Obviously my answer is none, but I fully understand that sometimes my clients have budgetary or time restraints that make only having a 2 or 3 day park pass make sense. So let’s talk about what parks I recommend skipping based on your family and your needs.
Let’s start with the most obvious, do not skip park, The Magic Kingdom.
Opened in 1971, The Magic Kingdom is the crowning glory of Walt Disney World. Shop, snack, and just take in the scenery down Main Street U.S.A., take a family picture at Cinderellas Castle, go for an adventure in Adventureland, meet the princesses in Fantasyland, page Mr. Tom Morrow on the People Mover in Tomorrowland; you cannot go wrong with a day spent in Magic Kingdom. I always recommend my clients spend one to two days here so they can truly experience it all!
My other “do not skip” park is surprisingly (or maybe not if you know me) Epcot.
Opened in 1981, Epcot is an amalgamation of the Worlds Fair and Walt Disney’s dream for a residential community. Since a lot of people think Drinking Around the World is synonymous with Epcot, they often think it’s a park to skip with their kids. I’m here to tell you that it’s not. The World Showcase has multiple scavenger hunts throughout the year, the Ducktale’s World Showcase Adventure, some of the best meet and greets around. Add on The Journey into Imagination with Figment, Test Track and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for the older kids and you have a full day’s worth of exploration.
Now we’re onto the other parks, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World’s newest park, Animal Kingdom is what I hear a lot of families choose as their park to skip. “It’s just a zoo, I can see animals everywhere.” The thing is, it’s not. The Harambe Wildlife Reserve is 110 acres with 34 different species of African Animals. Explore the reserve in an open-air vehicle at the Kilimanjaro Safari. Exploring on a hot day? Get soaked on Kali River Rapids. Don’t miss Pandora- The World of Avatar for an immersive trip into the hit movie series. This park is great for kids between the animals, the kid-friendly rides, and the slower pace. Animal Kingdom also has some of the best eats in all of Walt Disney World. We love Festival of the Lion King and seeing the characters on their Flotillas. Nomad Lounge is a great place to take a break, and Pizzafari has some of the best pizza in Walt Disney World.
Hollywood Studios is home to Hollywood glamour and some classic attractions. It’s also where you’ll find Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. There is so much to do and see here, but if your kids are on the shorter side, this may not be the best park for you. A lot of the attractions at Hollywood Studios do have minimum heights of at least 35 inches. The classic attractions can be intense for little riders. The shows are wonderful, but definitely long and can be tough to sit through. Hollywood Studios is also one of the hottest parks around due to the lack of natural shade. This is the park that we wind up spending the least amount of time in as a family. That being said with the immersive lands and the top thrill rides in Walt Disney World it is many people’s favorite park.
Sometimes time and money force us to make tough decisions about our vacations, what parks would you skip if you had to?
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