I need to get something off my chest: There are many things at Walt Disney World that I have never done.
As an avid fan and the “go-to”ambassador for my friends and family on all-things-Disney, I pride myself on my in-depth knowledge of the Disney Parks and Resorts experience. I will talk your ear of any day of the week when it comes to attractions, food, the best time to go in to the parks, and character experiences. I love Disney (like most of you) and consider myself a true aficionado.
And yet…there is something that nags at me every time I pass by the American Adventure Pavilion, the Kringla Bakeri Og Cafe, or the non-Elsa/Anna parts of the Norway pavilion. (I never rode Maelstrom while it was still alive and kicking. I hear from my husband and kids, that there was not much to miss.) I have NEVER experienced those attractions, nor heard the Voices of Liberty, nor eaten any of the oh-so-beloved treats like School Bread or the Troll Horns. These things are woven into the fabric of Disney fandom, so why-oh-why I have never tried them?
How can I claim the mantle of “Disney Superfan” without having FULLY experienced each and every thing at the different parks? How can this possibly be?
I can only account for my lack of experience of these attractions through the following: timing, parenting, and interest.
I find myself revisiting attractions that best tell our story of Disney Park love: What I feel nostalgic about; what my husband and I loved as kids; what our own children love and want to experience. Most of this centers around the Magic Kingdom (and Disney’s Animal Kingdom for my girls). The Magic Kingdom was the part of my youth in the 1970s. Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom were parks that came later – when family visits were less frequent, and before vacations with my own children.
When trips to Walt Disney World were once every couple of years, TIME was always a factor, like it is for most vacationing families. We WANT to do and see it all – but this is an impossible task when you factor in nap times, exhaustion, unexpected magical parades, and huge family get-togethers. At times, vacationing at Walt Disney World felt like herding cats, and passing by a School Bread for the sake of getting everyone to the bathroom, or to our Test Track FastPass, was always paramount.
Now that we go to the parks two-to-three times per year, I have the ability to take my time, to seek out the undiscovered and unexplored, and to savor the small details. (It has only been in the past four years that I have seen ANY of the country films in Epcot (Canada, China, France, et. al), or eaten at Karamell Kuche, O’hana for the Character Breakfast, or at Crystal Palace. There are things I am still reticent to do – time is still precious, and I have to admit, there are a few things that I am just not attracted to. (E.g. Dinoland, U.S.A, Disney Junior -Live on Stage, or Spaceship Earth.)
So, Here it is: The FULL list of things I have NEVER done at Disney (or at least all the things I can thing of right now). I would love to hear why you think I should try/do/see these things on this list. I am working through it, one by one.
- The American Adventure pavilion/Food/Shows
- Norway pavilion/Food, other than Frozen Ever After ride and character Meet and Greet
- Spaceship Earth
- Mission: SPACE
- The Electric Umbrella
- Imagination Attraction after 1984
- Dinoland, U.S.A (all of it)
- Flame Tree BBQ
- Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue
- Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
- Whispering Canyon Cafe
- Chef Mickey’s
- Tri Circle D Ranch
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
- Victoria & Albert’s
- Tusker House
- Wildlife Express Train
- Flights of Wonder (This is no longer an option)
- The Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk
- Tomorrowland Dining (at ANY of the quick service places)
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
- Pinocchio Village Haus
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
- Disney Junior-Live on Stage
- Tony’s Town Square
- Never taken my kids to Tom Sawyer Island, nor on the Liberty Square Riverboat. (I did this as a kid BUT have not done it since the 1970s.)
What have you never done at Walt Disney World? What do you feel okay with? What can you live with? What can’t you live without? I would love to know.
(Quick Caveat: While I admire the people who have done it all, I DO think we can be fans without having crossed EVERYTHING off of our lists – Do you agree?)
(Family photo and Magic Kingdom entrance photo from the author’s personal collection. Spaceship Earth photo copyright Disney.)
To learn more about Kristin and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.