Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World and want to know the best Disney World park, then you have come to the right place!
This article is going to give you the highs and lows of every Walt Disney Park and what order you should prioritize on your next vacation. Keep reading for our full review of all the Walt Disney World theme parks including the best Disney World park.
In this article:
Walt Disney World Overview
Walt Disney World (WDW) in Orlando, Florida was Walt Disney’s expansion project after completing Disneyland in California. Walt did not live long enough to see WDW open, but his brother Roy made sure that the first park, Magic Kingdom, was finished with Walt’s vision in mind.
Since its opening in 1971, Walt Disney World has added 3 additional theme parks – EPCOT, Hollywood Studios (formally MGM Studios), and Animal Kingdom. There have also been two water parks built.
Along with the parks, there are 21 different resorts for guests, countless shopping opportunities, mini golf locations, golf courses, spas, a wedding venue, Cast Member (employee) housing, and a solar farm.
With so much to see and do on property, it can be difficult to plan your vacation and figure out the best Disney World park. The four theme park options alone are daunting enough without considering everything else. Lucky for you, we have the ultimate ranking for the four theme park options to help you make your decision and rank the best Disney World park.
Best Disney World Park Ranking System
Ranking each Walt Disney World park can vary depending on what stage of life you are in. A family will have a much different opinion than a couple on their honeymoon.
This ranking list is going to focus on what the parks were intended to be according to Walt’s vision, a place where families can come together to have a great time.
When ranking each park, we are considering the following factors: the number of family-friendly rides, shows, entertainment, nighttime entertainment, food, and merchandise. We feel that these categories are the best at representing what families will look for in their vacation experience and help us rank the best Disney World park.
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#4 Park Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened on May 1, 1989 as Disney-MGM Studios. The name was revised in 2008 when Hollywood Studios underwent a series of changes transforming the identity of the theme park.
Walt Disney first had the idea for a park based on the movies where guests could witness the inner workings of living, breathing movie and television production facilities. The highlight of the park was the backstage tour.
Now, the park is still focused on the movies within the Walt Disney Company, but it is less focused on the production of the movies and instead focused on immersive experiences.
Hollywood Studios Park is constantly changing and adapting to bring guests new areas and rides with some of the latest additions being Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge.
Within the park, there are 7 different themed areas or lands that each contain rides, attractions, dining, and merchandise locations for guests to visit.
Guests enter Hollywood Boulevard, where the old-time feel of Hollywood immerses visitors. From Hollywood Boulevard, take a right to Sunset Boulevard to stay in the same themed areas, or take a left and enter Echo Lake. Keeping to the left, guests will continue to Grand Avenue, what used to be known as the Streets of America, bringing with it some California-themed flair.
As guests walk through Grand Avenue, they will encounter the tunnel to enter the world of Batuu in the themed Galaxy’s Edge where you will find all things Star Wars. Here guests will find a connection to Toy Story Land where you are shrunk down to the size of the toys in Andy’s backyard.
After exiting Toy Story Land, guests will make a brief stop in Pixar Plaza before continuing walking to the left, having to enter Animation Courtyard. When your visit is done here, you will return to the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Other than Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Studios makes a huge circle of specialty rides and attractions.
Hollywood Studios Rides, Attractions, Entertainment
Starting at Hollywood Boulevard, there is only one attraction: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This new ride is open to guests of all ages. This newer ride in the Chinese Theater is a great family-friendly option!
There are four attractions located on Sunset Boulevard with the most popular being The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for guests 40” or taller and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith for Guests 48” or taller. There are also two showsBeauty and the Beast Live on Stage Show and The Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
Echo Lake is home to some great shows and one ride. Guests can see both Indiana Jones and Frozen in the same general area. Mickey Shorts Theater has a showing about every 10 minutes. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues is one of the Star Wars rides located in the park.
Muppet Vision 3D is the only attraction located in or near Grand Avenue. There are showtimes throughout the day.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
There are two rides located in Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run.
Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land lets kids feel like they are one of Andy’s toys. Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash, and Toy Story Mania. Toy Storie Mania is the only ride without a height requirement. If you stay around long enough, you might just get to see the Green Army Men Drummers walkthrough.
Rounding out the areas is the Animation Courtyard which has a mix of attractions. Walt Disney Presents is a 15-minute documentary showcasing the life of Walt. At Star Wars Launch Bay, guests can explore Star Wars Exhibits, Tour Settings inspired by the films, and meet Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and BB-8. Disney Junior Dance Party, younger kids can meet the shining stars Doc McStuffins, Fancy Nancy, Pluto, and Vampirina.
