June 9, 2011

Tip of the day—Disney Rides and Attractions

CIMG3467 Below are some tips from our Disneyworld experience on rides and attractions:

  • Plan your attack the night before if at all possible.  Having a general plan will help you to schedule your day so that you see as many attractions as possible without wearing your family out.  The first day, I packed too much into the day and poor Hubby was ready for a rest when we returned to the resort.  Try to balance rides with indoor attractions and shows so that you have a chance to cool off and rest in between activities.  For instance, at the Animal Kingdom the Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical were both must sees in our plan.  We saw them in the afternoon when it was getting hotter so that we had a chance to sit in the AC for a while.
  • Plan to ride some rides more than once.  We rode the Kilimanjaro Safari once in the morning and once in the afternoon on our second day in the Animal Kingdom.  We understood why a friend had recommended this to us once we made the second trip—you see animals that you missed the first time and the ones you saw on both rides are at a different level of activity.  Our daughter really enjoyed The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and since we were there early in the day when other guests were in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, we rode it 3 times with almost no wait.CIMG3536
  • Do not force your kids to ride.  I had a conversation with a cast member in Tomorrowland on this subject.  She said that she often sees young children dragged into rides with parents forcefully saying things like, “You WILL ride this ride if I say so,” or “Are you a scaredy cat?”  All that is going to do is break your trust with your child and make them more frightened of the ride.  If you have more than one chaperone with you and you want to ride a ride, do it alone. 
  • Sometimes your children will want to ride something and later learn their limitations. This happened for our daughter.  Right after Splash Mountain she decided she wanted to try Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Halfway through the ride, I looked down and saw a look of sheer terror on her face.  At that point both she and I learned what types of rides she was ready for and which ones that we would ride when we return years later.  Watch a promotional video from Disney or the Disney channel in your hotel room to get a feel for the rides. (Both have excerpts that show certain rides and what you can expect from them).  This will help younger children to know if they want to plan to ride certain rides or not. 
  • Sometimes you’re just at the right place at the right time.  Mr. Bill, a guest I mentioned meeting in a previous post, happened to be outside the new Star Wars ride before it opened.  A cast member walked up to him and asked him if he would like to try it out for them.  (This is about a week before the ride actually opened).  He was thrilled!  On some character themed rides like Mad Tea Party and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, we watched characters hop on rides with other guests.  You can’t plan for this, but sometimes you reap the benefit of simply being in the right place at the right time.
  • Use the FASTPASS (FP) system.  Having FASTPASSes for rides saves a lot of time!  I heard a rumor that FPs didn’t expire, and we tested this out at the Kilimanjaro Safari ride the second day.  We were put through the line without any problems.  This might be a the discretion of the cast member attending the FP line, but in our case, it didn’t hurt to give it a try. 
  • There are height limits to some rides--40 inches, 44 inches, and 48 inches, depending on the ride.  Know this and plan accordingly for younger children.

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