Anyway, one of my friends asked me why I was pushing Hollywood Studios for the band trip over Animal Kingdom, and this is a legitimate question. I was asked which I'd rather see on the trip and after some thought, I did decide that Hollywood Studios would be a better fit for our group. Of course, then we got into the discussion over which park is the best. I said Epcot, because it is, in every way, my favorite park. She said Animal Kingdom and argued that the band should be going there instead of Epcot.
Megan, my best friend, just commented that our other friend had a death wish.
But thinking about it in the end, why WOULD I choose the three parks I have for the band? Why Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios? And so, here we have a perfect topic for a blog post.
I think this one can mostly go without saying. We're officially marching at 2:30 on June 25th, 2014 in the Magic Kingdom, and I am super excited. There's just absolutely no way one can go to Disney World and NOT go to Magic Kingdom. It's classic, has some great thrills and just screams Disney. It's the essential home of Walt Disney World.
We'll put this one second just because then I can leave the final debate of Animal Kingdom and Epcot at the end. When I was initially asked which of the parks I'd rather see, I chose this one for the following reasons. Hollywood Studios has multiple E-Ticket Attractions, including Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania and Star Tours, but that's not all. Hollywood Studios also has a lot for the less adventurous person, including a walk through One Man's Dream, MuppetVision 3D, The Great Movie Ride, The Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones and so much more. There's just a lot for this park to offer a group like my band. It just makes sense, right?
Now, part of the reason we MUST travel there is because our recording session is located at Epcot, but I feel like Epcot is essential for everyone to hit on their Disney Vacation because it is, to a point, part of Walt's actual dream. Epcot, in it's original form was the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, but that's not all. There's three GREAT E-Ticket Attractions, Test Track, Soarin' and Mission SPACE, as well as many other classic attractions such as Ellen's Energy Adventure and Living with the Land. And that's not even including World Showcase! There's so much to explore there that I haven't even done it all, and I spend hours and hours at Epcot! But I think the absolute best reason for Epcot to be a must see is at the end of the day: Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It's the absolute perfect display of fireworks!
Why not Animal Kingdom?
The reason I am turning Animal Kingdom down is as follows. While there are, when I finally did count, Four E-Ticket Attractions, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur and Kilimanjaro Safari, there isn't much else for this park to offer. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Animal Kingdom, and for many many years it ranked about Hollywood Studios on my list of favorites (that only changed when I watched Star Wars, honest). Yes, there's Finding Nemo and the Lion King and the trails and what's left of Dinoland, but that's about it. Tough to be a Bug is in there too, but that really is it. That's all Animal Kingdom has to offer. But you see, the NUMBER ONE REASON I'm suggesting we DON'T go to Animal Kingdom is because of the park hours. Animal Kingdom is only open from 9 (8 maybe if we stay on property AND meet a day that works) to what, 7 or 8 in the summer? Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom are all open until 9 or later. It makes for a longer day with more time to see things, and we certainly don't want to waste time on our short trip.
And so, in the end, I guess this doesn't necessarily determine which is better, but which is the best fit for our HS Band. I love all four theme parks, and that's something I honestly wouldn't have been able to say a couple of years ago. Actually, I hated Hollywood Studios (I found there was little for me to do there), but now I have learned to love it. In it's place, Animal Kingdom has just fallen short for me recently. With the changes in Kilimanjaro Safaris and the looming Avatar Land, I just don't see it as the same park it always was. Yes, all four would be great for the band, but in the overall scheme of things, our best choices are Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
What do you think though? Does Epcot have too little for the group? Does Animal Kingdom have more to offer than meets my eye? Which is your favorite park, and for what reason? I'm legitimately curious!
Here's today's Disney History: 2001: Following the morning terrorist attacks on The Pentagon, New York City's World Trade Center and in the air over Pennsylvania, the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California, close without incident. All the resort hotels remain open and provide accommodations to guests who are unable to leave. Phone charges are suspended so that guests can reach family. The closure marks only the second time Disneyland has locked its gates in its 56-year history due to a national tragedy. The first time followed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.
Have a magical day, and always remember 9/11!