While the three remaining parks at Disney World aren’t as Disney-themed as Magic Kingdom is, there is definitely a magical quality in the air and with plenty of fun things to do! Here are my top attractions, dining experiences and shows at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Be sure to check out the vlog at the end of the post if you enjoy videos!
Hollywood Studio’s didn’t have as many attractions as I was expecting. But just because Star Wars Land is still under construction doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had! In fact, Hollywood Studios was one of my favorite theme parks. The theme of 1940s Hollywood, past starlets, and this nostalgic dream of the film industry that never was nor will be as magical as we all envision it are just a few of the reasons why this park succeeds. There are, however, quite a few attractions that caught my eye.
My top favorite was Hollywood Tower of Terror. I was expecting an exact replica of the past attraction at Disney’s California Park but found this unique attraction to go beyond what I was expecting. From the creatively detailed queue to the longer ride itself, we had such a fun experience, we decided to get back in line and ride it again! Rock’n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith is conveniently located right next door, so we hopped on this speedy, dark indoor coaster quickly thanks to our fastpasses. This was a special attraction for Alex and me, as we asked the Disney cast members if we could sit in the very front. The song Sweet Emotion blasting through the speakers will always be a great memory for us.
You have two great options for dining: 50s Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi Diner. If you’re looking for classic American comfort food like meat loaf and fried chicken, 1950s kitsch, and a unique themed experience, Prime Time is a favorite among many. Alex and I decided to go with the Sci-Fi Diner as they had more vegetarian options and the idea of sitting in a car at a black and white drive-in movie theatre seemed too interesting to pass up! We had heard mixed reviews of the Sci-Fi Diner, but we happened to love it! The vegetarian burgers were delicious, and the apple pie milkshake I had was delightful! Plus, we love odd black and white cartoons. We had just gotten engaged, and our waitress was so sweet she gave us a free appetizer after seeing our Disney engagement pins!
Our evening was complete after seeing the spectacular laser and light shot, Fantasmic! After having seen this show countless times at Disneyland in California, I was expecting to skip this one entirely. I am so glad I decided to see it at Hollywood Studios. The show was more impressive than the California show, and this show included more scenes and had a longer finale with the villains! I always tend to cry while watching Fantasmic! but this had me straight up bawling. It was so magical, I think I’m going to go rewatch it on YouTube now…
To be entirely honest, I was planning on not visiting EPCOT. I had read various sources that EPCOT was the least favorite of all the parks from the vast majority of Disney park guests. I also was slightly interested in the World Showcase but assumed it would be kitchy and Disney-esque and wouldn’t stay true to the actual countries that I had visited. I couldn’t be more wrong. EPCOT ended up being my favorite park of the 4 for one reason: World Showcase.
Walking up to the lake that first evening, we saw sparkling iconic monuments surrounding us in a circular direction. The dazzling Eiffel Tower in France to the right and the glowing red Fushimi Inari-taisha in Japan to the right. EPCOT showcases 11 countries from around the world and in each country has authentic dishes, drinks and experiences that each country would have. My favorite aspect of World Showcase was how Disney employs cast members that are originally from each of those countries! I first noticed this when in a bakery in Norway, the cast members who were selling us our Norwegian pastries and baked goods were speaking Norwegian to each other! After asking them if they were from Norway, they told me that everyone who works in World Showcase is from the country they work in. I was floored. What an amazing addition to making World Showcase even more magical than it already was.
Standouts from World Showcase include the Impressions de France film in the France Pavilion, the quiet and tucked away park in the U.K., the colorful lanterns in Japan, and the train display in Germany.
Snacking and drinking around the World Showcase is a must-do as walk-up kiosks and beer and wine gardens are plentiful and specific to each country. If you have a Disney magic band and connected your debit/credit card to it, just tap and go! It’s as easy as that! Alex and I would snack and drink in each country, depending on what interested us, and we had such a magical experience soaking in each country that evening, we decided to come back the next afternoon and grab lunch at Via Napoli in Italy! Make sure to make a reservation first thing in the morning and prepare to be blown away. The spaghetti came in second place on my list of best Italian food I’ve ever had – and I spent an entire month in Italy eating spaghetti! It was so worth canceling our fast passes in Magic Kingdom to eat here.
As far as attractions go, Soarin’ over the world is a magical experience and not to be missed, but make sure to grab a fast pass for this one! Test Track is also really thrilling, but it is not worth the wait unless you’re going as a single rider, which I highly recommend doing! Alex and I joined the 10 minute line, compared to the 130 minute wait for standby, as single riders, and we ended up sitting together!
If you have any questions on Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, please don’t be shy about writing a comment below or messaging me! I love chatting about all things Disney! 🙂 What were you favorite attractions and experiences? Any that I must check out next time that we visit the parks?
December 28, 2017
Check out all my favorite photography gear, travel must-haves, resources, books I love, business hacks and so much more!