The Best of WDW

I’m feeling a little homesick this week, and I am more than ready for our Disney World vacation in April. So, to try to relieve some of this homesickness, I give you my rankings of various WDW Resort things. I welcome all opinions and arguments to these lists as they are my personal opinions. Also, I have only stayed at three resorts on property, so I’m not ranking those. BUT Animal Kingdom Lodge has been the best so far.

The Parks in Order of Amazingness 

Disclaimer here: the last time I went to WDW Great Movie Ride was open and Pandora was barely doing soft openings. It’s been a hot second. The water parks are not listed as I have not been to them.

  1. Hollywood Studios. I worked here, but even before that MGM was my favorite park.
  2. Magic Kingdom
  3. EPCOT
  4. Animal Kingdom

Top Five Shows to See

  1. Fantasmic (Forever will be my ultimate favorite show on the resort.)
  2. Festival of the Lion King
  3. Wishes (RIP)
  4. Illuminations
  5. Beauty and the Beast
  6. Bonus: the Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios. I’m not sure if it counts as a show, but I loved working that ice cream stand watching the kids fight Darth Vader (especially on the busy days when Darth Maul came out to “Duel of the Fates” and kids always screamed. It was great.)

Top Ten Rides (of all parks)

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean
  2. Haunted Mansion
  3. Rockin’ Roller Coaster staring Aerosmith
  4. Jungle Cruise
  5. Space Mountain
  6. Mount Everest
  7. Tower of Terror
  8. Star Tours
  9. Great Movie Ride (SUPER RIP)
  10. Universe of Energy (also RIP)

Top Character Dining Experiences

I’m going more by location here. I don’t remember all the exact names of the dining experiences.

  1. Cinderella’s Castle with the princesses
  2. Polynesian Resort with Lilo and Stitch
  3. Chef Mickey
  4. Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh
  5. Tucker House at Animal Kingdom

Best Time to be at the Parks

  1. Halloween. Hands down.
  2. Not Spring break.

Best Parades

  1. Boo to You (see above. You shouldn’t be surprised here.)
  2. Pixar Play Parade (I miss this one. Saw it everyday during my DCP.)
  3. Spectro-magic (My whole life was basically this parade until a couple years ago.)

Best Snacks

  1. Jalapeno cream cheese pretzel (honestly I don’t know if this is still available. I sold them on the Streets of America during my program. The best pretzel ever.)
  2. Mickey Pretzel
  3. Popcorn
  4. Funnel cake
  5. Mickey ice cream bar

Best Sit Down Restaurants

  1. Si-fi Drive in
  2. Be Our Guest
  3. That place in Norway in EPCOT
  4. T-REX (Okay, that one is in Disney Springs, still counts)

Best Character Meet and Greets

  1. Gaston. Hands down. Best interaction of all time.
  2. Mickey. Tears every time.
  3. Peter Pan
  4. Tiana and Naveen
  5. Rapunzel
  6. Merida
  7. Chip and Dale
  8. Mary Poppins (I love her, and she’s my husband’s favorite so she makes top ten)
  9. Kylo Ren. He scared me.
  10. Belle. My favorite Disney gal and the princess I most relate to.

 

There is so much more I wish I could include, but I have to stop at some point. Like I said earlier, these are my personal opinions based off of my experiences. I know people will disagree on some things (not Gaston though. If you don’t think he’s perfect then you’re just wrong.), and I would love to hear your own lists!

Happee Birthdae Mr. Potter!

It is July 31 which means it is that wonderful time of year (again) to celebrate J.K. Rowling and her world of Harry Potter. There have been parties at bookstores and marathons of the books and movies around the globe (I assume). I myself have re-read books 1-5 the past couple of weeks, though that’s mainly because I have them on my Kindle now and therefore are ALWAYS with me.

I cannot say that Harry Potter got me into reading like a lot of the people I know. I was a reader before then. I can say that no other book has affected my life like Harry Potter. The characters. The story. The lessons. The community. It’s like one big family- complete with bickering and arguments over things that may seem silly to outsiders.

There is a Harry Potter moment everything. Mad at someone? Turn to the Prisoner of Azkaban and have Hermione punch Malfoy over and over. Need help during tough times? Google Dumbledore quotes. Got a horrible teacher? The Order of the Pheonix will make that teacher look amazing compared to Umbridge. Need a laugh? Watch A Very Potter Musical (seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet go to YouTube now). It doesn’t matter what you are going through, Harry Potter will be there to help.

I am a proud Slytherin with touches of the other three houses. Most people don’t believe my sorting until they really know me, but my heart is truly green and silver. I consider myself ambitious and cunning, and if you do anything to make me doubt our friendship, my loyalty is very hard to win back. I give everyone a fair chance, but second chances are slim to none. And I am a Slytherin that goes against some the stereotypes: I do not discriminate, but I can be a little evil.

However, I love learning and reading and brain games. I don’t like failure, especially when it comes to classes and exams (though I imagine that’s a trait for all houses unless you’re Fred and George). I can muster up the courage to do things outside my comfort zone like moving hours away from home and riding that one roller coaster with the really high hill. I’m a cat person, which, again, doesn’t put me in a certain house, but it does make me think I could be friends with Hermione. I am not a good finder, though, so I probably am not too much of a Hufflepuff.

I believe that everyone has a little bit of all the houses in them. It’s just who we are. We are sorted by the more prominent traits we show. Somewhere there is a Hufflepuff who knows more trivia than a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor who is always polite and freaks out over cute baby animals. That’s why the unity of the houses is important. Differences shouldn’t separate us, but make us a stronger unit. You need a little of everything to make a community work.

So, happy birthday Harry. Here’s to many more years and generations of magic.

“Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”