FLORIDA: Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is the biggest Disney complex in the whole planet. It has four theme parks, two water parks, about a couple of dozen resorts, and a number of other activities that will surely whet your Disney appetite.

Theme parks are our thing so when we went here, we made sure we get to visit all four theme parks and spend one day on each. If you stay at a Disney Hotel Resort, you get to have "Extra Magic Hours" which lets you enter the attractions earlier than the general public. We stayed at All-Star Music Resort which is a budget Disney hotel. Their service is not on par with other more expensive Disney hotels but for the price, it exceeded our expectations. The decorations in the hotel ain't bad either and you still do feel the illusion of being in a fantasy world. The free shuttle to the theme parks and other attractions made it very convenient for us as well. We also bought our 4 parks - 1 park/day ticket from the hotel concierge. There's no discount but they do give you the "Extra Magic Hours" guide. This is very helpful since it makes it easier to plan which theme park you want to visit each day to take advantage of the earlier opening for hotel guests.

Disney All-Star Music Resort
Hotel front
Disney All-Star Music Resort
Disney All-Star Music Resort

Disney All-Star Music Resort
View from our room
The price we paid for the hotel was pretty good too thanks to a promotion at the time we went there. Their budget hotels' rates, which includes the three All-Star Resorts, was only 69usd/night. It was also advertised to pretty much every single travel sites so it wasn't hard to find and it was a no-brainer for the price. The 4 parks - 1 park/day ticket was about 250usd/person.


Disney Magic Kingdom Castle
Magic Kingdom's icon: Cinderella Castle
We chose Magic Kingdom for our first day since it is the one with Extra Magic Hour for sunday. It is almost a copy of the Disneyland in California in terms of its rides and it's icon being the castle. Almost all of the classic Disney rides are here including Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and Space Mountain. The more unique rides and attractions are the following:

Disney Magic Kingdom Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents - a show where you get to see an Animatronics version of every US President from George Washington to Barak Obama

Disney Magic Kingdom Philharmagic
Philharmagic - a 4D show of Donald Duck being transported to the world of other Disney characters including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. This attraction is also in Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress
Carousel of Progress - an animatronics show that presents the progress of American homes

Stitch's Great Escape - a round theater show with a plot of Stitch being captured and eventually escaping and jumping off the shoulders of the audience

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor - an interactive comedy show featuring Mike Wazowski and other monster comedians

People Mover - a ride that goes around Tomorrowland including a peek inside Space Mountain

Disney Magic Kingdom Electrical parade
Electrical Parade - a night-time parade full of lighted floats and characters wearing lighted costumes. Pretty much the same concept as "Dream Lights: Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade"


Disney Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom's icon: The Tree of Life
We were pretty tired after our first day from Magic Kingdom so we wanted a short day for our next park. The Animal Kingdom is only open until 5PM and lucky for us, monday is it's Extra Magic hour day so it was the clear choice. Amongst the four theme parks, this is where we walked the most but didn't really see that much. It's probably because we're really just into theme park rides and this is more of a zoo with rides. We have been to other big zoos and safaris in Asia with a lot more exotic animals so we were really not that thrilled with their display of animals. But if we put ourselves in other person's shoes who haven't been to the zoos we've been, we can see how other people would be excited to see all the exotic animals displayed here. All of the rides and shows featured here are unique except for It's Tough To Be a Bug, which is also featured in Disney's California Adventure, and Festival of the Lion King, which is also played in Hong Kong Disneyland. The other significant rides and shows are as follows:

Disney Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaros Safari
Kilimanjaros Safaris - safari ride where you get to see elephants, giraffes, ostrich, lions and other exotic animals

Disney Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest
Replica of Mount Everest

Expedition Everest - roller coaster ride featuring a Yeti

Kali River Rapids - raft ride featuring some animal animatronics

DINOSAUR - dark ride featuring animatronic dinosaurs

Flights of Wonder - show of trained exotic birds

Finding Nemo Musical - show featuring the characters from the film of the same name


Disney Epcot
Epcot's icon: Geodesic Sphere which
houses the ride "Spaceship Earth"
It was tuesday and we were set to visit our third park for the third day. Thanks to getting to the hotel the past night because Animal Kingdom closes at 5PM, we had a good amount of rest. We know that there will be more walking in Epcot since Hollywood Studios is a theme park more on shows, we chose to visit Epcot this day. And as a bonus, Extra Magic hour for Epcot is also on tuesdays.

Disney Epcot Illuminations Reflections of Earth
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth -
Epcot's fireworks and laser show spectacle

There are not that many rides in Epcot but the few rides they have are pretty good. The highlight of Epcot for most people are seeing the miniature replicas of popular buildings from around the world and of course the fireworks spectacle at night called "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth". Just like Animal Kingdom, most of the attractions here in Epcot are unique except for Soarin' which is also in Disney's California Adventure. The other significant attractions are:

Spaceship Earth - a dark ride that goes through significant technological events filled with animatronics

Mission Space - a simulated spaceship ride to mars

Disney Epcot Test Track
Test Track - roller coaster ride

The Seas With Nemo and Friends - a simulated underwater ride featuring characters from the movie "Finding Nemo"

Living with the Land - boat ride that goes thru the Epcot greenhouse

Journey Into Imagination with Figment - a kiddie ride about using our imagination with our senses

Captain EO - 3D movie featuring Michael Jackson as "Captain EO"

Disney Epcot Soarin
Soarin - a simulated hand glider ride

Disney Epcot Spaceship Earth
The end picture you get after riding "Spaceship Earth"

Disney Epcot Geodesic Sphere
View of the Geodesic Sphere and its reflection at night


Disney Hollywood Studios Wizard Hat
Hollywood Studio's Icon: Wizard's Hat
Our fourth straight day to visit a theme park this wednesday and we were tired. It's a good thing that most of the attractions in Hollywood Studios are shows. This means that we get to walk some and get seated while watching the show so this is a great way to still enjoy and maximize our time in the theme park without getting too tired. The only thing is that wednesday is not an Extra Magic hour day for Hollywood Studios. Still, being able to get that extra hour without the general public from 3 out of the 4 parks was not bad. And we really wanted to visit Hollywood Studios last because we want Fantasmic to be our last attraction as a finale. The other notable attractions on this park are below:

Disney Hollywood Studios The Great Movie Ride
Chinese Theater which is the entrance to
The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride - ride that goes through scenes from classic movies filled with animatronics

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues - spaceship simulation ride through the world of "Star Wars" movie series

Disney Hollywood Studios Indiana Jones
A scene from Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - live stunt and special effects show

Disney Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour
Studio Backlot Tour - tram ride with special effects and movie props

Disney Hollywood Studios Lights Motors Action Stunt Show
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show - cars, motorcycles and speedboat stunt show. They re-enact vehicle stunts often seen in action movies

Voyage of the Little Mermaid - stage play with lasers and light effects featuring the characters of the movie

Toy Story Midway Mania! - interactive 3D ride where you get to play classic boardwalk shooting games

Disney Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - elevator drop ride

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - roller coaster featuring the band Aerosmith

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage - stage play with the same storyline of the movie