Characters in the Park
- Donald Duck
- Goofy and Max
- Mickey and Minnie
- Storm Troopers, Kylo Ren, Rey, Vi Moradi, and Chewbacca
- Buzz Lightyear, Woody meet regularly and are sometimes joined by Jesse and Bo Peep.
- Frozone, Edna Mode, Mr. Incredible, and Mrs. Incredible, James P. Sullivan (Sully)
- Chewbacca, Darth Vader, BB-8
- Rotating Characters: Chip n Dale, Donald and Daisy, and Mickey and Minnie
Overall, there are a total of 18 rides or shows and around 25 characters that you can meet at Hollywood Studios. For such a small park, there is a lot packed in. Unfortunately, for many of the rides, children have to be at least 38” to ride.
Hollywood Studios Nighttime Show
There are three Nighttime Show options at Hollywood Studios. Two of the shows are only shown seasonally, so it is best to check the My Disney Experience App for the most up-to-date information.
Fantasmic! Is the show to see when visiting Hollywood Studios. This 20-minute show always has a full audience as guests watch Mickey battle the villains with water, fireworks, lasers, and a little magic. There is typically only one show a night at either 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM depending on when the park closes. Check out our full Fantasmic! Guide here.
The second nighttime offering is the Wonderful World of Animation. On the replica of the Chinese Theater, projections of memorable scenes from Disney films are presented and accompanied by classic Disney songs. This show is shown seasonally and usually at the same time as Fantasmic!
The third nighttime offering is also seasonal. The show is called Disney Movie Magic celebrating the magic of the live-action films projected on the Chinese Theater.
We love Fantasmic and think it is one of the best shows on all of Walt Disney Property and definitely scores points for Hollywood Studios.
There are 30 total places to grab a bite to eat at Hollywood Studios.
There are 11 snack carts located throughout the park. There are 11 Quick Service (counter service restaurants), 4 lounges (including Oga’s Cantina from Star Wars), and 4 table service restaurants. There is only 1 character dining restaurant located in the park. During the morning, Hollywood and Vine features Disney Junior characters and for lunch and dinner, Minnie, Goofy, and friends can be found at this buffet.
There are 20 different shopping locations throughout the park.
Most of your shopping is going to be located on Sunset Boulevard or Hollywood Boulevard, but there are smaller kiosks around as well. Guests will find Disney merchandise from bags, clothing, accessories, jewelry, and stuffed animals to attraction-specific merchandise at the shopping locations.
Galaxy’s Edge is the location to get all of the Star Wars Merchandise that you could possibly find in Walt Disney World. There is a store dedicated to building your own lightsaber and another store dedicated to building your own droid.
Best Disney World Park?
While Hollywood Studios is a great park that is always changing and adapting to meet the needs of representation of Disney Films, this park is not as family-friendly as the other ones on the list. With that being said, if you have older kids, we would move this park to number 3.
The positives of the park are that there are a ton of thrill rides, entertainment, and characters to meet. In fact, there are so many great shows that it is hard to fit them all into just one park day. This is only true though if you have older children. Any child that is under 38” tall is going to benefit from the shows and characters, but not many rides. Any parent will tell you that after a while of sitting and waiting, which are required for these activities, younger children really want something more adventurous and exciting to do.
The downside of this park for any park-goer is the dining and merchandise. While there have been a few menu revisits in just the past couple of years, there aren’t a lot of exciting food offerings that are specific to Hollywood Studios. There are absolutely great meals if you love Barbecue, Hot Dogs, Pizza, and Burgers, but there is just not a ton of variety.
You would also expect the merchandise to be diverse in the range of movies and films represented, but many of the items found can also be bought at Disney stores located throughout Disney Springs.
Hollywood Studios is a GREAT park if you have Star Wars lovers in your traveling party, older kids who love thrill rides or enjoy a great mix of entertaining shows to balance the theme park rides. For a friendly-friendly atmosphere, this park does come in last.
#3 Park Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom was the most recent of the four parks that was completed. The Grand Opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was held on April 22, 1998. The iconic statement of Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life at the heart of the park. The images of more than 300 animals are hand-carved into its trunk.
The park aims to educate and entertain the guests. Animal Kingdom is home to around 1,700 animals, representing 250 different species in about 500 acres.
Keeping with the animals’ schedules, the park typically closes the earliest, sometimes as early as 6 p.m. in the winter. This park also does not feature any type of fireworks nighttime show to be respectful to the animals.
