I recently spent a week at Walt Disney World, and while it’s one of my favorite places to visit, I try to find a highlight of each visit. This time around, I will share my top 5 favorite experiences.
Number 5 on my top 5 at Walt Disney World is a tie between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Both of these theme parks in recent years were considered ‘half day’ parks, but with expansion and new offerings, they have easily become full day experiences.
Each Park is unique, and that’s what makes them fun. Animal Kingdom is far away from a zoo as some may perceive it. It’s an experience. I consider Animal Kingdom the most beautiful Disney Park in the United States. Its flora and fauna add to the charm of this Park.
The addition of Pandora – The World of Avatar in May 2017 changed the dynamic of this park. It turned it in to a full day Park. I remember when Animal Kingdom would open at 9am and close at 5pm. On occasion, Animal Kingdom would stay until 8pm for Evening Extra Magic Hours. I spent one of those nights at the Park and it was beautiful. I’m just glad that all guests now have the chance to see this Park at night because it’s completely worth it.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is no longer the Park it was when it opened in 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios. However, it still has some of that charm from its early days. Yes Star Wars and Pixar may have taken up residence here in the last two years, and that’s okay. These two properties are enjoyed by many guests.
Entertainment is one of the highlights of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and that will continue for many years to come. Whether it’s the ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along or the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular or even Fantasmic!, Hollywood Studios offers a wide variety of entertainment.
We continue with number 4 and that is the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and Cabins. It takes place in Pioneer Hall, and is such a fun dinner show. Reservations are highly recommended. Price varies depending on what category you choose, but each category offers great views of the show.
The show includes an all you can eat dinner. You are served buckets of fried chicken and smoked pork ribs. In addition, you get salad, cornbread, seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes, cowboy beans, and macaroni and cheese. So be sure to come hungry! Unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are also included. And let’s not forget about dessert – strawberry shortcake! It is definitely a treat for all!
The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue Players keep you entertained for nearly 90 minutes while you enjoy your food, drinks, and dessert. The Musical Revue Players include Jim Handy, Flora Long, Claire De Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, and Six Bits Slocum. All performers bring their own charm and wit to the show. They will definitely keep you laughing, clapping, and singing along all night!
My number 3 top experience at Walt Disney World is Magic Kingdom. It was the second Disney theme park to open, and it’s filled with so much magic and fun! Plus you have the opportunity to experience some attractions that are no longer available at Disneyland. This includes Country Bear Jamboree, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
Entertainment is another huge factor at Magic Kingdom. From the Disney Festival of Fantasy to Happily Ever After Fireworks Spectacular to entertainment on Main Street, U.S.A., you can find some sort of entertainment throughout the Park all day. Character meet and greets are also a big part of the Disney Park experience. While characters aren’t roaming around as freely at Magic Kingdom as at Disneyland, they are still fun to see and make some magical memories.
My number 2 experience at Walt Disney World is Epcot and the International Festival of the Arts. 2020 is the fourth year of this festival. It celebrates the best in visual, performing, and culinary arts. Specialty food is available throughout Epcot.
In partnership with Disney On Broadway, a concert is put on three times a night at the America Gardens Theatre. It features two Disney On Broadway performers and is a delight to see. The best part is that the show is included with Epcot admission.
Epcot itself is undergoing a major transformation to prepare for its 40th anniversary in 2022. Part of Future World West has been demolished, while pathways and some other areas of Future World are also being refurbished. The Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster continues to be built in the former Universe of Energy Pavilion.
And the top Walt Disney World experience in January 2020 is the Disney Skyliner. I stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort during this visit. Along with Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Riviera, it is a Disney Skyliner Resort. The Disney Skyliner connects these resorts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Epcot International Gateway.
All Disney Skyliner rides terminate at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. This is the transfer location between the three different lines. They are Art of Animation/Pop Century, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot International Gateway.
Disney Skyliner Resorts have even cut back on bus transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and encourage guests to use the Skyliner. It takes approximately 3-1/2 minutes to go from Art of Animation/Pop Century to Caribbean Beach, 4 minutes to go from Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios, and about 10 minutes to go from Caribbean Beach to Epcot International Gateway.
So there are my top 5 Walt Disney World experiences from January 2020. It was great to spend a week at ‘The Most Magical Place On Earth!’ I definitely enjoyed new experiences, as well as all time favorites, and I cannot wait to go back and make more memories!