As I am off on my holiday to Florida, I wanted to be able to provide relevant content for you as my readers. Trouble is, I have never been before! Having hypothetical posts are ok but I really wanted to get some insight into what it is like to visit Florida, Orlando and of course Disney World. So, I have asked some blogging friends to step in to give us their experience and views from travelling to this part of the world.
Today’s guest post is from Marie who blogs over at Tummy2Mummy Blog who is comparing three of the Disney Parks of the world for us.
Out of the six Disney parks in the world, I’ve been lucky enough to visit three of them; California, Florida and Paris. I wanted to give you a little insight into each one, and hopefully a few tips along the way.
Disneyland, Anaheim in California – The original park is gorgeous.
Built in 1955, it’s the original vision of Walt Disney, where he used to secretly stay in an apartment situated above the fire station on Main Street. The lamp in the window would be on if he was there. After his death, the lamp would remain lit as a mark of his presence in the park. The light would be turned off again if either his wife or daughters were in the park.
The park is made up of the ‘Magic Kingdom’ and ‘California Adventure’. Disneyland remains classic and it’s very special to see Walt’s original vision knowing that he once walked amongst the park. Although I love the originality of the park it’s much smaller than Disney World in Florida. This makes the park feel more cramped and busy. Within all the parks there are ‘hidden Mickeys’ around which can be a fun game to try and spot them. California Adventure has a great view when walking into the park – a huge Ferris wheel and ‘California Screamin’ ‘ roller coaster (which, by the way, is the scariest roller coaster I’ve been on – ever).
Unlike Florida, the two parks are close together so you can park hop back and forth throughout the day, but be prepared to wait a while for rides especially as the fast passes go quite early.
My favourite Disney park has to be Florida, it’s huge! I heard somewhere that the whole of Alton Towers in the UK would fit in Walt Disney World’s car park alone! There are four main parks:
Magic Kingdom is the main park in all of the Disney’s. Made up of Main Street, Adventure land, Frontier land, Fantasy land and Tomorrow land. There are so many amazing attractions and rides – I love splash mountain, but the wait times can soar, so get a fast pass if you can.
Space mountain is another great ride and across all the Disney parks I’ve been too it definitely is the best in Florida. The fireworks are amazing, I’m not sure I’ve ever watched them without sobbing! Drinks can be quite expensive in Disney world but there are drinking fountains around the park where you can refill your bottles. If you have a sweet tooth I can highly recommend the caramel apple with nuts, they’re delicious and you can get them at most sweet selling shops.
Animal Kingdom could well be my favourite park, I love the Asian theme and the African dancing throughout the park. Kilimanjaro Safari is a great experience, seeing animals roaming free. Getting in a safari cart each with a driver who will talk you through all the animals. I loved it, my tip here would be when the park opens to go straight to the safari otherwise you may get stuck in quite a queue. Animal Kingdom is also home to Pandora (land of Avatar) which is based on the movie ‘Avatar’ and has two awesome rides plus it is just visually stunning. when Pandora opened in 2017 queues to get into the park alone exceeded 4 hours (plus another 4 hours waiting for a ride)! The shows in Animal Kingdom are especially fantastic so be sure to catch some whilst you’re there.
Epcot is probably my least favourite park in Disney world – it’s a little too educational for me on holiday! Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (I told you it was educational). There are lots of great parts I can appreciate such as the ride Soarin’ and the decoration is really fun.
Epcot’s icon is the impressive Spaceship Earth geosphere – it basically looks like a giant golf ball! What I do love about Epcot is the world showcase. They have made countries from around the whole world which fit on the outskirts of a huge lake. My favourite ones include France (they have an incredible bakery where I was coerced into having a creme brûlée – it was insane), England, Italy, Norway and Mexico.
I love England, it is just so quaint with little thatched cottages, a pub called the Rose & Crown and they also have a fish and chip shop. In Italy, I tried some amazing pasta– it’s all about the food!
Norway is now home to the Frozen ride so make sure you stop there. Oh and in Mexico make sure you go inside the pyramid, it’s stunning and if you can get dining reservations inside, do it!
Epcot also has a food and wine festival at the end of the year, which just so happens to fall when I’m there… I can’t wait to try all the food and wines from different cultures – for research, of course!
The fourth park is Hollywood studios, which old-time Hollywood themed, think singing in the rain era. Its decor is amazing I really love it. It’s also home to the Tower of Terror (one of my favourite Disney rides ) I urge you to do it! It’s a fairly quiet park but come August that will all change. At the end of August this year, they will be opening Star Wars themed ‘Galaxy’s edge’ a highly anticipated attraction which is going to be huge. I’m contemplating starting to queue now for when I go in November. In short, it’s going to be chaos! Press reviews have been fantastic and I can’t wait to see how it is once it’s opened.
So those are the four main parks. There’s also water parks and Disney springs which are always worth a little visit, especially on a ‘rest day’ from the parks. So Florida to me is very special, but what about when you don’t fancy a 9-hour flight and 5 hour time difference to get some Disney magic? You go to Disneyland Paris of course…
I always get the Euro star as it takes you directly into Disneyland Paris, it’s so easy and in less than 3 hours – you’re there. I’ve stayed in a B&B, in the hotel New York and the Disneyland hotel before so I’ve experienced all price points and I’d always recommend staying in a Disney property if you can as it’s great to just walk to the parks.
Like California, Paris has two parks: Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney Studios Park. Magic Kingdom stays in keeping with the same theme throughout California and Florida. Main Street has the same sweet smell and it has the same classic amazing rides. Like the other parks, it does get busy during high crowd times so make sure you utilise your fast passes and extra magic hours (if you stay on Disney property you can access the park before the general public). Although there are some great restaurants, there isn’t a wide of a range of street food/snacks in Paris so bring your own unless you have meal plans.
The castle is magical and the fireworks display is amazing. It’s an awesome place but, for me, it lacks a little spark that Disney World has.
There’s so much more I could go on and say about the Disney’s, I haven’t even touched on pin trading, the parades, character meet and greets, not to mention all the Disney secrets to know before you go! So, I’ll have to save them for another time.
My next goal is to visit the Disney Parks in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo one day.
Have you been to a Disney park? Which is your favourite and why?
Thank you so much for this detailed blog comparing three of the Disney Parks of the world, Marie. If you like this post and would like to read more of what Marie has to say you can check out her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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