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  1. #16

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Kimmehface, since I live here at WDW, I can give you tons of info, but first: what kinds of experiences do you all enjoy? Thrill rides? Slow dark rides? 3D movies? Characters? Restaurants? Walking interactive experiences? Shows?

    Let me know and I'll tell you my top recommendations, straight to you from the yeti's mouth!

    (Hey, it's not like I have anything better to do...)

  2. #17

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Yeti View Post
    Kimmehface, since I live here at WDW, I can give you tons of info, but first: what kinds of experiences do you all enjoy? Thrill rides? Slow dark rides? 3D movies? Characters? Restaurants? Walking interactive experiences? Shows?

    Let me know and I'll tell you my top recommendations, straight to you from the yeti's mouth!

    (Hey, it's not like I have anything better to do...)
    If it's not too much trouble, everything! I've never been to WDW and want to get the whole first timer experience! So, I want to see as much as I can in how long I'll be there.
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  3. #18

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Gonna make this simple as can be.

    Make some time for Downtown Disney and their biggest store of Disney merchandise that there ever was. I forget the name of it but remember there is a smaller Disney store in Downtown Disney and then there's the gigantic long big one. Shopping at Downtown Disney area is an experience all in its own. I'd also recommend the giant Christmas store at DD.

    Of course make room for all four parks. My advice for Epcot, head straight for World Showcase the first half of the bright sunny day. Leave Future Showcase towards the second half. You will need sunlight to enjoy World Showcase, sunlight not needed for Future Showcase.

    Magic Kingdom. Head straight for Cinderella's Castle. Enjoy what's left of Fantasyland. Take pictures of the area so you can say you were there during the big "change". Then venture off to other lands in MK. As for rides, whether people here hate them or not, if you're near it and it's about to start, then do it. Just ride it. Experience. Then you can moan and groan about it later if you really want to. It really is your own opinion on the ride that matters, not everyone else's. I wouldn't let anyone's love or hate for a ride dictate your park experience.

    Animal Kingdom. My advice is to enjoy Tree of Life pictures, if you have time walk the que for It's a Bug's Life that is under the Tree of life, plenty to look at in the que. If you don't want to stay for the show just ask to pass right through the theatre and back out under the Tree of Life. Once ToL is over then my advice is to head to Expedition Everest and then the wildlife treks. Enjoy WDW's version of live animal exhibits as well as the Safari ride. The rest of your day is give or take there.

    Hollywood Studios. Just walk in and enjoy the park. No game plan. I guess the typical advice is to hit Tower of Terror and Rock n Roll coaster back to back early in the morning to get it out of the way. But if you're not in the mood to ride ToT if you're a DL avid goer then just hit Rock n Roll coaster. The Great Movie Ride is also a personal favorite of mine. I always love to watch the trailer show inside, that is part of the line que. I always let people pass in front of me so I can watch it. I love the edited trailers and the vintage movie theatre feel to it.

    Also a big MUST is to take a break from the parks and visit nearby Hotels. Example. Animal Kingdom. Take the bus back to the AK lodge and check out that hotel masterpiece. Hollywood Studios, take the boat and visit Yacht & Beach Club or Boardwalk area. Remember that trying to see all 3 hotels will take up too much park time. I say visit Boardwalk area during HS visit and visit Y&Bclub resort during an Epcot visit. If you rely on the buses to get you home after park closing then visit these resorts during the day.

    If you only rely on the buses to get you home and you're spending over park hours at the Boardwalk for example the you'll need to get a taxi back to your resort or you'll need to take a bus to Downtown Disney to then catch another bus back to your resort. Of course this only would happen if you are staying on property and have no car to your name.

    Other than that enjoy all types of transportation. Monorail, when visiting MK tour Grand Floridian using the Monorail stops. Ride the ferry's or boats back to the MK resort. Ride the boats between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

    Enjoy!
    Micoofy Duck
    Disney Theme Park Fan #4,584,376
    http://www.micoofy.com



  4. #19

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Wow. That is a lot. But thank you! That is a lot of help!
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  5. #20

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Go to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. The All American is fantastic!
    DisneyTwins
    Since May 2003

  6. #21

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneytwins View Post
    Go to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. The All American is fantastic!
    Will do!
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  7. #22

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    Cool Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Okay, Kimmehface, you asked for it!

    Here are my comprehensive recommendations for things to see at WDW since you already know Disneyland well. (You might want to print this for future reference since there's a lot here.) I'll skip things that are basically the same on both coasts.

    First, a recommendation about food:
    WDW has many more dining options than Disneyland. Like Disneyland, WDW has both counter service and table service restaurants. Some of the table service restaurants are pretty amazing, though they can be rather pricey.

