The Disney FOMO Is Real
Perhaps no place in the world defines FOMO better than a Disney theme park.
When you don’t vacation at Disney, you must spend the year watching your friends post gorgeous pictures and videos on social media.
All the while, you’ll feel the pain of knowing that you missed out on an unforgettable vacation.
Of course, when you DO visit Walt Disney World, you’ll still worry whether you’re doing all the best stuff.
You don’t want to get home and have someone ask, “Didn’t you love…,” and you can’t answer because you didn’t think to do it.
Yes, the Disney FOMO is real. Here are things you’ll regret not doing during your Disney vacation.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Let’s start with the one that matters the most…and the one that’s most difficult to do.
Since Rise of the Resistance opened in 2019, it has remained the most popular attraction at Walt Disney World as well as the one with the longest wait.
You’ll likely spend two hours standing in line unless you splurge on a Lightning Lane, which usually costs $20-$25 per person.
Since the rest of Disney’s Hollywood Studios contains half a dozen other wildly popular attractions, the opportunity cost proves significant.
You won’t care, though. Even if you’re not a big Star Wars fan, you’ll be lost in admiration throughout the Rise of the Resistance ride experience.
During the attraction, you’ll perform a mission for The Resistance, find yourself held hostage by The First Order, earn the taunts of cast members, and make a dramatic mistake.
As far as sweeping epics go, few movies rival the turmoil and triumph of Rise of the Resistance. If you don’t ride it during your trip, you’ll regret it.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
From the opening of Disneyland in 1955 until the start of 2020, Mickey Mouse starred in exactly zero rides.
Sure, you’ll find the mouse at character greetings throughout the parks, and he’s always the face of ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
Still, Disney parks went 65 years (!) without a Mickey Mouse ride. Obviously, you cannot miss it during a park visit!
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway does more than merely remind people how delightful a couple Mickey & Minnie are. It also brings cartoon stories to life.
Once the railway, you know, runs away, guests embark on a grand adventure through a cartoon world come to life.
You’ll travel through classic cartoon motifs like the Wild West, a business metropolitan construction zone, a carnival, and a manufacturing factory.
This charmer of a story will remind you why you fell in love with Disney in the first place.
Meeting Your Favorite Characters
During the pandemic, Disney fans often expressed their greatest lament. They couldn’t hug their beloved Disney characters at the parks.
Social distancing requirements at the time prevented costumed cast members from interacting with guests so closely.
Now that the pandemic has ended, everyone has gleefully returned to how things were.
Even better, Disney has prioritized character greetings this year!
Several new and unique ones, like Mirabel from Encanto, Powerline Max, and Moana, are either now available or coming soon.
You won’t want to miss these unique engagements because you never know what’ll happen next.
I usually do at least ten character greetings per trip, yet I still remember one from 2016 when Pluto stuck my phone on top of his snout!
Living a Pirate’s Life
Some attractions have attained iconic status over the years. So, make no mistake on this point.
Once you return home, your loved ones will ask whether you rode Pirates of the Caribbean!
You’ll want to say yes because it’s arguably the greatest dark ride of all time. At a minimum, it’s the most influential.
Disney tells a brilliant, engaging story in several acts. You’ll learn how Disney pirates act and interact.
Some are nefarious, some are fun-loving, most are drunk on rum, and a few are even dumber than a dog with a key.
Plus, you’ll sing along to one of Disney’s greatest songs, (Yo Ho) A Pirate’s Life for Me, and watch Captain Jack Sparrow annoy others.
You’ll regret not visiting Pirates of the Caribbean during a Disney visit!
Watch the Animals
Every Disney theme park comes with its own unique selling point.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you will regret the choice to skip Kilimanjaro Safaris.
This attraction is more of an exploration into the natural habitats of dozens of animal species.
Your cast member will chauffeur you through each exotic setting, teaching you more than you could possibly need to know about each species.
When you return home, you won’t need to recount any of it, either. If someone asks whether you saw the animals, you can honestly say yes!
Even better, you’ll likely remember some of the most playful interactions. I can vividly recall watching a Bongo chase another animal across three habitats.
That’s…NOT supposed to happen. In fact, the cast member had to call it in. But that’s the genius of this attraction.
Animals are willful and uncontrollable, which explains why my cat knocks everything off the table despite (or maybe because of) my protests.
Eating Disney’s Iconic Treats
You’ll eat shockingly well at a Disney theme park.
Decades ago, management recognized a rare opportunity in the industry. The cuisine at most amusement/theme parks left much to be desired.
Disney capitalized by delivering culinary concoctions throughout the parks.
Now, fans gush over favorites like the gigantic Turkey Legs, the Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars, the popcorn and churro treats, and Dole Whips.
I simply cannot imagine a Disney visit without a Dole Whip or a churro. These iconic treats exemplify Disney’s dominance in its theme park empire.
You’ll never go hungry at Walt Disney World, and you’ll remember how you felt from eating them long after you’ve returned!
Walking around the World in a Few Hours
For years, the one thing I told my wife was that she hadn’t experienced Disney the right way until she’d explored the World Showcase at EPCOT.
I’d done this as a child, and it’d stuck with me for years after the fact.
However, when she and I went to Disney early in our marriage, we never found time for the World Showcase.
One year, a rainstorm encouraged her to listen to me, and she finally started exploring one of the legitimate masterstrokes of Disney Imagineering.
At the World Showcase, you enter a pyramid, walk by the Eiffel Tower, shop at a centuries-old store, and ride attractions starring Remy, Donald Duck, Elsa, and Anna.
Even better, during festival season, you can shop and dine to your heart’s content at pop-up food kiosks.
These locations serve the finest international cuisine and tastiest booze you’ll find…and you can eat at these places on a budget! They’re sooo cheap!
The combination of Imagineering landmarks, the exclusive global merchandise available, the limited-time festival gear, and the unique dining opportunities make it THE place adults must explore at Disney.
You’ll regret it if you don’t, and I can offer my wife as an example for proof. Once she started visiting the World Showcase, it became a must during every EPCOT day.
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