Apr 27, 2024 - Business

What to try and skip at Disney World

Photo illustration of a Micky Mouse-shaped magnifying glass magnifying a blurred image of the Magic Kingdom

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

If a trip to Disney World in Florida is in your future, here are a few tips and tricks to help your vacation dreams come true – and avoid long lines.

The big picture: Disney trips these days require so much energy. There are classes, reservation alerts and 200-page guides just to help plan the "magical" vacation.

State of play: I'm a periodic parkgoer but not a Disney diehard and didn't stay at a Disney resort. I traveled with a group of nine, aged 4 to 80. We visited a park each day.

Situational awareness for my fellow '90s kids: Most characters don't sign autograph books anymore and instead provide less-than-magical printout signatures.

Magic Kingdom

What to try: Stay late for the Happily Ever After fireworks. The light show on Cinderella Castle is truly spectacular and, near the end, look for Tinker Bell to take flight.

  • My only regret was not packing noise-cancelling headphones for the kids. It was too loud for them.

Keep an eye out for Tiana's Bayou Adventure opening this summer.

What to skip: Pirates of the Caribbean terrified our kids, both under the age of 10, and I thought the characters on the ride looked dated with the exception of Jack Sparrow.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

What to try: All things Star Wars. In Galaxy's Edge, everything from the Coca-Cola carts to the souvenir misting fans have an intergalactic flair, and we easily spotted Rey, Chewie, Kylo Ren and multiple stormtroopers.

What to skip: Slinky Dog Dash. Stick with me here, this children's coaster is fun, but a wait over an hour is not worth it.

  • Yes, but: If you can secure the Lightning Lane, you've got a friend in me.

Ashley's thought bubble: Disney needs more entertainment in its long lines.

  • I saw children — some just learning to walk — glued to phones. "The most magical place on Earth" could find ways to make waits part of a joyful experience instead of one that inspires T-shirts like this.


What to try: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

  • The vibe: If the old 4D "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" was made into a ride, it would be something like this. Remember the dog sneezing? In Remy's ride, you travel in a mouse car and get spritzed by a champagne bottle.
  • Yes, but: For anyone that doesn't do well with spins and 3D glasses, this isn't for you.

Also, Journey of Water was a great Moana-inspired self-guided way to cool off and work together to make music and water fountains.

What to skip: Space 220 Restaurant, the park's newest dining spot boasting an intergalactic experience, turned out to be more like a diner setting with technical problems. We weren't "launched" into space and the screen that was supposed to show views of the cosmos during dinner wasn't working. The food was fine, but nothing I'd go out of my way to get.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

What to try: The safari is the main attraction here, but again, Lightning Lane it.

What to skip: DinoLand U.S.A. gives off extinct carnival vibes, and we passed on the Dinosaur ride after warnings it was too scary for kids.

More from Axios: "Coolcations" are the latest trend in travel

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Remy's Ratatouille Adventure is in Epcot, not Magic Kingdom.

Go deeper