My Must Dos on my Next Disney Trip
When it comes to deciding what my first ‘rope drop’ activity in the parks will be, I thought it would be an easy decision – skip down Main Street U.S.A., head to Liberty Square, hop on the Haunted Mansion, get a Joffrey’s and then head into Fantasyland for Peter Pan’s Flight and “it’s a small world,” same as I always do. And while I can’t imagine starting my Magic Kingdom day any other way than with the Hitchhiking Ghosts and Madame Leota, it turns out there is a whole lot about the Disney parks that I overlooked whilst basking in my tried and true. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with starting your vacation off the way you always have, whether that be the Haunted Mansion, the PeopleMover or anything in between. But when it comes to what I miss the most about each park, it has less to do with the beloved attractions I’ve experienced hundreds even thousands of times and more to do with the magic I have taken for granted. Aside from fireworks and character meet and greets (for the time being) here is what I look forward to most upon returning to each of the parks.
Considering the royal makeover of Cinderella Castle, I feel as though that has to be the first thing I will gravitate toward when I finally get to walk through the gates. Her pinks, blues and golds look unique from every angle and the paint by numbers on the bottom bricks teases us for what is in store! While heading to the castle is the first thing most of us do when entering the Magic Kingdom, it is also something that is easy to bypass or ‘save for later’. I have a thousand pictures of the castle, mostly from the front, on a downward projection. All stunning, but all relatively the same. This new color scheme is going to awaken the photographer in me and inspire a series dedicated to this freshly painted landmark!
This is a park I have been missing so much lately. The Tree of Life in all her glory, the lush walking trails, DINOSAUR… But the animals on the Kilimanjaro Safari are the ones I can’t wait to see: lions basking on the temperature controlled rocks (a little Disney magic that is kind to the cats, and allows the guest a better view!), the majestic giraffes in all their long tonged glory, and my absolute favorite, the hippos of all sizes from mama and papa to baby, cooling off in the water with just their tiny ears popping up on the surface. These guys and gals (and every animal in the parks, for that matter!) haven’t had the last 117 days of park closure suspended, they hold the secrets to what’s been happening in the most magical place in the world!
The great thing about Epcot’s impending opening is that both Flower and Garden and Food and Wine will be combined for a super festival of all the things we’ve missed and possibly Epcot’s most popular jamboree a little bit early. World Showcase is always my first stop in Epcot, but I tend to spend most of my time in my favorite pavilions (who doesn’t?) such as Japan, Italy, China, and France. The showcase has so many beautiful countries, rich culture and delicious food, festivals or not. Pavilions like Norway and Germany are a couple I haven’t spent an abundance of time exploring and is most definitely something to remedy! Strolling around the world with fresh, Disney withdrawal eyes is on the tippy top of my Epcot to do list!
I have to admit, I mainly visit Hollywood Studios for Battu and Toy Story Land… but it’s so much more than that! The shows, the dining, The Tower of Terror! This is the stuff that Hollywood is made of, even when it was called MGM. This classic park has so many thrills and experiences I can’t wait to get back to (Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash, I’m coming for you!) but above all else, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a must do! I visited the parks a few short months before they closed down, and the adorable attraction which replaced the Great Movie Ride had yet to debut. In my naïveté I figured it would be no time at all before I was on a new and exciting adventure with the fab five. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be well worth the wait!
If the park closure has taught us anything, it is a newfound appreciation for the things we love the most about the parks, as well as the experiences we may have taken for granted while we had the luxury of visiting the parks at our leisure. Now that the parks are officially open and we are all scrambling to plan our future trip to the happiest place on earth, be sure to not only partake of your must do go tos, but take advantage of those gems you may have overlooked in days of Disney past.