PlanningThe ParksTips

7 Not To Miss Experiences for Your First Disney Trip

Walt Disney World has many unique, magical experiences throughout the four Disney Parks, two water parks, at the Disney Resorts and in Disney Springs. These magical experiences draw people to Walt Disney World for yearly family vacations.

When planning a first trip to Walt Disney World, the struggle can determine which fantastic experiences you should focus on. No matter how long your trip to Walt Disney World is, you won’t be able to see and do it all.

To help you narrow your must-do list, we have seven not to miss experiences for your first trip to Walt Disney World. These combine top ride experiences, shows, and magical moments you won’t want to miss out on.

Mickey Mouse in front of Chinese Theatre in Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

7. Seeing Mickey Mouse

We will ensure you visit Mickey Mouse during your first trip. There is something so special about meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time. It doesn’t matter how old you are during your first trip; a hug from Mickey makes the trip extremely special.

Meeting Mickey is easy when at Walt Disney World. We have a whole post HERE where you can find him throughout Walt Disney World. He is available in all four Parks and at many character dining locations.

Don’t miss out on meeting Mickey Mouse during your first Walt Disney World vacation.

Credit: Disney

6. Experience a Thrill

We don’t want to make this whole list specific rides that you should experience, but there are some that we think should make a must-do list. When at Walt Disney World, schedule time to experience some of the top E-ticket attractions in the Disney Parks.

These attractions show off the new technology that Disney Imaginners have brought to the Parks as they immerse Guests in outstanding ride experiences.

For us, those top rides will be Avatar: Flight of Passage, Star Wars: Rise of the ResistanceGuardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and soon Tron: Lightcycle Run. These rides are the best Disney offers and shouldn’t be skipped when visiting Walt Disney World. Make sure you know the different ways you can experience these rides. Be aware of virtual queues and individual lightning lanes that are offered.

Disney Resorts
Credit: Disney

5. Enjoy Your Disney Resort

This is an experience that most first time Guests to Walt Disney World don’t take time to enjoy, but we think it is a big part of a Disney vacation. Take time during your trip to enjoy the magic of your Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

No matter where you are staying at Walt Disney World, Disney Resort is part of what makes the magic. Enjoy the pool, the activities, food, and overall amenities your Resort offers. Don’t skip out on enjoying the magic these Resorts bring to a trip to Walt Disney World.

Happily Ever After

4. NIghttime Shows

A massive part of Walt Disney World are the nighttime shows. There nothing like a fireworks display at Magic Kingdom. Schedule in time to enjoy some, if not all, of the nighttime shows offered at Walt Disney World.

Coming in April is the return of Happily Ever After in Magic Kingdom. This nightitme spectacular will bring together projections, songs, and fireworks to create an moving and breathtaking show featuring some of our favorite Disney and Pixar movies.

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantasmic has returned in a new and fantastic way. This show features many of our faovirte characters, water projections, live action, and a musical score that brings the story to life.

Finally, EPCOT will see the return of EPCOT Forever this April as well. This show brings back some of the best of EPCOT and celebrates all of this Park has to offer.

Don’t skip out on the nighttime shows during your trip. These shows are breathtaking and moving. You won’t want to miss out on everything they have to offer.

3. Good Food

When planning your first trip to Walt Disney World, it can be easy to think you will be stuck eating chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and burgers the whole time. Don’t get stuck doing this! Walt Disney World has so many outstanding dining lcoations throughout the Parks and Resorts that you will have various food to choose from during your trip.

Take time to enjoy some of these great options during your trip. Schedule a few table service experiences so you can enjoy a sit down meal. Disney has award winning restaurants that you might be surprised to find.

Even if you don’t want to do sit down meals, Disney has various outstanding quick service locations. Do some research to know your options so you can enjoy such excellent meals while on vacation.

its a small world
Credit: Disney

2. Experience a Classic

A first trip to Walt Disney World wouldn’t be complete without a ride on one of the many classic Disney attractions throughout the Parks. Even if you think the ride might not be super exciting, don’t skip out on these iconic rides that made Disney special.

Take time to enjoy it’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spaceship Earth, or Haunted Mansion. These rides are what make Disney unique and different from other theme parks. They show of Disney Imagineering and magic, and you won’t want to skip them.

Cinderella Castle
Cinderella Castle

1. Slow Down

Finally, make sure that you take time to slow down during your first trip. Getting wrapped up in rushing from experience to experience can be easy, but the magic is in the small moments. Slow down and enjoy a snack, the stage show, or just people watching. Magic is around every coner in Walt Disney World, don’t miss it.

There is so much magic to enjoy around Walt Disney World it can be hard to know where to start. These seven not to miss experiences will help guide you as you plan your first trip to Walt Disney World.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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