First, I would like to thank Alexia for allowing me to take part in her Disney event. I hope she has a wonderful time at Disneyland, a place I’ve never visited, but hope to someday. Now, you’ll have to forgive me if I start to ramble. I am not much of a writer, but I LOVE anything Disney and have since I was a kid so once I get started…well, you know…
From the time I heard the words “Disney World“, I knew I must visit this magical land where dreams supposedly came true. Even as a child I begged and pleaded with my parents to take me to “see Mickey.” I still remember being a heartbroken 2-year-old crying her eyes out as my grandparents took BOTH my older brother and older sister to Disney World with promises to me that when I was older they would take me as well.
Well, I waited…and waited…and waited…and sadly, as I got older (at least in my eyes…and the rest of the world‘s), I tragically and unexpectedly lost my grandfather, and dreams of going to Disney World were put on a shelf reserved for “Maybe Someday” items.
Then one day my sister and her husband were planning a trip to take my nieces to Disney World and invited my parents and me to go along and FINALLY at the age of 26, I was going to Walt Disney World! (I guess I still hadn’t gotten “old enough” in my grandmother’s eyes to go with her.)
So we packed up for our magical trip to visit the four parks that make up Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios), and drove for hours. I could hardly sit still as excitement ran through my veins…I was like a kid again. I was finally going to “see Mickey.”
We finally arrived…and it rained…EVERY SINGLE DAY. And I don’t mean, small showers…we are talking monsoon-like storms with flooding, lightning, thunder, tornado warnings. I saw more Disney ponchos than you can even imagine. In addition to that, I also got sick and spent one entire day sleeping in the hotel room while my family enjoyed the magic without me.
But despite all of that, I had still made it to Disney World. I was with my family and I was happy. That was all that mattered to me. Since that first, very soggy trip I have gone with my sister and sometimes my parents at least once a year. My grandmother even went with us one year! And each trip we start out with that same excitement and joy at going to such a magical place and leave exhausted, hot and wondering why we put ourselves through it every year, but deep inside we know it is worth it.
And these rides are a few of the things that make it worth it to me and are my must rides at each park (if they are open)…
– Haunted Mansion
This ride is a favorite for me and the rest of my family despite that fact that we once got stuck on it for 20 minutes and had to listen to a ghost lady tell us over and over and over, “Hurry Back. Be Sure to Bring Your Death Certificates…” There is just something about the Grim Grinning Ghosts we can’t pass by.
– Splash Mountain
I love to ride this one on a hot day. I enjoy listening and watching the story of Brer Rabbit and other characters you see as you calmly ride along in your log raft before plunging down the waterfall. And even though it doesn’t scare me, I still haven’t figured out how NOT to make my face look terrified in EVERY picture we get taken on this ride (including the one my sister has framed on her bookcase for everyone to see).
This is probably my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom. I think we rode it at least 6 or 7 times this last trip. I love roller coasters and enjoy how you can’t really see where you are going on this one because of the darkness of the ride. You never know what to expect. It also seems like you get a different experience depending on which seat you get in the “shuttles.”
This ride is a lot different now than it was when I first went to the park in 2009. Back then they just put your car through a series of tests that automobiles go through. Now you get to design a car and it gets scored on the tests, which turns it into more of a competition.
As most kids (and adults) say, this is the “big golf ball.” Yes, this one can be long and boring, but every time I ride it, I give thanks to the inventors of all the means of communication (paper, alphabet, books, computer, etc.) because without them you wouldn’t be reading this and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy many of the things we love today.
This is definitely my favorite ride of any of the parks! Every year we each pick a ride that we have to ride no matter what and this is the one I ALWAYS pick. It is the only ride that is different every single time you ride it. You never know what animals you’ll be able to see or what they’ll be doing. For example, it took 3 or 4 visits to ever see the lion and we once had to stop for about 10 minutes because a giraffe was in the middle of the road. This last trip we saw several baby animals. I love this ride and the animals so much. I would definitely recommend it…but be sure you have your camera ready.
-Kali River Rapids
Warning! You will more than likely get SOAKED on this ride. I speak from multiple years of experience. Also, do not wear a white t-shirt unless you want to put on a show. I did that my first time and after spending the hot, muggy day wearing my mom’s jacket to avoid winning a wet t-shirt contest, I learned my lesson. Otherwise, this one is a lot of fun.
-Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
The lines are usually long for this one and the ride is very quick…like blink and you miss it quick, but despite that, I really enjoy this one. The year my grandmother went with us, she went off on her own and when she showed back up at the hotel she kept talking about “some rock and roll thing.” She said she saw a line, didn’t know what it was for, but knew it was for something so she got in line…it was this ride…my 70-something grandmother rode this by herself (she did the same thing with Tower of Terror). I was sad I missed seeing her reaction because she wouldn’t ride it again.
So this Star Wars-themed ride has gone through MAJOR changes since I first rode it. The first time I rode it, it was dated…very dated. Since then it has undergone major renovations giving you more ride experience options so you never know which to expect. I like the updated ride a lot better than the older version and it has become one I can ride multiple times whereas the old one was a one ride and I was done type of ride.
So I only picked a few rides at each park. I could go on and on, but I am not sure Alexia really wanted me to ramble on this long nor do I think you guys want to read anymore (if you even made it this far). There are many more rides to check out if you are ever at one of the Disney World parks including several in the new Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom (Seven Dwarves Mine Train, The Little Mermaid, etc).
I hope that if you haven’t gotten to experience the joy of a Disney park, that you do someday and that you enjoy yourself. And if you have, I hope it was a pleasant and magical experience filled with happy and funny memories.
So, have any of you been Disney World or Disneyland? Any favorite rides or experiences? If you haven’t been, what rides would you like to ride?
Jennifer is a lifelong reader and Disney fan who can rarely be found without a book. She also might have a slight addiction to anything Disney if the numerous Disney-related items around her house and animated movies on her shelves are any indication. Jennifer has been known to randomly sing songs from Disney soundtracks in public…and in private. She currently resides in the southern U.S. where she dreams of one day owning a library like Belle’s and continues to wait for the woodland creatures that will do her housework and other errands so she has more time to read. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, you can follow her on Twitter: @2many2read or Instagram: @j_lynn82 She also recently took the plunge and joined GoodReads and even though her account is a self-described hot mess right now, would love to meet new friends: www.goodreads.com/2many2read