    I suggest deciding now if you think you might want to eat at any of the table service restaurants when you're there. If you think you're going to want to have table service on property every day, then you may want to consider getting the dining plan. Whether you do or don't, decide now which restaurants you'd like to eat at and on which days; you'll want to book reservations at your chosen restaurants when the reservation system opens, 6 months in advance of your travel dates. Trust me on this. The popular restaurants book up completely months in advance and don't accept any walk-ins.

    My personal favorite restaurant on property is Boma, an African buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. (You don't need to be staying there in order to eat there, but you do need a dining reservation.) There are also some delicious restaurants in the World Showcase area of Epcot, and one of the most fun themed restaurants is the 50s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios.

    Now here's my list of some of the best WDW attractions that are different from Disneyland. It's hard to know what sort of things you might or might not like, so I'll just tell you the things I think are worth experiencing and why, and you can decide for yourself.

    I'll put asterisks by the ones I think are the absolute must-sees for you.


    Magic Kingdom

    Honestly, WDW's Magic Kingdom doesn't have a whole lot that's better than Disneyland. Most of the unique attractions we have (Tiki Room Under New Management, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Stitch's Great Escape, Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Treehouse) are totally skippable in my opinion. Also, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is just an earlier, less-cool version of AstroBlasters. But here are a few things I think are worth seeing:

    * Mickey's Philharmagic - A really cool 3D movie featuring Donald and songs from Disney classics. My favorite 3D movie at WDW. Totally feel good.

    Winnie the Pooh - If you like slow-moving dark rides, this one's cute. It's better than the Disneyland version; your car does different things in different scenes.

    * The Haunted Mansion - A number of differences from the Disneyland version, including additional scenes. Also, our "stretch room" isn't an elevator!

    The Hall of Presidents - If you like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, this is the giant version of that. Animatronics of all the U.S. presidents through history.

    Pirates of the Caribbean - I'm torn on this one. Honestly, the Disneyland version is way better and much longer; this is just the Cliff's Notes version. However, if you're curious about seeing the differences, it's still a good ride.

    * Splash Mountain - Similar to, but superior to the Disneyland version. This one lets you sit next to your friend, has additional effects, and tells a clearer story.

    Space Mountain - Disneyland's version has much better effects and on-board audio, which this one doesn't have. However, this version is single-file (the opposite of Splash!) and has a much more interesting track layout (not just a series of turns in the same direction like Disneyland); to me, that makes WDW's version totally worth doing.

    Carousel of Progress - Quaint animatronics show about progress originally designed by Walt Disney. It's outdated, but it's worth a viewing. If you're a die-hard Disneyland fan and you didn't get to see this before it was removed from Disneyland, here's your chance.

    Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover - Nothing thrilling here, but this slow-moving ride around Tomorrowland is a classic and a great way to see the park.

    Wishes - Our fireworks show is similar to "Remember… Dreams Come True" but it's also got some big differences. I like them both.



    Epcot: Future World

    Epcot's two halves (Future World and World Showcase) offer very different experiences, and a lot of the things here don't exist at Disneyland. If you're going to take an extra day at any of the parks, I suggest making it this one.

    * Spaceship Earth - The symbol of Epcot, and such a cool attraction. It's a slow-moving ride through the history of technology, narrated by Judy Dench. Make sure to smile at the camera at the beginning of the ride; the results might surprise you.

    * Test Track - A fun, unique ride with a few thrills thrown in for good measure. This one is always popular and tends to go through FastPasses pretty quickly.

    * Mission: Space - Yes. Yes. Yes. One of Disney's coolest rides. A space flight simulator with two choices: Orange Team ("More Intense") or Green Team ("Less Intense"). Orange is the original and best version, but it uses spinning at various points to create the sensation of gravitational forces. If you are very prone to motion sickness or can't tolerate spinning rides, opt for the Green version, which is still very cool and doesn't have any spinning.

    * Living with the Land - A boat ride about new techniques in farming, including a trip through Epcot greenhouses that grow some of the food that is served on property. Pretty nifty!

    (Also, while you're in the Land pavilion, consider getting a bite to eat; the food court is great there. Skip the movie in the Circle of Life theater; it's dumb. Also skip Soarin', since it's identical to Soarin' Over California at Disneyland and I'm sure you've already done that. Save your time and FastPasses for the things you can't do in California.)

    Ellen's Energy Adventure - A 45-minute show with slow-moving ride elements. Dated, but still funny if you enjoy Ellen DeGeneres. I like it. Skip if you're running out of time.

    The Seas with Nemo and Friends - The ride here is like an Omnimover version of the Disneyland subs, but if you like marine life, there are some nifty exhibits in this buiding, including super cool manatees on the second floor.

    Innoventions - Different from the Disneyland version. Most of the stuff here is crap, but if there isn't a long line at "The Sum of All Thrills," it's cool. You get to design your own virtual coaster and then ride it in a robotic arm. There's also an attraction here where you can ride a Segway, which used to be at Disneyland too but I believe is now gone from there.