The park is divided into 5 total sections. The first section is the oasis section as you walk into the park. This pathway leads you straight to Discovery Island, where the Tree of Life is located. From here you can choose to go to any of the four other lands: Pandora: World of Avatar, Africa, Asia, and DinoLand U.S.A. Each of these areas is spread out from each other and will require a significant walk to get from one place to another.
Animal Kingdom Rides, Attractions, and Entertainment
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the park with the least total number of rides. There are only 7 rides in total and 4 of the rides have a height requirement of at least 38”. However, there are still a ton of shows, walking trails, and entertainment options to keep everyone happy throughout the day.
Throughout the Oasis are many animal viewing locations. As guests enter the park, they are greeted by views of Anteaters, Babirusas, Birds, and other diverse animal habitats.
There are 5 different attractions on Discovery Island including It’s Tough to Be a Bug, Wilderness Explorers Headquarters, Discovery Island Trails, Animal Encounters: Winged Encounters, and Viva Gaia Street Band!
Pandora: World of Avatar
There are two rides at Pandora. Avatar Flight of Passage is the most popular probably in all of Animal Kingdom. The other ride is Na’vi River Journey.
There are really great attractions in Africa. Kilimanjaro Safari is a open-air vehicle Safari ride, Festival of the Lion King show, Harambe Village Acrobats, Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, the Wildlife Express Train, and Rafiki’s Planet Watch & Conservation Station.
Asia has the other large attraction many people visit Animal Kingdom for, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Kali River Rapids, Maharajah Jungle Trek, and Feathered Friends in Flight! are also in Asia.
DinoLand U.S.A. is the area that has the most for kids. TriceraTop Spin, Dinosaur, Fossil Fun Games, The Boneyard play area, Dino-Sue – reproduction of an actual Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!.
Meet Mickey and Minnie in their Safari outfits at the Adventurers Outpost.
Meet Moana at Character Landing.
Kevin roams around Discovery Island
Animal Kingdom Nighttime Show
Disney cannot have a large production at night in the Animal Kingdom park due to the animals. The park does offer a special look at the Tree of Life called the Tree of Life Awakenings.
The show begins just after dark and repeats every ten minutes or so until the park closes. The first part of the show features flickering fireflies that magically appear and stir animal spirits in the tree’s trunk awake.
Gentle music and bright colors are used as several short stories of animals participating in the circle of life unfold.
Animal Kingdom Dining
Animal Kingdom has plenty of food options for everyone in your party. There are 17 snack locations alone (and most of those snack locations serve a decent breakfast). The quick service restaurants are all diverse in their offerings from Asian food, to pizza, and BBQ. If you are looking to sit down and enjoy a meal, there are four table service meals with one being a character meal!
Shopping in Animal Kingdom is really limited to one or two stores per area, except for Africa, which has 6 different shopping options. Each store in each area has themed merchandise to fit the continent with some authentic pieces. For instance in Pandora, you will find specific merchandise related to the attraction and movies.
You will find typical Disney Souvenirs at the shops on Discovery Island. Along with stuffed animals, clothing items, housewares, toys, and decorations, there are also Animal Kingdom Park specific souvenirs to help you remember your trip.
Best Disney World Park?
Animal Kingdom earns the number three spot on our list because of the never-ending entertainment. Each guest can truly customize their experiences in the park. There is a good mix of rides, shows, entertainment, shopping, and exploring to be done.
Overall the park is themed really well. The Disney Imagineers paid attention to small details throughout each individual section of the park and with the long walks between areas, the transition truly feels as though you have ventured to another continent.
There are many dining locations. We think this park is great for one larger meal and lots of snacks throughout the day with the diverse menus that are available.
In terms of being family-friendly, there are so many opportunities for kids to play in DinoLand, learn about their favorite animals on one of the self-guided tours, and meet characters in the park.
While there is not a spectacular fireworks show in the park, Animal Kingdom transforms at night time. The animals’ personalities shift, the lights are beautiful (especially in the Pandora area), and the Tree of Life Awakenings are show-stopping.
We have heard the park called a big zoo, but it really is anything but. Yes, there are animals (and an actual petting zoo), but it is being transported to the countries these animals are from – eating, drinking, shopping, and experiencing the atmosphere while also riding rides and getting to watch the animals.
Overall, this park is a great place for a full day of fun and excitement! Each trip for us leads to a new adventure. We have yet to see all that Animal Kingdom truly has to offer.
#2 Park EPCOT
The EPCOT park has come a long way from its original conception as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The park was the second theme park to open at Walt Disney World with an opening date of October 1, 1979, 8 years after Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney believed EPCOT would be the perfect city of the future. Instead, EPCOT is now a theme park celebrating human achievement and culture. The park is made of four neighborhoods:
- World Showcase – 11 internationally inspired pavilions
- World Nature – natural world and the careful balance it requires
- World Celebration – reflection of the broader human family
- World Discovery – the past and future of technological advancements.
