The First Thing to Do in Each Park at Walt Disney World

four parks disney world
Credit: Disney Parks

A trip to Disney World is sure to be magical, no matter what order you do things in. That said, the things you choose to do first certainly can have on effect on exactly how magical your trip is. There are several factors which should be considered when deciding what to do first. For instance:

  • Is your goal to save time, or to keep the kids happy?
  • Do you want to experience as many thrills as possible, or do you just want to take in the ambiance?


Below we’ve compiled short lists of the top four things to do first in each park. Figure out what kind of park tourist you are, and check our list to learn exactly what should be at the top of your park plans.

1. Magic Kingdom

Let’s begin with Magic Kingdom. This is definitely the most magical of all the parks, and the first park you should visit. But what should you do first in this first park? Check out the options below.

Main Street U.S.A.
  • For Magic Seekers: Soak in the Main Street Ambiance: If your visit to Disney is all about the magic, you might just want to take the time to soak in the ambiance of Main Street, U.S.A. in the morning. During the AM hours, there are all kinds of performers and actors filling the street, and of course, the castle at the end of the street just adds to the magic.
  • For Time Savers: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Want to save time so you can squeeze in as much fun as possible? Arrive at park opening and use the less crowded morning hours to hop on the most popular ride in the park: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The line is sure to be shorter first thing in the morning.
  • For Families: Character Meet-and-Greets: If you have young kids, meeting characters is likely high on their list of things to do. Because the characters do such a great job of taking their time with each and every guest, and because there are so many important characters to meet in the Magic Kingdom, you might want to make this one of the first things you do.
  • For Thrill Seekers: Space Mountain: Finally, there is the option for you thrill seekers out there. While Seven Dwarfs Mine Train could technically count for this one, we also think Space Mountain should be taken into consideration. This ride often has incredibly long lines, meaning an early morning ride would save some time—and, it is by far the most thrilling roller coaster in the park, making it the perfect “wake-up” ride.


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2. Epcot

Epcot is a huge park, with its fair share of awesome things to see and do. In fact, many Disney fans will even go so far as to say Epcot is their favorite park. Here’s what you should do first during your visit to this fantastic place.

  • For Magic Seekers: Meander into Future World: If you’re looking to start your morning in the most magical way possible while in Epcot, you’re going to want to take your time in Future World. While you won’t find fun townspeople to greet you like at Magic Kingdom, you might still see some performers, and you can definitely snap a photo in front of the iconic silver ball before taking in the sights and doing some people-watching.
  • For Time Savers: Soarin’ Around the World: Those who need to save time should head on over to the Soarin’ ride. This attraction almost always has a long line, but it’s a must-do. Therefore, because there is no single rider line, if you can’t secure a FastPass you will want to head here first.
  • For Families: Frozen Ever After: Frozen Ever After is another super popular ride that always has a long queue. The difference between this ride and Soarin’ is the fact that we don’t think this is an absolutely must-do unless someone in your party is a serious Frozen fan or a fan of dark rides in general. That said, those who are fans of these things will want to head here first thing in the morning.
  • For Thrill Seekers: Test Track: The final must-do ride in this park is Test Track. This is an especially important one for thrill seekers, as it is easily the fastest ride in the park. Choose this one to get your adrenaline pumping and bring your energy levels up.

3. Hollywood Studios

Ready to experience some movie magic? Hollywood Studios is the place to be. Here you will experience tons of amazing movie adventures you simply cannot find anywhere else. Wondering which things to do first? Here are our recommendations.

  • For Magic Seekers: Take a Leisurely Stroll Down Hollywood Boulevard: For those who like to start off with slow, magical mornings, a leisurely stroll down Hollywood Boulevard is just the thing. Grab a coffee, enjoy the street performers, and take in the retro ambiance of this otherwise exciting and fast-paced park.
  • For Time Savers: Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run: Saving time is always a good idea—especially in this park, which is home to so many new attractions. We highly recommend that those who are keen on saving time visit Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run first. Why? Well, this is currently the most popular ride in the park, and hopping on this one before the crowd levels skyrocket is sure to save you loads of time.
  • For Families: Toy Story Land: Visiting with kids? Unless your kids are serious Star Wars fans, an early morning visit to Toy Story Land might be more your speed. Use the slower morning hours to get on Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania before lines get too long.
  • For Thrill Seekers: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: Finally, those who are looking to start the day off with a big thrill might want to head over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This is probably the most thrilling ride in any of the four Disney World parks, making it the perfect way to wake up your senses and start the day off right.
Rock N Roller Coaster

4. Animal Kingdom

Last but not least, we must discuss the wonderful Animal Kingdom. This park is absolutely beautiful, and the many new things that are happening here make it more exciting and fun than ever before. Here’s how to get your day going when visiting this park.

  • For Magic Seekers: Check Out the Animals in the Oasis: If taking it slow and letting the magic sink in is your thing, you’ll love taking your time getting into the park and checking out the animals in the Oasis, located just beyond the park entrance. Many people are in such a hurry to start riding rides that they completely miss the beautiful creatures here, something that those seeking out the magic won’t want to do.
  • For Time Savers: Avatar Flight of Passage: More worried about saving time? Your first stop should be Pandora – World of Avatar. Here you’ll find some seriously awesome theming, as well as the two latest and most popular rides in the park. Hop in line for Flight of Passage in particular before anything else to save the most time.
  • For Families: Na’vi River Journey: Little ones won’t be able to ride Flight of Passage. In this case, we still highly recommend heading over to Pandora but instead riding Na’vi River Journey before doing anything else. After exiting this ride, take a minute to explore the out-of-this-world land before moving on.
  • For Thrill Seekers: Expedition Everest: Finally, for those who like to start their morning with a bang, there is Expedition Everest. This super thrilling coaster is a great way to start any day!
Expedition Everest

About Chelsea Gonzales