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TOP 10 Disney World Must-Dos by Shane Nowell

Shane’s Top 10 Must Do List – Walt Disney World Florida

1. Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom

Splash Mountain, located at the Magic Kingdom, became a family favorite from the very first time. There is something for everyone on this ride, whether it is the 5-story plunge down the mountain or the colorful scenes and sounds, this ride will be your family’s favorite too! Be sure to fast pass this ride during peak season as it is a Disney favorite among park goers, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing one of Disney’s best rides.

2. Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom

For thrill seekers like me, Expedition Everest is a must do, even my 6-year old cannot wait to do it again. Be sure to watch out for the Yeti!

3. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Hollywood Studios

Kicking Aerosmith tunes, a blasting takeoff, and … in the dark? Yep, a must do!

4. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios

This is not just a ride, but an experience; The cast members bring this haunted hotel to life.  Hold on to your seat, maybe your kids too, the drop is a killer!

5. Toy Story Midway Mania!, Hollywood Studios

A must do family attraction featuring your favorite Toy Story characters, and big screen digital midway gaming. This is another to be sure and fast pass, though, as the waits can be HOURS long!

6. Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom

Looking for an immersive experience  while taking in one of Disney’s best shows? Then head to the Festival of the Lion King, and you might just become part of the show! Stunts, music, songs, characters….Hakuna Matata!


7. Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot Canada

For steak lovers like me, head to Le Cellier Steakhouse. The service is top notch, the food is magnificent, and the steaks are fall out of your seat unbelievable! Be sure to plan ahead by looking over the menu before you go to avoid sticker shock.

8. Spirit of Aloha Dinner show, Polynesian Resort

Hula dancing, Fire dancing, Hawaiian Leis, a great show, and mouth watering food! I can’t wait to do it again!

9. World Showcase at Epcot

Stroll through the world in an afternoon, and munch on some FOOD! One of the best ways to experience Epcot’s World Showcase is to eat around the world. As you stroll along be sure to walk in and out of the market areas to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and goodies from each country.


10. Kali River Rapids, Animal Kingdom

Need to cool off? … In the mood to get wet? … Need I say more?

Are you ready for your next trip to WDW?  Get in touch with Shane!  He can be reached at or 309-261-0125!

Top 10 Must Dos at Walt Disney World, by Sheila Nowell

I was reading another blog today (The WDW Blog!)  and it made me antsy to do my own Top 10 lists. 🙂  Coming up with this list is MUCH harder than you think.  I’ve been 6 times now, but have “planned” DOZENS of unique trips for my clients based on THEIR preferences.  So, I also have a Top 10 list of attractions that I can’t wait to try when we travel this October.  I would LOVE for my readers to share their favorites with me, too!

Top 10 MUST DOS for ME at Walt Disney World:


Finding Nemo is possibly my favorite Pixar movie, or at least in the Top 3!  The colors are so vivid and the sound of the ocean is so calming and peaceful…ahhh….so I LOVE going to the Seas Pavilion at EPCOT to see the aquariums, eat at Coral Reef, etc.  I really love this particular attraction, though.  Crush is on a screen and actually talks to an interacts with the kids/audience the entire time.  He makes awesome facial expressions. I’ll never forget when he brought out a bikini top and asked the audience what it was…a little boy yelled out “BRA!” and Crush raised his eyes really big and shook his head.  It was so funny.  Ok, and I also have a special place for turtles…which you will see soon when our new logo is done!


Hmm…is choosing an entire “land” at Disney allowed?  Well, since it’s my post, I make the rules. LOL!  Seriously, I love culture and people, so each and every country totally has my attention from the detail of the buildings, the tastes of the food, and the shows and attractions…it’s seriously a wonderful day for me to spend it in World Showcase.  I think that may be one of the reasons I’m a travel agent…hmmm…

8. STUDIO BACKLOT TOUR at Hollywood Studios

I admit…I’m a sucker for “memories.”  I’m one of THOSE moms who has a hard time throwing away anything my kids have made or anything with a memory attached.  I think that’s why this particular attraction rates so high for me!  I was as giddy as a school girl when I saw the actual costumes from Mary Poppins, the spaceship from “Flight of the Navigator”, artifacts from the Chronicles of Narnia, even things from the best film ever, the Sound of Music!  I could have spent hours in there staring at all they had to offer.


This is truly a memorable show to me.  I had no idea what to expect, but was on the edge of my seat the entire time!  I had no idea that stunt cars were “backwards” for backward driving scenes.  Thinking back, I really felt like I was watching a high action movie – like I was immersed in the movie itself! 

