Essential Experiences at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World with four parks, Disney Springs, two water parks and numerous resorts offers so many magical experiences.  Guests can experience great food, outstanding, groundbreaking rides and beautiful sights throughout their vacations.  What are the top experiences that guests should make sure they have while visiting?  We think these next experiences are essential for a Walt Disney World vacation.


1. Visit Resorts

Disney’s resorts are some of the best, most themed resorts one can experience.  During vacation, take time to visit some of the resorts on property.  Experience a great meal at the Polynesian, Contemporary Resort, or Yacht Club to see these outstanding resorts.  Consider taking a monorail or skyliner crawl to visit the resorts such as Art of Animation, Disney’s Riviera, Pop Century or Caribbean Beach on the skyliner loop.  Each resort on property brings a special theme that will sweep guests away.

2. Disney Springs

Disney’s shopping and entertainment district in Disney Springs is a destination not to be missed while in Walt Disney World.  Guests can enjoy some of the best food on property by award winning chefs at restaurants such as Morimoto Asia, Art Smith’s Homecoming or Chicken Guy.  A variety of entertainment can be enjoyed here as well.  Roaming performances can be seen throughout Disney Springs as well as a fun adult only show at Raglan Road.  Shopping is also an option with numerous stores from the World of Disney where guests can find everything Disney to specific stores offering unique gifts like the all Star Wars store or Uniqlo where guests can find lower cost clothes.  With excellent shopping, dining and entertainment Disney Springs is a destination not to be missed while in Walt Disney World.

3. Get a Mickey Treat

A Mickey shaped treat is a must when visiting Walt Disney World.  Now more than ever, Disney is producing Mickey themed, shaped and inspired treats.  Try a classic Mickey Bar, Mickey sandwich or a savory Mickey pretzel.  No matter what you choose, it isn’t a Disney vacation until you grab a Mickey treat.

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4. Evening Show

One of the most magical experiences at Walt Disney World comes from seeing a nighttime show.  At each of the four parks now, guests can enjoy an evening show.  Each show brings Disney magic to life by using music along with either fireworks, projectors, floats or a combination of those.   Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom can bring guests to tears as Cinderella’s Castle transforms to different scenes from favorite movies while fireworks and music work together to create a special experience like nothing else.  At Hollywood Studios, Star Wars fans can see a similar show with scenes from the Star Wars movies while music, lasers and fireworks added to the display.  Also, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Fantasmic.  This water projection, character heavy show is a fan favorite.  It is one of the only places that guests can see so many beloved characters at once.  At Epcot and Animal Kingdom, the nighttime shows use water and floats to bring a special story to life for guests.  Take time during vacation to see at least one of the evening shows.

5. Castle

A Walt Disney World vacation isn’t complete without seeing and taking pictures with the iconic Cinderella’s Castle.  This is an essential experience for all who come to Walt Disney World as it truly is the image of Walt Disney World for most guests.  During a vacation, you will want to take time to walk around, as well as take pictures around the castle.  Although most take pictures from the front of the castle, consider getting some from the sides and back as well.  These offer excellent, beautiful and unique views of the castle.

6. Ride the Skyliner and Monorail

Walt Disney World now has two modes of transportation that are essential to a vacation.  The original experience is riding the monorail.  This takes guests around the Seven Seas Lagoon giving guests a great view of the monorail resorts and the Magic Kingdom itself.  The newest mode of transportation is the skyliner.  The skyliner allows guests to travel high above Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as Art of Animation/ Pop Century and Riviera and Caribbean Beach Resort.  Both of these modes of transportations are so unique that they are a must do while in Walt Disney World.

7. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

The newest ride to open in Walt Disney World is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  The first ride through attraction featuring Mickey and friends, this ride is absolutely essential to a Disney vacation.  Be transformed into a cartoon with the main mouse himself as a new ride vehicle, music and visuals take you on a ride like none before.

8. Galaxy’s Edge

Visiting Galaxy’s Edge is one of the most essential experiences at Walt Disney World.  This immersive land truly takes guests to a galaxy far, far away.  Unique food, amazing views, and two outstanding rides can be found in Galaxy’s Edge.  The top ride in Disney is Rise of the Resistance and is located in Galaxy’s Edge.  Called the best ride Disney has ever done, Rise of the Resistance brings the movies to life like never before in a theme park.  Guests will want to experience Galaxy’s Edge both during the day and after sunset as the sights and sounds are completely different depending on the time of day.  From the unique food, great views and outstanding rides, Galaxy’s Edge is essential to a Disney vacation.

9. Meeting Mickey

Finally, we think that meeting Mickey Mouse is essential to a Disney experience.  Schedule a meal to meet Mickey or visit him at one of his meet and greets at each of the parks.  It doesn’t matter how old or young one is, getting to meet Mickey Mouse is a magical experience that is essential to a trip to Walt Disney World.

There is so much to experience while visiting Walt Disney World.  From state-of-the-art rides to delicious award-winning food to shopping and extraordinary modes of transportation, we think these experiences are essential for guests to experience while visiting Walt Disney World.  Which ones have you done?  Which ones do you need to do?

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.