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Which Walt Disney World Park Is Right for You and Your Family?
Walt Disney World ticket prices continue to rise (even the Florida resident offers are getting steep), forcing a lot of us to restrict our visit to only experiencing ¼ of Disney World instead of it completely. So, deciding which Disney park to visit with your family or friends should be thought out to ensure you get the best out of your Disney visit. Here are some suggestions as to what each park has to offer and its advantages or disadvantages for your visit.
Magic Kingdom: Characters, Characters and more Characters
Magic Kingdom is the heart and soul of Disney. Expect a wide variety of characters to meet and greet along with more than enough parades and performances. Almost all rides are based on classic Disney stories such as Splash Mountain and Peter Pan’s flight. You have the iconic Cinderella castle (spoiler if you didn’t already know – the castle is a simple walk through) which is a backdrop for day performances and transforms to a beautiful illuminated centerpiece for night shows. The latest addition to the park is the Fantasyland area with a lot of princess focused attractions such as Enchanted Tales with Belle and the Journey of the Little Mermaid. Because Magic Kingdom is considered the heart of Disney, expect tons of people at any time, any given day, in any given season. So, if taking selfies with tons of Disney characters, riding a large array of classic Disney rides, and don’t mind long wait times (the Fast Pass may be able alleviate some but not all your wait time) then you should consider Magic Kingdom for your Disney visit.
Animal Kingdom: Animals, Animals, and more Animals
It’s a given that Animal Kingdom is a perfect visit for those that love animals and all things nature has to offer. There are not a lot of Disney character meet and greet opportunities and not a lot of attractions in comparison to Magic Kingdom. But, the interest in attractions may change with the opening of the Pandora – The World of Avatar themed area. Also, there is a park wide type scavenger hunt called the Junior Scouts Wilderness Lodge Explorers (from the Up! movie). Participants are given a scout handbook that includes a map of “stops” where they are to complete activities to earn badges (stickers to place in handbook). Also, worth noting is The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo – The Musical. In my opinion, between the amazing costumes, puppetry, and performances – these are the top two shows out of all the Disney World Parks. Because there are so few rides, expect long wait times (again, the Fast Pass can alleviate some of your wait – which includes the shows). But overall, if nature gets you excited and you are not much of a character meeting or thrill ride type person, Animal Kingdom just may be the Disney park for you.
Epcot: Food, Food and more Food
Food, drinks, culture, beautiful plants and technology sums up Epcot – it’s a diverse place. Epcot is also home to annual festivals such as the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Epcot has “Showcases” where an area of a park is themed liked a country to immerse visitors in its culture. And there is no better way to experience a culture than through food – lots of food in the park for all taste buds. Also, Epcot also has park wide type scavenger hunt called Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Participants are given a cellphone that will help them gather clues which will set off various ‘discreet’ animatronics throughout the park. Besides the festivities and food, you can fill your stomach with various Coca-Cola products from around the world, and enjoy some rides. The most popular rides are Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and Test Track. Epcot has a few more character meet and greet opportunities than Animal Kingdom but it still doesn’t compare to those available at Magic Kingdom. There is a nighttime firework show that ends your night but kind of lacks in quality in comparison to the other Disney Park’s nighttime shows. If you’re an eater, enjoy rides (remember Fast Pass), and don’t mind meeting a character you should give Epcot a try.
Hollywood Studios: Star Wars, Star Wars, and more Star Wars
Star Wars has taken over Hollywood Studios, Toy Story is coming in a strong second and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is still holding its ground. Besides those three, the other rides fall by the wayside. Not to say they aren’t great rides because they are, but they are easily overshadowed by the those three. And the shadow grows bigger and darker thanks to the upcoming Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land that is under construction. Currently, the wait times aren’t usually that bad for their attractions (except for Toy Story Mania! Always, always Fast Pass this ride because there is always, always a long wait). Along with the rides you can train in the Jedi Training Academy and fight Darth Vader, Darth Maul or Kylo Ren (requires registration so try to register as early as possible). Hollywood Studios is home to the best fireworks show out of all the Disney Parks. The Fantasmic! show is a mix of fireworks, musicals, and theatrics on land and water. Make sure to sit up close so you can feel the heat from the fire that floats on the river and get a little wet from the water projections (this is also available on Fast Pass for early seating). To sum this park up, if you love Star Wars or Toy Story then you may fall in love with Hollywood Studios as well.
Hopefully this has provided some helpful information for you to take into consideration when deciding which Disney World Park is best suitable for your visit.