Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 11 Favorite Disney World Attractions (Intro)

The year was 1994. I was the ripe age of 7. This year would go down as my most cherished within all my childhood. Lion King was on the big screen, Power Rangers was on the small screen, and the entire world was divided into two rivaling factions seeking control in the biggest power struggle yet: the Super Nintendo vs. the Sega Genesis. (I was on the winning side: Nintendo!)

This was also the year that my family and I went on my first trip to Disney World that I remember. My folks did take me there when I was a toddler, but I have no recollection of that trip. And while my memories of my first "remembered" Disney World vacation may be waning with old age, what little I do remember of it, I remember fondly as the best summer vacation of my life.

Since then, I've visited the Happiest Place on Earth at least more than five times, and with each and every visit, I look forward to visiting it again. My most recent visit was in 2012 at Disney Hollywood Studios, and this year, my folks and I are planning on getting annual passes. Even as I move closer to reaching 30, I still love visiting the parks as much as I did during my first visit at age 7.

What makes Disney Parks so unique is that they don’t simply create rides and attractions: they make experiences. Any amusement park can build a roller coaster, but only Disney can make you feel as though you are soaring through the deep recesses of space, taking a wild ride on a runaway mine train through a desert ghost town, or even being stalked by the abominable snowman himself.

Disney puts as much creativity into their rides as they do with their movies and old cartoons, creating experiences that keep people coming back time and again. These are experiences that people can enjoy as children, and continue to enjoy as adults with their own children, or even if they don’t have any children!

This is exactly what Walt Disney had intended when he originally created Disneyland in California. He didn't like going to amusement parks where adults were forced to sit and watch their children ride the rides. He wanted to created his own park that both parents and children could enjoy, and he wanted to give them the same magical experiences that they received from watching his movies. More than 60 years later, and people are still coming back to his parks because they really are that good!

Visiting Disney World was always a cherished part of my childhood, which is why I’m counting down my Top 11 Favorite Disney World Attractions. Why Top 11? If you don’t know why by now, you need to watch more Nostalgia Critic.

For this list, I’m going to be focusing on rides that I've personally ridden more than once. So if it’s a ride I've never ridden before, or even one that I have ridden but only once, it won’t be included on here. I’m focusing more on rides that have a nostalgic factor for me, the rides that I look forward to the most whenever I visit. These aren't necessarily the “best” rides, but they are the ones I like most.

As such, I feel it’s only fair that I provide a few honorable mentions:

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

I was always scared to go on this ride as a child. I only managed to get the guts to ride it back in 2012. And it was amazing. Most any other amusement park can make a freefall ride, but only Disney can make one that literally transports you to the Twilight Zone. However, as great as this ride may be, I only rode it once, so it’s not on this list.

Test Track

This is considered to be one of the best rides in Epcot, and I can see why. This ride actually send you reeling at break-neck speeds up to 65 mph. It’s a fun and fast ride. Yet I only rode it once, so it can’t be on this list.

Mission: Space

This ride has been somewhat controversial, what with it making a lot of people sick when it first opened, but since then, they’ve made a milder version so less people get sick. Either way, how can anyone say anything bad about a real NASA-grade simulator that makes you feel like you’re really blasting off into space and floating in zero gravity? I have ridden this more than once, but still, I don’t think it has quite the “nostalgia” factor to be on this list.

Expedition Everest

Possibly the best roller coaster in all of the park! You start of as a normal train ride to the top of Everest until you come to a broken track. Next thing you know, you’re sent flying backwards and coming face to face with the abominable snowman himself. Again, as cool as this ride is, I only rode it once, so it can’t be on this list.

Rock n Roller Coaster

I’ve heard good things about this roller coaster, but I never rode it before, so it’s can’t be on this list.