Every Disney fan has a list of things that they’d like to do when they visit Walt Disney World. Incredible moments and memories happen each time you take a trip to the most magical place on Earth. But for the Disney fans who are looking for those extra special experiences, there is the “bucket list”. A list of things you would like to accomplish either in one trip to Disney World or over the course of all your trips to Disney World. While everyone’s list may be different, here are 10 things we believe should be on your WDW “bucket list”:
Honorable Mention: Stay in Cinderella Castle Suite
Right off the bat, there is a magical experience we have to cover. To spend a night inside Cinderella Castle Suite would be one of the most incredible experiences you could have at Walt Disney World. Staying overnight in the Magic Kingdom and having that lifelong memory would be number one on any Disney fan’s “bucket list”. That being said, because it’s unattainable without winning a Disney contest, we can only leave it as an honorable mention since very few (incredibly lucky) people will ever get to experience it.
10. All The Rides & Attractions
Over the course of your visits to Disney World, you should try every one of the rides and attractions at least once. This one is difficult to do in one trip, but it’s definitely possible. Everything from Splash Mountain to The Magic Carpet’s of Aladdin and Finding Nemo the musical to Reflections of China at Epcot. Make a list of them all if you have to and enjoy checking them off after you’ve completed them – just keep in mind that Disney will always look to add new rides and attractions to your list.
9. All The Restaurants
There are so many restaurants to choose from at Disney World and whether they fall into the quick service or table service category, each one provides a unique experience with a host of delicious food to choose from. This item on the list also falls under the “try everything at least once” umbrella and is meant to be a long-term goal at Disney World. You might be surprised at some of the new restaurant favorites you develop and they might just become must-dos for future trips.
8. Dine With An Imagineer
Dining with an Imagineer is an incredible opportunity to gain some insight to the inner workings of Disney. For around $60 (plus tax and gratuity), you get to have lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios with a Walt Disney Imagineer. Because Imagineers cover so many different areas of park design and operation, you won’t know what kind of job they have until you arrive. Regardless of their job title, each Imagineer will have a wealth of information about their role and the inner workings of Disney World. For curious minds and people who love to learn about how things are done, this is the perfect opportunity.
7. Behind The Scenes Tours
In keeping with the curious minds theme, trying a behind the scenes tour at Disney World is an incredible way to learn some of the history and magic behind the parks. Whether it’s Backstage Magic or the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot, the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom, or the iconic Keys To The Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom, each tour provides a wonderful experience with knowledgeable guides who love to share their insight into Imagineering decisions, hidden references and the history of Disney World.
6. Photo With Mickey
Mickey Mouse is at the heart of Disney World, so it makes sense for Disney fans to have their picture taken with the mouse that started it all. You could substitute your favorite character here if you’d prefer, but having a picture of you and Mickey is one of the iconic experiences to have. Every time you see the photo after your trip, you’ll instantly be transported back to the memory of your time in the parks – who wouldn’t want that?
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5. Dine at Victoria & Albert’s
Of all the restaurants on Disney property, none are better at fine dining than Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian Resort. Recipient of AAA’s highest achievement, the Five Diamond Award, this dining experience is sure to create a memory to last a lifetime. It’s also one that is so special, it deserves it’s own spot on your “bucket list”. World-class chefs with an innovative menu (that changes daily) are all wrapped up in the beautiful decor.
4. Snack/Drink around World Showcase
The World Showcase at Epcot is a wonderful place to wander and experience all of the different cultures within each pavilion. One of the things to add to your “bucket list” includes experiencing each country’s signature snacks and drinks, depending on your preference. For drinks, you can stop in the Rose & Crown beer stand for a pint of Guinness, travel to France for a wine tasting, sake in Japan and all the way around to tequila and margaritas in the Mexico Pavilion. Snacks have a similar mentality, Churros in Mexico, School Bread in Norway, anything from Karamell Kuche in Germany, baklava in Morocco and pastries in France. Whether it’s snacks or drinks, trying something from each pavilion is a great way to spend your day in Epcot
3. A Dessert Party
Watching Happily Ever After, Illuminations, or Stars Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is a wonderful way to end your day in Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Watching these nighttime spectaculars is enough of an incredible experience to make lifelong memories. The dessert parties are an extra special way to enjoy the fireworks. In Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant hosts this wonderful event, while in Epcot, the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party takes place with perfect views of Illuminations. Star Wars fans will love A Galactic Spectacular and all the uniquely themed desserts and drinks to go with it. These parties book quickly, so if you’d like to attend, make sure you make your reservations as early as you can.
2. Holidays At Walt Disney World
While holidays usually mean larger crowds, there are some Disney festivities that start long before the actual holiday dates. Visiting Disney World around the holidays takes on a different kind of magic. This is particularly evident in the Magic Kingdom. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party starts towards the end of September and runs right up to Halloween. Dress up in costume and witness Halloween themed fireworks and the Boo-To-You Parade, among so many other special events. Similarly, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party comes with special parades and events with tons of live entertainment. Both of these parties require an extra ticket to attend, but it’s well worth the extra money for the experience of being at Disney during these special holidays. Regardless of which holiday you visit around, experiencing Disney World during the holidays is something every Disney fan should try.
1. Open and Close Magic Kingdom
Prior to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, there is a performance on the forecourt castle stage with Mickey and his friends who welcome you to the park! Songs, dancing and early morning fireworks make for a magical opening to the happiest place on earth. At the opposite side of the day, the closing of Magic Kingdom includes the “Kiss Goodnight”. If you haven’t experienced it before, it is the Magic Kingdom’s way of saying goodbye. The lights on Cinderella Castle sparkle as the music of When You Wish Upon A Star plays softly. A narrator shares a heartfelt goodnight including some of Walt Disney’s own words. The true “bucket list” experience comes when you experience both the opening and closing of Magic Kingdom in the same day. It’s a long day, but worth it to experience all that the park has to offer, from morning to night and all the magical memories in between.
What “bucket list” items have you accomplished? Is there anything else that’s on your “bucket list”? Let us know in the comments!