by JollyFrogger Diva
There have been a lot of changes since Canadian Diva wrote the 1st and 2nd editions of “Walt Disney World Vacation: A-Z Travel Tips” so we at Tips From the Disney Diva and Devo thought we’d release a new addition with some of the new and relatively new attractions from around the parks, as well as a few old favorites.
A- Anna and Elsa. Since being featured in the last edition, this dynamic duo has relocated to their new permanent home in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT. Although FastPass + is not available for this meet-and-greet, wait times have been much better than they used to be at Magic Kingdom. The Royal Sommerhaus is located right as you enter the Norway Pavilion from the Mexico side. Read about Disney Magic Diva’s visit here. Meeting Anna and Elsa was the highlight of my daughter’s trip during our last visit, and something she still talks about almost a year later.
B- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. This one falls under old favorites, although with the recent release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast, there are bound to be new fans out there. This live stage show at Hollywood Studios is a condensed re-telling of the animated movie and includes all the musical numbers you love to sing-along to. Consult My Disney Experience for show times, as there are a limited number of shows each day.
C- Carousel of Progress. Although this is by no means a new attraction, it’s one my must-dos every visit. Just thinking of this ride gets There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow running through my head every time. It’s one of the few attractions at Walt Disney World that Walt himself was involved in creating, and it’s a great place to get off your feet and enjoy the air conditioning for a bit. Due to its high capacity, I’ve never seen the wait very long, so stop by any time for a quick break.
D- Disney Jr. Live on Stage! This was one of the few attractions I had never experienced before our last visit. However, my daughter is a huge Disney Jr. fan, so we made time to check it out. This stage show features puppets and live actors as well as sing-alongs to popular Disney Jr songs. Disney Jr. characters included in the show are Doc Mcstuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
E- Elena of Avalor. My oldest is obsessed with this princess. Unfortunately, our last visit was before Elena began receiving guests at Princess Fairytale Hall but thanks to Disney advertising she already knows this will be her first stop on our next visit. If your little prince or princess has their heart set on meeting Disney’s first Latin Princess, make sure to grab a FastPass+ to help cut down on the wait. Cinderella also greets guests in the same room, so you’ll get to see 2 princesses with one visit.
F- Frozen Ever After. This ride took the place of Maelstrom at EPCOT’s Norway Pavilion. With wait times sometimes stretching to 120 mins+, you’ll definitely want to try and snag a FastPass+ reservation for this ride. To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with this ride, but I know a lot of Frozen fans love it, as evident by the constantly high wait times. Read about Wishes Diva’s experience with Frozen Ever After here.
G- Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Although Grauman’s Chinese Theater has been at Hollywood Studios from the beginning, getting an unobstructed view of it is fairly new since the much loved and hated Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat was removed last year. The Great Movie Ride, located inside the theater has always been one of my favorite rides.
H- Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular. This new nighttime show replaced Wishes at Magic Kingdom starting on May 11th. Disney Parks Blog promises this show will feature “more lasers, lights, and projections than ever before”. You can even listen to a sneak peek of the new theme song here. The show features classic Disney characters as well as new favorites like Moana, so it’s bound to have something for everyone.
I- Ice Cream. Nothing helps beat the heat and humidity of Florida like a cool, refreshing treat. My personal favorite is the Mickey bar- a delicious dark chocolate shell covering cool, creamy vanilla ice cream. You can find carts selling delicious frozen treat throughout all four parks, so find a shady spot and enjoy a delicious break.
J- Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. The newest table service at Magic Kingdom, this restaurant offers cuisine from the regions you visit during your Jungle Cruise. Staffed by Jungle Cruise Skippers, you can expect the same bounty of cheesy jokes as well as delicious food. We were lucky to dine here for lunch on our last trip and this has become a must-do for my family on future trips. You can read Disney Magic Diva’s review here.
K- Kilimanjaro Night Safari. Although Kilimanjaro Safaris are not new, they have recently starting offering the option for a night safari. We were lucky to snag a FastPass+ for this on our last visit and it was really cool. We saw plenty of animals, although not quite as many as you see during the day. There is no flash photography allowed during the night safari, so sit back and just enjoy the ride. Read about Darlin Diva’s experiences riding Kilimanjaro Safari at different times of the day and night here.
L- Living with the Land. Once again, this is not a new attraction, but it’s one of my favorites. I love seeing the innovative ways Disney is working to grow crops in a sustainable way. You can read Pink Diva’s review of Living with the Land here.
M- Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. This daytime stage show takes place several times per day in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom and includes classic Disney characters as well as characters from The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen. The costumes and some of the stage decorations change according to the season which is also pretty neat.
N- Naps. My family has found it necessary now that we travel with children to take a break in the middle of the day and head back to the resort for a nap. Even if a full blown nap break isn’t for you, a midday break is always a good idea. Head to your resort for a swim, find an indoor show to allow you some time to sit down and cool off, or schedule a leisurely table service lunch. There’s so much to do at Walt Disney World, sometimes you have to remember to stop and relax just a little.
