We took our children to Walt Disney World for the first time in 2010. Our daughter was 6, our son was almost 3, and our youngest daughter was just a glimmer in our eye. Our oldest daughter is now 15, our son is 11, and our youngest daughter is 7. As Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Members, we make trips to Walt Disney World an annual experience, so they have visited the World several times over the past several years.
Our kids have strong opinions on anything Disney and will talk to anyone about Walt Disney World (you have now been warned if you ever encounter them on the monorail). They are adventurous by nature and the older two really enjoy thrill rides (in fact, they really love some of the incredible coasters at Universal Orlando Resort). The youngest is a little more timid, but doesn’t want to be outdone, so she tries to keep up with her older siblings. So, in light of some of the recent conversations on the Be Our Guest Podcast about underrated and overrated attractions, food, rides and experiences at Walt Disney World, here are what my kids (and probably a few others) think to be under- and overrated at each of the parks.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train– Touted as a family-friendly coaster, allowing children as short at 38” to ride, this is apparently not thrilling enough for my own kids (both the little and the big), although the adults in our group find it to be a smooth, enjoyable ride.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover– This classic ride in Tomorrowland offers riders a way to see many parts of Magic Kingdom while also allowing everyone to enjoy a short rest from all the daily walking. The most exciting part, according to the seven-year-old, is when riders are taken into the dark tunnel overlooking Space Mountain.
Enjoy views of Magic Kingdom from the relaxing PeopleMover ride.
World Showcase– Pretty much the only activities my kids enjoy in World Showcase are posing in sombreros in Mexico for a picture and finding the chair stacking acrobat in France. Beyond that, they consider World Showcase to be “for adults only.”
Garden Grill– This Character Dining Experience in the Land Pavilion is one of the best kept secrets in Disney World. The food, the service and the character interactions with Chip, Dale and other Disney friends, are all top-notch! The restaurant rotates while you eat to give you views of Living with the Land. Garden Grill is open all day, and you can dine on food grown in the greenhouses.
Enjoy a meal with Chip, Dale and other Disney pals at the rotating restaurant, Garden Grill.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
We have not yet traveled to Walt Disney World while Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been open. All of this might change once we visit Galaxy’s Edge, but for now, here are their votes.
Alien Swirling Saucers– While my kids love Slinky Dog Dash, and Toy Story Land overall, they weren’t as impressed by this ride. They say it’s a combination of Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom and the classic carnival ride Tilt-a-Whirl. It wasn’t exciting enough for them.
Alien Swirling Saucers was not exciting enough for my three kids.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular– This live-action stunt show, complete with explosions, car chases and people falling from buildings is a must-do for our kids. Our son especially loves it, even though we all know how it ends!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Satu’li Canteen– This quick service location in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora: The World of Avatar serves delicious (in an adult’s opinion) meat and grain bowls. The kid’s menu has burger pods and hot dogs wrapped in dough (along with a more typical quesadilla). Apparently, the food is either a little too healthy or a little too unusual for my kids’ taste buds.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse from Satu’li Canteen was just a little too unusual for my kids to try.
Primeval Whirl– A thrill ride in DinoLand, USA at Animal Kingdom makes this adult want to vomit just watching the spinning, swirling cars race down the track, but it seems to be a kid’s dream come true.
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