    Club Cool - Free soda from around the world! And one of them is surprisingly bitter! Mwahahaha!



    Epcot: World Showcase

    World Showcase is the part of Epcot where you get to experience miniature versions of different countries, perhaps the most unique experience at WDW.

    Okay, listen closely. On the map, it might seem as if World Showcase doesn't have much to do. It does. World Showcase is known for its food, shopping, ambiance, and live entertainment. Take your time exploring the nooks and crannies here, talk to the cast members (all of whom are there representing their respective countries), and check your Times Guide to see when the various live performances are taking place. This half of the park is meant to be explored at a leisurely pace. Trust me; it's worth it.

    * Miyuki (Japan) is my favorite live act. She only performs at certain times, so check your Times Guide and don't miss her! She chooses children from the audience and makes them animals out of candy in whatever shape and color they suggest. It's fascinating to watch, and her personality makes it a must see.

    * The American Adventure (USA) - A top-notch animatronics show that outshines the Hall of Presidents for pure patriotism factor. If you don't see it, the terrorists will have won. (Okay, maybe that's going a little far.)

    * Kim Possible Adventure - Sign up for this in advance at any of the Kim Possible stations in Epcot. You don't have to like Kim Possible to appreciate it. It's like a treasure hunt with a cell phone and a sly sense of humor. You'll be sent to one of the countries, where you'll follow clues on a special phone, unlocking hidden secrets in the country that are controlled by your phone. If you have time, you can do this over and over in different countries all day; they each have a bunch of fun things to unlock!

    The two boat rides (Mexico and Norway) are quaint minor attractions; no thrills, but they're relaxing.

    The various films are in several countries and all have their own charm. I love the one in Canada with Martin Short; I think the one in France is probably most popular.

    Live musical acts and other entertainment are all around, so check the Times Guide; I particularly enjoy the musical stylings of Mo' Rockin', Off Kilter, and the Voices of Liberty.

    * Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the nighttime show at Epcot. It's completely unique and a must see for a first-time visitor.



    Disney's Hollywood Studios

    This park used to have working studios with lots of cool backstage stuff. Ever since those were taken out, it's had an identity crisis and is the least popular of WDW's parks. Still, there are things worth doing here.

    * The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Featuring Aerosmith - Unique indoor coaster that is far more intense than Space Mountain. Love it!

    * The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - The original, and much better than Disneyland's version. This one has a unique "5th Dimension" sequence Disneyland's doesn't, plus it has random drop sequences with subtly different effects each time you ride.

    The Great Movie Ride - A slow-moving tram ride through movie scenes acted out by animatronics. If the cast member driving your car can act, this one is lots of fun. If not, it's meh.

    * The Citizens of Hollywood are improv face characters from the Golden Age of Hollywood. They wander around the park interacting with guests and put on various shows throughout the day in the middle of the street. Stay for a while and watch or talk with them; it's totally worth it.

    Voyage of the Little Mermaid - Fun little show with puppets, live actors, and special effects to tell the story of The Little Mermaid. Cooler than it sounds.

    One Man's Dream - Well-done museum dedicated to Walt Disney and the history of Disney magic.

    Lights, Motors, Action and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - Two popular stunt shows (one about cars, one about, um, Indiana Jones) that are worth the time if you're into stunt shows. I'm not into stunt shows.

    The 50s Prime Time Cafe (Table Service) - You'll need a reservation to eat here, but even if you're not eating here, you can poke your head in to see the theming. A fun restaurant where the servers are your family and you have to eat your veggies or Mom will tell you off.

    Starring Rolls Cafe (Cupcakes) - This is just a tiny counter-service location with no real theming. However, it has amazing cupcakes, so if you like cupcakes, go here for a snack. You won't be sorry.

    I normally skip the American Idol Experience and the Beauty and the Beast stage show. You might feel differently if you're a big fan of one of those properties. The Backlot Tour is okay, but I wouldn't wait in a long line for it. Definitely skip Sounds Dangerous, which is just listening to stereo sound in the dark, and definitely definitely skip Journey into Narnia, which is literally just an extended trailer for a movie that came out a long time ago.

    Fantasmic is the nighttime show at DHS. It's not as good as its Disneyland predecessor, but it does have some differences (e.g. Pocahontas instead of Peter Pan) and you can sit down for it. If you're particularly keen to see the changes, there ya go, but you haven't missed much if you decide to skip it.



    Animal Kingdom

    Yay! My home park! Like World Showcase, this is a park that's designed for exploration, not for running from attraction to attraction. Take your time here, look for all the details in the theming, and explore the less-traveled trails. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful and most well-themed of any Disney park in America.

