Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Disney World rides and attractions that we loved (and ones we didn't)

Rides and attractions that we all liked (Amanda, 11; Kyle, 5; and the grown-ups):

  1. Toy Story Mania --

    This is the best ride ever. The cast member's costumes are great, the decoration of Andy's room is excellent, and it's interactive. You ride through and get to shoot at targets on different screens. It's worth all the fuss. At the Disney Social Media Moms* conference, we were able to go there one night after closing, so we rode it twice back to back. The next day was our Hollywood Studios park day, and it was Extra Magic Hours, so we rode it twice more that morning, and then once more that afternoon.

    I saw many teenagers and grown men riding this and competing. It's not just for Toy Story fans.

  2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad --

    This was another one that we rode multiple times -- twice the first day we went to Magic Kingdom and twice the second day. It's thrilling and fun, but not too scary.

  3. Soarin' --

    We rode this one twice as well -- once each day that we spent at Epcot. It's on everyone's "favorites" lists when you ask them what they love about Disney World, and my kids (especially Amanda) really loved it, but I don't know that it lived up to the hype. It was cool, but is it worth waiting for 2 hours as some people were at the end of the day when they are out of Fast Passes? I would say not. You can see some equally beautiful video at the movies that play in the Canada and France sections of Epcot.

  4. Mission Space --

    The guidebook that we used, The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2010 (very thorough!), had pages on this ride and the fact that the Orange was intense -- very intense-- and that you should avoid even the green if you don't like dark enclosed spaces (there are two levels -- a green milder experience and an intense orange). As you wait and they go through the procedures, the cast members on video repeatedly warn you of this as well. We did the green one, and it was still pretty intense, but we all loved it. Very cool ride at Epcot.

  5. Test Track --

    Another great ride at Epcot (Epcot was one of the two parks that we spent more than one day visiting). The line is interesting as well, as you can see vehicles and read about what was done to them. Even though we had a Fast Pass for this ride, we had to wait 15 or 20 minutes, but Disney World makes even the lines an interesting experience. Plus, it's a nice break from the heat (or in our case, the cold since the February temperatures were unusually low, ranging from 30 to 60 degrees during our stay).

Rides we were divided on:

  1. Space Mountain --

    Kyle, 5, did not like this ride at all. I think that the combination of being in the dark and the fact that you ride single-file freaked him out. They rode it the first time while I was at the conference. Amanda loved this (it's probably her very favorite), and so she rode alone the next time. When we returned to Magic Kingdom, Amanda rode it two more times, once each with Terry and me. I also could do without this ride. It doesn't bother me, but it's not my favorite.

  2. Star Tours --

    Kyle and Amanda loved this ride (another fun one at Hollywood Studios), but for some reason it set off the motion-sickness effect in both Terry and me. It's fun, and definitely for all Star Wars fans, but the grown-ups did not want to give this one a second go.

  3. Rockin' Roller Coaster --

    Hollywood Studios again. This is the fastest roller coaster at Disney World. I made Amanda ride it with me (amidst tears), and she sort of liked it, and was sort of freaked out. She said, "I think I want to ride it again. I don't know." The plan was for her to ride it with Terry later. She freaked herself out again, begging not to ride it, but we mean parents made her. After they rode it, she apologized to Terry for all the drama and said it wasn't that bad. But I think that the jury is still out in her mind on this one.

    If I was the kind of parent to pay $30 for one of those roller coaster shots, I would have bought mine and hers. My eyes were closed and I had a huge grin on my face, and Amanda had a look of sheer terror on hers.

  4. It's a Small World --

    We couldn't go to the Magic Kingdom without subjecting our children to this ride!! The tween predictably thought that it was dumb, but Kyle loved it and proclaimed it a favorite! Go figure.

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*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great family trip to Walt Disney World that far exceeded what I paid out. Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.


Lauren said...

I have similar feelings about most of these! All of your favorites are favorites of ours as well. You know I don't like Mission Space, but everyone else in my family does. I also agree with you on Soarin. We love it, but I would never wait 2 or 3 hours to ride it (our general rule of thumb is that we don't wait longer than 30 minutes for ANY ride).

My Best Girl hasn't experienced Space Mountain b/c I was afraid she would be scared by the entire ride being dark and I knew I couldn't sit right next to her for moral support. However, she is a thrill rider, so she may have liked it. My Favorite Boy lists Space Mountain in his top 3 (Everest, ToT, and Space Mountain).

As far as motion sickness goes, I let dad go on Star Tours or I keep my eyes closed--YUCK. Of course, it doesn't bother the kids at all. And, my older child thinks Small World is for babies, and my younger one loves it. I'm sure that's typical, but you have to ride it at least once!

You know I love reading your Disney posts, and you picked the best guide book. You won't find a more comprehensive one out there!

Nancy said...

Totally agree with your top 5! I do love Soarin' but wouldn't wait that long either - FP or 30 minutes or less is my rule. Although we did wait 45 for Toy Story Mania but that's the only ride we break the 30 minute rule for.

Alex hated Space Mountain last year (at age 5) but this year wanted to ride. Unfortunately it was broken down the bulk of our day in the MK (due to a problem with the people mover of all things!) so he never got the chance. He LOVED Expedition Everest though and I think he would have liked Space Mtn this year.

I don't do any of the rides like Star Tours, they make me sick. Love Rockin' Roller Coaster and I'm glad Amanda went on a second time.

Julie said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed your visit! Feb is usually a great time to go, but you are right, we have had a very cold winter here in Fl. The first time I ever went to Disney was in the 80's as a teen. Back then Space Mountain didn't have individual seats...I actually sat between my dad's legs. And screamed the whole way lol! It's so funny that you and your dh both had motion problems on Star Tours. I get motion sickness everywhere (even in the car!) and Star Tours is one of the only ones at Disney that doesn't affect me. Go figure. Toy Story is our new fave ride by far...I just wish they wouldn't run out of fast passes so quickly. Great post!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Thanks for sharing these! Test Track was closed when we were there, and we were too chicken to try Mission Space since more than one of us gets motion sickness... Maybe next time we'll try both of them. I'm with you on Space Mountain -- it's okay, but I don't need to ride it multiple times.