Top Ten Things that are Better in a Disney Park

Written by Chris Wood. Posted in Disney Parks, Features, Park Wise, Walt Disney World

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Published on July 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm with 19 Comments

Your day to day life can get routine, but in a Disney park, even the most ordinary things are better. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of things you do, or deal with, every day and how Disney makes it better.

10. Breakfast.

There are very few places in the world where it’s perfectly acceptable to eat Tonga Toast or an entire cupcake for breakfast. A Disney park is one of them.  In fact, it’s sort of customary to eat both Tonga Toast and an entire cupcake for breakfast, so get crackin’.  You don’t want to offend your hosts.

9. Your in-laws.

A Disney park really is “the happiest place on earth,” where most people can leave their troubles and worries behind, if only for that day, so what better place to bring your mother-in-law, the one who still hasn’t forgiven you for that unfortunate incident at Thanksgiving in 1997?  She’ll be so busy having fun she won’t even remember.  Probably.

Get Park Wise:  If you’re traveling with a real crumudgeon, make sure you let him know where the nearest golf course, pool, or bar is located and head to the parks without him. You’re not going to change someone’s mind about Disney World and there truly are people who don’t like it. Fortunately, there are plenty of things to keep him occupied and happy during the day (Lapu Lapu?) that have  nothing to do with the parks. Meet up at dinner and talk about your day.

8.  Your bed.

Oh sure, your bed at home is comfy, but does it have towel animals? No, I didn’t think so.

7.  A kiss good-night.

Yes, we all know the real thing is nice, but did you know that if you stay in the Magic Kingdom after closing, Disney puts on a short light show in front of the Castle? Usually three times a night at intervals for the first 90 minutes after closing, the “kiss goodnight” is a great way to end your day. Bonus:  You’ll avoid the mad rush out of the park, so grab a bench and sit a while.

This lives on my fridge and makes me happy.

6.  Plastic.

I’m the first one to complain about all the plastic “junk” my kids have, but put me in a Disney park and suddenly, that “junk” doesn’t look so bad and I’m snapping up Cinderella Castle refrigerator magnets like it’s my job. Which, as I tell my husband, it kind of is.

5.  Lighting.

My husband and  I were walking through Animal Kingdom Lodge one night and I said to him “They should send actresses of a certain age here because it would eliminate the need for Botox in Hollywood.” He just stared at me because he clearly doesn’t read enough People magazine to understand, but my point was this: The lighting was gorgeous and so flattering, it made everything and everyone look beautiful.  Disney makes magic with lighting, whether it’s the warm soft glow of Epcot’s World Showcase at the end of the night or the dramatic icicle lights on the Castle at Christmas. Next time you’re in the parks, take time to notice this under-appreciated but important element that adds so much to your experience.

4.  Exercise.

At home, those three miles on the treadmill drag on forever no matter what you do, but in Disney World, it’s possible to walk 407 miles per day (it’s true, I measured once) and not even notice. So fuel up (see point 1), grab those comfy shoes, and get out there.

3.  Getting up early.

Does this ever happen to you: You just woke up and you’re laying in bed in Disney World, not quite sure where you are for a split second, when it hits you–you’re in Disney World!!!  Yes! You hop out of bed, get ready, and you’re on your way to the parks in no time.

2.  Buffets.

I’m not generally a fan of buffets in the outside world, but I make the exception at Walt Disney World. This isn’t because there isn’t anything better to eat. Quite the contrary. It’s because most Disney buffets are so good. To really get your money’s worth, go at dinner when you’re more likely to be hungry.

Get Park Wise: Almost all breakfast buffets at Disney World are good, but if you want to find some great options at dinner, skip the parks and head for the resorts. Cape May, in Disney’s Beach Club Resort, has a fantastic seafood buffet that impresses with its wide variety of choices and quality.  Boma, in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, is legendary among Disney fans as the hands-down best buffet on property.

