Thursday, May 21, 2009

Underappreciated Attractions

On last week's podcast episode, we talked about attractions at all the theme parks that are typically under-appreciated, both by the general public and oftentimes even by those of us who are Disney fans.

I thought it would be fun to go through the parks and talk about a few more than possibly were missed.

So, let's go to the parks today! :)

At the Magic Kingdom:

The first attraction that I think we missed talking about was Tom Sawyer Island. A lot of people skip this one because you have to take a boat to get to it and it's just a lot of walking and exploring. But that's what makes this attraction so great. Once you get on the feel as if you're actually in Tom Sawyer country. It feels like you're right in the book. And it's so fun walking around, exploring the caves, the trails, and of course going over the barrel bridge! (Although, the barrel bridge looks so dangerous!) Tom Sawyer Island is a great place to go, especially in the afternoon on a really busy day because you can explore for an hour or two while crowds die down a bit. And kids love it because of all the exploring you get to do.

Next up, the Hall of Presidents. One of the more famous attractions in all of Disney World, and yet one that I think a lot of people pass up. I mean, who wants to see robotic Presidents on their vacation, when they can see Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain instead? Now, I know this one is down for refurb right now, but once it opens back up in July, it is definitely one that shouldn't be missed the next time you go down. It's such a great way to get in touch with our country. To see where we've been and where we can potentially go. And it makes you feel darn patriotic when you leave the building.

At Epcot:

I think a lot of people skip over Innoventions. Once again...who wants to walk around doing little exhibits on their vacation when Test Track and Soarin are so close? But this is another great place to go, especially when crowds get heavier. There are a ton of new and interactive things you can do inside here. From the Where's the Fire exhibit (which is quite fun) to the Segway trial, and of course, now their adding the new "Great Piggy Bank Adventure" exhibit. It's so great that Disney keeps adding new things to make this area a wonderful area to spend part of an afternoon in.

Finally at Epcot, I think a lot of people miss the opportunity to meet up with a lot of the characters here. Most of the time, when people think of characters, they think of the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios even...but Epcot actually seems to be the place that has the most characters roaming around at a time. You can catch the Fab 5 at the Character Connection, can catch Mulan in China, Snow White in Germany, Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco, and Belle and Aruora in France. And that's just to name a few! There are tons of other characters who appear in the World Showcase areas and many are just passed up because people don't even know they're there.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, the biggest one we didn't mention is Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. This one is fantastic and for a Disney fan...a must! This walking tour and video have some of the best info about good old Uncle Walt. Words can't even describe how amazing this attraction is and so many people pass it up. Stop passing it and go in!

I also think for a lot of us veterans, the Backlot Tour is something that is skipped quite frequently. I mean...with them changing the attraction so much over the past few's nostalgia factor has faltered a bit...but, all in all, it's still a great attraction. Catastrophe Canyon is well worth going on this for. Even I'm guilty of skipping this one, oftentimes...I need to go back.

At Animal Kingdom, one of the biggest ones that we didn't mention was Flight's of Wonder. Which is a great show, featuring amazing birds that do some incredible feats.

I also think a lot of people skip the Oasis...which is the area right in the front of the park. There are actually quite a few animals in that front area, but so many people pass them up because they are headed to the back of the park to ride rides. Stop and smell the roses here.

So, that's gonna do it for some of the other under-appreciated attractions that can be found around Walt Disney World. Next time you're down should take in at least one of these and realize some of the other wonders that these great parks have to offer.

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