Crazy times we live in Believers!  Fastpass has officially been replaced by Disney’s Genie+, there will be a new Star Wars resort opening, masks have gone from mandatory to transportation only to mandatory to mandatory inside, and Walt Disney World is about to celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary.  But that’s another article for another day.  One thing that has remained consistent is the overwhelming joy and happiness first-time guests have when they go to the parks.  Believe Vacations has been very fortunate this year to have many first-timers go, even in the middle of a pandemic.  And they always bring a great perspective and fresh look to us who have been a few times before.  Which leads us to today’s article…
Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we are going to look at Recent Feedback from First Timers.  For this article, there were 3 main questions we as Believe Vacations agents wanted to ask our first time families.  Their answers would allow us to see if the more traditional attractions and experiences still reign supreme or if there is a “changing of the guard” happening before our very eyes.  For potential first timers, these answers may help you prepare to plan for your visit; for us seasoned pros, these answers may show us new ways to enjoy our favorite parks.  Either way, enjoy the feedback!

What was your favorite attraction?

New and Old-timers alike rejoice! This was about as mixed of a response as we could receive.  When parents responded for their young children, it was very clear the Magic Kingdom Classics still draw smiles.  Peter Pan’s Flight was an attraction that received a ton of praise as did Tomorrowland Speedway.  Outside of Magic Kingdom, there was one attraction all the young kids loved and that was Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.  Makes it wonder why they took so long to feature Mickey in a ride!

It was the mention of thrill rides that saw the most diversity.  While Big Thunder Mountain will forever be one of the iconic coasters of all time, Rock N Roller Coaster and Everest are catching up at a very rapid pace.  Then of course we have two of the more popular attractions currently at the parks – Rise of Resistance and Flight of Passage.  Young and old kids alike cannot get over both of these attractions, and for different reasons.  Whether it is the sights and sounds and visuals of Pandora gliding on a banshee or the total interactive experience with your favorite characters from the galaxy, there has been a slight disturbance in the force when it comes to “Best Attractions” at WDW.

What was the best food?

Don’t judge because it’s a very important question!  Food at Disney is a science in-and-of itself and the experiences can be just as magical as the attractions.  For quick service, BBQ was the biggest hit as Regal Eagle Smokehouse at EPCOT and Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom were big hits.  With the majority of our clients coming from the Southeastern United States (where BBQ is a main food group), it makes sense that new kids are going to want to try dishes that are more familiar and less exotic.  You can’t go wrong with either of these locations.

For table service, it was all about the Italian dishes as Tony’s at the Magic Kingdom and Via Napoli at EPCOT received the most favorable reviews.  It was also interesting to note that modified character meals (Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios and Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort) still received some love.  That’s great news for those who think the character meals are not as popular anymore.  Turns out, they’re still popular with the new kids.

What is something you wish you knew prior to arrival?

Believe Vacations agents take pride in having our clients prepared with everything we can think of to make a trip magical.  But sometimes, we may miss something or discover suggestions from our clients that we will use for our future clients.  By far, information about transportation can not be overstated.  Yes, Disney offers complimentary transportation in the form of buses, boats, monorail, and Skyliner buckets.  However, some people are perfectly fine spending some extra cash on an ride-sharing program to beat the crowds and get home faster.  This is especially important when you are experiencing dining at a resort where you can not use the complimentary transportation without transferring first to Disney Springs or a park.  Use a ride-sharing program if it makes sense for your family and budget.

Another bit of knowledge comes in the form of the Skyliner.  Still considered the newest form of Disney transportation, it’s important to know that you can get to 2 parks and 7 resorts on this mode of transportation.  It really is a safer traveling alternative than the buses as each family should have their own gondola to ride in.  Another important tidbit to know is that the gondolas may fit a wheelchair/stroller without having to fold it up.  Very convenient if you’ve ever had to do that on a bus before.

Finally, we go back to that important food topic.  Know how to use the My Disney Experience app to place a quick-service mobile order.  That includes knowing what’s on the menu, where the locations are, the pricing and how to modify.  I told you it was a science.  Thankfully you have amazing teachers known as the agents of Believe Vacations!
Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.