When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. ~ Walter Elias Disney
Our family has been to Walt Disney World (WDW) in Orlando, Florida, a few times. Well, maybe more than a few. We’ve even spent an entire month living there.You can see a little bit of why here. But perhaps the best way to understand why WDW is our favorite place to be a family is to share a few of our family’s favorite things from WDW.
Our Favorite Places
- Our family’s picnic table next to the playground on Tom Sawyer Island. A secluded spot that is almost always open for a quiet lunch is the picnic area at the top of the island right next to imaginative boat playground.
- The dancing fountains next to the Journey into Imagination at EPCOT. Another favorite spot to stop and eat the lunches we packed or for a little snack while the kids dodge the dancing spouts of water.
- The quiet pool behind the Flame Tree Barbecue at Animal Kingdom. We seldom actually purchase food there, but the tables alongside the pool gives us a chance to connect, eat, and even, on rare occasions, see the whole circle of life thing unfold right in front of us when a hungry hawk visits.
Our Favorite Traditions
- Running across the gang-plank from the ferryboat and onto dry land at the Magic Kingdom! Yes, all of us. Well, my wife is usually carrying a bag or two, but the rest of us run like kids on Christmas morning.
- Dancing across the bridge to Adventureland. I don’t know why, we just do. Except when we don’t watch where we’re going and slam into the posts. It’s happened more times than I’d like to — or can — remember.
- Collecting the various popcorn tubs from throughout the parks. We then use the tubs for our popcorn again on family nights after we return home.
Our Favorite Family Rides
- The Kilimanjaro Safaris Expeditions at the Animal Kingdom. We’ve been on it more times than I could ever recall, sometimes repeatedly. It’s always different. And we always ride it first thing in the morning to beat the crowds as we start the day.
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. A close call here but the whole family seems to enjoy this one. Good idea to grab fastpasses right when you get to the park so you can ride again later without the wait.
- Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios. This ride is just fun ride to share with the family. You need to get to the park early to get a fastpass, but the waiting area for the line itsef is actually well-themed so any wait isn’t too bad. An especially good ride for family members who are a little competitive.
Our Favorite Shows
- Finding Nemo: The Musical. Disney knows shows and this one is the crown jewel, in my opinion. A captivating show with an original soundtrack — with a great story behind how it came to be.
- Festival of the Lion King. Another Animal Kingdom show makes our list as our kids have been in the show parade many times. A highly interactive and memorable show that never gets old.
- Fantasmic! makes my list just because the amphitheater setting makes it a memorable night under a magical moon and the show content has something for everyone. Get there early for good seats.
Our Favorite Memories
- Dancing in the streets with the Osborne Familys Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Christmas. Every time we visit around the Christmas season, we ALWAYS make time to dance as a family in the streets during this amazing holiday light show set to festive music complete with “snow.”
- Enjoying the campfire sing-a-long with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness. After a festive time of singing classic Disney tunes around the campfires and winning Disney trivia contests (that would be us) we settle in with popcorn for a Disney flick under the stars on the big screen.
- Making special trips with Dad to the Magic Kingdom. I’ve tried to make trips just with one child or with two together for a special morning with Dad. We ride some rides while the lines are short, then stop at the Main Street Bakery for an outrageously priced treat like the world’s biggest brownie (that’s what we call it). Then we sit on the curb of Main Street USA to watch the parade go by. Good times.
I saved the best for last: my personal favorite Disney thing is Illuminations at Epcot. I would fly down just to see this stunning show.
These are just a few of our favorite Disney things. What are yours? Share your favorite Disney things with a magical comment.