    * Kilimanjaro Safaris - RIDE THIS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING!!! This is the closest thing you're likely to experience to a real safari. You ride in a real truck (not on a track) driven by a safari guide through various African landscapes. In many cases, there are no barriers between your truck and the animals. The animals are much more active and likely to be visible in the morning, before the day gets too hot, so do this first. Every ride is different!

    * Expedition Everest - My favorite WDW coaster. This one goes forward and backwards through Forbidden Mountain in search of the yeti (me). Even though I'm not working right now, the ride is still totally worth it if you like thrill rides. It's pretty intense.

    * Dinosaur - This uses the same ride system as Indiana Jones at Disneyland, but it's largely in the dark and themed to dinosaurs.

    * DiVine - You won't see her on the map, but DiVine is a performance artist disguised as a vine, usually hiding somewhere on the path between Africa and Asia. She looks like a human vine, and she likes to stand up against the wall so that no one notices her at first. She's cool to watch.

    * Finding Nemo: The Musical - If you like stage musicals and/or Finding Nemo, don't miss this! It's a very well-done Broadway-caliber show with songs by Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez. It's my favorite show on property, although most of my friends prefer…

    * Festival of the Lion King - Most people I know like this show better than Finding Nemo. I say, see both! This is more of an interactive performance-in-the-round, with acrobatics, songs, and dancing.

    Flights of Wonder - Another live show, and seriously underrated. This one is a really cute show with live birds and a dose of humor. If you only have time to see two shows at AK, see Nemo and Lion King and skip this one, but if you have time to see them all, see them all!

    Live animal exhibits and trails - There are a bunch of live animals all over Animal Kingdom, so if you like animals, check out all the different trails and keep your eyes peeled! Also, if you want a little more of the "behind the scenes" story of the animals, you can ride the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. If you're running out of time, though, I suggest skipping Rafiki's.



    Other Stuff to Do in Orlando

    In case all that's not enough, here are a few other things people sometimes do:

    - Disney has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. They're both cool, although on hot days they can get crowded. They cost extra unless you add the "water parks and more" option to your ticket. If you've ever been to a nice water park, these are pretty much the same basic thing.

    - If you happen to be really big on video games, Disney has an indoor video game "park" called DisneyQuest that counts as the "more" of the "water parks and more" option. It's seen better days, to be honest, but it does have some fun virtual reality games if you're really into that.

    - Universal has two parks in the area, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. They're not as good as Disney, although IoA's new Harry Potter land is absolutely fantastic.

    - It doesn't cost you anything to wander around Disney property, especially on a day that you haven't purchased park tickets or when you need a break from the parks. Check out some of the hotels, walk along the Boardwalk, or go shopping at Downtown Disney. One of the things that makes WDW so unique is the amount of property they own outside of the parks themselves. They've themed everything really well, so explore it and have fun!

  8. #23

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Yeti View Post
    Okay, Kimmehface, you asked for it!

    Here are my comprehensive recommendations for things to see at WDW since you already know Disneyland well. (You might want to print this for future reference since there's a lot here.) I'll skip things that are basically the same on both coasts.

    First, a recommendation about food:
    WDW has many more dining options than Disneyland. Like Disneyland, WDW has both counter service and table service restaurants. Some of the table service restaurants are pretty amazing, though they can be rather pricey.

    I suggest deciding now if you think you might want to eat at any of the table service restaurants when you're there. If you think you're going to want to have table service on property every day, then you may want to consider getting the dining plan. Whether you do or don't, decide now which restaurants you'd like to eat at and on which days; you'll want to book reservations at your chosen restaurants when the reservation system opens, 6 months in advance of your travel dates. Trust me on this. The popular restaurants book up completely months in advance and don't accept any walk-ins.

    My personal favorite restaurant on property is Boma, an African buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. (You don't need to be staying there in order to eat there, but you do need a dining reservation.) There are also some delicious restaurants in the World Showcase area of Epcot, and one of the most fun themed restaurants is the 50s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios.

    Now here's my list of some of the best WDW attractions that are different from Disneyland. It's hard to know what sort of things you might or might not like, so I'll just tell you the things I think are worth experiencing and why, and you can decide for yourself.

    I'll put asterisks by the ones I think are the absolute must-sees for you.


    Magic Kingdom

    Honestly, WDW's Magic Kingdom doesn't have a whole lot that's better than Disneyland. Most of the unique attractions we have (Tiki Room Under New Management, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Stitch's Great Escape, Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Treehouse) are totally skippable in my opinion. Also, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is just an earlier, less-cool version of AstroBlasters. But here are a few things I think are worth seeing:

    * Mickey's Philharmagic - A really cool 3D movie featuring Donald and songs from Disney classics. My favorite 3D movie at WDW. Totally feel good.

