Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
But Theme Park Insider readers never stop thinking and dreaming about vacations. So let's mark this latest holiday weekend by thinking about even more ambitious travel plans. This weekend, let's talk about the Walt Disney Company's travel destinations outside the continental United States.
We've got five option from which you can choose. Of course, we're happy to include readers from around the world here on Theme Park Insider, so one of these might be a local option for you. Don't feel like you can't select it if that's still the one from among these five destinations you'd most want to visit.
Here are our five options, along with the case for each.
Aulani — You won't find a theme park at Disney Vacation Club's Oahu resort, but you probably won't care, 'cause you're in Hawaii. You will find the Disney characters in residence, fine dining and Disney entertainment, and sitting on the beach in Hawaii might be one the better attractions in the world, anyway. Blue skies, soft air, warm ocean waves. And no passport required for U.S. residents, as you've not left the country.
Disneyland Paris — Disney's largest Magic Kingdom offers several unique takes on classic Disney attractions, including a Pirates of the Caribbean with an entirely different narrative and no Johnny Depp to be found. Phantom Manor riffs on the Haunted Mansion to add elements from Marc Davis' Western River Expedition. Space Mountain goes upside-down. There's a dragon under the castle. And before Be Our Guest started serving wine with dinner, Paris was the one and only Magic Kingdom where you could get your drink on. (Let's just ignore the Studios park, shall we?)
Hong Kong Disneyland — Mystic Manor. Okay, there's more than Mystic Manor at Disney's newest theme park, but really, this year's winner of the Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best new attraction might just be enough to carry Hong Kong to the win in this week's vote. If you're looking for more, though, Grizzly Gulch was one of the two runners-up this year for the same award, and Hong Kong is the home of Disney's only not-so-"not-so-scary" (read: actually scary) Halloween event.
Shanghai Disneyland — Okay, we're going to have to fire up the time machine for this one, as the park isn't due to open for another couple of years. But if you need a few years to save for a overseas dream trip, Shanghai's got to be in the mix for Disney fans. The Chinese park will take Paris' title as Disney's largest Magic Kingdom, with a completely new take on that classic theme park design, not to mention Disney's largest-ever centerpiece castle.
Tokyo Disney — The world's best theme park, Tokyo DisneySea. Theme Park Insider's top-rated theme park attraction, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. Awesome service. And every flavor of popcorn imaginable.
Campaign for your favorite, in the comments. And have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!
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