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Top 10 Things To See, Do & Eat At Walt Disney World

Talk about a tough list to put together!  There are so many more than 10 that I would like to include on the list, and I am sure that each of you could come up with 10 completely different things that are must-dos on your Walt Disney World Vacation.  Sometimes as you are preparing your itinerary for your vacation you forget about some of the little things to schedule in, or maybe don’t think about some of the “big picture” experiences that maybe don’t even require scheduling.  Here is my list of 10 things you should see, do, and eat at Walt Disney World.

 

10.  Take a Photo with the Castle

This one is a total no-brainer.  You MUST get a photo in front of Cinderella Castle.  Here are my recommendations:  Take a couple of photos.  There are PhotoPass photographers up and down Main Street, and sometimes on the bridges to the side.  Stopping to get a few angles will ensure that you have a great photo with minimal people in the background, and that everyone is looking, smiling and not winking at the camera.  Also, the closer you get to the castle, the better the image so you may want to skip the first couple of photographers on Main Street.  If you have Memory Maker as part of your travel package you will get all of those photos they took, but it you don’t want to make that investment (it is my favorite souvenir by the way) you can ask the photographers to take a couple with your camera.  You may also want a daytime photo and a nighttime shot with the lights, and ask about any Magic shots too for PhotoPass/Memory Maker.

9.  Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort

I can’t emphasize enough how magical it is to stay inside the “Disney Bubble” for your entire vacation.  The convenience, location, service and theming of Disney’s resorts is unmatched.  For the complete Disney vacation experience, a stay at one of their onsite resort hotels is a must-do.  Whether it is a value resort or a deluxe property, each one has so much to offer that I also encourage you to schedule in some time to hang out at the resort.  Enjoy the pool, take advantage of the activities offered (my favorites are at the Animal Kingdom Lodge), and just have some down time in a great setting.

8.  Find a Hidden Mickey

Throughout the parks and resorts, Disney’s Imagineers and Designers have hidden a little extra magic to be discovered:  Hidden Mickeys.  It is so much fun to hunt for these while in line waiting on rides or walking around the park.  Most of the time a Hidden Mickey is three circles in the shape of a Mickey Head, but some are more elaborate like the Hidden Steamboat Willie in the queue to the Little Mermaid Ride.  You can find lots of resources to help you on your hunts from books to apps—we utilize an app while we are in the parks to minimize what we are carrying.

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7.  Ride a Monorail and the Skyliner

Disney has multiple means of transportation within the resort—from hotels to parks, etc.  But up until this past Fall there was really only 1 “signature” form of transportation that was a must-do.  The highway in the sky, the Monorail is something that most people wanted to experience on their vacation, and I recommend that you give it a try.  My favorite monorail loop is the one from the Ticket & Transportation Center through Epcot.  Although with construction that one is not as fun as it used to be.  But, if you need a shorter route, you can take the Resort Monorail loop from the Magic Kingdom—and it is fun to get off and explore each resort as you go.  Now, there is a new kid in town for transportation:  The Skyliner Gondolas.  These are so much fun to ride; they are an attraction themselves.  Guests staying at Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach Resort or the Riviera Resort have stations at their resorts to use to go to Epcot or Hollywood Studios.  The Epcot station can also service Yacht & Beach Club and the Boardwalk Resort.  But you don’t have to be staying at one of those to ride.  You can take a ride for fun to one of the resorts from Epcot or Hollywood Studios and come back.  Or you can use it to get from Epcot to Hollywood Studios if you are park hopping.  And the Skyliner opens up a lot of dining options by making it easier to get around—I highly recommend Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera.

6.  Relax.

This is one of those things you don’t schedule in, but you need to remember.  This is vacation.  A lot of times you feel pressure to make sure you do all of the must-dos.  Experience each attraction, meet every character, and eat all of the food.  But sometimes you just have to step back, take a breath and enjoy all of the details of the moment you are in.  Don’t forget to have fun, let some things go, and make it a true vacation full of memories to last a lifetime.

