by Ashleigh Schneider
You’ve saved up your paychecks for months, you’ve counted down the days, and it’s finally here: your first trip to Walt Disney World! Now the question is, how do I spend this precious time? The four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort can be quite overwhelming to someone who has never experienced them before.
I spoke with 7 other girls who were either visiting for the first time, or had not visited in a very long time, and together we selected 8 attractions that we believe you should experience on your first vacation here. All of these attractions are unique in their own way and exemplify extremely well the type of theme park Walt Disney World is. Here are the first four, and keep a lookout for the second part coming your way soon!
The Haunted Mansion
Sitting on a hilltop in a corner of Liberty Square is a creepy-looking house. Are you brave enough to check it out? “The Haunted Mansion” takes you on a tour of a house filled with “happy haunts,” all waiting to greet you and welcome you into their lives (or rather, their deaths).
While inside, you are treated to a “swinging wake” filled with plenty of partying ghosts, and are able to take a peek around many of the property’s rooms, ranging from the library to the séance room to the attic, all led by a body-less voice known as the “Ghost Host.” This attraction may be frightening for some people, but as one of Magic Kingdom’s opening day attractions, it is definitely one that is not to be missed!
Soarin’ Around the World
Ever wanted to see some of the great wonders of the world from a bird’s eye view? If so, “Soarin’ Around the World” is a great attraction for you to experience. Travelers climb into a hang glider and take flight around the world, experiencing the Eiffel Tower to the Taj Mahal to Spaceship Earth during “Illuminations” and everything in-between.
Although this attraction may be a little intimidating for those afraid of heights, you will be so immersed in the beautiful sights in front of you that you will forget you’re not touching the ground. (Believe me, I can tell you firsthand—I’m terrified of heights and this attraction is one of my favorites!). “Soarin’ Around the World” is located in The Land Pavilion at EPCOT, and often racks up a pretty long wait time, so make sure you grab a FastPass for this one!
Rockin’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith
Thrillseekers, this one is for you! Located down toward the end of Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Rockin’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith” is one of the most intense attractions Walt Disney World has to offer. You’re on a tour of “G-Force Records” and about to watch Aerosmith in the recording studio, when they suddenly have to jet off to a show. Their manager calls you a super-stretch limo and you are sent out to the alley behind the studio to wait for it.
This incredibly speedy limo takes off for the concert, going from 0 to roughly 58 in less than 2.8 seconds, and flies through the streets of Los Angeles, even taking you completely upside down and through a corkscrew loop in order to get you there on time. This rollercoaster is not for the faint of heart, but if you love action and thrills, you will definitely want to check this one out.
Festival of the Lion King
Walt Disney World is not only home to many wonderful rides, but plenty of colorful, awe-inducing shows as well. One favorite that anyone who’s never been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom before simply must do is “Festival of the Lion King.” This show is located off the beaten path in Africa, and is led by a troupe of singers who perform songs from the movie.
They are joined by a variety of African animals, including tumble monkeys and exotic birds, and even Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba themselves to help tell the story of The Lion King and share their stories with you. This show is performed in the round, so every seat provides a great view, and it is interactive and engaging for all ages.
Looking for more must-do attractions? Stay tuned for my next installment coming soon!