If you are planning a trip anytime soon to visit Disney World, in Orlando, Florida, you won't want to miss the highlights of our most recent trip. We, actually, went the week prior to Labor Day and it is a great time to miss all the crowds. Our wait times for rides was very short and we took advantage of as many Fast Passes as possible.
If I had to choose the most favorite "ride" for all age groups, I would choose the Toy Story ride in the Hollywood Studios theme park. It was a blast from start to finish. Wearing 3D glasses, you ride a carnival style tram that spins from one midway "shooting gallery" to the next. You only need pull the "string-style" shooter to pop balloons, hit targets and more. It is a whirl of fun as targets pop up before you showing the point values of the targets, from 50 to 1000. Rack up as many points as you can and it sure feels like you've had a workout once the ride comes to the end. You'll see as the Toy Story characters along the way, including Woody, Buzz and Mr. Potato head. We got to ride this twice with Fast Passes and it was the only ride in all the theme Parks during our visit that had a 100 minute wait. It's that popular.
Another top favorite was the Buzz Lightyear ride in the Magic Kingdom. Since we spent two of our five days at the Magic Kingdom, we managed many rides on Buzz Lightyear. Once again, this ride was suitable for all age groups and everyone was trying to "best" their own space gun scores. Riders are able to control their own spaceship, turning towards targets and shooting their ray guns, using laser beams.
Other favorites in the Magic Kingdom were Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. However, for little kids and older adults, some of these rides aren't suitable, but for kids from 8 and up they were a blast.
Some of the best highlights were to be found in Hollywood Studios. A favorite for younger kids is Honey I Shrunk the Kids. It's a type of playground with giant sized plants and insects, with tunnels, slides and more. This was one of the very favorite places for the 5 year old in our group.
If you go to Hollywood Studios, be sure your first stop is the Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy. There are limited spaces each day, for kids 4-12, to sign up for the Academy. Kids dress up as Jedi, learn how to use the lightsaber from the Jedi master and then fight Darth Vader. And the Jedi master is most amusing with his witty quips to the kids. Fun for all. An amazing ride in this same area is the Star Tours ride, which is 3D.
Two other not-to-miss happenings in Hollywood Studios are the Indiana Jones stunt show and the Lights Motors Action extreme Stunt show. Non-stop action in both stunt shows featuring stunt secrets you never knew. Fun for all ages.
There was so much to see and even though we spent 5 days at Disney World we didn't see it all. Be sure if you go to do some real planning ahead of time to make sure you don't miss the things your family might enjoy the most. We didn't have little girls with us so we didn't do all the Magic Castle and Princess stuff, but this would certainly be a highlight for any little girl.
Our only disappointment was that the Disney characters weren't walking around all the time as we all had imagined they would be. there were many Meet and Greet places but you had to stand in line to meet the characters. We would have loved running into the characters throughout the park ... it would have been much more magical.
More fun Disney highlights later ...
Sharon Pierce McCullough