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10 Walt Disney World Experiences You Can’t Live Without

One of the things that makes a trip to Walt Disney World so amazing is that fact that there are experiences guests can enjoy there that they can’t find anywhere else. Guests can explore the four parks and find themselves hang gliding over beautiful locations, traveling back in time, and even shrinking down to the size of a toy. The amazing attractions that exist in the four theme parks are so perfectly designed that guests forget that they are in a theme park and find themselves enjoying unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else. Here are ten Walt Disney World experiences that guests can’t live without!

10. Seeing Cinderella Castle

One of the most memorable and special moments of any Walt Disney World vacation is the first glimpse of Cinderella Castle on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. For many guests the first sight of the castle symbolizes the official beginning of their vacation and transports them away from the stress of everyday life at home to the relaxing feeling of vacation. No trip to Disney is complete without enjoying the beautiful architecture and sights of Cinderella Castle.

9. Meeting Mickey

The quintessential experience on any Walt Disney World vacation that guests can’t live without is meeting the mouse himself. Mickey Mouse can be found in a number of locations in the parks, but one of the best places to meet him is at Town Square Theater on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. There Mickey is dressed as a magician and talk with guests! See him while you can however, as rumor has it “talking” Mickey might go back to a normal meet and greet in the near future. 

8. Soarin’

Soarin’ is one of the most popular attractions in Epcot and it can be found on the ground level of The Land Pavilion. Guests enter into a massive airport hangar and find themselves strapped into seats designed to feel like large scale hang gliders. Suddenly guests take to the air and soar high above the scenic landscapes from all over the world. Guests simply can’t live without the unique experience of hang gliding over California on Soarin’.

7. Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest land in the Animal Kingdom theme park. Here you will find two extremely popular attractions known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. You can expect a thrilling ride on Avatar Flight of Passage as you climb aboard a Banshee (dragon-like creature) and ride through the beautiful World of Avatar. The Na’vi River Journey is a perfect family-friendly attraction as guests boat down river and see just how beautiful the Na’vi tribe’s rainforest is with bioluminescence lighting and the latest animatronics. Outside of these two attractions, the land is almost like an attraction itself with stunning beauty and ability to interact with guests… especially as it glows at night!

6. Going On Safari

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also home to one of the most unique experiences that allows guests to embark on a two week African safari. Kilimanjaro Safaris takes guests into the Harmbe Reserve on a large and bumpy safari vehicle for up close and personal encounters with giraffes, elephants, lions, and zebras. From lush jungle areas to sweeping views of the serene savannah, guests forget that they are in Walt Disney World and feel as though they are truly on safari in Africa.

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5. Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

It doesn’t matter if you are a Star Wars nerd or not – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is the perfect way to close out a night at Hollywood Studios! Watch as the Chinese Theater turns into a huge screen for a 14-minute show full of high-definition projection surrounded by lasers, fire, incredible music and sound effects, and of course – the sky lights up with awesome fireworks. It’s an unforgettable Hollywood Studios moment!

4. Watching Happily Ever After

One of the best experiences that guests can enjoy on a Walt Disney World vacation is standing on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom each night and enjoying Happily Ever After. Happily Ever After takes place high in the sky above Cinderella Castle and features fireworks, Disney music, amazing projections on Cinderella Castle, and a flight by Tinkerbell. Guests looking for the perfect way to end a magical day in the Magic Kingdom love watching Happily Ever After.

3. Shrinking Down Like A Toy

The most popular attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania which shrinks guests down to the size of a toy and takes them through a series of 3D midway games hosted by the characters of Pixar’s classic Toy Story. Guests love returning time and time again to feel like a toy and see if they can beat their own high scores! A great tip for experiencing Toy Story Mania is to visit early in the morning since wait times can reach over two hours on a busy day (especially if you don’t have a FastPass).

2. Watching Illuminations

Each night, World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot comes alive with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth which symbolically gathers guests around the fire to tell a moving story of how we are all connected. Illuminations combines laser lights, fireworks, pyrotechnics, a beautiful score, and dancing water to make for a perfect ending to a day in Epcot. Guests can’t live without this amazing and unique nighttime show.

1. Fantasmic!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios also features a nighttime spectacular called Fantasmic! Performed on select nights in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, Fantasmic! takes guests into the imagination of Mickey for an epic battle between good and evil. Clocking in at nearly thirty minutes long, the show combines animation, live action, tons of Disney characters, pyrotechnics, and one scary dragon. Fantasmic! is an amazing show that guests simply can’t live without on a Walt Disney World vacation!

About Caitlin Corsello

Caitlin Corsello first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.