Disney/Universal Must-Rides

Saturday, February 9, 2013 1:48 PM

Hey everyone, I'm going on a trip down to Disney in 6 weeks, and I was wondering what the must ride coasters and flat rides are. I'm gonna have a half day at Epcot and Animal Kingdom, a 3/4 day at Magic Kingdom, and a whole day at Hollywood Studios and Universal/Islands of Adventure.

Thanks!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:05 PM

I strongly suggest that you rethink your options. Not only is a 3 day hopper at Disney and a one day hopper at Universal crazy expensive, its doing a diservice to every park. I stongly suggest that you rethink and choose to spend 4 days at Disney, or Universal (although I would argue 3 days is plenty here and you could probably spend day 4 at Sea World.)

4 days is the minimum you need to do Disney, 1 day at MK, 1 day at Epcot, 1 day at MGM, and 1/2 day at AK and 1/2 additional day at MK or Epcot (depending on your favorite.) Get a hopper and spend a morning at one park and an evening at another, and be sure to spend an evening at MK (when the Main St. Electrical Parade is showing,) Epcot, and MGM so that you can see all the night shows. Pick up a Disney World Guide Book, there are many of these, and read up on how to do Disney properly. Its not like any other park, and your typical amusement park skills may fail you (for instance you are doing it wrong if you ride a roller coaster as your first ride of the day at any Disney park.)


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:13 PM

I would love to spend more time at the parks as you suggested, but its a high school marching band trip, and was pre planned, so I don't really have a say. I know we will be staying to see the electric light parade at Magic Kingdom, and Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:17 PM

How much are you into Disney movies, is everyone in your group willing to do thrilling rides, and how much time are you really going to have. If youre in a band, you're clearly going to spend most mid days preparing for, then marching, then cleaning up from marching.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:43 PM

Nobody in my group is huge into the movies, 1 of the 6 will do Disney rides but not Universal. We'll have 4 hours at Animal Kingdom, 6 hours at Epcot, 8 hours at Magic Kingdom minus time around the 3 pm parade, 8 hours at Hollywood Studios, and 7.5 for Iniversal/IoA

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:03 PM
DejaVuNitro's avatar

This makes me sad. I understand it is out of your control but 6 hours at Epcot is just not right. That is a two day park MINIMUM.


I'm sheriff of this here rollercoaster.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:23 PM

You will not be able to do every ride, heck with that schedule you will not be able to do every "must do ride." If it is within your power to be at a park at least 30 min prior to opening, be sure you do, doing these rides and/or getting a fastpass in that first hour is crutial. During the spring break peak season you will end up waiting 2 hours for these rides, and the fastpasses will run out quickly:

Magic Kingdom:

-Splash Mountain

-Space Mountain

-Peter Pan's Flight

Epcot:

-Soarin

-Test Track

-Mission Space

Hollywood Studios:

-Toy Story Mania

-Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

-Tower of Terror

Animal Kingdom:

-Expedition Everest

-Kilimanjaro Safari

-Kali River Rapids (provided its hot)

Islands of Adventure:

-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey´╗┐

-The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man

-The Incredible Hulk

Universal Studios:

-Rip, Ride, Rock'it Coaster

-Men in Black

-The Mummy

Some of these rides have single rider lines, that I highly suggest you use. That said, you probably should talk with your group about what rides you all want to do, as you will not be able to do every ride. However for me personally, my personal must do rides are:

Magic Kingdom

-The Three Mountains (Space, Splash, Big Thunder)

-Haunted Mansion

-Pirates of the Caribbean

-The Enchanted Tiki Room

-Mickey's Philharmagic Orchestra

-Main Street Electrical Parade

-Wishes

Epcot:

-Soarin

-Test Track

-Spaceship Earth

-The French Pastry Shop

-Strolling through the World Showcase shops/eating at the restaurants

-Illuminations

Hollywood Studios:

-Toy Story Mania

-Tower of Terror

-Star T0urs

-The Great Movie Ride

-Fantasmic!

Animal Kingdom:

-Kilimanjaro Safari

-Expedition Everest

-Dinosaur

-Festival of the Lion King

Islands of Adventure (yes I realize this is 90% of the rides here):

-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

-The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man

-The Incredible Hulk

-Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls

-Popeye's Bilge Rat Barge

-Jurassic Park River Adventure

-Dragon Challenge

-Cat in the Hat

Universal Studios:

-The Mummy

-Men in Black

-The Simpson's Ride

-Disaster

-ET

-Terminator 2 3D

You will unfortunately need to pick and choose, and your choices will be based on lines. If you cant get there at opening, I highly suggest that you pick only 1 2 hour line to wait in, and use the single rider lines, Fastpass, and rides with shorter waits to increase your ride total. Rides at Disney and Universal parks are far superior to most rides elsewhere, so dont judge a ride with a short line to be inferior just based on the wait. Do your homework, know what each ride is, some rides because of their gigantic capacity will never have much of a wait (for instance the Haunted Mansion) despite being a "must do" ride.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:51 PM

Thank you so much for the tips! I'll have to pass this info on to my friends

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Saturday, February 9, 2013 6:07 PM

Magic Kingdom:

Space Mountain
Haunted Mansion
Pirates of the Carribean
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
I also like the People Mover for a nice relaxing ride, but I wouldn't recommend this unless you've already ridden Space Mountain.

Epcot:

I've never done test track, but I've heard it is fun
Soarin
I honestly can't give that many recommendations in Epcot. I've always gone when it is ungodly hot, and I've never once made it past the third or fourth country. Seems kinda dull to me actually, but again, I've never seen the whole thing.

