On the many, many Disney World blogs that are out there, you’ll find a large swath of experiences and knowledge in regards to the myriad amazing things that can be done at the Disney Parks. You’ll also find a few blogs acknowledging the mistakes that many Disney die-hards and frequent travelers have made – and still make. It isn’t always easy to admit to potentially having done something in less-than-stellar fashion on a Disney World trip – these can be expensive lessons to learn! But, they happen. It also happens that experiences and opinions change over time.
I’m not going to really go much into logistical mistakes – many of the mistakes that Disney travelers tend to run into typically have to do with things like lack of planning, lack of knowledge and lack of preparation, and are easily corrected. But, I have my own “Disney Confessions” to make, and I hope that you will use them to explore more of the parks and formulate your own opinions on these topics.
One of My Least Favourite Rides is Mission: Space
I love the exterior façade of this attraction, but have no love for the ride inside. I can appreciate that it fits into a grander Disney-esque theme about space travel, foreign worlds and the future and progress of man – themes championed by Walt Disney himself – but other than that, I don’t feel the same Disney-style immersion that I feel on other attractions. Additionally, this is one ride where the warnings actually do apply – it’s claustrophobic and will make you feel ill if you are susceptible to motion sickness (I’m not too susceptible to this in general, but had to sit down after this ride). Riding it on the lower-intensity green setting is something I will try eventually, but I wouldn’t wait in line for it. Also, this ride’s theme song, “Destiny” is awful.
I Did Not Like Cosmic Ray’s
Before you send me hate-mail, please note that I love Sonny Eclipse. However, the food I had there was just plain bad, and I wasn’t a big fan of the ambience of the restaurant either. Part of my discontent could be because we ate there during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, after Holiday Wishes, and it was literally one of maybe three restaurants that hadn’t closed already. Because of that, I’m willing to try it again, but only if I’ve exhausted all of the other quick-service restaurants I’d like to try.
There’s No Excuse for Having Unused Snack Credits
The Disney Dining Plan gives you a lot of food. The Table Service and Quick Service credits each give you an entrée, a drink and a dessert, so you may not feel the need to use snack credits often. However, you can generally sacrifice the desserts you are entitled to with your counter-service meals and get a bottle of water instead (we did this a few times; not a great value, but if you aren’t craving a dessert for each member of your family, or they will barely be touched, a $2.75 bottle of cold water may be a better use of the dessert), meaning that you will free up your stomach for better snacks later on – some desserts at the quick service restaurants are uninspired at best. You can also use snack credits at the Starbuck’s locations that are now in every park – including on that $7 venti green tea latté, making them a great snack credit value. You can also use snack credits throughout World Showcase, including at the amazing Kringla Bakery in Norway (Schoolbread, FTW). And, if you can’t enjoy the snacks in the parks, cash them in for pre-packaged snacks at the hotel or on your way out of the park – you’ll end up buying something at the airport or on the road anyway, might as well get a snack with a credit rather than cash. So yes, you’re doing yourself a complete disservice if you leave Walt Disney World with snack credits left on your Dining Plan!
All You Have To Do Is Look Up (and around, and sometimes under!)
Disney World is a treasure trove of hidden gems (and Hidden Mickeys!) This is a bit of a confession because the first time I went to Walt Disney World as an adult, I don’t think I even knew what a Hidden Mickey was. I didn’t know that there were entire back sections to most of the World Showcase pavilions – France, Japan, China, Britain and Canada, for example, that housed an astounding array of shops, restaurants and cultural treasures. I didn’t even notice the robotic metal palm trees in Tomorrowland! The point is, Walt Disney World is so much more than just Space Mountain and Small World. It’s a place to explore and feel. It’s an onion with a ridiculous number of layers. Even seasoned veterans will find something new! Oh, and in reference to the title of this paragraph – look under that mat in the Muppet Vision 3D queue!
I Will Probably Never See the New Queue at Peter Pan’s Flight (and it breaks my heart a little)
I’ve never walked by Peter Pan’s Flight and seen a 5-minute wait. I’ve always had to use a Fastpass for it (old system or new). The new FP+ system seems to have actually extended the standby queue wait for this already busy attraction, in fact. So, it breaks my heart that unless I want to dedicate a solid 45 minutes or more to standing in the standby line and seeing the new interactive queue, I will probably never see it.
Where It Counts, Disney Isn’t a Cash-Grab
Hard to say when Magic Kingdom one-day passes go for $105 now, but I stick by it. Hotel prices (at non-peak seasons) aren’t out of whack with expensive/luxury hotels in other places, and you usually wouldn’t buy a one-day ticket anyway (they get cheaper per day the longer you stay). Promotions like free dining are fantastic deals as well. As far as souvenirs go, I don’t think that items like t-shirts, hoodies and hats are any more expensive than at your local American Eagle or other retailer – in fact, my Disney World baseball cap was only $20 – probably two-thirds of what my Blue Jays cap cost. Purses and scarves are roughly on par with regular retailers too, and at $10-$15 for a mug, I’d rather get a Disney mug than a “World’s Worst Golfer” one from the mall.
Now, you can definitely make arguments on the cash-grab side for hard-ticket events like Villain Dessert Parties or the Frozen Dessert Party. I would never waste my money on those. For those that have reservations about events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, keep in mind that for about $30 less than the cost of a one-day Magic Kingdom ticket, you get entry at 4pm (so about 8 hours in the park) where you can experience most of the rides, you get exclusive experiences like the parades (the Halloween parade alone is worth the price of admission) and special versions of Wishes, and you get neat perks like rare character meet-and-greets and trick or treat/cocoa stations. A good tip here is that the day for which you have the Party tickets, don’t buy a park ticket for the same day. Take the morning and early afternoon to check out Downtown Disney, or explore your resort, or lounge by the pool. If you have a car, you can check out the Orlando outlet malls too.
I Used To Be Indifferent Towards Soarin’
What has become one of my favourite attractions used to not be so. I saw the huge lines and wondered “why?” While I still prefer Test Track and even Spaceship Earth to Soarin’, it has grown on me significantly – the ride’s “take-off” – that feeling when your feet first lift of the ground, along with the music and that orange grove smell and mist and air on your face make for a sensory adventure that is not easily equaled, even at Disney World. It took me a couple times, but I do love that attraction now.
Well, those are some of my “Disney Confessions” – how about yours?