The list of things I want to do on every trip to Disney seems never-ending. I want to do everything I’ve done before like have a Dole Whip and ride The Jungle Cruise, but I also want to do a ton of things I haven’t done yet, like Quick Service locations I have yet tried, or attractions I haven’t ridden both during the day and at night. Realistically, I know it’s impossible to do everything on my ‘want to do list’. But what about the things I must do? That might be a little more difficult to determine, but it’s important to narrow it down. To help you figure out what you might want to put on your list of must-dos, here is our list of 11 things you must do on every trip.
11. Show Your Disney Side
Embrace being at the most magical place in the world and show your Disney side while you’re there. This can be done in a multitude of ways, so find the way that works best for you. For some it’s ears, hats, or t-shirts. Some guests love Disney bounding as their favorite characters (wearing an outfit that is inspired by a Disney character. Look it up, there are amazing examples out there!) Or it could be as subtle as a pin or button. Whatever it is, showing your Disney side can help enhance your Disney trip, be a conversation starter with a cast member or another guest, and also make you feel like part of the warm and wonderful community of Disney fans.
10. Eat a Mickey Shaped Treat
We all know things taste better when Mickey shaped, and they also taste better when you can indulge in that treat at Disney. A must-do for every trip should be to eat a Mickey shaped treat. There are so many choose from that there will be something for everyone. There’s the classic Mickey pretzel, cookies, and ice cream bars, and even giant cinnamon rolls at Animal Kingdom.
9. Conquer the Mountains
Some of the quintessential Disney attractions are mountain attractions. There’s Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Expedition Everest. These fun and adventurous attractions are just part of the Disney experience and every effort should be made to experience them all when visiting Disney.
8. Meet a Character
Character meet and greets are truly magical experiences at Disney World. These cast members are so dedicated to their characters and they so fully inhabit them that you really believe that you’re being greeted by Cinderella, or posing with Belle. And of course there’s nothing quite like getting a hug from Mickey Mouse himself. These few moments spent meeting characters can create lasting memories. Make time in your trip to visit at least one character. Although once you meet one, you’ll probably want to meet more.
7. See Fireworks
The fireworks at Disney World are unlike any other fireworks. They are absolutely spectacular in their scope, presentation and just how many of them there are. Magic Kingdom has an amazing Happily Ever After, and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is at Epcot and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular is at Hollywood Studios. All feature multiple elements, such projections, music and lasers, but the highlight is the fireworks.
6. Get a Picture at the Castle
No matter how many times you’ve been to Magic Kingdom, a picture in front of Cinderella Castle is always a good idea and should be on your list of things to do. It’s the iconic image of Disney World and you can never have too many pictures of the castle!
5. Dedicate a Day to Each Park
Visiting each of the four parks for a day may not be possible if the length of your trip isn’t at least four days. But each park is so unique and has something completely different to offer guests, that it would be a shame to miss out one of the parks when visiting Disney World.
4. Have a Table Service Meal
Even if you are doing Disney on a budget, or on the Quick Service meal plan, treat yourself to at least one table service meal. Disney has some of the best restaurants with incredible food, and fantastic theming. Disney restaurants are more than just a meal. Character dining offers guests a magical experience, the restaurants in the World Showcase take guests to a different country through food and atmosphere, and wherever you choose to dine, a sit down meal with friends and family forces you to stop for a short period of time and reflect on your trip so far and what’s to come.
3. Arrive Early
Pick one morning to arrive early at a park, even before rope drop. The parks are always their least busy first thing in the morning, meaning you can enjoy strolling down Main Street, or get on Soarin’ without much of a wait and just start your day off before the crowds swarm in.
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2. The Goodnight Kiss
The Goodnight Kiss is Magic Kingdom’s way of saying goodnight at the very end of each night. It is about 2 minutes long and will play about 30 minutes after the official closing time of the park. Cinderella Castle twinkles with sparkly lights, and When You Wish Upon a Star plays, and there is a beautiful goodnight message. It is something that can tug at your heartstrings, but it’s a wonderful thing to do at least once on each trip.
1. Start Your Own Tradition
Many guests like to have their own thing that they must do on each trip. Starting your own tradition is something that makes each trip special and something you and your friends and family can do with each visit. It could be taking a picture in the same spot, eating a particular restaurant, or meeting a character. Disney means something a little different to everyone, and this is a perfect way to make a part of your Disney experience personal to you.