The theme park is twice the size of Magic Kingdom, so there is a lot of walking. The theme park is also focused on mixing entertainment and education of our natural world. Guests who visit the theme park may underestimate the diversity that the park presents for families of all ages and types. There are activities, rides, shows, food, and more for each age group (kids to adults) to participate in.
There are also very few times of the year when a festival is not going on. EPCOT has four distinct festivals for guests to partake in throughout the year further highlighting the aspects of the neighborhoods of EPCOT.
EPCOT Rides, Attractions, Entertainment
EPCOT is a great park in that it is filled with rides, shows, and daily live entertainment. The
Disney Imagineers and creators know that EPCOT is typically not seen as the park for children due to the World Showcase, so they have introduced fun activities throughout the World Showcase to make the counties more interesting for kids.
While some of the rides in EPCOT do have height restrictions, there are still plenty of rides left for shorter kids that will still fill up the day. EPCOT has also sprinkled in play areas and rest areas for children to get out of the stroller for a bit.
World Nature includes many of the attractions that EPCOT has for kids.
The Land area contains Living with the Land, Soarin’ Around the World, and Awesome Planet. Located in the Nemo Building, guests will find The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk With Crush, and SeaBase – the home of an aquarium and tons of exhibits.
The World Celebration area is another family-friendly area in EPCOT. Journey Into Imagination with Figment, ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs, Spaceship Earth & Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future, and the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival are all located here.
World Discovery contains three rides that are targeted towards older kids and adults. Guests can take a ride on Test Track, Mission: Space, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Guests can also catch the JAMMitors perform throughout the day.
Kidcot Fun Stops (All Countries)
Located in each of the 11 countries of the World Showcase, kids can participate in collecting activity cards featuring the culture and traditions of each country.
DuckTales (Most Countries)
Using the Play Disney Parks App, guests can set off on and adventure in 7 of the World Showcase countries to help Mr. McDuck. Be prepared to help Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby follow clues, defeat villains, and uncover missing artifacts.
Mexico has some of the most attractions in the pavilion with one ride, and exhibit, and two group performances: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, Mexico Folk Art Gallery, Mariachi Cobre, and Marimba de las Américas (México)
Guests can find the Frozen Ever After ride and the Stave Church Gallery in Norway.
China features the House of the Whispering Willows where guests get a sneak peak at the Shanghai Disney Resort and Reflections of China – 12 minute, Circle-vision 360 degree film.
Germany has no rides, shows, or entertainment.
For entertainment, guests should look for Sergio the master juggler and mime.
Guests that visit the America Pavilion can see The American Adventure a 30-minute show that combines audio-animatronics, film, and music, the American Heritage Gallery – an exhibition showcasing American Indian Art, and the Voices of Liberty – vocal performances that celebrate America’s spirit and beauty.
America Gardens Theatre
Throughout the year there are 4 themed festivals that take place in EPCOT. Each festival has special live concerts and performances at the American Gardens Theater located in the America Pavilion.
- International Festival of the Arts – Disney on Broadway Concert Series (mid January – mid February)
- International Flower and Garden Festival – The Garden Rocks Concert Series (March – mid July)
- International Food and Wine Festival – Eat to the Beat (mid-July – mid November)
- International Festival of the Holidays – Candlelight Processional (mid November – December)
Check the Walt Disney World Website or your My Disney Experience App to see updated schedules.
Japan has a museum, Bijutsu-kan Gallery, and Matsuriza- drummers thundering the sound of the Taiko.
Morocco features the Gallery of Arts and History in the “Race Against the Sun: Ancient Technique to Modern Competition” exhibit.
France has a newish ride, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
France also features the Beauty and the Beast Sing Along and Impressions de France ( 18 minute film narration).
In the UK Pavilion, Command Performance – The British Rock group performs.
Canada has two shows Canada Far and Wide (Canada) – A newly updated, 12 minute, Epcot Circle-Vision 360 presentation and Entertainment at Canada Mill Stage.
Characters in World Nature, Discovery, and Celebration
Figment (Coming Summer 2023)
Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, or Minnie – Disney Visa Cardmember Exclusive Meet and Greet near Imagination.
