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how to survive disney world when you can't do fast rides

Amanda Lasicki on Monday, 11 June 2007. Posted in Student Life

i have returned from my summer vacation to the happiest place on earth, DISNEY WORLD. yayayy. 

now i've been to disney world a bunch of times before and the most popular rides seem to be the superfast, upside down inside out, make you see your lunch again rides. not my cup of tea.i am a hater. i HATE fast rides. i have a bad history with them. 

when i was four, i went on a kiddie roller coaster and screamed/cried the entire time.
when i was seven, i went on pirates of the carribean at disney and the drop in the beginning made me scream/cry the entire rest of the ride. i have since gotten over this one.
when i was nine, my best friend ashley and i convinced our moms to let us go on the octopus alone at the town carnival. moments into the ride the two of them were begging the operator to stop the ride because we both looked like we were about to die. at the same time, a news paper reporter snapped a picture of us that wound up on the front page of the paper the next morning and the entire town could see us, holding onto the safety bar for dear life and screaming.
when i was ten, my evil camp counslers made me go on a log flume ride. it was a crappy camp.
when i was fourteen, my friend somehow managed to drag me onto the upside down ferris wheel. the second we flipped upside down, i grabbed the break and wouldn't let go and was of course screaming/crying. my friend freaked out and attempted to make small talk to calm me down. it went something like this "what are you doing for the rest of the summer?" "going to ocean city if i make it off this ride alive!!"

so needless to say, on our schools many trips to amusement parks across the northeast and to disney world, while the rest of my classmates spent three hours in line for superman, i had to find other things to occupy myself with. 

i know i'm not the only fast-ride hater in the world. elena is with me on this one and she was the one who spent all day in seuss land with me at universal while the rest of our school went on all the "fun" rides. most amusement parks aren't hater-friendly. they have the "thrill rides" and then the "kids section". i find plenty of the kids rides entertaining since i have the mentality of a five year old, but there's something a bit depressing about being the oldest person on a ride by at least twelve years (and that seven year old is only there because his mom made him go on with his little sister). 

so how have i survived disney the past ten million trips? well, first off, disney in june is BRUTAL and as a hater, i didn't have to endure any hour long waits. there are plenty of rides there that are aimed at the short ones but can entertain any adult. 

magic kingdom

magic kingdom has plenty of rides for you non-haters out there. space mountain. splash mountain. but yeah, not gonna talk about those since i've never been on them. first off, when you enter magic kingdom, you aren't smacked in the face with rides. they're quite a hike away. so you have main street usa to wander around for a bit and your non-hater friends will even like it. unless they already took off running for one of those mountain rides.  after you finish browsing main street, you come out of the last store and OH SNAP there's the castle. it's pretty impressive, no many how many times you've been there. i have the added bonus of CINDERELLA IS MY HERO AND IT'S HER CASTLE. (like i said, mentality of a five year old here) the castle doesn't house a ride, but it's pretty. take pictures. walk through it if there isn't some show going on. on the other side of the castle is fantasyland. the first thing you'll see is cinderella's carosuel. it's alright, but i've been on better carosuels. go on it if you're really really bored, but i swear it's the shortest carosuel ever. fantasyland also is home to snow white's (not so) scary adventures, some sort of winnie the pooh ride, the spinning tea cups, and the infamous "it's a small world" ride which you will go on because everybody goes on it every time they go to disney and then the song gets stuck in their head for the next seven to ten days. many of disney's slower rides are very similar to it's a small world. you get in some sort of vehicle and it slowly goes around inside a building while music plays and animatronic figures have a party out of reach. this is nice and slow and relaxing and since it's indoors there is air conditioning. another cool thing in fantasyland is mickey's philharmagic. it's a 3D movie that incorporates a ton of disney characters and music. everybody i know really enjoys this show, so go check it out. plus, it's sponsored by kodak, so rochester connection right there. to the right, fantasyland leads into mickey's toontown which is a total kidfest so don't even step foot in there unless you are looking for hidden mickey's or to meet your favorite character (which i totally was about to beat up some five year olds to meet cinderella). tomorrowland is below toontown and that has activities for both haters and non-haters. the big attraction there is space mountain. whoopdeedoo. but it is also home to carousel of progress which i LOVEEE. again, it's indoors and relaxing. it shows the main room of a home in different decades, including "modern" times, but that's getting a bit out of date even now. tomorrowland transit authority is now open again and i went on it for the first time the other day. it goes all around tomorrowland telling you about the different attractions and even goes through space mountain, so now i can officially say i've been in space mountain. tomorrowland indy speedway is there but it's lame. i didn't even go on it, that's how lame it is. the description says "drive your own race car" but you do nothing except hit the gas and brake and it goes like 3mph. there is a pretty sweet buzz lightyear ride. it's like it's a small world but you get to shoot things!! wooo! on the other side of the park is adventureland which is home to the famous pirates of the carribbean ride. they recently added a few animatronics that look JUST LIKE johnny depp. unfortunately, they are the only new ones and you can tell because they move a lot different than the older ones. a warning for you haters, as i mentioned earlier, there is a drop at hte beginning of the ride. it's not to bad but it is unexpected. don't worry, you won't die. there's also the swiss family robinson which is a walk-through and the magic carpet ride but that's totally a kid ride, i don't even know if they will let you on if you aren't holding a toddler. the tiki room only served to drive me insane a few years back. if you already rode "it's a small world" you should not go in here. frontierland has two rides that i hate, splash mountain and some roller coaster. as a result, i've never been in this section and i don't know what else is there. liberty square is small, but it has haunted mansion which EVERYBODY has to go on at some point in their life. unfortunately, i did not get to visit it this time around. since it's real popular, there tends to be a line. read the gravestones as you wait. the hall of presidents is also here and while i've never been to it, i've heard it's pretty cool to see. one last note about magic kingdom: if you want to eat at the restaurant in cinderella's castle, make reservations six months in advance.


