Everyone has one – a list of things you just have to do in your life. For Disney fans that bucket list probably looks a tad different from the rest of the world. If you are like me, most of these are either on that list, or they should be.
10. Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is by far one of the most incredible experiences you will ever have in the park. How many times have you been in the Magic Kingdom, looked up at that glorious castle and wondered what it looks like inside? Sure, you can walk up to the castle, and even pass underneath to see the wonderful mosaic work on the walls, but what does it look like behind those windows, in those turrets? Eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table within the castle is definitely the best way to find out. The meal is on the pricier side, but the experience itself is certainly well worth the price tag.
9. Dining with an Imagineer
This one has been on my bucket list for years, and I have yet to get myself a reservation. This lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios gives you the opportunity to ask an actual Disney Imagineer all of the questions you’ve always wanted to know. Who wouldn’t want to find out what it’s like to create the most magical experiences in the world, ask an expert how you can become a Disney Imagineer yourself? I’m sure everyone has their own list of questions, and someday mine will be answered when I finally share a meal with one of the creative minds that bring Disney magic to life.
8. Staying in Cinderella Castle
There is a single room in Cinderella Castle for guests to stay in. VERY few people have ever seen it, however, for one incredible, and mildly frustrating, reason: you cannot buy a night in the castle. The only way to experience what it’s like to sleep in one of the most iconic buildings on the planet is to win it. Contests run from time to time, and no doubt Disney has enough entries that they could fill the room every night for the next million years. So alas, for now the only thing we can do is dream on this one.
7. Seeing the Utilidors
Fun fact: when you walk into the Magic Kingdom and make your way down Main Street, you are actually on the second floor of the park. When the park was built, there were many reasons for the secret underground walkways beneath your feet, known as the “utilidors”. This backstage element of the park ensures that the Disney magic remains magical, from small details like making sure that you never see a cast member in a Tomorrowland costume passing through Frontierland, to bigger things like ensuring that guests never see garbage being hauled multiple times a day through the park. These mysterious utilidors are something every Disney addict dreams of seeing, and now you can, as part of Magic Kingdom’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour.
6. Doing a Backstage Tour
Swimming with dolphins, discovering what really happens behind the scenes in Epcot, and learning about the beginnings as well as the inner workings of the Magic Kingdom: these are just some of the incredible things that Disney fans long to take part in when they visit the most magical place on earth. Behind-the-scenes tours add an extra expense to your vacation, but they are so worth it – just ask anyone who’s experienced them!
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5. Attending Disney University
From a business perspective, Disney is by far one of the most consistent companies in the world. With many different facets, the company is constantly growing, each and every day. So it makes sense that Disney would create its own university, not only to train their own employees, but to pass on their business-savvy ways to others. They have courses and structures for everyone, as well as a series of books; if you haven’t read one yet, I definitely recommend picking one up the next time you are in the parks.
4. Attending the D23 Expo
The D23 Expo is a wonderful opportunity to find out before anyone else what is going to be happening in Disney Parks, with Disney films and with just about everything else Disney has to offer. You are guaranteed to be surprised. It could be by guests like Johnny Depp showing up with no warning, it could be sneak peaks at upcoming Disney films, it could even be discovering what new areas and experiences in the parks are going to look like. Imagine Comic Con, with nothing but Disney!
3. Retiring/Working at Disney
This one is obvious. Many people spend their entire lives working at a job that they do for no other reason than to pay the bills. When I imagine a perfect job, it begins and ends with Walt Disney World. I have told friends several times that I would be happy playing Sweetums in the Muppet Theatre for the rest of my life. Just walking into work every day, knowing that you are part of something so incredibly magical for everyone who experiences it, would be the most fulfilling work ever.
2. Staying at/Experiencing Every Resort
Resort-hopping can be one of the most fun ways to spend a day in Walt Disney World. Seeing all of the detail work that goes into each and every resort can be just as amazing, if not more so, than a day in the parks. Check out the restaurants, the gift shops and eye those spectacular pool areas (just remember that most of the higher-end resorts restrict access to the pool areas unless you are actually staying at the particular resort). You’ll likely be inspired to try a new resort the next time you’re in Disney – we certainly love trying out new resorts each time we go. Waking up to animals out your window one trip, watching fireworks from Magic Kingdom or Epcot without leaving your room on another: these are the experiences that make a vacation memorable. Being able to experience every single aspect of each and every resort is definitely high on my Disney bucket list.
1. Being Part of a Show/Parade
Many of the shows and parades on property give you an opportunity to be part of Disney magic first-hand. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, for example, takes adult volunteers for each show. If you want to be part of the action, the best way is to look like the most excited person in the room. This applies to any of the parades as well. Families usually are the ones to get chosen for those, but again if you look like you are excited to be there, even more so than anyone else in the crowd, you will get picked.