When my mom told me that she and her twin sister wanted to go to Disney World to celebrate their birthdays, I was a little confused. Isn’t Disney for kids?
Turns out the Disney resorts have done such a good job of appealing to the masses that people of virtually any age are excited to go visit.
I had been to Disney World in Florida once before when I was 17. I actually remember the trip pretty fondly. And come to think of it, that vacation was in celebration of my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, so again, it was a trip instigated by older people (though I suppose the grandchildren may have played into their decision to go there).
Now that I’m an “official” adult, I wasn’t sure what to make of this trip. I was of course happy to accompany my mom and family, but I wondered if they would have interesting stuff (thrill-ride type attractions) for people without kids but far too big for the kiddie rides themselves.
Our crew of people ran the gamut, age wise, from a 7-month-old baby, a teenager, adults in their 20s and 30s and, well, let’s just say some older folks approaching their golden years. Would they have something for everyone to enjoy? After spending 5 days thoroughly exploring the land of Disney, I can say that I think they had something for everyone.
That being said, here are the rides and attractions I personally enjoyed most.
- Swiss Family Treehouse – I’m partial to this one because I watched the movie Swiss Family Robinson when I was a kid and the film stirred up dreams of living on a small island in the middle of nowhere. How fun I thought it would be to build a treehouse that you would live in everyday, play on the beach and in the jungle and have natural waterslides of your very own.
- Walt Disney World Railroad – I wish train travel was more popular (and reliable) in the United States. I’ve always enjoyed riding on trains and, silly as it is, I enjoyed this one, too. It runs on the perimeter of the park so if you’re hot, tired or just want to go for a train ride, hop aboard and kick back for the ride.
- Main Street Electrical Parade – I’m normally not much of a parade person, but as far as parades go this one is hard to beat. The floats are elaborate, full of lights (obviously), and fun to look at.
- Soarin’ – Great new addition. If you like getting bird’s eye, panoramic views of landscapes below then you’ll dig Soarin’. It takes it to another level. After you strap into your little seat you’re lifted 40 feet off the ground and soar through beautiful scenic areas and cities, wind blowing through your hair.
- Test Track – After getting into a little fake car, you’re taken on a simulated testing course. You’ll speed down the track at 60mph, bank a turn at 50 degrees and bump your way along as your ‘car’ is put to the test.
- World Showcase – On my first visit to Epcot, I was 17. I hadn’t seen much of the world yet in person, so Epcot kinda fascinated me. There are 11 countries spotlighted here and at the time it seemed authentic. Now that I’ve actually been to many of the real countries, Epcot’s lost a bit of its luster and it seems too contrived. But still, overall I like what they’re going for and it’s kind of the next best thing to actually visiting those countries.
- Expedition Everest - I think this is hands down the best roller coaster you’ll find at Disney World. Its highest point gives you great views of the park before plunging you down and all around its turns. It’s high-speed adventure at its best.
- Kali River Rapids – One of the better river raft rides I’ve been on. As with most water rides, be prepared to get soaked.
- Kilimanjaro Safari – Most people probably won’t have the opportunity to go on a real African safari, so this attraction is as good as it gets for some. And even though I have yet to go on a real one myself, I thought they actually did a pretty good job and the animals have a decent amount of room to roam (which is a huge problem I have with most zoos).
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show - This show was incredibly entertaining. It’s an intricately choreographed nonstop-action show and I was amazed at how precise the drivers were with their stunts. They must have practiced and fine-tuned everything to perfection because there’s little to no room for error. Definitely recommended.
- Toy Story Mania - I really didn’t think I’d like this one, but being a game-a-holic I really enjoyed myself. It’s not only a ride, but it’s a game! You put on 3D glasses and take aim at various targets. It may sound silly but I thought it was fun.
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – An oldie but goodie. This one was here when I last visited many years ago and it’s still a fun one to ride. They’ve changed it up slightly since last time but it’s still sure to get your heart beating faster.
- Street Scenes – I don’t actually know the official name of this area near Lights, Motors, Action!, but the mock-up of San Francisco and New York was kinda fun to stroll through. I used to live in San Francisco and I actually thought they did a pretty good job of recreating a random street in the city, complete with street signs and newspaper dispensers.
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What about you?
What are your favorite things to see and do at Disney World?