6. EXPEDITION EVEREST at Animal Kingdom

I’m a roller coaster junkie.  I will ride ANY roller coaster that I can.  So, it’s pretty obvious that the next two are in the top 10 list.  Not really much explanation needed!  Oh, except Space Mountain is missing because I still haven’t had the opportunity to ride it!

5. ROCK N ROLLER COASTER at Hollywood Studios

Indoors, upside down, and Aerosmith?  Yup.  Love. 

4. TOWER OF TERROR at Hollywood Studios

It’s not a roller coaster…but it’s better than a roller coaster!  I love the detail walking up to the “hotel”, I love the vintage story of the Twilight Zone, I love the detail in the lobby and the elevators and the basement…and the cast members REALLY play it out WELL!  Ok, so I really love falling in an elevator up and down, too.  🙂 


I love sitting outside the doors for this attraction thinking of jokes to “text” and hoping they will use them in the show.  And THEN I love when they pick on people in the audience, especially “That Guy.”  Oh my word, I always get a good laugh at this…and laughter is SO good for the soul.  That’s why it is #3 on my list.  It’s an amazing feeling sitting by your family and laughing together with Mike Wazowski and Roz (

2. FESTIVAL OF THE LION KING at Animal Kingdom

I loved this show.  I had no idea what to expect when we went to see it in 2012 for the first time. We were seated in the front and from the minute the show began until the end, I was moved to tears from the sheer awesomeness of it all.  The cast members made eye contact and smiled throughout the entire thing.  From the acrobats to the singing, it was simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.


Yes, technically these are two separate events.  Celebrate the Magic is an incredible use of lights to display pictures on the castle as a backdrop along with music and Jiminy Cricket.  It is a jaw-dropping and immense amount of wonder and awe.  Yes, I cry like a baby every. single. time. It always starts 15 minutes before Wishes, and the two really go together hand in hand, which is why I justified having both as my top favorite attraction at Disney World!  It is the best finale to the definition of “magic” for your Walt Disney World experience.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:  These made it into my top “19” list: Dapper Dans!  Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin! Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Splash Mountain! Mission Space! Living with the Land! Star Tours! Carousel of Progress!


I’ve planned so many trips for people and am a firm believer that it’s impossible to do EVERYTHING on a trip…I’ve been 6 times and still haven’t done these!

10. FLIGHTS OF WONDER at Animal Kingdom

This is a “bird” show that I’d love to see next time I’m in “Asia.”

9. DINO-LAND at Animal Kingdom

Somehow we always miss this land…not sure how?  We did ride DINOSAUR in 2008 but nothing else…


How I have seen all of the New Fantasyland but have never even laid eyes on the Barnstormer or Dumbo?  I think that may be a crime…

7. VOYAGE OF THE LITTLE MERMAID at Hollywood Studios

Not sure why we have passed this up every time, either?  I can distinctly recall walking by it more than once every single trip.  This year is THE YEAR we will see it. I promise.  Weird, too since I can sing every word to every single song in the movie.  LOL

6. TOM SAWYER ISLAND at Magic Kingdom

I think it’s the fact that it’s an ISLAND…but we WILL be exploring it this year.

5. FINDING NEMO: THE MUSICAL at Animal Kingdom

Again, how have I not seen this, considering Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Pixar movies?


Hollywood Studios is my favorite Disney Park after Magic Kingdom.  I love the “era” feel in the main areas, and the actors/actresses around every corner.  Most of Hollywood Studios is full of shows that are on a “time” schedule, so it’s also difficult to get to all of them.  I honestly can’t wait to see this show in October, and we WILL be getting a Fast Pass+ for it!

3. ANIMATOR’S ACADEMY at Hollywood Studios

This place is a diamond in the rough.  One of my clients once asked me about this and I had never heard of it, sadly. However, it’s not uncommon to get asked about a destination I know nothing about, so I start researching…and I research my heart out until I am confident about the information filed away in my head…and I found that this is something I HAVE to do…it’s in The Magic of Disney Animation building and features an actual class to learn to draw Disney characters. It’s also a great souvenir, as you get to take it home for FREE!


Oh, here I go again, combining attractions into one.  LOL  Seriously, though, we already bought our Water Parks Fun and More tickets for this October and can’t wait to go to both of these water parks and “gamers paradise” at Downtown Disney!


I think this is on EVERY Disney fanatic’s Top 10 list. It’s expected to open in April, and is a “roller coaster” – so of course I want to try it out!  This one will be awesome, because it will “rock” while going on the track.  Very exciting!


That wraps up today’s Top 10 List!  Be watching for lists from Beverly and Shane coming soon!  And be sure to comment and share.  Thanks!