Planning a magical family vacation to Orlando, Florida, with a focus on the theme parks of Walt Disney World® Resort? You know, it’s the perfect time, if not done already, to make all your family holiday vacation plans, especially to Central Florida. The holiday season is one the busiest times of the year at this top family destination and its stunningly decorated Walt Disney World® Resort that features special holiday attractions, events and entertainment reserved only for the holiday season. Best Vacations Ever, a division of Preferred Guest Resorts, can make sure you get the family vacation you want at any time of the year and save you hundreds of dollars. Be sure to call 407-656-2780 for the Best Vacation Ever to Orlando, especially if this upcoming 2013-2014 holiday season. Given how many parks actually make up Walt Disney World® Resort—the Magic Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park and Epcot® (Don’t forget to check out Disney’s themed water-parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach at the Walt Disney World website)—not to mention all the other activities you have planned on your Best Vacation Ever travel itinerary by Preferred Guest Resorts, you’ll be hard pressed to find enough time to check out every single attraction, ride and show, no matter how hard you try. That’s the joy of repeat vacation visits to Orlando—they are never the same but always exciting, with new adventures to experience every corner. To help you make the most of your trip to Orlando and Walt Disney World® Resort, be sure to buy ticket packages that include the Park Hopper®, so you can bounce park to park for the one fee per ticket, as well as the No Expiration ticket option if you plan on a returning in the future. Grab FAST PASSES for rides you absolutely must try as soon as you can because they do run out based on time slots up to park close and filling the max number FAST PASS riders. Preferred Guest Resorts travels tens of thousands of families per year, with many to Orlando, Florida, on incredible Best Vacations Ever promotional packages. To help you out, we’ve complied some fellow travelers feedback to provide you with a few of the must-see rides and shows for each Theme Park for adults and children.
Magic Kingdom® Theme Park:
The ALL-NEW Fantasy Land® – Recently opened,everyone in the family can totally immerse themselves into the magical land where the young and young at heart can live out their greatest Walt Disney World® dreams, amid the largest Magic Kingdom® Theme Par expansion in history filled with Disney characters, an Enchanted Forest and much more in two themed areas. You’ll feel as if you’ve walked right into a Disney movie and are living out your every fantasy. The eyes and smiles on children’s faces is priceless, so have a camera ready at all times.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® – A super fun and fast roller coaster with fun dips, twists and roundabouts that are not especially scary, so the more adventurous kids and adults that enjoy speed will really love it.
Pirates of the Caribbean® – One of the most classic Magic Kingdom rides of all time. Board your vessel and drop 14 feet over a waterfall into treasure-filled caves! Then float through a town where pirates pillage and Captain Jack Sparrow hides from pursuers. It’s a “yo ho, yo ho” lot of fun, but a slow ride through cannonball shots during a ship-to-shore battle may be loud for sensitive young ears. Prepare them ahead of time because it’s a killer ride with great souvenirs afterward that the kids and they’re hard to resist!
Splash Mountain® – Wind through bayous, caves and watery byways in a log boat, past scenes then hold onto your cap hold for the 52-1/2-foot drop finale. Kids get a kick out of it, but make sure they check out the final drop spotted just outside the ride before getting on.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin®– Based on the Disney Pixar Movie Toy Story, it’s like being smack dab in the middle of a Buzz Lightyear video game. Climb in your own space cruiser and compete with family members as you shoot laser guns at targets, with your final score provided at the end.
Haunted Mansion® – Though it’s very quite tame and more fun than scary, with a bit of humor at the end fake ghosts stow away in your ride-along buggy, the very beginning may scare some younger kids. But it last’s a mere second or two, the rest is more silly and eye-popping entertaining than scary, and it’s loud.
Peter Pan’s Flight – A classic ride that has a true Disney magical feel as you soar through the sky in a ship and watch the classic fairytale unfold. It’s a great ride for escaping the summer heat, too.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic – Ideal for families, this 3D show is a lot of fun and filled with lots of traditional Disney characters.
Astro Orbiter® – A fun spin for two people high above Tomorrowland with spectacular view from orbit as you dip and rise.
Space Mountain® – Mimicking a rocket blastoff, this super fast, twisting, dropping coaster that’s completely in the dark is classic Disney—a signature ride—and may be a bit scarier for younger kids than the open air Thunder Mountain.