Joy from Inside Out
Goofy and/ or Minnie Mouse
Winnie the Pooh
Characters in World Showcase
World Showcase Gazebo – Pluto
United Kingdom – Mary Poppins & Alice
France – Belle & Princess Aurora
Morocco – Jasmine
Germany – Snow White
China – Mulan
Norway – Meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus
Mexico – Donald Duck
International Gateway – Daisy Duck & Minnie Mouse
EPCOT Nighttime Show
EPCOT Forever is the current nighttime show. Guests are invited to watch this fireworks spectacular over the World Showcase lake and celebrate the past, present, and future of EPCOT.
The show takes place at 9:00 PM and can be watched from anywhere in the World Showcase and still have a great view.
When looking at the list of dining locations in EPCOT the sheer list is overwhelming. However, when looking at where the majority of the dining locations are, in the World Showcase, it makes it much easier to pick your meals, all you simply have to decide is what cuisine you are in the mood for.
One amazing thing about the dining in EPCOT is that the food is authentic. Any items you find in the World Showcase are going to be delicious and true to what you would eat in the
country it is featured from. This does not make the food inaccessible to children though. There are still plenty of places to grab chicken nuggets and fries while adults in your party grab something a little tastier.
Not listed here are the different festival booths that feature specialty foods. Because the booths and menu items change with each festival, and year to year, it would be impossible to give a comprehensive list.
Outside of the World Showcase are restaurants that feature more authentic theme park food. For a special dining experience, guests can eat at Garden Grill, a character breakfast and dinner, or Coral Reef, a dining experience with a view of the aquarium.
It is simply not possible to go hungry while in EPCOT. Between fresh foods and ingredients at Sunshine Seasons, to traditional theme parks at Connections Eatery, and specialty food items within the counties, there is something to eat for anyone in your travel party.
Because EPCOT is comprised of the four neighborhoods, including the World Showcase where country items are featured in addition to customs and foods, there are a ton of shopping opportunities in EPCOT.
There are 8 different shopping locations located between World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery. Guests will find Disney-specific merchandise like apparel, accessories, toys, stuffed animals, pins, drinkware, and more.
In the World Showcase Pavilion, the shops are more specialized to the country where the shop is located bringing in many items from that country itself. This makes for a unique shopping experience for anyone who is unable to visit these countries in person. The countries also feature Disney merchandise with a little bit of that country-specific influence.
EPCOT is a massive park with so many things to do and explore. This is a park where it can be difficult to complete everything in one visit. I find that you have to prioritize what is important and stick to your list to not get distracted by all of the entertainment, shops, and festival items (when there is one going on).
The ranking system for this article focuses on what is best for families, and EPCOT has a wide range of activities for families that have a wide range of ages. There are smaller rides for smaller kids and more thrilling rides for the adventurous ones in your traveling party.
The Kidcot Fun Stops in each country give children something to look forward to while adults explore and maybe try a new food. Merchandise varies between Disney-related items and specific country items. There is a good balance at this park where a family who may have blended ages and interests can all find something to do and be excited about during the day.
The characters are varied for interests as well and there are tons of opportunities for kids to explore and get out of the stroller at the theme park. The theme park is balanced and thoughtful in the spacing of attractions, dining, and places for breaks. There is an entire aquarium located inside the park to enjoy.
There are a ton of food options, entertainment is at its peak during the festivals, and new rides and attractions are constantly being added. The new Moana Journey of Water is supposed to be opening sometime this year (2023) which will just create another place for fun for the family to enjoy.
The great thing about EPCOT is that it was supposed to be the park of the future, and while it wasn’t made to be Walt’s original vision, the park is constantly changing and reimagining what it could be. The focus and theme of the park are to bring the world together and celebrate what we could be.
#1 Park Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is the original Disney park in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World. When many first-time guests hear Walt Disney World, they automatically think of the Magic Kingdom park and that is because it is iconic.
Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. The Magic Kingdom park was imagined by Walt Disney, but he died before its completion. Roy Disney actually was the overseer for the completion of the park.
Magic Kingdom is where much of Disney’s childhood takes place. Thinking of your favorite Disney memories from when you were younger, Magic Kingdom is the park where you will encounter those characters, rides, shows, and iconic meals. The magic truly comes alive at Magic Kingdom.
To enter the park, guests walk under the Main Street Train Station, down Main Street U.S.A where the smell of warm, baked cookies is pumped in. At the end of Main Street stands the 189-foot Cinderella-inspired Castle.
In addition to Main Street, there are five additional lands within Magic Kingdom: Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Each land is themed based on the title with decor, buildings, dining, attractions, and characters.
Magic Kingdom is a huge park with over 40 different attractions, so it can be a daunting park to do in just one singular day. However, with a great plan and the use of Genie Plus and Lightning Lane, you will have an amazing time.
