I should start by saying I know this is going to be a controversial post—everyone has their favorites for various reasons. And don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy all 9 of these things I am listing, but I do feel that the hype (be it wait time, price, difficulty to get a reservation, etc.) is more than the actual experience warrants. I have a friend on a Disney message board, Brian Noble, who coined the phrase “anticipointment” and I think it is so apropos for some things on your Disney vacation—you look forward to it for so long, and build it up in your head and then when you get there it is a little bit of a letdown because it really never had a chance to live up to the experience you had in your head. I consulted with a few other Disney diehards to see what they considered overrated (and to make sure I wasn’t too far off base with my choices).
9. Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom)
I can hear you screaming at the computer. But, when you consider the difficulty in getting a dinner reservation (often impossible even at 180 days out), and the long line to get in for lunch it is hard to say that the food and experience live up to all of that. There is the FastPass+ option for lunch for onsite guests, so that is a good way to get in to do this. And I do feel that the atmosphere inside is spectacular. The food at dinner I felt was a little too salty, and although I have been a big fan of lunch for several trips our last trip I was disappointed.
8. The Mickey Bar
Again, I can hear your screams. It is delicious. It is adorable. But you can get a box of Dove bars at your local grocery store for the same price as one bar in the parks (and, shhh, they taste better). I will give you that “everything tastes better in Disney”—that’s true—but if you look at it objectively the Dove bars are better.
7. Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom)
This attraction is WAY too short. The lines can get very long, and even though the queue is very well done and entertaining to wait, I don’t feel like a wait over 20 minutes is warranted here. If only they had added about 2 more minutes to the experience.
6. Soarin’ (Epcot)
Now you are throwing things at your computer. Let me explain . . . . Without a doubt I think everyone should ride this once, it is an amazing experience, an innovative ride system, and it smells fantastic. And I do usually ride it once when I visit (but not every time). Here are my problems with it. The line—it is very, very long. And once you wait through that line you deserve a film that is clean. The last several times I rode there were large pieces of dirt, dust and possible bugs on the projector or film that really detracted from the experience. I am thankful that I hear there is a completely new film in the works that will not only be fresh and clean, but will show new scenes. I would love to see Soarin’ attract a Star Tours type of set up where each ride would be a slightly different experience.
5. Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
I wanted to throw this one in while you are out of ammunition to throw at your screen from number 6. I think Cinderella’s Royal Table is lovely and it is definitely an experience a princess would love to have—there is really nothing like eating in the Castle. But, is it worth the difficulty to get a reservation here? Waking up early at 180 days out and hoping to get in (although it has gotten much easier over the past couple of years). And, is it worth the price? That one is the real kicker for me. Dinner is $67-$72 per adult, and costs you 2 table service credits if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. Ouch! Yes, you get the photos . . . .I propose that the meal in Norway’s Akershus at $47-$55 for an adult dinner and only 1 table service credit is a much better value. 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian is also another good option.
4. Lights, Motors, Action (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
I’m not even sure you need to experience this attraction once—unless you have a die-hard cars (lowercase) fan or stunt show fan. It is hot in the theater, and the show is just ho-hum in my opinion.
3. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Magic Kingdom)
This one loads quickly, but you can still see lines of 45+ minutes, and I just don’t think it is worth it. The last time I rode the ride was dirty (as you could see grime on the ride vehicles from the black light shining on them). And unfortunately it is hard to “play” the game. There are lots of tips and tricks online to score high, but I always have difficulty getting my gun to aim in the right place (or even know which laser is mine). I wish you could take the gun off (like the similar Disneyland attraction) to make it a little easier.
2. Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary Resort)
This one is the most popular meal to meet Mickey & the Gang and I can see why. It is an easy trip from the Magic Kingdom, the monorail glides by right over head, and all of Mickey’s best buds are right here in one place. But, in my experience it is loud. Very loud. And the food is mediocre at best—it is comparable to the Golden Corral buffet. Chef Mickey’s can also be a tough reservation to get, and I just feel that there are some better options to meet Mickey and have a good meal (I like Tusker House for breakfast and Garden Grill for dinner)
1. Anna & Elsa
While I know they are the hottest queen and princess in town and I love Frozen as much as the next Disney fan, I simply can’t imagine waiting in line for 5+ hours to meet them. When I think of how much of a theme park day one misses while waiting to see these sisters, it just doesn’t make sense. I know that if your child has her heart set on meeting them most parents are going to make sure that happens. I wish it was easier and I wish getting a FastPass+ to see them was easier. In consideration of full disclosure I do have a FastPass+ to meet the girls in June, but I was only able to get 1. Keep in mind you can also see Anna & Elsa in the Festival of Fantasy parade at 3:00 each day—you may not get to talk to them, but you will see them and they will probably wave right at you.
I am sure there are many of you out there who disagree with my choices. Let me know why—and tell me what you think is overrated at Walt Disney World. We all have our opinions.