the big joke is that epcot means "every person comes out tired" which is very true. epcot is huge. it's basically two parks in one. the first half of it is future world. there are many rides here and also exhibits about technology and progress. there's one ride that takes you on a boat through some greennhouses or something. i went on it two years ago and it was awful and i don't recommend it to anybody at all unless you REALLY LOVE agriculture. there is a ride in that giant golf ball, it's called spaceship earth. everybody makes fun of me for liking it, but it's really interesting!! again, slow moving ride with animatronics. the best part is when you reach the top of the ball and they have the earth and stars all projected. rumor has it that there are some major changes coming to the ride. there are two fast rides over here. test track and mission space. on mission space, they actually give you barf bags if that tells you anything about the ride. don't go on it. i actually approve of test track and have been on it twice. the first time i went on it, i had a few freak out moments. like when the car sped up the hill and i sat there saying "what goes up must come down", only for the car to stop at the top of the hill and slowly proceed down the hill. the hairpin turns also caused my heartbeat to speed up a bit. also, the highway test starts out with some fast downhill stuff and then it just gets faster as you go around a loop. what calmed me down was that it says your speed the entire time and it's exactly how you drive in a car. actually, slower than i drive. 
epcot part two is the world showcase. there's a bunch of different countries and they have buildings in the country's architecture style and FOOD. don't buy pizza in futureworld, go wander over to china and get some chinese food. each country has two types of restaurants, one thats cheap and has smaller items or snacks and then a nice sit down place. the nice places require reservations because they are so popular. i've eaten at france, canada, and morocco. and tons of chinese and japanese snacks in the day. also, the countries have lots of entertainment, but it is outdoors so it kind of sucks to be sitting around in the sun in the summer. 
lastly, at night epcot has "illuminations" which is a cool laser, fire, and firework show in the middle of the lake so there's plenty of places to see it from.


not particularly my favorite park, but each time i go i like it more and more. unfortunately, my visit to MGM this year was ruined by a thunderstorm. everybody likes MGM for the tower of terror. go figure. for those of us who don't like free-falling elevators, i suggest the great movie ride. it's even better if you are a movie buff. there is also the indiana jones show, which they pick people from the audience to be in. i've seen both my chorus teacher and a classmate get picked before. that makes it even better. at night, mgm has fantasmic which is by far my favorite night show. it is in an arena that can hold 9000 people, but that gets filled up with a half hour left until show time, so grab some snacks and get there early. 

animal kingdom

animal kingdom is disney's newest park and in my opinion, the weakest, but then again i've only been there once so maybe my opinion will change as i go more. as a result, i don't know many of the rides. they do have a safari ride that is really cool though, so here is what i have to say about animal kingdom. get up early, be there when the park opens. go right to the safari ride. get in line. go on the ride. the animals are most active in the morning. then you can go explore the rest of the park.

my other advice about disney world that everybody can use? get spray sunscreen and use it, have a small point and shoot digital camera, have the disney photographers take your pic, get park hopper passes, go back to your room and relax mid-afternoon, get up early, and stay in a disney owned resort. also, allow time from travel to and from the parks. AND WEAR APPROPRIATE SHOES. you'll be walking a lot and you will be tired and make sure you are doing NOTHING your first day back from disney, you will be exhausted.