Cultural Experience | Florida

The 10 Reasons You Should Visit Disney World in College

Four Parks. One World. One Magical Time.

Disney World is the most magical place on earth, and that magic doesn’t stop once you’ve reached a certain age. You may have fond memories of Disney from your childhood. You may have been to Disney 100 times or you may have never been…yet. Here’s why you should make a trip to Disney during your college years:

Experience Another Culture

As a College Tourist, you’re no stranger to travel and other cultures. What if I told you that you could visit 11 countries in just a few hours? At Epcot, it’s possible. The World Showcase section of the park has 11 pavilions representing countries from all around the world: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico. The coolest part is that everyone who works in these areas is actually from the country they represent. Definitely take the time to chat with the workers as you explore the rich culture and heritage each country offers.

Epcot China Image, Courtney Guth

Drink Your Way Around the World

If you’re over 21, there’s another way to really experience what the countries have to offer. The films and rides in each section are great, and without a doubt, the food is delicious as well. However, drinking “around the world” makes for a unique challenge and some great memories (even if they are a little fuzzy). Be sure to stay hydrated with water and well fed with various snacks.

Drink Around the World Epcot

Meet Your Favorite Characters

You’re never to old to meet your favorite Disney character. I’ve seen grown men cry when they meet Mickey Mouse (I’m totally talking about my Dad, but whatever other people get emotional too). They may not seem as real to you as they do to younger children, but that doesn’t mean you have to stifle your kid at heart spirit. I’m not suggesting you spend most of your day waiting in line to meet all the characters. However, if you see a minimal wait time or line, go ahead and greet the characters. It definitely will make for a great souvenir photo!

Chip and Dale Disney Image

Enjoy Both the Thrill Rides & the Kiddie Rides

While other theme parks like Universal Studios, Six Flags, or Busch Gardens may have more roller coasters, that doesn’t mean Disney lacks top-notch thrill rides. Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, and Expedition Everest are some of the best attractions in the parks. Since you’re in college, you don’t have to worry about being tall enough to ride them! You probably passed that issue years ago. If thrill rides aren’t quite your thing or you’re looking for nostalgia, Disney’s got you covered with plenty of other rides. Rides like Peter Pan’s Flight and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh allow you to step into the world of some of your favorite films. Interactive attractions like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Mania will definitely bring out your competitive side.

Rock N Roller Coaster Image

Treat Yourself to a Nice Dinner

Dining in a theme park can get a little pricey, but don’t be afraid to splurge on a nice dinner. If you’re traveling with friends, splitting the bill makes it less of a burden. There are some great restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World property. In addition to the cultural cuisine of Epcot, there are some great restaurants at various resorts and in the other parks. If you want to feel really special, you can even dine in Cinderella’s Castle.

Sci Fi Dine In Image


See a Concert

You may not suspect it, but Disney is a great place for live music. In addition to the live performances you can see every day throughout the park. There are often bands and shows included in your admission. For example, if you’re traveling in the summer, you’ll definitely want to check out the annual “Sounds Like Summer” concert series that features cover bands of famous artists like Billy Joel, U2, The Eagles and more. If you’re in town for the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, the Eat to the Beat Concert series has major bands like Smash Mouth, Hanson, and Fuel scheduled to appear this year. You don’t even have to enter the parks to see great music. Head to the House of Blues in Downtown Disney for plenty of other great concerts.

The British Invasion Epcot Image

Explore the West Side

House of Blues isn’t the only hotspot in the Downtown Disney area. Whereas the Marketplace/Disney Springs area has a lot of Disney merchandise (certainly nothing wrong with that), the West Side offers a more urban and diverse environment. In Downtown Disney West Side, you’ll find a movie theater, a bowling alley, trendy shops, and a few great restaurants. It makes for a nice night out after a long day at the parks. Unwind and indulge a bit.

Downtown Disney West Side Image

Make a Splash

Don’t forget that a vacation is meant for some rest and relaxation. It can be a little tiring running around all day. Factor in a pool day or even just a pool afternoon to treat yourself to the necessary R&R. If you’re staying at the Walt Disney World Resort, you’re going to find a beautiful pool…maybe even more than one. Resorts like All-Star Movie, All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, Pop Century, and Art of Animation feature larger than life icons surrounding their fun themed pools. Resorts like Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and the Yacht & Beach club offer beautiful oases to escape in.

Stormalong Bay Image

Stroll the Boardwalk

Downtown Disney is definitely a great place for Disney nightlife, but the Boardwalk is just as good. The hotel is themed to a turn of the century seaside resort, but that does not mean you’re not going to find any modern pleasures. Atlantic Dance Hall has a DJ that plays Top 40 hits and music videos as you dance the night away. Jellyrolls sounds like a silly name, but it’s a top spot for 21+ entertainment. It’s a dueling piano bar that will surely have you singing along to your favorite tunes.

Disney Boardwalk Image

Learn Something New

You may be on holiday from your university, but that does not mean the learning has to stop. Now, I’m not suggesting you pack all your books and study through the night…take time to learn something fun. At Disney Hollywood Studios, you can learn to draw some of your favorite animated characters for free. Looking to learn something more adventurous? Typhoon Lagoon offers surfing lessons on select mornings.

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If taking a short trip to Disney isn’t enough for you, you can even “study abroad” in Disney during your college years. Check out the Disney College Program and spend a semester living, learning, and earning at Disney. I’m heading there later this month to spend my fall working for the mouse! If you decide to visit, I’ll see ya real soon! You can follow along on my adventures here.

Courtney Guth

University of Maryland | 31 stories

Courtney Guth is a senior English major at the University of Maryland College Park actively seeking an answer to the age-old question, “so what are you going to do with that?” Her answer currently involves working in communications and development for a small non-profit in Washington, D.C. If she’s not exploring the nation’s capital, she’s probably watching an old movie, attempting to cook, or losing her voice at a Maryland Terrapins’ game. She believes the adage that “the world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page” but why just read when you can write?

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