Magic Kingdom Rides, Attractions, Entertainment
Magic Kingdom has the most to do out of any theme park with over 55 rides, attractions, characters, and entertainment. It truly is the park where everyone in your traveling party can find something that they are interested in doing.
Main Street, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland have the most attractions and these areas can get quite crowded very quickly, but these are also the areas where the main characters from Disney films from your childhood are going to be represented and where you will probably spend most of your day.
Adventureland features three family-friendly rides, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Kids and adults can explore the Swiss Family Treehouse or watch Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. There is even an interactive pirate quest called A Pirates Adventure – Treasure of the Seven Seas
Frontierland has two main rides Splash Mountain, which is currently closed for re-theming and Big Thunder Mountain. Kids and teens can explore Tom Sawyer’s Island or try their hand at the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade. The Country Bear Jamboree is a show for the whole family.
Liberty Square is the smallest area with the Liberty Square Riverboat, the Haunted Mansion ride, and The Hall of Presidents attraction.
Fantasyland seems to be where most people spend the most time. Almost all rides in this area are family friendly, with only two having a height requirement.
Guests can choose attractions from Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Peter Pan’s Flight, “It’s a small world”, Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid, The Barnstormer, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
There are also two shows, Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Enchanted Tales with Belle. To cool off, take the kids to Casey Jr. Splash “N” Soak Station.
Tomorrowland is another popular area for guests to frequent.
There is a good mix of family rides and teen & adult thrill rides. Tomorrowland Speedway, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress are the more family-friendly rides. Space Mountain and TRON Lightcycle Run are aimed at the older (and taller) guests.
Guests can also catch Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor a 20-minute Comedy Club show hosted by Mike Wazowski.
Main Street USA
While there are no rides on Main Street itself, there is plenty of entertainment, parades, and shows to keep you occupied. Guests can check out the variety throughout the day and should look for specific show times on their My Disney Experience App.
Expect to see the following entertainment and attractions on Main Street:
- Main Street Vehicles
- Casey’s Corner Pianist
- Dapper Dans
- Disney Adventure Cavalcade
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Flag Retreat
- Let the Magic Begin
- Main Street Philharmonic at Main Street, U.S.A.
- Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
Walt Disney World Railroad
The central location to board the Railroad is on Main Street. Here the train takes you on a scenic tour around the park and makes 2 additional stops. The first stop is at the back of the park in Frontierland and the second stop is in Fantasyland. You can ride the train all the way back to Main Street if a train ride is the only ride you were looking for!
- Captain Jack Sparrow
- Jasmine and Aladdin
- The Bears from Country Bear Jamboree: Big Al, Liver Lips McGrowl, Shaker, and Wendell
- Anastasia and Drizella from Cinderella
- Cinderella, Elena, Princess Tiana, and Rapunzel
- Tigger and Winnie the Pooh
- Ariel (from the Animated movie)
- Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Minnie Mouse
- Buzz Lightyear
For Magic Kingdom’s nighttime show, they are currently showing Happily Ever After. This show has just recently made a return after it was replaced with Enchantment during the 50th celebration. Due to guest requests (or really demands), Happily Ever After was brought back as the nighttime show in April of 2023.
The nighttime show is not just fireworks behind the castle. Instead, guests will find fireworks, lasers, and special effects like projections on Cinderella’s Castle and down the shops on Main Street to inspiring songs about love, friendship, heroism, and looking towards your own Happily Ever After.
The show only has one showing at 9:00 PM.
Magic Kingdom Dining
Magic Kingdom has many great snack and quick service (counter service) locations that appeal to many families. Most of the treats that will be found at these two locations are your typical theme park food, so not incredibly adventurous. This may be a great thing because this is the park where many of the families and kids are going to spend their time.
There are 14 different snack locations not including any of the popcorn, pretzel, and ice cream carts throughout the park. There are 10 quick service locations open every day to grab a quick meal and two seasonal quick service locations. Many of these quick-service dining locations will have hot dogs, burgers, and chicken, but there are some standout places like Columbia Harbour House with seafood or Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn with Tex-Mex.
There are just a few table service locations and Diamond Horseshoe and Liberty Tree Tavern have exactly the same menu, limiting even table service options. The menus are good, but the quick service locations have more options for families.
There are only two character meals in the park, Cinderella’s Royal Table with princesses and The Crystal Palace with characters from Winnie the Pooh.
There are a ton of merchandise locations spread throughout the park. There are over 28 different shopping locations throughout Magic Kingdom. Main Street, U.S.A has the most diverse merchandise available and the majority of the stores are connected making shopping easier.