O- Olaf. Do you want to build a snowman? Since that’s impossible in Florida, why not meet one instead. Olaf can be found hanging around Hollywood Studios. He’s much taller than he appears in the movies, so smaller children might find him a little intimidating at first, but he’s got a plethora of warm hugs to thaw even the coldest of hearts. You can check out Dole Whip Diva’s article about meeting Olaf here.
P- Pandora. This highly anticipated addition to Animal Kingdom opened in May. It will feature 2 different rides as well as new shopping and dining opportunities. Flight of Passage will be a flight simulator ride that will allow guests to soar over Pandora on the back of a Banshee (think a dragon meets a pterodactyl). Na’vi River Journey will be a boat ride through Pandora that allows guests to experience some of the native flora and fauna. Disney Imagineers spared no detail in Pandora, and this section of the park promises a whole new experience at night when the soft luminescent glow of the native flora give Pandora a whole new look. I am beyond excited to experience all that Pandora has to offer on our next trip.
Q- Quick Service. You’re in the parks, you’re hungry, and you don’t want to spend a long time sitting down for a meal. No problem! There are countless quick service restaurants at the parks with food to satisfy any taste. A few of my family’s favorites are Flame Tree Barbecue at Animal Kingdom and Yorkshire County Fish Shop at EPCOT. To avoid long lines, try to dine earlier or later than traditional meal times. Passholder Diva’s article about dining quick service and on a budget can be found here.
R- Rivers of Light. Animal Kingdom’s long anticipated nighttime show is finally here. This nighttime show takes place on the water near Expedition Everest and features beautiful lighted floats, live performers, and water projectors like you find at Fantasmic. In keeping with Animal Kingdom’s approach to remaining animal-friendly, there are no loud noises or pyrotechnic explosions. You can read Pink Diva’s review here and Fairy Diva’s article about Rivers of Light Dining Packages here.
S- Soarin’ Around the World. Due to Soarin’ Over California’s popularity, a third theater was added at Epcot’s The Land pavilion before the new movie began. Thankfully, this addition has helped with the attraction’s wait time tremendously. The new movie is amazing- taking riders over some beautiful places such as the pyramids of Egypt and the plains of Africa. You still get the trademark smells you’ve come to expect from Soarin, as well as a re-imagined version of the classic soundtrack. I can’t say that I love the new movie more than Soarin over California, but I really enjoyed it and will definitely be riding it again on future trips. You can read Pink Diva’s review of Soarin’ Around the World here.
T- Toy Story Mania. Disney saw the popularity of this ride and the constantly high wait times and recently decided to add a third track to this ride. Like with Soarin’, this move has helped cut the wait times down dramatically, and also increased the availability of FastPass+ reservations.
U- Up-to-date. Use the My Disney Experience app throughout the day to stay up-to-date on the wait times for your favorite rides, where to find your favorite characters, and more. You can also use the app to check and modify your FastPass+ reservations.
V- Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I have always been a big fan of the Little Mermaid so this show at Hollywood Studios has always been a favorite of mine. It’s a condensed retelling of the movie in a cool, dark theater which gives you a chance for a quick rest while you enjoy the story. There are FastPass+ reservations available if you want to avoid having to stand in line until the next show.
W- Wishes. May 11th was the last showing of this nighttime classic. This is by far my favorite nighttime show at Disney World, and I am heartbroken to see it go. I will forever get goosebumps when I hear the soundtrack. It will always hold a special place in my heart, which is why I chose to feature Wishes despite its end. Memory Maker Diva’s article on the best spots for viewing Wishes can be found here.
X- “X marks the spot” for Pirates of the Caribbean. I know it’s a stretch, but X is a hard letter.This is by far my favorite ride at Walt Disney World. As my Diva name would suggest, I am a fan of all things Pirate. I like how Disney has tried to keep the ride updated over the years by incorporating characters from the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean movies into the ride while still maintaining the classic ride that I love so much.
Y- Yak and Yeti. This is hands down one of my favorite table service restaurants at Walt Disney World. In fact, we like it so much that it’s where we always dine when visiting Animal Kingdom. The food is amazing and the service has always been outstanding. Not only does Yak and Yeti offer table service, they also have a quick service option as well. Beauty and the Beast Diva explains both options here.
Z- Ziplock bags. The weather at the parks can be quite unpredictable. It rained every single day during our last trip. There are also several water rides that go from damp to a full-on soaking. I always carry a couple of large ziplock bags so I can protect my wallet and cell phone during a rain storm or on a water ride. They fold flat and take up virtually no room in my bag. You can keep sunscreen or water bottles in them to stop leaks from occurring in your bag.
So there you have it- Disney World from A to Z. What are some of your favorite things from A to Z? Let us know in the comments below!