    Winnie the Pooh - If you like slow-moving dark rides, this one's cute. It's better than the Disneyland version; your car does different things in different scenes.

    * The Haunted Mansion - A number of differences from the Disneyland version, including additional scenes. Also, our "stretch room" isn't an elevator!

    The Hall of Presidents - If you like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, this is the giant version of that. Animatronics of all the U.S. presidents through history.

    Pirates of the Caribbean - I'm torn on this one. Honestly, the Disneyland version is way better and much longer; this is just the Cliff's Notes version. However, if you're curious about seeing the differences, it's still a good ride.

    * Splash Mountain - Similar to, but superior to the Disneyland version. This one lets you sit next to your friend, has additional effects, and tells a clearer story.

    Space Mountain - Disneyland's version has much better effects and on-board audio, which this one doesn't have. However, this version is single-file (the opposite of Splash!) and has a much more interesting track layout (not just a series of turns in the same direction like Disneyland); to me, that makes WDW's version totally worth doing.

    Carousel of Progress - Quaint animatronics show about progress originally designed by Walt Disney. It's outdated, but it's worth a viewing. If you're a die-hard Disneyland fan and you didn't get to see this before it was removed from Disneyland, here's your chance.

    Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover - Nothing thrilling here, but this slow-moving ride around Tomorrowland is a classic and a great way to see the park.

    Wishes - Our fireworks show is similar to "Remember… Dreams Come True" but it's also got some big differences. I like them both.



    Epcot: Future World

    Epcot's two halves (Future World and World Showcase) offer very different experiences, and a lot of the things here don't exist at Disneyland. If you're going to take an extra day at any of the parks, I suggest making it this one.

    * Spaceship Earth - The symbol of Epcot, and such a cool attraction. It's a slow-moving ride through the history of technology, narrated by Judy Dench. Make sure to smile at the camera at the beginning of the ride; the results might surprise you.

    * Test Track - A fun, unique ride with a few thrills thrown in for good measure. This one is always popular and tends to go through FastPasses pretty quickly.

    * Mission: Space - Yes. Yes. Yes. One of Disney's coolest rides. A space flight simulator with two choices: Orange Team ("More Intense") or Green Team ("Less Intense"). Orange is the original and best version, but it uses spinning at various points to create the sensation of gravitational forces. If you are very prone to motion sickness or can't tolerate spinning rides, opt for the Green version, which is still very cool and doesn't have any spinning.

    * Living with the Land - A boat ride about new techniques in farming, including a trip through Epcot greenhouses that grow some of the food that is served on property. Pretty nifty!

    (Also, while you're in the Land pavilion, consider getting a bite to eat; the food court is great there. Skip the movie in the Circle of Life theater; it's dumb. Also skip Soarin', since it's identical to Soarin' Over California at Disneyland and I'm sure you've already done that. Save your time and FastPasses for the things you can't do in California.)

    Ellen's Energy Adventure - A 45-minute show with slow-moving ride elements. Dated, but still funny if you enjoy Ellen DeGeneres. I like it. Skip if you're running out of time.

    The Seas with Nemo and Friends - The ride here is like an Omnimover version of the Disneyland subs, but if you like marine life, there are some nifty exhibits in this buiding, including super cool manatees on the second floor.

    Innoventions - Different from the Disneyland version. Most of the stuff here is crap, but if there isn't a long line at "The Sum of All Thrills," it's cool. You get to design your own virtual coaster and then ride it in a robotic arm. There's also an attraction here where you can ride a Segway, which used to be at Disneyland too but I believe is now gone from there.

    Club Cool - Free soda from around the world! And one of them is surprisingly bitter! Mwahahaha!



    Epcot: World Showcase

    World Showcase is the part of Epcot where you get to experience miniature versions of different countries, perhaps the most unique experience at WDW.

    Okay, listen closely. On the map, it might seem as if World Showcase doesn't have much to do. It does. World Showcase is known for its food, shopping, ambiance, and live entertainment. Take your time exploring the nooks and crannies here, talk to the cast members (all of whom are there representing their respective countries), and check your Times Guide to see when the various live performances are taking place. This half of the park is meant to be explored at a leisurely pace. Trust me; it's worth it.

    * Miyuki (Japan) is my favorite live act. She only performs at certain times, so check your Times Guide and don't miss her! She chooses children from the audience and makes them animals out of candy in whatever shape and color they suggest. It's fascinating to watch, and her personality makes it a must see.

    * The American Adventure (USA) - A top-notch animatronics show that outshines the Hall of Presidents for pure patriotism factor. If you don't see it, the terrorists will have won. (Okay, maybe that's going a little far.)

    * Kim Possible Adventure - Sign up for this in advance at any of the Kim Possible stations in Epcot. You don't have to like Kim Possible to appreciate it. It's like a treasure hunt with a cell phone and a sly sense of humor. You'll be sent to one of the countries, where you'll follow clues on a special phone, unlocking hidden secrets in the country that are controlled by your phone. If you have time, you can do this over and over in different countries all day; they each have a bunch of fun things to unlock!

