Top RIDES at Disney World & Disneyland

Visiting Disney can be overwhelming. Figuring out which rides to experience can be challenging. READ about my favorite rides at Disney World & Disneyland

Hey fans, I am planning on doing several helpful lists of my top rides, resort, restaurants, etc…but thought I would start with this. My TOP favorite rides in each USA Disney Theme Park. Walt Disney World AND Disneyland Resort. These are my favorite rides, for no specific reason, just the rides I love and will continue to ride over and over again. I would love to hear your list – make sure to comment.

Almost made the cut – Jungle Cruise
Magic Kingdom – Disney World:

This park is probably the hardest out of any park as there are SO many options. But for me, I am gonna say Pirates of the Caribbean. I would love to say the Pirates BEFORE they changed it, but even with the recent changes…it’s still a favorite and something I ride EVERY trip. In fact when I visited WDW pregnant, my Dr told me no pirates and well…she wasn’t on my happy list during that trip 😉 I love the song, the familiarity from childhood. And the silly, singing pirates with dirty feet and sleeping with the pigs. “We wants the Redhead.”

Epcot – Disney World:

AS this was also a hard one, it ended up being a no-brainier. One ride that I hate to miss and will fastpasses or RUN to directly after rope drop is Soarin’ Around the World. I have been SO many times, you think I would be tired of it – nope. Its just so different from other attractions. I love the smells, the sights and the feeling like you are flying, even though it can make me a little nauseous (just close your eyes).

Animal Kingdom – Disney World:

This was an easy one – Kilimanjaro Safari. Sorry Pandora fans, nothing will beat the ability to see animals roam “freely” and enjoy life eating grass and grazing. Nothing with beat watching a baby hippo splash in the pond with her mom or seeing a lion rest on pride rock. Even being a vegan, I love this ride. It feels like the animals are happy and well cared for. I love that each time it’s a different experience, morning, noon or evening.

Hollywood Studios – Disney World:

This selection might be short lived once Galaxy’s Edge opens, but for now its Toy Story Mania. This could be due to my son who makes us ride this over and over again, especially at Disneyland where we can. But its a fave. My choice would have been the Backlot Tour and it might become Rise of the Resistance, but for now…Toy Story has my heart.

Disneyland Park:

100% Dumbo!! Its been my favorite since I was a kid and since my Disney life started in California, that’s where my heart is. It’s an original attraction that made little Nina very, very happy. Even today I tear up when on the Disneyland version. It goes oddly fast for a Flying Elephant and has the most beautiful view of Fantasyland, especially at night when the lights are on.

California Adventure: Disneyland

For this park, my favorite is an attraction or an experience – I love the Animation Academy. For those that don’t know this hidden gem, its a drawing class in the park. A Disney animator teaches you how to draw a certain character using only a pencil. NO erasers. The artist in me LOVES this. I love the concept, the actual experience so much. Think about it, with a place so filled with animated characters, shows and rides…why not learn how it all started…by drawing a mouse?!?!

Learn HOW to Draw GOOFY!!

Remember this is MY personal favorite list. These aren’t necessarily the rides to RUN to or to fastpass, but they are the attractions I won’t miss. I come from a place of childhood memories, growing up in the park. This is what drives my list, drives me. I love the original attractions that Walt helped create. The attractions that draw me closer and closer for whatever emotional reason. This is what makes Disney Parks so great, so many options. So, whats your list?

I love helping make memories for my clients every day, contact me if interested in a vacation. Mahalo for READING and FOLLOWING along – Nina

Eating with Pooh…and Piglet too!

One thing my family does EVERY Walt Disney World vacation is Crystal Palace…home of Winnie the Pooh and friends.  Dining with Pooh is my daughter’s (5 years old) FAVORITE attraction, lol.  Every time we go to WDW her only concern is if we got reservations to eat with Pooh.  So what’s the hype you ask?

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Well besides the above mentioned eating with pooh…you get to eat with Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet too.  And if you’re lucky…and everyone is…you’ll get to be part of a Pooh parade and follow the characters around the room.  Kids march around the room with the characters while music is playing – can someone say photo op?  And the thought of marching around with Pooh is enough to excite kids with ear to ear grins.  No tears in this place.  And with characters aside…Crystal Palace has a few other perks;

  • Unlimited Friendly Buffet – one of my husband’s favorites, and he’s picky
  • Location – It’s located inside Magic Kingdom, no need to leave the park.
  • Availability – When many character experiences book up at the 180 day mark…Crystal Palace almost always has an opening…which is perfect for last minute vacationers
  • Hours – It’s open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and if you’re an early bird…you can get a reservation before the park even opens and see Magic Kingdom privately and get a beautiful picture in front of the castle without all the other vacationers in your perfect shot.

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Of course for my family…there is one other perk…Chef Mike.  That’s right…the Disney Chefs are celebrities to us…they keep my family safe, fed and happy.  They go out of their way to make sure my kids and I have what we need to continue with our magical vacation.  Due to our various food allergies…we pretty much always get special service.  And usually that means specially prepared food just for us.  Some people with allergies can eat the food that the restaurant regularly prepares; they just get a non-contaminated plate of goods from the back.  But my family needs, well…specially made goods.

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Chef Mike

After getting a call from the chef 1-2 weeks before our trip…Chef Mike and I were able to come up with a game plan to make sure my kids could get similar foods as the other guests.  This meant special Gluten Free, Diary and Egg free pancakes.  Frozen waffles were offered, but I wanted something we don’t usually eat at home.  We were able to have the home potatoes from the back, fresh strawberries (which was special) and real Maple Syrup.  Other foods were available…but these were the favs.

