Visiting All the Parks

I can hardly believe that it has almost been two months since my time in Disney World. I already miss it! To ease my Disney blues, I thought it would be fun to recount some of my favorite moments, rides, eats and other little tidbits from each of the parks that we visited. Be warned, it is a long one ūüėõ Enjoy!

Universal Studios

Our main intention behind visiting Universal Studios for one day was to visit Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but we had a lot of other fun in the process as well.

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Harry Potter World, both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley did not disappoint. The theme is done to near perfection, with little details not to be missed. The shops in Diagon Alley were fun to walk through, and I enjoyed the looking around Hogsmeade. We only went on one ride in HP world, the original, Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey, because the lines were SO LONG. The boys and I waited 1.5 hours for this ride, and it turned out to not be my cup of tea at all, however, the pre show was pretty neat and getting to walk through Hogwarts was enjoyable as well. Also the dragon blowing fire over Gringotts РVERY VERY cool!

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Something Special: Janna and I suckered into the theme and bought interactive wands (at a whopping $50 later – ugh) to play with around the park. Once you get a hang of how the “magic” works, it is actually really really fun. The Ollivander’s pre show is not be missed, and once finished, you are taken into the shop where you can either pick out a character’s wand or one of your own, based on important dates to you or just at random. I chose this hazel wand based on my birthday.

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Good Eats: Butterbeer! SO GOOD. You must try it. I had both the cold and hot version, personally I preferred the hot version but both were just as good. Also the chocolate frogs from Honeydukes were quite delicious.
Outside of Universal Studios, is the City Walk, which is where we had dinner at Emril’s restaurant. OMG! So good. From appetizer of fried calamari to dessert of banana cream pie, every crumb was delectable here.

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Favorite Ride: Jurassic Park.
I love this ride, I don’t really know why, as I almost always have a moment of regret as we are steadily climbing towards the big drop. But from the music to the movie theme to the final drop of doom, this ride will always be a favorite.

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Honorable Mention: Hogwarts Express.
Despite being used as a transportation between both Universal Parks, this ride is so cool! The “window” is actually a screen that shows scenery from London-Hogwarts and vice versa depending on the direction you take. As well, the door to your compartment turns into a screen for shadows of other students to be seen while taking the journey, including an appearance by the golden trio themselves.

Side note: DO NOT visit on a holiday weekend Sunday. Oh my goodness … the crowds from morning to early evening were just too much to handle. It thinned out closer to the close of the park, but I would never go back on that busy of a weekend.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios holds most of the thrill rides in Disney World for me, so I enjoy visiting, even if only to ride Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster! I got to spent a lot more time in this park this time then last which meant we had more time for shows. The Beauty and the Beast musical and Indiana Jones stunt show were really fun to watch. And of course, probably my favorite Disney show of all, FANTASMIC! I love everything about this show, it is so magical and tells the Disney stories in such a neat way.

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Something Special: Getting a picture in front of and getting to see the Cinderella carriage from the movie was super neat!

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Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror.
Again, no idea why I love plunging to my doom so much but I just cannot get enough of this ride. The scenery of the ride and the pre show make it enjoyable even for those who choose to take the chicken elevator down.

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Honorable Mention: Rockin Roller Coaster (who does not love a good G-Force?), Star Tours (be sure to ride more than once as the story is different every time!) and of course, the infamous Toy Story Midway Mania.

Typhoon Lagoon

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My first Disney water park, and I have to say, I do not think I will be able to look at other water parks the same. This was so much fun and well thought out. The real beach sand and fauna made it feel like we really were at a tropical beach! I also could not believe the size of the waves! Caitlin and I stayed in the very shallow end while we watched the others attempt to stay above water, ha.  We were only here for a few hours due to coldish weather, but we still got to ride the slides that we wanted and enjoy some other fun things, such as ice cream!

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Favorite Ride: Castaway Creek! Sure it is just floating on a tube around the park but it was really relaxing, with a few surprise waterfalls along the way, and a great time for some laughs.

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Honorable Mentions: Crush n Gusher! This roller coaster like tube ride was a blast, don’t miss out on it! The boys favorite ride was Humunga Kabunga (pictures above), a five story free fall into darkness with a really ROUGH finish at the bottom.

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Side note: The water parks are a good excuse to take a break from the business of the other parks and use it as a rest day.  This really was the perfect chance to take some chill time from the two previous 12 hour days we had had.

Epcot

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I’ll be honest, Epcot is not my favorite park. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I find the World Showcase a bit cheesy, once you have been to the countries for real. It is a neat concept to get to “travel” around, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t click with me. I enjoy Future World a bit, but again, my attention wavers quickly in this park. However, with that being said, we did have a lot of fun here. The best part was racing around to meet all the princesses in the pavilions!

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Favorite Ride:  Spaceship Earth. Even though it is a slow ride and some what educational, it is still fun to ride and who does not want to listen to Judi Dench while going through time?

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Honorable Mention: Test Track. I really enjoyed this ride this time around. I think it is more fun, the more people that you have with you. We had a blast, that is for sure!

Not So Good Eats: Restaurant Marrakesh was mediocre at best. The price was outrageous and the food left something to be desired. While in Epcot, I would recommend trying somewhere else. I hope to go to Morocco and experience something much more delicious.

Animal Kingdom

This is one of the parks that I look forward to visiting. It is such a neat and well done concept of Disney’s. ¬†I am sad to say that this time around, the weather was super chilly so we cut our time a bit short here as most of the park is outside. I still have not managed time on the trail walks around the park (sad face) and still have not enjoyed Kali River Rapids! But, well you have to save something to look forward to for next time.

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Something Special: Continuing our Disney character meeting quest was what made the day a lot of fun. Even though I am not the biggest fan of Up that there is out there, meeting Doug was just too cute!

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Favorite Ride: Kilimanjaro Safaris. It is pretty cool when Disney can transport you to Africa and give you an experience like they do. It it very well planned out and every time is a different experience!

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Honorable Mention: Expedition Everest. A pretty good roller coaster for those who cannot handle large drops. I love the surprise of going backwards, gets you every time.

Magic Kingdom

Well what can I say about the Magic Kingdom? It is my favorite park. I am convinced that one day I can just rent the room in Cinderella’s castle and live there. There is nothing more magical then the Magic Kingdom! So I was more then I excited for our day there. We spent a a total of 15 hours there, literally from the park opening ceremony to the closing. It was a whirlwind of the day from meeting all the characters, to seeing the parades, eating at Be Our Guest and going on as many rides as we could manage (due to quite a few closing from the cold weather). Turns out, 15 hours is still not enough time! I so wish we had two days for Magic Kingdom, which will happen next time. ;P

Something New: Actually a lot of something news. I got to try out a lot of new rides this time, such as Peter’s Pan Flight and the Buzz Light year Ride. As well, the new Seven Dwarfs Mine ride which funny story, we actually got walked off of due to it breaking down.

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Don’t Miss: The new Festival of Fantasy parade, it is AMAZING! I love the focus on the princesses and their stories, and the Maleficent dragon is incredibly well done. By far my favorite parade!

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Favorite Ride: Pirates of the Caribbean! I could ride this ride over and over again. The details, the fun, the drop at the beginning, the water, just over all so enjoyable.

Honorable Mentions: Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise, It’s A Small World, Big Thunder Railroad, actually, just any ride in the park!

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Good Eats: Be Our Guest! As I already reviewed, so good, try it.  Also Mickey Ice Cream Bars, I could eat this every day.

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All in all, our time in Disney World was so much fun! I have said it before and I will say it again, Disney is truly my happiest place on earth.

Рxoxo Veronica 

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