A Disney Vacation Feels Incomplete Until I Do These Things…
I’ve spent 10 days at Disney over the past three months. While the experience was terrific, I didn’t get to do everything that I enjoy during both trips. And that left me a bit sad. The situation caused me to come home and make a list of everything I need to experience on vacation. Yes, a Disney trip feels incomplete unless I do these nine things.
Boarding the PeopleMover
I took several spins around the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover this trip. During each wait in line, I noticed that the PeopleMover has become more crowded lately.
Aficionados of the ride have championed it so much that everyone else has begun to appreciate its greatness. And that suits me just fine. I think everyone should take a journey through Tomorrowland. Just make sure to appreciate Progress City while you drive by it!
Crushing Someone at Toy Story Mania!
I’m quietly competitive. I won’t do anything untoward unless you provoke me. However, if you poke the bear, I will maul you. Okay, in the Millhouse vernacular, I’ll maul you at Nintendo. I’m not a violent person, which means that videogames allow me to release aggression.
At Walt Disney World, three rides feature scoring systems. Test Track is easy to beat, and so I don’t really count that one. But, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Mania! are different. You can crush your co-rider on these games, presuming that your aim is true.
My wife and I split the victories, as she never loses at the Buzz Lightyear game. Meanwhile, I wreck her at Toy Story Mania. Ergo, that’s the better ride. Everyone prefers the game that they win, right?
Eating a Disney Snack
This one sounds general, but that’s only because I could fit all four suggestions into the header. In my opinion, four Disney snacks embody park cuisine. As long as I have one of them, I’m content. Still, I’m happiest when I devour all of them.
So, what are the four snacks? To me, the biggies are Dole Whip, Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, turkey legs, and corn dog nuggets. I think most people would agree on the first three, although calling the turkey legs snacks is something of a stretch. As for the corn dog nuggets, once I had them, I fell in love forever.
When I visit Disney, I NEED a Dole Whip. I want the other things, but the pineapple ice cream treat works differently. When I don’t have it, I feel like I’ve lost vacation.
Entering the Haunted Mansion
My favorite Disney ride will soon change forever. I said goodbye to Spaceship Earth this trip in anticipation of the story changing soon. Fittingly, the attraction tore up twice as I rode, which is just my luck. Still, I got one perfect ride out of it first.
However, I have almost equal love for Haunted Mansion, which makes my wife happier than anything else at Disney.
She becomes a whimsical child again when she jumps on a Doom Buggy and rides around the Attic, the Graveyard, and the Ballroom, all of which are iconic scenes. I adore watching her face as she takes it all in, and I’m not happy at Disney until I’ve done this at least once.
Going on Safari
Kilimanjaro Safaris must drive cast members nuts. The drivers of these glorified Jeeps must hope for the best as they drive through countless animal habitats. Anyone with a pet knows that animals do what they want when they want, and we’re just incidental observers when things happen.
So, I adore the randomness of the drive each time. It’s so thrilling when the cast member sounds genuinely thrilled by the arrival of an unexpected critter. To me, Kilimanjaro Safaris provides the backbone of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I can’t imagine visiting the park without taking the safari.
Ride on the Monorail
Look, Disney owns and operates several entertaining forms of transportation. For example, a Friendship Boat ride with a singing captain is undeniably magical. And the new Disney Skyliner system displays the theme parks in an entirely new light.
Still, for Disney diehards, the monorail exemplifies the history and heritage of Walt Disney. When you board this unique tram system, you’re doing something that’s almost exclusive to Disney theme parks.
Yes, a few exceptions exist around the world, but monorails are part and parcel with the Happiest Place on Earth. I’ll always love this kind of ride and regret that I only got to ride it once during my most recent trip.
Soarin’ over the World
I’m a Soarin’ guy. It’s that simple. I love the ride apparatus on this attraction, and I relish in the sensation of flight. Yes, Avatar Flight of Passage and Peter Pan’s Flight provide similar sensations, but I’m a Soarin’ guy.
So, I need to ride Soarin’ while I’m at Disney. And this isn’t always easy. It’s one of the most popular attractions at Disney California Adventure and Epcot. Without a FastPass, I’m forced to wait in a line that’s regularly 45-60 minutes long, which isn’t ideal. But I do it. Soarin’ is that worthwhile to me.
Taking a Walk on Main Street, U.S.A.
Everyone loves that first magical moment when we walk down Main Street, U.S.A. for the first time. Many guests start their vacations at Magic Kingdom or Disneyland, the primary parks at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
I’m convinced that people do this because they want to gaze on the castle and relish in the glory of timeless Disney theming.
Plus, a tour down Main Street comes with a special bonus. We get to smell the scents coming from the bakery. And they’re so exquisite that we mentally connect them with the Main Street experience.
Visit the Polynesian
Everyone has a beloved Disney resort that matters the most to them. For my family, three of them tower above the rest. We love Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort the best.
However, I could go the full vacation without a trip to the Contemporary or Beach Club when I’m not staying there. The Polynesian is different for me. I MUST smell the hotel lobby while I’m at Walt Disney World.
Also, this circles back to the earlier Dole Whip discussion. I know that I can grab one while I’m visiting the resort. Disney sells them right outside the hotel lobby! So, that makes the visit that much more important to me.