5.  Eat Something Mickey Shaped

There is a plethora of Mickey shaped foods at Walt Disney World.  And you simply must eat at least one before you leave.  My personal favorite is the Mickey Waffle which can be found at pretty much any resort food court or quick service breakfast location, and at most breakfast restaurants and buffets.  The taste is divine, the texture is the perfect combination of crispy outside and warm soft inside.  And of course, it looks like Mickey!  There are also Mickey Pretzels, Mickey Beignets, Mickey Bars, Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, Candy Apples that look like Mickey . . . the list goes on & on. You should be able to find at least one you love. Don’t forget to take a picture while you devour it.

4.  Fireworks!

Disney does fireworks better than pretty much anyone.  They are choreographed, set to music, enhanced by projections & lasers, and they pull at your heartstrings with that special touch of Disney Magic.  You can find nighttime spectaculars at each park, but the Animal Kingdom does not have fireworks to protect the animals.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a Star Wars themed firework show, along with Fantasmic! which has a few fireworks as part of it.  Epcot has an evening show that is transitioning soon from Epcot Forever to HarmoniUS (no official date as of yet to change).  And Magic Kingdom has Happily Ever After—the quintessential Disney fireworks centered on Cinderella Castle.  If you can, try to catch all of them (well, don’t catch them because you might get burned—little Jungle Cruise humor), but right now I think Happily Ever After takes top billing.

3.  Ride A Classic

Walt Disney World has so many attractions:  fun ones, thrilling ones, educational ones.  One must-do on your trip should be to experience at least one of the classics.  These attractions have their roots deep within the Disney legacy going back to Disneyland or the World’s Fair—the very beginnings of what we know of as theme park attractions today.  Naturally, most of these are found in the Magic Kingdom, and many of them are probably part of your itinerary.  Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Carousel of Progress, Peter Pan’s Flight, Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Enchanted Tiki Room, Hall of Presidents.  All of these are still wonderful and entertaining attractions with a rich Disney history.

2.  Meet Mickey

Well, if you visit the House of Mouse, you need to meet the Mouse, right?  Meeting Mickey Mouse (& Minnie) should be at the top of your to-do list no matter what age you are.  Mickey (usually) isn’t out wondering to meet with guests, so you need to know where to go.  At the Magic Kingdom Mickey meets his friends at the Town Square Theater as soon as you enter the park.  At Hollywood Studios, Sorcerer Mickey is available to meet guests with his entrance across from the Sci Fi Dine In Theater on Commissary Lane (you’ll meet Minnie first, then Mickey).  At Animal Kingdom Mickey & Minnie greet you together at the Adventurer’s Outpost in their safari gear.  And at Epcot Mickey will find a permanent home soon, so check the guide maps and times guides when you arrive to see where you can find him.

1.  Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

Remember, you are on vacation and this is the perfect time to try something new.  Walt Disney World is an excellent place to do this.  Maybe you are a scared of rides:  try one of Disney’s rollercoasters!  Most are tamer than your average amusement park coaster.  Barnstormer is a kiddie coaster introduction, but I recommend Big Thunder Mountain or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to start (as long as you don’t have any of the warning signs to avoid them).  Are you a picky eater?  Try a new food!  Epcot or Animal Kingdom would be an excellent place to expand your palate.  If there is a festival going on at Epcot, you can try small bits of lots of new foods with little investment of time or money.  Or, go all out and try one of the restaurants in World Showcase that is dedicated to ethnic foods of each country.  At Animal Kingdom there are some wonderful restaurants that give you a chance to experiment.  Tiffin’s is my favorite with Tusker House a close second, or over at Animal Kingdom Lodge try Boma or Sanaa.  Are you a little timid?  Let loose & have fun!  Dance along with the parades, sing along when you are invited, talk to a princess, don’t let those Empire Bullies intimidate you in Galaxy’s Edge, interact with those Streetmosphere characters on Main Street or Hollywood Boulevard.  Let your Walt Disney World vacation take you somewhere entirely new.  That’s the best way to make memories!

What 10 things top your list for what you need to see, do & eat at Walt Disney World?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).