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10 Must-Do Experiences For The Most Fantastic Disney Vacation!

There is so much to see, do and experience while on a vacation at Walt Disney World. With four theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs the number of things to do is endless. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t able to stay for long enough to do it at (if that is even possible) so what are the top 10 must-do experiences for the most fantastic trip? Don’t worry, we have just the list!  

1. Immerse Yourself in Themed Lands

Something that Disney Imagineers do so well is to truly transport guests to new, magical places. Start with the World Showcase where guests are taken to places throughout the world such as France, Canada, Norway and so many more.  Shrink to the size of a toy or become a rebel spy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios as guests visit Toy Story Land and Batuu. In Animal Kingdom, visit Pandora as well as travel on an African safari. To have a truly fantastic trip you will want to really take in these lands.  Enjoy the details, have some delicious food and take in all the magic of the land.

2. Wave at Mickey Mouse 

A Disney trip isn’t complete until you have seen the main mouse himself. Right now, getting up close and personal with Mickey is hard to do as one on one meet and greets aren’t currently happening. The good news is that you can see Mickey out more often in the parks with his friends. In Magic Kingdom, Mickey is often saying hello at the train station. Find him at the front of Epcot or on the floats or cars in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. If you want to guarantee seeing Mickey during your vacation, make a reservation at one of the character dining experiences where he makes an appearance. Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House, and Garden Grill are just a few places where Mickey joins guests during meals. Again, these are modified experiences but are a great way to relax and hang out with Mickey. Seeing Mickey Mouse during your trip to Disney is truly a must do.

3. Spend time at the pool

We know that it is hard to not spend every moment at a park while visiting Disney, but to have a fantastic trip schedule in some time at the pool. The pools at Disney resorts are outstanding. Not only are they themed extremely well, but in the afternoons, there are games and trivia the whole family can get involved in. A fantastic vacation includes some down time, and hanging out at the pool is the perfect spot to do just that.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort (Credit: Disney)

4. Ride the transportation 

Disney himself was all about trains and modes of transportation. The monorail still remains iconic today, and now the Disney Skyliner is the newest mode of transportation bringing innovation to how people get around Disney Parks.  Take time during your vacation to enjoy and explore all the different, unique modes of transportation Disney has to offer. We already mentioned the monorail and skyliner, but also make sure you jump on a boat or ferry at some point. If you want to round it all out, ride the bus. We won’t say that riding a Disney bus is a must-do for a fantastic trip; however, a trip on the monorail and skyliner might be in our opinion.

5. Eat something Mickey shape

A Disney vacation wouldn’t be complete if you haven’t had something Mickey shaped. Try the classic Mickey shaped pretzel, ice cream bar or sandwich. Each can be found throughout all the parks and even some resorts. Check out the bakery cases as unique, specialty items are often showing up in Mickey shape. Don’t forget that ironic picture with your Mickey treat and the castle. A fantastic picture for sure.

6. Ride the classics

A Disney vacation isn’t complete until you have taken a spin on some of the classic attractions. Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world”, Peter Pan’s Flight, and even Dumbo are classic attractions that are must-dos for a fantastic trip.

7. Have a thrill

Don’t miss out on the thrill rides while visiting. Disney isn’t just for little kids as they bring magic to thrills as well. At Magic Kingdom catch a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Take on the Yeti on Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or rock with Aerosmith on Rock n Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These high thrill rides aren’t to be missed and are must-dos for a fantastic trip.

Rock N Roller Coaster – Photo Credit: Matthew Cooper (www.thetimethespace.com)

8. See the animals 

A unique part of Disney is the animals throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Experiencing the safari is a must-do as most of us will never get to Africa, but Disney creates an experience that transports us there with Kilimanjaro Safaris.  This trek through the safari brings guests close to animals such as giraffes, hippos, rhinos, elephants and so many more. Not only does the safari connect guests to the animals, throughout the park there are unique animal encounters as well. Travel on one of the many trails to see otters, tigers and gorillas. Although we love the rides, the animals are also a must-do during our vacation. 

9. Experience New Technology 

Disney Imagineers are constantly creating and designing new never done before rides. During your vacation, make sure to visit these new attractions to see what new technology is being used by Imagineers to create breathtaking experiences. Soar on the back of a banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage. Hangout with Mickey and friends on his first-ever ride, Mickey’s and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Finally, experience the movies like never before with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Currently, these three rides display some of the newest technologies being used in attractions, and they are all must-dos during your vacation. 

AT-AT Walkers, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Photo: Disney)

10. See A Nighttime Spectacular

The best way to end a day at Walt Disney World is by experiencing one of Disney’s nighttime shows. We are thrilled to have both Epcot and Magic Kingdom now having fireworks and evening shows once again. Disney puts on fireworks like no one else, and it really is a must-do experience during a vacation. Don’t skip nighttime spectaculars as the wait and the crowds will be well worth it as you are blown away by the magic.

Bonus! Enjoy the magic

Finally, to have the most fantastic trip to Walt Disney World, you need to take time to enjoy the magic. As we mentioned before, it is easy to get caught up in running from ride to ride, but allow yourself to slow down and take in the magic and details all around you. We highly recommend hanging out with a treat on the hub grass or slowly walking around the Tree of Life to see all the different animals carved into the tree. These magical moments are often the ones that aren’t planned and are unexpected, but they are the moments that make a fantastic trip.

Cinderella Castle – Credit: Matthew Cooper (www.thetimethespace.com)

We know planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be stressful but hope these 10 must-dos will help you have a fantastic trip!

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.