Shrink to the size of a toy at Toy Story Land

Image: DisneyYes, Disney did cut the budget for Toy Story Land. No, it doesn’t have anywhere near enough shade. So, yes, it could be better. When people obsess on this, however, they miss some important. This place is wonderful just the way it is. I’m confident that Walt Disney would love it here because the area brims with so much imagination and entertainment. It even co-opted a wildly entertaining attraction, Toy Story Mania!, and turned it into a third thoroughly satisfying ride at this themed land. How many Disney lands can say that? Oh, the food at Woody’s Lunch Box is really, really good, too. This place feels like an extension of the Toy Story movies, and that’s precisely what Disney should be.

Sing along at Splash Mountain

Image: DisneyMany Disney theme park attractions are like something that you’d get out of a vending machine when you’re starving. You pick your favorite choice, and then an Imagineer dispenses several minutes of euphoria. All of the attractions listed here qualify for this sort of description, but I think that the happiest place in all of Walt Disney World is Splash Mountain.

This fake mountain is the place where everyone loses themselves in silliness for several minutes, anxiously awaiting the best moment in the history of water rides. The anticipation only heightens the jubilance when you splash down and then get treated to a gleeful rendition of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. I simply cannot imagine a trip to Walt Disney World that doesn’t include at least one boat ride up and down Splash Mountain.

Soar around the world

Image: DisneySomething that I love about Epcot is that it’s the most open-ended of all Disney theme parks. Guests approach it from several different perspectives, depending on whether they prefer rides, shows, or drinking excessively. We’ll get to that last one at the end, but the biggest ride FOMO at this park is Soarin’ Around the World, the sequel to Soarin’ Over California.

This ride embodies everything that’s wonderful about Disney’s manipulative Imagineering approach to ride design. You won’t simply get lifted into the air by a ride apparatus and get your face stuck in front of the largest screen you’ll ever see. You’ll also have your senses manipulated by the smells of many places like beaches, oceans, and mountains. You’ll feel the wind in your face as “fly” through the air. The illusion is so real, the fantasy so believable, that you’ll forget about everything else in your life for a time. That’s the pinnacle of ride immersion.

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