Jungle Cruise – A family-fun 1930’s-style safari boat through the world’s most exotic, untamed rivers. Brave wild animals and silly goings-on in Asia, Africa and South America on this riverboat Disney classic.
Wishes™ Nighttime Spectacular – The biggest, brightest fireworks extravaganza in Magic Kingdom theme-park history over Cinderella’s castle and if you look closely, Tinkerbelle actually takes flight from the castle top to kick it off! This also is a great time to catch last-minute rides with short lines since most of the crowd is watching the closing show.
Cinderellabration – Great fun for kids, especially daughters into all the Disney princesses. Boys may get a little restless, but it’s a great family spectacle.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park:
Festival of the Lion King – The number 1 must-see show even for locals. Based on the Disney movie The Lion King, it is a spectacular Broadway-style musical show that’s fun for the whole family and a great, 30-minute escape in a cool theater.
Expedition Everest® – A high-altitude, high-speed roller coaster through big drops, hairpin turns and a close encounters with Yeti, the inhospitable inhabitant of the Forbidden Mountain. It’s an extremely fun, fast and furious thrill ride but may be a bit much for younger kids and older adults.
Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition – A rugged Jeep ride through an African savanna filled with real wild animals, poachers and some minor special effects that add to the fun and experience. Great for the whole family, and no two safaris are the same, so go a couple times, if you can bc no two journeys are ever the same.
Finding Nemo – The Musical – A fun, 30-minute musical-theater adaptation of Disney·Pixar’s movie, Finding Nemo, that will amaze audiences of all ages. Don’t miss the undersea journey of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, too!
Liberty Square Riverboat – A fun family cruise on the Rivers of America in an authentic 3-tiered paddlewheel steamship. The scenic, half-mile tour cruises Frontierland, Liberty Square and Tom Sawyer Island.
Kali River Rapids® – Great family fun but expect to get wet, as you ride in a big raft on the churning Chakranadi River through an Asian rainforest then drop into gushing geysers and drift under waterfalls.
Primeval Whirl® – A very different but fun-carnival type of coaster (with a height requirement). Kids find it not too scary, but adults have been quite surprised and tickled by its spins, whirls, twirls and hair-pin turns. Height requirement required, but it is right in the middle of a large kids’ area with games and activities the whole family can enjoy.
Dinosaur – A dark ride in a Time Rover through the Cretaceous era. It’s very loud and very bumpy and may be a bit much for younger kids—a bit scary—and also those adults with bad backs or neck problems as you’re tossed around a good bit.
The Boneyard® – When you need to sit a spell, let the kids become paleontologists on a sandy, dinosaur playground where they can excavate fossils, climb through tunnels, and wind their ways through a giant, multilevel maze with slides and much more.
Maharajah Jungle Trek® – Experience the wilds of the mystical Anandapur Royal Forest of Southeast Asia, encountering majestic tigers, a Komodo dragon, wild bats, deer and more than 50 species of exotic birds amid ancient ruins and murals.
Wildlife Express Train – A fun, rustic African train that runs 1.2 miles between the Harambe, Africa and Rafiki’s Planet Watch areas. See animal housing and care areas for rhinos, elephants and other species.
It’s Tough to be a Bug!® – Super fun 3D theatrical, multimedia show in the Tree of Life hosted by the ant Flik from Disney·Pixar’sA Bug’s Life. Fun interactive surprises make adults giggle as much as the kids.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios®:
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ – Another signature Disney classis ride that drops passengers several floors without warning in an old building’s elevator. Very scary, but very fun. This extreme thrill ride is not for the faint at heart.
Rock n’ Roll Roller Coaster® –Fast, scary, fun coaster, but not for the little kids.This high-speed coaster is enhanced by the soundtrack recorded by the rock legends Aerosmith. Quite possibly the best coaster of all the parks. Prepare for a long wait, or try the single rider line if you don’t mind sitting without your partner.
Fantasmic! – A nightly spectacular, 25-minute nighttime fireworks and water show starring Mickey Mouse and a bevy of Disney Characters, classic Disney music and songs, laser lights and amazing hydrotechnic effects. It’s crowded and you need to get there early, but it’s worth it as on of the best shows at Walt Disney WorldResort.
