Once upon a time, there was a man named Walt Disney Park. He created a little mouse called Mickey, a few movies you may have heard of and a couple of pretty big parks. The rest, as they say, might be history (or ‘that’s a wrap!’) if we were going to stick to more appropriate terminology. But – oh, boy! With Walt Disney Day having just been – and so many of his incredible parks to choose from around the world – we’re only just getting started.
Joanna Lowy is content manager at trip-planning platform, Tripening
Once upon a time, there was a man named Walt Disney. He created a little mouse called Mickey, a few movies you may have heard of and a couple of pretty big parks. The rest, as they say, might be history (or ‘that’s a wrap!’) if we were going to stick to more appropriate terminology. But – oh, boy! With Walt Disney Day having just been – and so many of his incredible parks to choose from around the world – we’re only just getting started.
So, which Disney attractions are the best? Hot diggity dog! Your very own wish upon a star is right here:
The Best For Toddlers: Magic Kingdom, Orlando
Many might argue that this – one of the most popular theme parks in the world – is the best regardless of age (and they may have a point), but in terms of the most magical experience for little ones, you won’t get much better than this (the clue is in the name, after all!).
Not only will they be mesmerized by their fave Disney characters (they’re everywhere here – even if Mickey still has to adhere to social distancing like everyone else) but there are plenty of age-appropriate rides for them to enjoy, too – such as Peter Pan’s Flight and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Other kid-friendly highlights include Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
All this, plus the incredible shows, parades and fireworks – backdropped by Cinderella’s iconic castle – creates the most perfect fairytale setting for your little princes and princesses.
The irony here is that it may be the best option for little kids, but it also manages to make the grown-ups feel like kids again, too, which is probably why everyone loves it so much. But what else would you expect from the most magical place on earth?
The Best For Movie Mavericks: Hollywood Studios, Orlando
Between the TV and movie-based attractions, themed elements and retro 50’s vibe, this ticks all the boxes for fans of the big screen.
One of the biggest highlights is the most recent addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – especially if you’re a Star Wars fan (obvs)!
The park may not have many rides, but you can be sure that those it does have are top-shelf. What’s more, there’s an impressive lineup of non-ride attractions, such as Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Frozen Sing-Along and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, which is returning soon!
The Best For Food & Culture Enthusiasts: Epcot, Orlando
Your senses will explode with the many cultures of the world on offer here thanks, in major part, to the incredibly diverse food and drink that you’ll enjoy as part of the beautiful World Showcase. Boasting 11 country-themed pavilions – each showcasing its native cuisine and souvenirs – it’s a must-do if you’re naturally curious about the wonders of the world and/or a foodie.
The Best For Animal Lovers: Animal Kingdom, Orlando
Yes, Animal Kingdom boasts ridiculously awesome rides and great food, but what really sets it apart – surprise surprise – is its theme.
Spread out over 580 acres, this is Disney’s biggest theme park and one of (if not the) biggest animal-themed parks in the world. Phew, that’s a lot of accolades! Home to around 300 species and 2,000 animals, you’ll love cozying up to the lions, giraffes and monkeys as part of the Kilimanjaro Safari and walking through the zoological exhibits as part of the Maharajah Trek, not to mention the Disney animal-themed shows that you all know and love, such as Festival of the Lion King.
The Best All-Rounder: Tokyo DisneySea
Topping many a Disney park list – you’ll soon see why.
Managing to combine both an impressive attraction listing with immense aesthetic beauty. Tokyo DisneySea manages to tick every single box. With heavy-hitting features such as Toy Story Mania! (an interactive 4D extravaganza) and a quality ride lineup backdropped by views only really rivaled by Epcot and Animal Kingdom – not to mention the whole Sea theme to boot – it really is a wonder that everyone will just love.
The Best For Nostalgia: Disneyland Park, California
For being the original, if nothing else! Built by Walt Disney himself, it’s a charmingly intimate park dedicated to dreams, imagination and simply, unbridled joy. Of course, there’s more to the original Disneyland than just its link to the main man himself, with more modern lands such as Toontown (1993) and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (2019), but if you’re someone who loves a bit of good ol’ fashioned nostalgia – and seeing the origins of so many rides that have since been replicated all over the world – this one’s for you.
The Best For Attractions: Tokyo Disneyland
When you get down to the bare bones of what you’d expect from a theme park, you can’t beat Tokyo Disneyland.
Home to the greatest hits of both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, such as Splash Mountain and Tom Sawyer Island, it also counts two headliners of its own – Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek – among its 24 attractions. But that’s not all: As well as a regular lineup of entertainment, it also offers what is arguably Disney’s best day parade and night parade.
For The Best Disney Castle: Disneyland Paris
What Disneyland Paris may lack in rides it more than makes up for in its themed spaces, exceptional design work and intricate details – culminating in the most unique, richly-designed Disney Castle of all the parks. This alone makes it one of the most enchanting Disney experiences you can possibly hope to have.
The Best For Something A Bit Different: Shanghai Disneyland
Disney’s newest theme park obviously felt the need to stand out from its predecessors somewhat, and its ambition is evident in every corner of the place. Unlike the other parks, it hasn’t merely copied concepts and designs from each other but created something wholly different, as you’ll be able to see from things like their ultra-modern Tomorrowland, brand new land, Treasure Cove, and the more cartoony Mickey Ave that you’ll be invited to walk down instead of Main Street U.S.A.
The Best For Fun: Disney California Adventure
Between Buena Vista Street, Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania and Pixar Pier, everywhere you go here, you’re guaranteed to just have fun! And that’s before we even mention the epic Cars Land, which is one of the most incredible spaces Disney has ever put its name too. Other notable highlights include Avengers Campus (which the Marvel fans among you will absolutely love!), Grizzly Peak and the unique nighttime show, World of Color. Like we said, fun!
Gosh! That sure sounds swell! So, where will you go?