    The two boat rides (Mexico and Norway) are quaint minor attractions; no thrills, but they're relaxing.

    The various films are in several countries and all have their own charm. I love the one in Canada with Martin Short; I think the one in France is probably most popular.

    Live musical acts and other entertainment are all around, so check the Times Guide; I particularly enjoy the musical stylings of Mo' Rockin', Off Kilter, and the Voices of Liberty.

    * Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the nighttime show at Epcot. It's completely unique and a must see for a first-time visitor.



    Disney's Hollywood Studios

    This park used to have working studios with lots of cool backstage stuff. Ever since those were taken out, it's had an identity crisis and is the least popular of WDW's parks. Still, there are things worth doing here.

    * The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Featuring Aerosmith - Unique indoor coaster that is far more intense than Space Mountain. Love it!

    * The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - The original, and much better than Disneyland's version. This one has a unique "5th Dimension" sequence Disneyland's doesn't, plus it has random drop sequences with subtly different effects each time you ride.

    The Great Movie Ride - A slow-moving tram ride through movie scenes acted out by animatronics. If the cast member driving your car can act, this one is lots of fun. If not, it's meh.

    * The Citizens of Hollywood are improv face characters from the Golden Age of Hollywood. They wander around the park interacting with guests and put on various shows throughout the day in the middle of the street. Stay for a while and watch or talk with them; it's totally worth it.

    Voyage of the Little Mermaid - Fun little show with puppets, live actors, and special effects to tell the story of The Little Mermaid. Cooler than it sounds.

    One Man's Dream - Well-done museum dedicated to Walt Disney and the history of Disney magic.

    Lights, Motors, Action and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - Two popular stunt shows (one about cars, one about, um, Indiana Jones) that are worth the time if you're into stunt shows. I'm not into stunt shows.

    The 50s Prime Time Cafe (Table Service) - You'll need a reservation to eat here, but even if you're not eating here, you can poke your head in to see the theming. A fun restaurant where the servers are your family and you have to eat your veggies or Mom will tell you off.

    Starring Rolls Cafe (Cupcakes) - This is just a tiny counter-service location with no real theming. However, it has amazing cupcakes, so if you like cupcakes, go here for a snack. You won't be sorry.

    I normally skip the American Idol Experience and the Beauty and the Beast stage show. You might feel differently if you're a big fan of one of those properties. The Backlot Tour is okay, but I wouldn't wait in a long line for it. Definitely skip Sounds Dangerous, which is just listening to stereo sound in the dark, and definitely definitely skip Journey into Narnia, which is literally just an extended trailer for a movie that came out a long time ago.

    Fantasmic is the nighttime show at DHS. It's not as good as its Disneyland predecessor, but it does have some differences (e.g. Pocahontas instead of Peter Pan) and you can sit down for it. If you're particularly keen to see the changes, there ya go, but you haven't missed much if you decide to skip it.



    Animal Kingdom

    Yay! My home park! Like World Showcase, this is a park that's designed for exploration, not for running from attraction to attraction. Take your time here, look for all the details in the theming, and explore the less-traveled trails. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful and most well-themed of any Disney park in America.

    * Kilimanjaro Safaris - RIDE THIS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING!!! This is the closest thing you're likely to experience to a real safari. You ride in a real truck (not on a track) driven by a safari guide through various African landscapes. In many cases, there are no barriers between your truck and the animals. The animals are much more active and likely to be visible in the morning, before the day gets too hot, so do this first. Every ride is different!

    * Expedition Everest - My favorite WDW coaster. This one goes forward and backwards through Forbidden Mountain in search of the yeti (me). Even though I'm not working right now, the ride is still totally worth it if you like thrill rides. It's pretty intense.

    * Dinosaur - This uses the same ride system as Indiana Jones at Disneyland, but it's largely in the dark and themed to dinosaurs.

    * DiVine - You won't see her on the map, but DiVine is a performance artist disguised as a vine, usually hiding somewhere on the path between Africa and Asia. She looks like a human vine, and she likes to stand up against the wall so that no one notices her at first. She's cool to watch.

    * Finding Nemo: The Musical - If you like stage musicals and/or Finding Nemo, don't miss this! It's a very well-done Broadway-caliber show with songs by Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez. It's my favorite show on property, although most of my friends prefer…

    * Festival of the Lion King - Most people I know like this show better than Finding Nemo. I say, see both! This is more of an interactive performance-in-the-round, with acrobatics, songs, and dancing.

    Flights of Wonder - Another live show, and seriously underrated. This one is a really cute show with live birds and a dose of humor. If you only have time to see two shows at AK, see Nemo and Lion King and skip this one, but if you have time to see them all, see them all!