1.  Bedtime.

Bedtime at Disney World really starts while you’re still in the parks, during that sleepy part of the evening when it’s suddenly cooler, when couples hold hands, little ones blink sleepily in their strollers, and everyone is standing still, waiting for the fireworks to begin.  Have you noticed how quiet the park is when those words “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight” begin?  It’s one of my favorite times in the park. At home, you don’t get fireworks to send you off to sleep, but at Disney World they happen every night.  Maybe you’ll catch another ride before you go home, but soon you’re on your way back to your resort, happy but exhausted and ready for the next day. That’s Disney World to me and that’s the end of a very good day.

How about you? What’s better because you’re in a Disney park?


Park Wise is written by Chris Wood.

You can find Chris at Everything Walt Disney World.

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About Chris Wood

Chris Wood is frequent Disney traveler and travel agent. She considers Walt Disney World to be her home park.

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19 Comments

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  1. Perhaps the title of this article should be “Top Ten Things that are Better at Disneyworld”

    • I promise to rectify my Disney World bias when I get to Disneyland for the first time in 2 weeks!

      • Better not be spending time eating breakfast at Disneyland or you’ll never get a fastpass for radiator springs racers. Heard the granola pancakes are great at the new place midway down main street but again, you have to hit all the rides before the big lines start 11am-12. The diner breakfast at Flo’s looked great… but only if you have time…. just grabbed a cone of something at the cozy cone to tied us over till lunch.

      • Thanks for the advice. I am so excited about finally getting out there.

        I am going to have plenty to write about when I get back.

  2. Clever idea for a story Chris! So true that things which would be a task in the real world seem effortless in the Disney parks. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Dusty.

  3. Why is it that even the skunky smell of the water on various rides brings up fond memories!
    Skunky water at home just smells bad.
    Skunky water on Pirates of the Caribbean, awesome.

    Also, eating ice cream 2 or 3 times – NO at home, YES at WDW!

    After walking 407 miles at a theme park, how many people get back to their resort, dump their daypack full of stuff and go for a walk at the resort – I know I do.

  4. This seems like a joke post, which is not meant to be taken seriously. It started out fine, but it ended quickly with the reference to “in-laws”. Why would you take them there and leave them behind? I guarantee that they will be even more cranky if they don’t get your undivided attention. The main reason to bring your “in-laws” is to get to know them better and repair any bad relations.

    After reading the bad number 9 post, I went back and re-evaluated the other posts and came up short.

    10. Where’s the cupcake in the photo? Are you following your own advice?

    8. I can get a towel animal at a cruise.

    7. “three times a night at intervals for first 90 minutes after closing” Not sure what this means. You can stay beyond closing and see the 3 kisses for up to 90 minutes after closing. Is there a second 90 minutes when you can still stay in the park? Is it worth staying in the park for 90 minutes beyond closing? Why not just stay for the first kiss?

    6. Goodness. Plastic items are easily lost.

    5. I’m sure you might like the lighting, but no one is looking at you. And come to think of it, no lighting will improve upon a person who had a full day in the park. You’ll look tired.

    4. Walking, while healthful, isn’t enough if you’re having that cupcake (see #1).

    3. Vacations should be relaxing. Get out of bed when you want.

    2. Eat buffets sparingly. You won’t have much energy after a full meal.

    1. Fireworks is not about bedtime if you know what I mean.

    • Thank you for your input, Steven.

  5. Nothing better than a good buffet!

    • Agreed. And since you burn so many calories there, why not?

      Bring on the Zebra Domes!

  6. 407 miles?!?

    That’s 16 mph…. assuming that you walked 24 hours.
    Fastest marathoners go only about 12 mph

    • That was a joke. You only walk a few miles in most parks, but it’s something you do without even thinking twice about. However, setting out to walk 5 miles at home would be something more akin to serious exercise. ;-)

    • Yeah, I was kind of kidding. ;-)

  7. Also, who rides a bus in the “normal world?” Those people who can afford a WDW vacation tend to also own their own cars. On my first visit to Disney World, hopping on a bus was something (and I had to think hard about this) I have NEVER done.

    • When I lived in Washington DC, we never drove our car. Public transportation can be really useful!

      • Indeed.

  8. All good points. Going to WDW or DL is not a vacation, but an experience. I find myself eating a lot, walking more, and sleeping less. It’s one of those things where you need a vacation or down time after visiting WDW. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Looking forward to visiting the World again!

  9. It looks like someone needs a trip to wdw to get rid of the crankies.