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage – A lavish, 25-minute, Broadway-style musical that’s great all ages, but especially favored by young and old alike.
Toy Story Mania!® – Play through an interactive, 4-D attraction featuring the cast of characters from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films.
Star Tours® – New adventures, now in 3D, complete with new Star Wars destinations and characters like C-3PO, R2-D2 and Darth Vader.
Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! – Another classic Disney show that is a force to be reckoned with and re-enacts some of the most exciting adventures of the Indiana Jones film series. This amazing stunt show with all the modern special effects is super fun for the whole family.
The Great Movie Ride – A ride through the middle of some of the greatest movie scenes in history, from 1930’s gangster flicks to contemporary sci-fi classics. Fun for all ages with some special effects that may be tad scary for younger kids, but they’re brief. Sit kids on the inside of the tram between everyone and they should enjoy it more.
Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show® —Great family fun and one for the young boys and fans of Lightening animated movie Cars. The 33-minute live attraction is great for the whole family and reveals the film-making secrets behind complex vehicle stunts and electrifying pyrotechnics, which is super fun for the younger and older folks.
Voyage of the little Mermaid – A unique, 15-minute live show that recreates the magic of Ariel’s underwater world; based on the popular Disney movie, The Little Mermaid.
Studio Backlot Tour – A thrilling 35-minute, behind-the-scenes guided walk and tram ride that’s great for all ages and a nice chance to get off your feet for a while and see how some of the most spectacular special effects in movies are made. Some controlled explosions and special effects might be a tad scary for young ears, but you’ll have an idea when they might be coming up.
Soarin’™ – A serene, simulated hang-gliding experience of the golden state of California captivates with modern technology and is exciting for all ages. Experience the feeling of free flight from 40 feet in the air with scenic panoramas that include the Golden Gate Bridge, Malibu and LA and a few unexpected but pleasant surprises.
Spaceship Earth – Perfect for all ages, this slow, smooth, air-conditioned slow-moving ride through the signature Epcot globe. The 16-minute ride transports you through 40,000 years, from the dawn of recorded time to modern day.
Mission: SPACE® – Super fun for adults, but it can be scary and cause some upset tummies in sensitive kids afterwards, though a less-intensive option is available. You turn into an astronaut on this realistic space flight to mars, travelling 8,000 miles in 5-1/2 minutes on a journey dodging meteors as you attend to aeronautical duties. Certainly not for the faint of heart.
Test Track – A very fun, very different ride for the classic park, but a top favorite and must-do ride for park visitors. Can be a little scary, but most adults and many kids really like it.
World Showcase – It’s not really a ride, but global exploration is so exciting, we be remiss not throw it on the list. Explore the cultures of 11 international countries and their pavilions filled with restaurants, one-of-a-kind shopping, authentically replicated architecture, entertainment, rides and attractions. Countries include Mexico, Norway, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, China, Morocco and more. There’ a fantastic restaurant and boat ride with Daffy Duck in Mexico that’s a nice retreat from Florida temperatures that can even get quite a bit warm in December!
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – A spectacular nightly show filled with pyrotechnics, lasers, fire and fountains on World Showcase Lagoon. TRAVELER TIP: Epcot is also a great place for the family to hang out, have dinner together and watch the fireworks over the lake.
Getting Your Best Vacations Ever Adventures to Orlando Started Today:
With so much to see and do, be sure to call your Preferred Guest Resorts’ Best Vacations Ever travel agent at 407-656-2780 to book your family vacation to Orlando, with accommodations in the heart of the action and close to Walt Disney World® Resort and all the big-name theme parks and attractions of Central Florida. A Best Vacations Ever promotional vacation typically includes complimentary accommodations, and often other incentives to enhance travel, that save you hundreds of dollars, especially during peak travel periods like the holidays. Visit bestvacationsever.com for much more information, tip-filled blogs like the heath benefits of vacationing and videos to download that will tell you everything you need to know and give you the peace of mind being backed by a credible, 30-year travel industry pioneer. While on the phone, be sure to also ask about week-long Best Vacations Ever vacation packages that include stays in both Orlando and Daytona for the best of both worlds. Fall under the magical spell of Orlando, Florida, by calling your Best Vacations Ever travel agent at 407-656-2780 and starting your Central Florida adventures today!
What is your favorite ride at Walt Disney World® Resort?