    Live animal exhibits and trails - There are a bunch of live animals all over Animal Kingdom, so if you like animals, check out all the different trails and keep your eyes peeled! Also, if you want a little more of the "behind the scenes" story of the animals, you can ride the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. If you're running out of time, though, I suggest skipping Rafiki's.



    Other Stuff to Do in Orlando

    In case all that's not enough, here are a few other things people sometimes do:

    - Disney has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. They're both cool, although on hot days they can get crowded. They cost extra unless you add the "water parks and more" option to your ticket. If you've ever been to a nice water park, these are pretty much the same basic thing.

    - If you happen to be really big on video games, Disney has an indoor video game "park" called DisneyQuest that counts as the "more" of the "water parks and more" option. It's seen better days, to be honest, but it does have some fun virtual reality games if you're really into that.

    - Universal has two parks in the area, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. They're not as good as Disney, although IoA's new Harry Potter land is absolutely fantastic.

    - It doesn't cost you anything to wander around Disney property, especially on a day that you haven't purchased park tickets or when you need a break from the parks. Check out some of the hotels, walk along the Boardwalk, or go shopping at Downtown Disney. One of the things that makes WDW so unique is the amount of property they own outside of the parks themselves. They've themed everything really well, so explore it and have fun!
    Wow. Thank you so much! That will be a HUGE help!
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  9. #24

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    I second that!!! You are awesome for your help! Kim, you're not really a show person right? I mean, we'll have to choose our shows wisely since they take a good chunk of time. Also thank you Yeti for talking about the Kim Possible experience! With that, can I enjoy a country while playing the game as well? How does the whole thing work?


  10. #25

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by CourtneyDax View Post
    Also thank you Yeti for talking about the Kim Possible experience! With that, can I enjoy a country while playing the game as well? How does the whole thing work?
    Yes, you can, although you tend to experience it in a different way when you're playing Kim Possible.

    Here's how it works.

    On the day you're planning to play Kim Possible, go by any of the Kim Possible stations in Epcot. There are several of them in Future World and World Showcase. (You can't play the game in Future World, but you can sign up there.)

    The cast member there will give you a "Mission Pass" (a FastPass-like card) telling you what time and in which country to meet your agent and begin your mission. At the appointed time, go to the country indicated on the pass, and a Kim Possible agent will explain the game to you and give you your Kimmunicator ("disguised" as a specialized cell phone).

    That agent will tell you which country needs your help (it may not be the country where you meet the agent). You go to the country in need, push the button on your Kimmunicator, and your cartoon contact Wade will tell you what to do from that point on.

    Wade sends you looking for particular places in that country. Since your mission takes place entirely in one country, you don't have to walk far. (The countries aren't that big.) Often, you'll be asked to find the right location and then push a button on your Kimmunicator, triggering something unexpected to happen. You might make a light turn on, for instance, or transmit a secret code back to Wade. Some of the things that can happen are pretty cool, but I don't want to spoil them. After you've accomplished each task, he'll send you in search of the next location in that country, all the while filling you in on the dastardly deeds of the villain you're trying to stop.

    Each mission takes maybe 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how fast you move. When the mission is over, if the parks aren't too crowded, you may be offered the option to play again in a different country with the same Kimmunicator. If the parks are too crowded or you decide not to play again, it will tell you where to drop off your Kimmunicator, and you're done! You can always sign up again at one of the Kim Possible stations if you have time.

    Touring the countries while playing Kim Possible is kind of different from touring the countries on your own. In the game, you're always looking for the next clue, so you might find things you wouldn't otherwise notice (and you'll definitely uncover some secrets), but you also tend to ignore a lot of the detail around you while you're focused on finding the next thing you're supposed to find. Also, people typically don't stop to ride rides, eat, shop, or see movies while playing the game. Theoretically I guess you could, but it always seems a little selfish to me to go do something else when you're hanging onto one of the limited number of Kimmunicators.

    So my advice is to save enough time at World Showcase to do both: some casual exploration and some amateur sleuthing. Think of it like when someone sets up a scavenger hunt at Disneyland: it adds an extra dimension, but you'd want first-time visitors to have a chance to experience the park on its own merits too.

    Hope this helps!

    Now if only we could get Kim Possible at Everest… maybe one of the missions would involve triggering me to work again.

  11. #26

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by CourtneyDax View Post
    I second that!!! You are awesome for your help! Kim, you're not really a show person right? I mean, we'll have to choose our shows wisely since they take a good chunk of time. Also thank you Yeti for talking about the Kim Possible experience! With that, can I enjoy a country while playing the game as well? How does the whole thing work?
    Not really. I can only see so many shows before I feel like exploding. or napping.
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  12. #27

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Yeti View Post
    Yes, you can, although you tend to experience it in a different way when you're playing Kim Possible.

