For Disneylanders who have never been to Walt Disney World, it can be hard to explain just how different the two really are. As Boromir might advise WDW guests, one does not simply walk across an esplanade to park hop as they do in Anaheim. Additionally, with double the park count and nearly ten times the number of resorts, the amount of time it takes to truly explore Walt Disney World is staggering. That's why I was mortified by something I heard earlier this week.
While attending a press junket celebrating the home release of The Good Dinosaur (look for that coverage in the next couple of weeks), I was talking to one of the other Disney geek bloggers in the room about the various Parks around the world. That's when she told me that she would be making her first ever trip to Walt Disney World later this week. There's just one problem: she would only be spending two days in the resort.Upon hearing this, my brain immediately began to panic. Four parks in two days?! That math is harsh for any trip, let alone your first!
Granted, I've been through a similar situation before when I had to create a to-do list for my friend Chris before his depressingly short trip to the Tokyo Disney Resort. Of course, his condensed schedule still allowed him one day in each park and so it was just a matter of telling him which attractions were clones and could be skipped. While the same principals can be applied to this situation, it's a lot of pressure.
Luckily, she did have a bit of a game plan herself, which mainly consisted of skipping a large part of Magic Kingdom. While that does seem like the most logical move for a West Coaster, ignoring the park altogether could still be sinful. For example, any time I'm in Florida and can't do Carousel of Progress of the Country Bear Jamboree, I'm distraught. I also informed her that, if nothing else, the MK version of Splash Mountain was worth doing since I've always found it to be superior to the Disneyland one. Also, sheer logistics make it easier to accomplish at least a few things in Magic Kingdom since the park is typically open later than any of the others.
The trouble came while trying to fill the rest of her itinerary. For example, I love Ellen's Energy Adventure, but is that outdated 45-minute attraction really worth doing when there's so little time? And while exploring the different pavilions can be hours of fun, it's hard to call it a priority in this case.
Making matters worse, she'll be spending most of her first day at a press junket there, limiting her time further. So let's say — just for fun and because I love the number seven — that she has time for just seven attractions while on her trip.
Here's my "must-see" list (in no particular order):
- Expedition Everest
- Splash Mountain
- Carousel of Progress
- Spaceship Earth
- Tower of Terror
- Great Movie Ride
- Country Bear Jamboree
Right now Animal Kingdom fans are appalled at the lack of Kilimanjaro Safaris, Epcot enthusiasts are bewildered by Test Track's absence, and everyone is upset about there being zero parades, fireworks shows, or other spectaculars included. It's hard!
So I have to ask: if you only had time to do seven attractions in Walt Disney World, what would they be?