The 10 Things You Must Do at Disney World

soarin-00

1. Feast Your Eyes (And Ears -- And Nose) On Soarin’.

The most amazing experience at Walt Disney World is also one of the hardest to explain. Soarin’ is a truly unique multimedia attraction that must be seen to be believed. Originally a gift from Disneyland, Soarin’ is a tour of some of California’s most beautiful areas -- from the Golden Gate Bridge to Lake Tahoe to DisneyLand -- from the point of view of a hang glider.

The perspective on Soarin’ is truly unique and immersive. You float between hot air balloons, alongside fighter jets, over cowboys on horseback, and above Los Angeles’ traffic. A golf ball whizzes just past your head. Fireworks explode right before your eyes. Soarin’ truly recreates the sensation of hang gliding in a memorable way.

Soarin’ is a feast for the senses as well. Specially designed fans create the perception of the wind in your face. Scent machines give you the impression of actually smelling the pine trees and orange groves. The majestic score by Academy Award winning composer Jerry Goldsmith suits the mood of the trip through the Golden State.

The attraction is an engineering marvel as well. While Imagineers (Disney’s creative folks) were debating the way to make the experience of Soarin’ work while efficiently moving guests through the ride, Imagineer Mark Sumner got his childhood Erector set out of the attic and set to work on a solution. The actual ride system mirrors his Erector set concept nearly identically.

Soarin’ is a quintessential Disney experience. It’s the only ride I’ve ever seen guests applaud at the end. It’s also one my family loves to enjoy over and over again. You will too.

---

I’ve read somewhere that you could spend an entire year at Walt Disney World and not do everything. I believe it. These ten tips are by no means an exhaustive list of the best attractions and most unique experiences at Walt Disney World. Instead, think of this top ten list as a start to finding your own magical, essential experiences, and share with me in the comments section what your favorites are.