The Ultimate Disney Experience Checklist – 10 Things You Must Do!
What would constitute the ultimate Disney experience? For starters, you’d have to hit every park – otherwise you haven’t experienced all of Disney World, and thus it couldn’t be “ultimate” by that very nature. Next, you’d have to incorporate a mix of the best shows, rides, and attractions to experience the full entertainment spectrum. And finally, you would have to have at least one very unique Disney experience. Here is The Ultimate Disney Experience Checklist – 10 Things You Must Do!:
10. Kilimanjaro Safaris. What better way to start your Ultimate Disney Experience than with a safari in an open-air vehicle? The barriers separating all of the exotic animals are hidden – so you get a genuine feel that you are in the wild with animals that are roaming free. And Disney has stacked their savanna with the full spectrum of animals one would find on the Serengeti. The ride can also get you up close and personal at times to animals we wouldn’t normally see in the United States.
9. Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. If you’re looking to be entertained, it’s nearly impossible to beat the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. Stuntmen falling from buildings? Check. Professional drivers racing through tight streets in Hollywood movie-like car and motorcycle chases? Check. Epic pyrotechnics? Check. This show is like being on the set of a Die Hard movie during filming.
8. Fantasmic. One of the most remarkable live actions shows you will ever see, Fantasmic in Hollywood Studios incorporates just about everything you can imagine – and even some things you couldn’t. Set on an island with a small mountain, the infamous Disney villains try to make Mickey’s worst fears come to fruition. The result is an amazing show of smoke and magic, pyrotechnics and lights, song and dance, and even an entire lake set on fire!
7. Test Track. So far you’ve had one relaxing ride and two fantastic shows. Now it’s time for a thrill-ride. And since this is the ultimate Disney experience, you might as well hit the fastest ride in all of Disney World – Test Track in EPCOT. As is the custom with Disney, the wait for this ride is an experience all in itself. The pavilion past the entry way is filled with various types of concept cars to examine. As you move through the line, you encounter a video discussing various aspects of automotive design. Eventually you reach the Chevrolet Design Studio – where interactive touch-screen displays allow you to create your own concept car. From there you are herded onto the loading platform for a five-minute thrill-ride which tops out around 65mph.
6. EPCOT’s World Showcase. So now it’s time for a little culture and probably some lunch. And you’re already in EPCOT, so where else would you go but the World Showcase? Mexico, China, France, Italy, and Norway are but a few of the nations to choose from for amazing cuisine, unique cultural shows, shopping, and meet-and-greets with Disney characters.
5. Mickey’s PhilharMagic. Now it’s time for the core of Disney World – the Magic Kingdom. Hey, you have to save the best for last, right? And if you’re going to the Magic Kingdom for the final leg of your ultimate experience, you might as well start with Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This is Disney returning to its bread & butter so to speak – making animated entertainment! Following Donald Duck through an incredible journey of Disney movie history mixed with mischief is sure to entertain your family. Especially when that entertainment is in what Disney refers to as “4D”. The 3D adventure is enhanced with smells and even water to bring the audience inside the film like never before! And it certainly doesn’t hurt that this attraction gets you off your feet and into an air conditioned environment for a short period of time. Top notch animated entertainment and a chance to rest comfortably is why Mickey’s PhilharMagic makes the list for the Ultimate Disney Experience!
4. Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique. What would the Ultimate Disney Experience be without your little girls getting the ultimate princess makeover? From the moment you walk into the boutique inside of Cinderella’s castle with all of its vintage castle decor complete with the purple accents most associated with royalty, to the moment you leave with a little girl completely transformed into an authentic Disney princess, the Bibbity-Bobbity-Boutique is unmatched for capturing the essence of “Disney magic”!
3. Cinderella’s Royal Table. So you’ve had a pretty big day already. You’ve experienced the best of all four parks. At this point, you’ve got to be ready for dinner. And since you’re already at Cinderella’s castle (and will need to be back later for the rest of your experience), you might as well head upstairs to Cinderella’s Royal Table with your authentic princesses in tow. As you make your way through the castle and ascend the stairs, you can’t help but notice that the painstaking detail is striking. Regal flags, scrolls, and crests adorn the castle walls throughout. Once inside the dining area, you will be treated to a feast like you actually are royalty. They definitely do not skimp on the options or the portions at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
2. Celebrate the Magic. Time to head back downstairs for the finale to your epic adventure. There is nothing quite like sitting in front of Cinderella’s castle under the stars in the Magic Kingdom and watching an amazing show of lights, pyrotechnics, fireworks, and movie magic. Nostalgia abounds as the show projected onto the castle takes you through the iconic Disney films of yesteryear. And watching the face of your children as Tinker Bell takes glittering flight from the castle through the night sky and across the park is worth the price of admission alone. Some narration from Jiminy Cricket while “When You Wish Upon A Star” fills the air completes the vintage Disney magic!
1. Cinderella Castle Suite. Of course, this one is a little out of your control – and no amount of planning can make it happen. Still, for the Disney experience to be truly “ultimate”, it would have to end with a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite! Imagine it – your children are worn out from another magical day in Disney World and yet this time, you don’t have a long lines and transportation routes to endure on your way back to your room. Instead, after ending the night in front of the castle for the Celebrate the Magic show, you head directly up to the most amazing suite in all of Disney World. Your daughter(s), dolled up as princesses from their Bippity Boppity Boutique experience earlier in the day, enter the suite to see the most authentic regal decor in the entire resort. The floor tiles contain 14k gold. The windows are a magnificent design of stained glass. The headboard of every bed is adorned with Cinderella’s royal crest. A jacuzzi tub is surrounded by pillars and sits under a ceiling of stars. And of course, there on display sits Cinderella’s glass slipper. Just when your children are on the verge of Disney magic overload, they experience their first real “magic mirror” – which just happens to double as a state-of-the-art flat screen tv for the suite. Yeah, this is definitely the way to end the night of your Ultimate Disney Experience. As your eyelids get heavy and you start to drift off, the last thing you see is the illuminating glow from the 17th-century-style fireplace – outfitted with fiber optics to give the illusion of a fire burning.
Thrill rides, spectacular attractions, cultural shows, good food, all four parks, and the best suite in all of Disney World adds up to the Ultimate Disney Experience!
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I'm a 39-year father of two and blessed with the greatest family in the world. Along with my beautiful wife Kris (who is a fan of all things Disney), we have two precious daughters, Lauren (8) and Lindsey (6). We love spending time as a family watching Disney movies, traveling to Disney World, and visiting local farms and parks. I'm also a college football fanatic.