The different lands throughout the park feature rides and character-specific merchandise. There is even a Christmas store open all year long.
Best Disney World Park?
It would be incredibly difficult not to put Magic Kingdom as the number one best Disney Park to visit. Based on nostalgia alone, every single person who visits Walt Disney World should come to the Magic Kingdom at least once. You can’t go to Walt Disney World and skip Magic Kingdom, it is the best Disney World park!
What makes us come back though? Magic Kingdom is never a one-and-done park. You could spend days at the park and still barely see and do everything the park has to offer.
There are 23 rides that accommodate parties of all ages and sizes. There are also 33 different shows, attractions, parades, character meet and greets, and more for all guests to experience. This alone allows guests to prioritize their interests and change the type of park experience they want to have each time they visit the park.
There are a total of 34 eating establishments in the park. While not every single menu may be appealing to your travel party, there is something for every single person to eat, not to mention the popcorn, pretzels, and ice cream stands that are not even listed.
Magic Kingdom is a timeless park that is adapting, changing, updating, and trying to stay relevant with the new kids of today’s age while also being incredibly nostalgic for the older generations. Magic Kingdom is the best Disney World park because it is Walt’s Park. It is Walt Disney’s version of Disneyland where he wanted families to be able to come together and spend the day enjoying themselves, and Magic Kingdom still provides that for many of us as the best Disney World park.
Want to add more fun to your Walt Disney World Vacation? Check out Disney’s two water parks, The Boardwalk, and Disney Springs!
Disney World Waterparks
There are two water parks located in Walt Disney World, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Both have amazing water attractions for anyone in your family who likes to cool off by the water. The water parks offer similar attractions throughout the parks but are themed incredibly differently. So which of the water parks rank as the best Disney World park?
Which one should your family visit? We break down the theming, attractions, dining, and atmosphere of the two parks below and give our verdict on which one we think is the best.
When picking a water park, theming is just one aspect of your decision. The theme of Typhoon Lagoon is a tropical paradise hit by a massive storm whereas Blizzard Beach celebrates all things cold in the Florida heat.
It is Disney, so the park’s details are top-notch no matter which one you choose, but we have a favorite. The tropical paradise of Typhoon Lagoon feels very water park-esque, which makes the magical non-melting frozen paradise of Blizzard Beach so inviting. It is not every day you get to ride a ski lift in Florida or take pictures with snowmen in your bathing suit.
When visiting the water park, rides and attractions are a big factor in having a great day! Both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have 12 attractions listed.
The attractions at Blizzard Beach are diverse enough for families of all ages!
Thrill Attractions located in Blizzard Beach include:
- Summit Plummet
- Runoff Rapids
- Toboggan Racers
- Slush Gusher
- Snow Stormers
- Downhill Double Dipper
- Steamboat Springs
A specialty area at Blizzard Beach is the Ski Patrol Training Camp. Here guests, typically older kids and tweens, can challenge themselves.
Blizzard Beach also features Tike’s Peak where more kid-friendly attractions can be found like water slides and play areas. Tike’s Peak is a Frozen (yes, the movie!) themed kid play area. This area is a specialty made for children 48’ and under.
If your goal at Blizzard Beach is just to relax, check out Melt-Away Bay where you float on an inner tube or just splash around at this heated 1-acre wave pool. Or float around the park in the Cross Country Creek, a 3,000-foot-long lazy river through a polar-themed paradise.
If you loved the attractions at Blizzard Beach, you will find similar ones at Typhoon Lagoon.
Thrill Attractions at Typhoon Lagoon
- Miss Adventure Falls
- Crush ‘n’ Gusher
- Humunga Kowabunga
- Storm Slides
- 3 Raft Rides
- Bay Slides
At Typhoon Lagoon, little kids can also enjoy their day at Ketchakiddee Creek. Here kids can play the day away in
shallow pools populated by whimsical crocodiles, squirting seals, and playful elephants.
Typhoon Lagoon also has laid-back attractions with the Castaway Creek lazy river. However, the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon isn’t the relaxing swim you will find at Blizzard Beach. The Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool is calm until you hear the thunderous “sonic boom” when the small waves turn into large ones. Then, the wave pool is not the calm relaxing environment to swim in.
Both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have great places to grab a bite to eat while spending the day at the water park.
Blizzard Beach has 9 different food and drink locations located throughout the water park.
Typhoon Lagoon only has 7 different food and beverage locations for guests to choose from.
What do you get at both parks?
