Thursday, January 19, 2012

Disney Trip Highlights: The Rides

As I mentioned in my last post, I looooove sharing my love for all things Disney.  And if you love Disney, too, then you probably love reading about all things Disney.  (That's a lot of Disney love!)  Here are some of the ride highlights (and some insider tips) from our trip:

Disney's Hollywood Studios (which I will always call MGM Studios):

Waiting in line with that behind you makes you want an ice cream sandwich...

"Toy Story Mania" was particularly cool, and new since my last trip to Disney.  You ride in little cars wearing 3-D glasses and play midway games with a digital launching device on screens throughout the attraction.  The cutest game was the Ring Toss where we tossed virtual rings around those adorable Toy Story aliens.  Even the waiting area was incredibly detailed and charming, with life size board games and crayon drawings of Andy's toys which we got to amuse ourselves with during the two hour wait.  (Tip: "Toy Story Mania" is fun, but NOT two-hour-wait-in-line-fun.  If you can't get a Fast Pass, be prepared to wait in line for a looooooong time or just save it for your next trip.)

Yes, we disobeyed the rules by wearing our glasses before entering the theater.

"Muppet Vision 3-D" is always one of my favorites and a must-do for each Disney trip.  It's Muppets.  It's 3-D.  What's not to love?

No, I do not have any idea what that kid behind me is wearing on his head.
"The Magic of Disney Animation" attraction was updated from my last trip.  While it lost an adorable movie of classic Disney film clips, it gained a really fun drawing studio.  We all sat at Mickey-inspired tables and learned how to draw Goofy step-by-step with our animator instructor.

Mom's Goofy (top), my little sister's (left) and mine (right.)  How cute!

Disney's Animal Kingdom:   

How cool are those ginormous horns?!

I love the "Kilimanjaro Safari" ride.  Your driver takes you on a "safari" through a wildlife preserve where animals graze and roam to their heart's content.  (Sometimes they even block the road!)  We always ride it at least twice because you never know what animals you'll see.  (Tip: While the line was pleasant in the winter weather, it is historically rather unpleasant in the sweltering summer heat.  Get a Fast Pass!)

Simba taps his paws, nods, and swings his tail to the jungle beat.  RAWR!

"The Festival Of The Lion King" is a live show based on the best movie of all time.  (Hey, you already know I'm a little Lion King-biased!)  There's dancing, acrobatics, fire-twirling, and, of course, Simba!  What's really cool is that the animatronic Simba and other animals all bob and dance to the music, too.  (Tip: Arrive early to get a good seat.  Trust me--it's worth it!)


I think I have about 10 years of pics just like this...

Ever wonder what's inside that big ol' golf ball?  Well, quite frankly, it used to be a ride that put me to sleep.  But "Spaceship Earth" ride got a facelift since my last trip, and it is a definite improvement!  Now, Judi Dench delightfully narrates your trip through the history of communication and there is a hilarious "hypothetical future" interactive feature at the end of the ride.  (After choosing some preferences, you and your ride buddy get to literally see yourselves in your ideal future--complete with robots and tree houses that would make the Swiss Family Robinsons jealous!)

In the Big Blue World, I'm gonna go explore!

Yup, I'm sharing this picture again.  "The Seas With Nemo & Friends" is just too cute not to share with you all!  Another formerly-dull ride originally named, "The Living Seas," the Pixar-inspired updates make this ride one you cannot miss.  Nemo, Marlin, Dory, and all those other lovable fishies "swim" inside aquariums with real marine life.  It's a very relaxing ride and will make you hum the new Nemo song "(In The) Big Blue World" for the rest of the day.  (And how can you not love a ride where you sit in "clamobiles"?)

Magic Kingdom: 

If two-hour waits make you cringe, too, then "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin" is a wonderful alternative to "Toy Story Mania."  (Or, a wonderful compliment if you want to wait in line for both!)  This ride came before "Toy Story Mania" and is similar, except that you shoot aliens and Emperor Zurg with a laser-guided blaster.  My sister may have smoked me at "Toy Story Mania," but I think I showed her who's the best Space Ranger in the galaxy.  ;)

My sister's score (left), my score (right).  She left the ride kind of grumpy.

And last but certainly not least....

There is just one moon and one golden sun...

You just can't go to Disney without riding "It's A Small World!"  ('Nuff said!)

And that completes my ride highlights from our Disney trip!  Getting in the mood to go visit the Mouse yet?  (Remember: my sister, Amy, and "Off To Neverland Travel" can hook you up with a dream vacation!) 

Start getting excited--the food highlights come next!  :)

Note: I forgot to take a pic of the outside of "Buzz Lighyear's Space Ranger Spin," so the entrance pic above is from

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