t the ride at all — I absolutely love the ride! — the problem I have is that the lines are so long!
    • The way Disney used the perspective to represent London from the air was really well done.
    • The transition from London to Neverland really sets the stage for the fun to follow!
    • The problem is that if you aren’t at the park early enough, you will have to either wait a couple of hours to ride, or get your fastpass tickets and come back later in the evening.

8) Pirates of the Caribbean®

  • There is so much to enjoy about this ride!  It all starts with the queue — all of the memorabilia really sets the tone!
  • The boat ride, with it’s waterfall drop, is really cool!
  • The classic scenes are great, and the inclusion of Captain Jack Sparrow was done exceptionally well!

7) Toy Story Mania!

  • This ride is so cool!  I wish the line went quicker, especially when you have a fast pass, but all of the games you play while you are on the ride are cool!  Also, it is so cool that they can easily update the software and then the ride is completely different!

6) The Haunted Mansion®

  • This classic attraction is awesome!  I can ride this a hundred times, and no matter how much it doesn’t change, it is timeless, wholesome fun.  Last June, when we were about to start on our Doom Buggy, all of a sudden one of our “hosts” looked into the buggy in front of us — where my niece and daughter where.  It absolutely freaked out my niece because the “host” never said a word, and it was quite spooky to Stephanie!

5) “it’s a small world”

  • I’m sure to get some flak here from other people, but here is my confession:  I love the song!  I don’t care how long it is stuck in my head, I absolutely love it.  I always take hundreds of meaningless pictures, but it doesn’t matter.  We love everything about the ride, from the music, to the set pieces, to the way the starter waves to us when we leave — all of this adds up to why this is in my top 10 list.

4) Space Mountain®

  • Cindy and I love Space Mountain® — Sophie, not so much.  The first time I rode it, I kept trying to figure out which way it was going to go (if you haven’t ridden it before, Space Mountain® is in the dark) and when I guessed wrong nearly every time, by the end of the ride I had a splitting headache!  However, I have ridden it since and really enjoy the thrills of the ride.  Since Sophie doesn’t like the ride, though, we don’t ride it every year because we like to ride roller coasters together, not by way of the rider swap.  However, this coming trip in June we will be riding Space Mountain®!

3) Expedition Everest™

  • As a roller coaster, I actually find Expedition Everest™ to be a little slow.  Please correct me with numbers if I am way off base.  However, the fun part of the ride for me was when we rode backwards down the track!  It is because of this that I put Expedition Everest™ at number three on my list.

At this point, we are down to the final two spots on my list.  Without further ado, at number two:

2) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • BTMR was the first roller coaster I rode.  Years before Cindy, decades before Sophie, when I came to MK with Grandma and Grandpa, I rode BTMR.  Back then, I thought it was ok, but now I think it is awesome!  It is as much about the theming as it is about the ride.
  • Ride this roller coaster at night — you will get a unique perspective with the night sky!
  • Also while riding at night, when you get to the saloon, look in the upper floor window — see if you can see the saloon girls dancing in the windows!

1) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith

  • Until this past June, I had NEVER ridden the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster®!  None of us had.  For whatever reason, we always seemed to go beyond that ride and over to the Tower of Terror.  However, this trip I was determined that I wanted to ride the roller coaster.
  • We were in the fast pass line, and I didn’t pay any attention to the start of the ride.  Let me tell you, when that stretch limo takes off and you do 0-60 in a few seconds, it is a huge adrenaline rush!  When you couple the speed of the start with the music of Aerosmith played in your ears the whole time, it is a great mixture that really leads to a great ride.
  • Additionally, throw in a loop-de-loop and a corkscrew, and the illusion of a long ride to the concert, and this attraction just has everything I’m looking for in a rollercoaster.

There are so many other attractions that could have made this list — and perhaps should have!  In future posts, I’m going to take a look at the top attractions in different categories.

I hope you like my list — for any differences of opinion, feel free to comment!

Veteran’s Day 2010 — Thank You

On this Veteran’s Day, I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people, past and present, that have served our country to help make life better for us.  To all of you, thank you — your heart, dedication, and love of country is evident on this day, and every other day as well.  In tribute of all you do, I am posting a video I created of some photos set to music.  I hope you enjoy!

Winnie the Pooh Trailer

For those that haven’t heard, Winnie the Pooh, a new Disney movie that takes us back to the hundred acre wood, is coming out July 15, 2011!

For those that would like, here is the official trailer for the movie!  Enjoy!

Planning the next great Disney trip!

Well, here it is, November 1, 2010, and this month is the month that we will be able to reserve a room on our Disney Vacation Club.  On Wednesday, November 17th, I will make the call to DVC, requesting a two bedroom at Bay Lake Towers, Walt Disney World’s newest vacation club resort.  I am getting excited because a couple of months ago Cindy, Sophie and I went to visit with Otis, Nancy, Sherry, and Anna Jane, and procured from them a “Yes” that they will go with us this year to Disney World!  Since we have double points from purchasing our DVC membership in June, we have plenty of points with which to get a two bedroom vacation home for one week.

When we bought our vacation club membership, we actually purchased a share in the Grand Californian Resort and Spa because it was cheaper, and for us, about the only difference is that we can make reservations as early as 11 months out at our home resort, but if we want to stay at a different resort we have to wait until we are seven months out.  That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for us.

So now that it is November, we are in the month where we can make the reservation for Bay Lake Towers.  If, for some reason, there isn’t availability at Bay Lake Tower, our second choice will be at Animal Kingdom Villas.

A quick check of the points values for each resort shows that we can get a one week stay with a standard view at Bay Lake Towers for 352 vacation points.  However, if we want, we can get a one week stay with the Savannah View at Animal Kingdom Villas for 372 points — only twenty more and able to have night views of the wildlife on top of it!

Our first choice is still Bay Lake Towers, mainly because of the proximity to the Magic Kingdom and monorail, but if we can’t get that we’ll go with Animal Kingdom Villas.

So next on the list is to get with Nancy and family to decide some of the particulars.  You know, how many days of tickets, eating choices, park hopper or not, things like that.

Until next time, happy Disney planning!

What is your favorite land?

As you can see at the top of the page, I have placed a poll for you.  Please feel free to vote on the following topic:  What is your favorite land in the Magic Kingdom?

Not being an html expert by any stretch of the imagination, I couldn’t figure out how to post the poll in my blog post, but I hope you will vote anyway.  If anyone knows how to do that, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks, and happy voting!