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And since the Chef had called for the kids, I couldn’t help but to ask about me – I am vegan with a dairy allergy.  So…as most vegans I was curious about some protein.  Crystal Palace doesn’t usually carry vegan meats, but Chef Mike being awesome…ordered some fake chicken for me, cooked it up special and I devoured.  I was even able to cut some up for later.  Not bad; food for now, some for later 🙂

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For dessert…we were given several packages of Enjoy Life cookies.  As I have mentioned in previous posts…that is the standard dessert for most peeps with food allergies so it gets tiring after a while…but the kids didn’t care and it gave me something to treat them with later as well.

And for those that wondered…my husband ate from the buffet…took about 3-4 trips.  We practically had to roll him out the door.  He had plates and plates of food, and then one whole plate filled with baked goodies like muffins, brownies, cookies and such.   He left a happy dad and was able to use his fuel to continue on with our day and wasn’t hungry again until dinner.

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Dining tip:  We usually like to eat our table service meal at about 10:45-11:00am – as you still get some breakfast goodies like waffles and then also eat the typical lunch proteins to help you fuel for the long day ahead.  But this last trip…it was a little too much breakfast and I think the kids did get tired of Mickey waffle after Mickey waffle 🙁  So next time…I think we will do half brunch time and half dinner times – Just “Food for Thought”

As usual – I am a FREE Disney Travel Agent that specializes in Food Allergies and Special Diets at Disney.  I do book WDW, Disneyland and Disney Cruises.  Disney pays me, so you don’t have to.  Contact me anytime and I can get you organized and prepared for the most Magical Vacation.  Nina@goTMCtravel.com

7DMT – Friend or Foe?

One of the biggest things to happen to Walt Disney World in 2014 was the Grand Opening of the “Seven Dwarf Mine Train”.  News, Updates and Rumors had been circulating for months leading up to the final day when everyday peeps could test the ride for themselves.  The best part to me was the “recycling” of some of the original props from the scary Snow White ride that once resided in Fantasyland; I couldn’t wait to discover their new homes.

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This new coaster was labeled a “Family Coaster” so I figured I could handle it and if not it’s only like 45 seconds long…so for 45 seconds I thought I could deal with whatever was headed my way.  For the record I have a HUGE issue with Motion Sickness…something I have been battling with since a child and something that seems to have gotten worse since having babies…but I thought…what the heck…I’m gonna try this thing…and even better…I’m gonna bribe my 5 year old to join me, lol.  It also should be noted that I refuse to go on anything too crazy…no upside down things for me.

So in preparation for this ride…as you should all do if you’re slightly hesitant or have coaster “first timers”, aka kids – I purposely fastpassed on our LAST Magic Kingdom Day and I purposely selected a time hours after our meal.  And like I said…I bribed my kid to join me…we walked past this ride several times before going and she felt that she could totally do this thing…plus the idea of getting a prized souvenir helped.

For those doing the stand-by line…there is an awesome interactive queue to enjoy and experience, but I needed quick and painless…the thought of getting further anxious while in a long line wasn’t happening.  For fastpassers…you walk right in and practically on.  I had done a little research before this day and concluded that riding in the front had less “rocking” motion as each individual car rocks back and forth like a real mine car.  So front row we got.  To see a Video…go to my FB page and click videos – www.facebook.com/wordofmouse

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As you can see…we were terrified…turned green and were lucky to not lose our breakfast.  I couldn’t walk for hours after and kept needing to “sit” down and rest.  My equilibrium was totally off and sitting was the only way for the floor to stop moving.  DD was ok and wasn’t as affected as me, but to this day talks about the “worst” ride ever.  I slowly recovered and was able to continue on with our magical day…but I will never go on that ride again, lol.  So should you give it a try?  Sure, why not, lol.  If you look at the people behind us…they were all having a blast and screaming happy screams.  I will say that my favorite part, other than getting out, was the fun animatronics you see mid-ride and the finale – At the very end of the ride…you witness Snow White singing and dancing with the 7 Dwarfs.  Just watch out for the front door 😉

So for those that are going to give this a go…good for you.  I found the ride to have fun theming and loved the decor and surrounding atmosphere.  I just wish I could keep my head up long enough to really see the magical efforts of Disney Imagineers, sorry guys.  In the end I am glad I did it, because now I can say I did…but I do wish I could get those few sick hours back…Disney you owe me, lol.  A Mickey Pretzel and a bottle of water calmed my nerves and after enjoying Country Bear Jamboree for a spell…I was back on my feet and ready for more Magic.  And for those that are wondering…it is a lot like “Thunder Mountain”…just shorter and slight calmer (I think)…and Yes I have ridden Thunder Mountain (at both WDW and DL) many, many times…sometimes with success and a few times…not good.

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The Seven Dwarf’s Cottage

For those that would love the help of someone with motion sickness – I’m your gal.  I know all the tricks and what rides to avoid and which ones to cling too and ride over & over again.  Heck sometimes the mini hill on Pirates gives me that not so good feeling, but I just close my eyes, hold my stomach and wait for the mini splash, lol.  I have also heard of people taking Dramamine in preparation for such situations, but I have never done that outside of rides in the car.

Enjoy and Make sure to “Whistle While you Work”…I know I do or would if I could whistle.