Hollywood Studios:

I regret not doing Tower of Terror.
Rock n Roller Coaster
If the Great Movie Ride is still there and you have extra time, I loved this ride when I was younger. We didn't have time for it the last time we went, so I don't know how well it has held up. It used to be pretty impressive.

Animal Kingdom:

-The safari where you get driven around (can't remember the name). It is very interesting, and sometimes animals will come RIGHT up to the vehicle. My husband almost got tongued by a giraffe.
-Everest.

Universal/IOA:

I didn't notice if you said you are doing IOA AND Universal. At Islands of Adventure, really you can't go wrong on too many of the rides. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Spider-Man are absolute musts though. I would recommend Spidey first though. That way your mind is blown, and then Harry Potter will even further blow your mind! If you have time after that:

-Dragon Challenge
-Jurassic Park (this isn't the best ride, but the surprise at the end is awesome).

If you're only doing Universal Studios:

-Mummy.
-Mummy.
-more mummy.

Kinda joking, but if you're on the Universal side, it is an absolute must.

After Mummy, Despicable Me and Men in Black are both fun.

If you are fitting both parks in one day, then in order of importance:

-Harry Potter
-Spider-Man
-Mummy
-Dragon Challenge
-Men in Black
-Despicable Me

Keep in mind, those are between two parks. I know it is kind of hard to follow because of this, but the rides I have listed are my favorite, in order, and I'd never miss a chance to ride them.

Have a great time on your trip! I loved my band trip to Florida (we performed in the Orange Bowl parade and one of the Christmas Disney parades). Choose your roommates carefully though. Ehehehehe


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Sunday, February 10, 2013 12:28 AM

I always find it interesting in talking to "regular" people about their amusement park trips how little some care about the must-do's. Many times I hear "oh, no, we didn't get to that one", or "no, we didn't go over there", or "we just went back to the hotel, we were tired and the kids wanted to swim". WHAT?!?
I have a feeling you lean to the enthusiast side. So take everyone's good advice here, do what you can, and if you sense your group is dragging you down, just leave em behind and get busy!
Wait... Are you a student on this trip, or a parent/chaperone? That might make a difference...
:-)
If you are a student stuck to a frustrating schedule, remember what they say... It gets better. One of these days, before you know it, you'll be able to plan your own trip, go at a better time, set it up the way you want, and not miss a thing.
I hope it's a blast, band trips usually are. You'll definitely come away with great memories and a desire to go back.

Last edited by RCMAC, Sunday, February 10, 2013 12:29 AM
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Sunday, February 10, 2013 9:17 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Skip Soarin. Worst case of anticipointment ever. Not worth the wait.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:04 PM
bjames's avatar

Disney and Universal? All their rides are must-rides.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:33 PM

Tekwardo said:

Skip Soarin. Worst case of anticipointment ever. Not worth the wait.

It simulates hang gliding, its not going to be "thrilling." However, it is going to wow you, and between the simulator, smells, Omni-max screen, and wind you will swear you are actually flying. It also has one of the best scores of any ride Ive been on.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:36 PM

Hollywood rip ride rocket a must ride? Really? I would go with Mummy, Mummy and more Mummy.

Last edited by Corkscrew Follies, Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:38 PM
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Monday, February 11, 2013 8:22 AM

^^ that's what I said! :)

I put Soarin on the list at Epcot because it is unique and because Epcot doesn't really have much in terms of rides. I've never done the space simulator, so I couldn't comment on it. Soarin really isn't that great to me, but a lot of people get a big kick out of it.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Monday, February 11, 2013 10:56 AM
rollergator's avatar

If you're looking for a "break" at IoA...I recommend a short visit to "If I Ran the Zoo" tucked in behind the Caro-Seuss-El. It's a kids playground area, but is generally pretty quiet and a nice place to...explore. For those of us who sometimes feel a little too crowded (Potterland), always nice to have a less stressful place to hang out and regroup....

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Monday, February 11, 2013 10:59 AM

I love the Seuss area. I always feel a little tripped out by it, and it is never crowded. Hubby and I even rode the little train that goes around the buildings.

That being said, I would shoot myself if I had to work at that ride and listen to that song all day long.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Monday, February 11, 2013 11:20 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Touchdown said:
It simulates hang gliding, its not going to be "thrilling." However, it is going to wow you, and between the simulator, smells, Omni-max screen, and wind you will swear you are actually flying. It also has one of the best scores of any ride Ive been on.

I get that it wasn't supposed to be thrilling, but, then, I don't go to Disney parks to be thrilled. I thought it was boring. Smells? Meh. Wind? Meh. It was a simulator of flying around California. I skipped at Epcot because I rode the original, on the advice of people that usually have the same taste in rides as me, and I thought it was very Meh. I'll never wait for it. I'd only ride if it were a walk-on and I was with someone else.


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Monday, February 11, 2013 11:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

I love me some Soarin'. Don't let the haters sway you.

Priorities definitely vary among people. I did five days on my last trip, missed a ton of stuff, including Kilimanjaro Safaris (gasp!). But you know, I go every few years, and atmosphere trumps checklists every time. I can't say that about every park, but it's true for Orlando.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, February 11, 2013 12:21 PM
Vater's avatar

2 things:

I've never been on Soarin', but heard from many (including my brother and his family, whose tastes I value greatly) that it's very impressive.

I can't imagine going to Disney with a limited amount of time and making sure I hit all of the "must-do" attractions. That doesn't sound like a stress-free visit to me, which is what I feel a Disney vacation is supposed to be.

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