Readers will know that we have been to Walt Disney World before. But, I have often been pregnant, and always with small children, so there are a number of rides I have never been on. While we still had children not big/old enough to go on all of the rides, I was not pregnant so I took the opportunity to go on both some of my favorites I have not been on recently (eg. Big Thunder Mountain) and many I had never been on.
I still have not made it onto Splash Mountain or the Kali River Rapids. I prefer water rides when it is very warm. It was nice, but not super warm, and because we cannot all go on those rides together my going on them means it takes a big chunk of the day. So, I passed in favor of other things.
The Pandora rides were new for all of us. I wrote about them in my Pandora post. To summarize our feedback on the rides:
- Na’vi River Journey is a good ride and I appreciate that it is family friendly. But, I’m not sure it is worth a fast pass for us. When we were there the lines were running around an hour, so the fast pass was nice to have. But, as the years go by hopefully these will go down.
- Avatar Flights of Passage is a fabulous ride, maybe the best at Disney currently, and well worth a fast pass. Lines were over four hours and as long as six when we were there. Again, hopefully these will go down as the years go by, but right now you are getting serious bang for your buck using a fast pass here.
Staying in Animal Kingdom, I was also able to go on Everest and Dinosaur for the first times.
- Everest is great – as real a roller coaster as you can get at Disney. Because there are only two to a seat anyway, its a good ride to use the single rider option if your group is all tall enough to ride alone (ours was not). I am definitely looking forward to riding this one again.
- I quite enjoyed Dinosaur. However, it is not for everyone. First warning: the height limit is very low but that does not take the “scare factor” into account. I would not recommend this ride for young children even if they meet the height limit, elementary age is a good starting point. Second, it does rock you around quite a bit, but not in a classic roller coaster or motion sickness inducing way. It’s more like Star Tours, but on a track. I was hoping to go on this again before we left, but it didn’t make the cut.
There were two new to us rides in Epcot, both relative new to everyone and therefore having long lines.
- We all loved Frozen Ever After. As a family we agreed it was better than the Na’vi River Journey, and we have seen neither Frozen nor Avatar. We did have fast passes, but we were able to get on two additional times because the line was quite short. So, this may or may not be on your fast pass list, depending on the interests of your party. I would use a fast pass if you have a true Frozen fan (you can always go extra times if the line is short) or if you are looking for a great ride for the entire family to enjoy together.
- We also enjoyed the new Soarin’. Everyone went, including the five year old. If your child meets the height limit, take them. You can grab a fast pass, or just walk for it first thing in the morning. Because it has relatively high capacity it takes some time for the lines to build. We walked for it no problem with a stroller. It is not as spectacular as Avatar Flights of Passage, but that also means it does not present problems for people who might get motion-sick. The ride refresh made it feel new and more interesting as we had seen the previous version more than once.
There were two new-to-me rides in Hollywood Studios; the older kids had been on both before.
- I loved the Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster. I enjoyed the music and I appreciated that the dark made it feel less like you were just being knocked around like a typical roller coaster. In fact, those who get mild motion sickness should consider this one. It has a similar feel to Space Mountain. I’d go on this one repeatedly, if possible.
- On the other hand, while I’m glad I went on the Tower of Terror once, I don’t need to go again. It was fine, but not really fun, in my opinion. If I was part of a big group, I would join them. But, I’m not using a fast pass or otherwise pushing my group to go.
The only new-to-me ride I went on in the Magic Kingdom was the Dwarf Mine Train. It was fun, a sort of tamed down version of Big Thunder Mountain. I also appreciated the theme-ing, which was well executed throughout. The lines were still quite long for a ride that has been out for a number of years so you may want to use a fast pass here. If you get in for Extra Magic hours, you might be able to walk for it, but expect it to fill quickly and stay full all day.
I’m glad I had the chance to go on so many new rides. While I don’t feel the need to go on Tower of Terror again, I did appreciate all of the rides and understand why they are crowd favorites.