    Here's how it works.

    On the day you're planning to play Kim Possible, go by any of the Kim Possible stations in Epcot. There are several of them in Future World and World Showcase. (You can't play the game in Future World, but you can sign up there.)

    The cast member there will give you a "Mission Pass" (a FastPass-like card) telling you what time and in which country to meet your agent and begin your mission. At the appointed time, go to the country indicated on the pass, and a Kim Possible agent will explain the game to you and give you your Kimmunicator ("disguised" as a specialized cell phone).

    That agent will tell you which country needs your help (it may not be the country where you meet the agent). You go to the country in need, push the button on your Kimmunicator, and your cartoon contact Wade will tell you what to do from that point on.

    Wade sends you looking for particular places in that country. Since your mission takes place entirely in one country, you don't have to walk far. (The countries aren't that big.) Often, you'll be asked to find the right location and then push a button on your Kimmunicator, triggering something unexpected to happen. You might make a light turn on, for instance, or transmit a secret code back to Wade. Some of the things that can happen are pretty cool, but I don't want to spoil them. After you've accomplished each task, he'll send you in search of the next location in that country, all the while filling you in on the dastardly deeds of the villain you're trying to stop.

    Each mission takes maybe 20 or 30 minutes, depending on how fast you move. When the mission is over, if the parks aren't too crowded, you may be offered the option to play again in a different country with the same Kimmunicator. If the parks are too crowded or you decide not to play again, it will tell you where to drop off your Kimmunicator, and you're done! You can always sign up again at one of the Kim Possible stations if you have time.

    Touring the countries while playing Kim Possible is kind of different from touring the countries on your own. In the game, you're always looking for the next clue, so you might find things you wouldn't otherwise notice (and you'll definitely uncover some secrets), but you also tend to ignore a lot of the detail around you while you're focused on finding the next thing you're supposed to find. Also, people typically don't stop to ride rides, eat, shop, or see movies while playing the game. Theoretically I guess you could, but it always seems a little selfish to me to go do something else when you're hanging onto one of the limited number of Kimmunicators.

    So my advice is to save enough time at World Showcase to do both: some casual exploration and some amateur sleuthing. Think of it like when someone sets up a scavenger hunt at Disneyland: it adds an extra dimension, but you'd want first-time visitors to have a chance to experience the park on its own merits too.

    Hope this helps!

    Now if only we could get Kim Possible at Everest… maybe one of the missions would involve triggering me to work again.
    That sounds like SO much fun! We must make time for this!
    "Wow, time flies when you're obsessively looking at pins."



  13. #28

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    I'd just like to add a few things...

    Contributors to this thread don't like Dinosaur much, for some reason. I say it's a MUST RIDE. It is an exciting "trip through time" and the AAs are amazingly lifelike.

    The Haunted Mansion is better than Disneyland's. Pay attention to the sound in the stretching room, for example.

    Fantasyland offers Fast Pass, which is highly recommended for Peter Pan. Mickey's PhilharMagic is unmissable, top notch 3D/4D, but you won't need a fast pass for that show.

    At Disney Hollywood Studios, Star Tours II will be open when you go in August. The game plan is to get there before rope drop, and make a beeline for either that ride or Toy Story Mania. TSM has a far better queue than the one at DCA.

    My last piece of advice is to pace yourself. WDW is much, much bigger than DLR, and you will exhaust yourself if you try to take it all in too fast. Go at a relaxed pace, and you will enjoy your trip much more. Also, try to stay on-site, because you will need extra magic hours. The summer months are crowded.

  14. #29

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    Contributors to this thread don't like Dinosaur much, for some reason. I say it's a MUST RIDE. It is an exciting "trip through time" and the AAs are amazingly lifelike.
    Maybe a video can help them decide:



    Even with the same track layout it's rougher than Indy, and the disnosaur's roars are very loud. It's best to ask for a seat in the middle. Since the Carnotaurous pops up on both sides of the vehicle a couple times. But also at the end he appears again over your head, but I find that one the least scary. But when you see the Iganodon on the tree be prepared for the Carnotaurous anyway, just in case.



    Quote Originally Posted by williamtheking View Post
    CaptainEO,ATIS: Have you ever heard that rumor that Elvis is alive, and well, and owns a bakery in Seattle? Yeah, that's total crap. Now if you where to tell me Michael Jackson was alive, and well, and owns a MiceChat account in Las Vegas, that I would believe!

  15. #30

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    Re: First timers to Walt Disney World Resort! What's should we see?

    For a first timer, I say buy The Unofficial Guide to WDW and use the touring plans.

    Also, visit the resorts. Maybe make an ADR at 'Ohana ad take in the Poly for awhile before your dinner.

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