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MouseStation 133 - All U.S. Parks Top 3

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Featured Topic - All U.S. Parks Top 3 Lists

In this week's feature, Mark and Mike gathered up all of their Top 3 lists for the domestic parks and selected their top 3 for all parks in the U.S.


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This week's show was pretty short, because we've already said most of what we wanted to say about our choices for the top 3 spots. If you missed them earlier, here are links to the top 3 lists for each of the individual parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.

Top 3 dining locations

As always, we started with dining. Mike's third choice was Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom because he really enjoys the food there.

Mark had a tie for his number three, between Flame Tree BBQ at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Bengal Barbeque at Disneyland. He also noted that he threw out his number one choice for Disneyland, the River Belle Terrace, because it had dropped his favorite menu items for lunch and dinner when it reopened after its refurbishment. He'll have to check it out again before thinking about putting it back on the list.

Mike's runner up is Tony's Town Square Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. He loves Lady and the Tramp, and he loves the atmosphere there.

Mark's second choice is Boulangerie Patisserie, just because he likes the mousssse.

Mike's favorite dining establishment at all U.S. Disney parks is the Blue Bayou at Disneyland. He loves the atmosphere, the food, and watching the Pirates boats floating by the restaurant.

Mark's favorite restaurant in the parks is Yak & Yeti Restaurant, after just the one visit so far, for the moment, because he was so impressed with the food. Mike expected Mark to pick Le Cellier, but it just barely missed the Top 3 cut. Mark noted that his favorites change regularly.

Mike noted that this does not include restaurants in the hotels, and Mark added that his favorite hotel of all is a resort restaurant.

Top 3 live entertainment options

Mark's number three entertainment choice is a tie between Disney's Electrical Parade at Disney's California Adventure (because you can't beat "Baroque Hoedown") and the Voices of Liberty (because he can't go to Epcot without seeing them).

Mike's third choice is Finding Nemo - The Musical. He loves the show, the puppets, the music, and it's a great experience. It's also Mark's number two pick. It's probably Mark's favorite live show in the parks. Festival of the Lion King had been his favorite live show, but Nemo pushed it off the top.

Mike's runner-up was Remember... Dreams Come True fireworks at Disneyland Park. He loves the show.

Mark's top choice is Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. He had listed it as an attraction on his original Epcot list, but it more properly belongs on the entertainment list with all of the other nighttime spectaculars. He really loves the show, and hopes that the video of him conducting the show is not out on the Internet.

Mike's number one is Festival of the Lion King. He feels that it's the best live show that Disney offers. He loves the characters, the tumble monkeys, the singers, and everything else.

Top 3 attractions

Mike picked the Circle of Life movie at Epcot as his number three choice. He enjoys the film, loves the message, loves the theater, and it's Lion King-based.

Mark's third pick is Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. It's the best coaster that Disney has produced yet. He loves the effects going forward and backward, the Yeti effects (both animated and Animatronic), the queue is an attraction in its own right, and it's just a great attraction.

Mike's second choice is the Animation Courtyard at Disney's California Adventure. He likes it simply because the emotional impact that it has when you walk in. (Plus, they show Lion King footage.)

Mark cheated and had a huge tie for his number two, between the Haunted Mansion at both Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. He dissed the Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure because - while the boiler room rocks - the exterior queue is poorly-themed and the ride vehicle goes backward before going up, ruining the later fifth dimension room effect. The theming at the Tower at the Studios is fabulous and rivals Everest. While the two Mansions are largely equal, if he had to choose Mark would give the edge to the Florida version because of the Escher staircase, which is a fabulous effect.

Mike's top pick is the Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. (Since Mike used to work there, he has to use the complete name whenever he refers to it.) He has climbed to the top of the mountain, which was an amazing experience. It's a lot of fun. He loves the story and the theming, and it just rocks.

Mark's number one is Soarin' Over California/Soarin' at Disney's California Adventure and Epcot. Even though it has been called "your grandmother's thrill ride," he loves the effects, the music, the smellitzers, and the whole experience. Since Mark is risk-averse and would be highly unlikely to even go parasailing from Sammy Duvall's any time soon, it's the closest to free flying as he's likely to get. If he had to pick one coast over the other, he'd pick DCA, because he likes the desert airfield theme better than the sanitized airport feel at Epcot. Mike prefers the sterile feel of the airport terminal at Epcot.

In next month's Top 3 segment, Mark and Mike will talk about their Top 3 lists for Disney Resorts. (They've got to figure out what the categories are going to be. Dining and feature pools will probably be there, but the other category/ies are still up in the air.

OK, we've run through all of the parks. Now it's your turn. What are your Top 3 of all? Even if you've only been to one of the two resorts, let us know what your Top 3 are for the resort! Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what your favorites are!

Wrapping up

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).