- Free Life Jackets
- Cabana Rentals
- Photopass Photographer Locations
Both water parks are great options for families. There are tons of dining locations, family friendly attractions, and great themes at both. However, we think that Blizzard Beach is the best Disney park of the water parks to visit on your trip because of how unique it is, the few extra options of food, and the slightly more family-friendly nature.
When making your decision as to which water park to buy your ticket for, as of right now, Disney only has one water park operating at a time. Typhoon Lagoon reopened in March of 2023 and Blizzard Beach closed at the same time. We are not sure if this will be a new practice of only having one park open or if both parks will eventually be open at the same time again.
Boardwalk vs. Disney Springs
Boardwalk and Disney Springs are both amazing locations to hang-out at when you are not visiting the parks. Most guest will enjoy the wonderful nightlife that is at both locations, but there are quite a few differences between the two.
Which location is right for you? Probably both of them! But, read on to find out which one you want to visit first.
Boardwalk is located at the Boardwalk hotel. You must be staying at the resort, have a dining reservation at one of the restaurants or use Disney Transportation to get to this location.
Disney Springs is its own separate area not connected to any resort. Anyone from the public can park in the parking garages and visit Disney Springs along with resort guests.
Disney Springs is a much larger venue than Disney’s Boardwalk due to the audience of each. While anyone can visit both locations, Disney Springs was designed for the general public to have access to at any time and has many more restaurants, shops, and entertainment for this reason.
Since Boardwalk is connected to the Disney Boardwalk hotel, the main audience is for the resort guests. While there are great places to eat, shop, and participate in entertainment, the venue is just much smaller than Disney Springs.
Things to Do
At Disney Springs there are about 100 shops, 60+ dining locations, and around 20 entertainment options. Whereas the Boardwalk was designed to look like an old wooden boardwalk. There are a few shops, approximately 11 restaurants, and several recreational activities for guests.
Restaurants at Disney Springs are going to feature many quick service, walk up locations and dining options. There are also many famous chefs that have restaurants located at Disney Springs: Wolfgang Puck, Guy Fieri, Chef Art Smith, Morimoto, Chef Jose Andres, and more. There are tons of quick snack opportunities, sit down restaurants, and lounges available in many cuisines.
With only 11 dining locations at the Boardwalk, reservations for the sit down restaurants are much more difficult to get and since there are not nearly as many walk up service restaurants, lines to get food and variety of options are limited as well. Boardwalk has great food options, they are just more limited than Disney Springs.
When it comes to shopping, Disney Springs has many more stores than Boardwalk. The Boardwalk really only has three shops and most of them are Disney centered. Disney Springs not only had Disney-specific shopping, including the largest Disney Store on property, The World of Disney, but there are also name-brand stores. Guests will find The Lego Store, Lululemon, UNIQLO, Vera Bradley, Alex and Ani, Tommy Bahamas, Coach, Coca-cola, M&M, and more.
Disney Springs and The Boardwalk both have solid entertainment options. Disney Springs will have more options because of the size, but both are worth the visit.
At Disney Springs guests can take a ride in a hot air balloon, visit the movie theater, go bowling, live performances, and more. During the day, Boardwalk guests can partake in carnival games, walk around the lake, lounge on benches on the beach, or rent surrey bikes. At night, there is live entertainment for adults 21 and over at Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar, and the Atlantic Dance Hall.
No matter which location you decide to visit, shopping, dining, and entertainment await. We think Disney Springs is the better location to do more things, but if you want a more relaxed day, check out Disney’s Boardwalk.
Plan Your Disney World Trip!
So, did we get it right? Is Magic Kingdom really the best park? Does Blizzard Beach really take the win over Typhoon Lagoon? Would you pick Disney Springs over Disney’s Boardwalk?
If you aren’t sure, then you should make sure to sign up for our FREE newsletter to get all of the inside scoop and exclusive discounts so that you can start to plan your trip today. Then come back and let us know if we made the right judgments about the parks.
The most visited theme park at Walt Disney World is Magic Kingdom with an average of 20.86 million visitors each year and 57,000 daily guests.
Magic Kingdom is the better park for classical Disney. Epcot is the park to visit if you want something more adventurous.
Epcot is the best park for adults. There are a ton of adult-themed rides, upper-scale restaurants to dine in, and shopping. In addition, there are four festivals hosted at Epcot throughout the year that offer a lot of live entertainment geared more towards adults.
Animal Kingdom and Epcot are vastly different experiences and it is hard to directly compare them. Epcot has more rides in number than Animal Kingdom and more diverse food and shopping options due to the counties. They both have great in-park entertainment. Animal Kingdom is a more laid back park and allows guest to interact more with animals and educational content than Epcot.
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