With a persistent love of Disney and Harry Potter, I was destined to enjoy the parks. However, I had my first and only visit to Walt Disney World at 10 months old and never visited Disneyland or Universal. That all changed in my mid-20's! The first time I spotted Hogwarts Castle at Universal, I was hooked.
The immersive experience, enduring charm of each park's attention to details, afternoons relaxing by the pool, wonder of fireworks, thrill of the rides, unique dining experiences, seeing characters and places come to life, and the enjoyment of being a kid again (except this time, with margaritas!) are what make these parks so fun as an adult. For me, the real adventure comes from the familiarity of old favorites, as well as the excitement of trying something new.
Favorite Park: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios
Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom
Most Underrated Ride: The Mummy at Universal Studios
Favorite Disney Movie: Mulan
CHIEF ADVENTURE OFFICER
Unlike most people, I fell in love with Disney during several family trips as a teenager! To me, the the thrill of getting there early for rope drop, running with my sisters to grab FastPasses and then getting on the first train for Space Mountain or Rock "n" Roller Coaster was such a crazy and special time with family. Plus, it required a lot of strategy and problem solving, something a young aspiring engineer couldn't get enough of - and definitely still can't.
As an adult, my appreciation for a little relaxation has also grown with time. Whether it's Universal, Disneyland or good ol' Walt Disney World, a delicious meal, afternoon swim, and quiet evening stroll through the parks along with all the strategizing are now staples of what make an adventure magical to me.
Favorite Park: Hollywood Studios
Favorite Ride: Avatar: Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom
Most Underrated Ride: Soarin' at EPCOT
Favorite Disney Movie: The Lion King & Toy Story
I grew up going to Walt Disney World for family summer vacations. I loved everything about it - the fireworks, the rides, the characters, the sense of magic and anticipation in the air. Walt Disney World was my favorite place to vacation...
... until I visited Disneyland for the first time at age 24 and fell in love. So many things felt familiar (Space Mountain! Big Thunder!) but with an exciting new twist. And there were rides unique to Disneyland that I got to discover for the first time.
To me, half the fun of a Disney or Universal vacation is in the research and planning. I'm also a Disney history geek. I find that I appreciate the parks more when I know the story behind them.
Favorite Park: Animal Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout at California Adventure
Most Underrated Ride: Jungle Cruise in the evening