PlanningThe ParksTips

Don’t Miss Out On These 10 Experiences at Disney

Walt Disney World has so many magical experiences for Guests to choose from throughout the four Disney Parks, Disney Springs, and the many Disney Resorts. Although it is amazing that there are so many outstanding experiences to choose from, it can also be overwhelming.

To help with your planning, we have ten top experiences that you will want to make sure you do when at Walt Disney World. These are a combination of rides, shows, dining, and overall magical experiences that make a Walt Disney World vacation special.

Family Meeting Mickey Mouse in EPCOT
Family Meeting Mickey Mouse in EPCOT

Meet Mickey Mouse

It wouldn’t be a trip to Walt Disney World without meeting Mickey Mouse. Luckily there are many opportunities to do so both in and out of the Parks.

Consider a character meal at Chef Mickey’s, Topolino’s Terrace, or even Tusker House and Ohana where Mickey stops by to visit Guests. This is a great way to experience both an excellent meal and see Mickey Mouse.

In each of the four Parks, Mickey takes time to visit Guests. You can see him in each Park at his special locations such as Tony’s Town Square Theater on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom. Check the My Disney Experience app to see when and where you can find Mickey Mouse during your trip.

Cinderella Castle Happily Ever After
Credit: V Mills

Nighttime Shows

No one does fireworks and evening shows like Walt Disney World. Take time during your vacation to experience at least one of the amazing shows.

We would recommend trying to see both Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom as well as Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Both of these shows are absolutely stunning.

Happily Ever After is a more traditional evening show. Here Guests will experience outstanding fireworks, amazing projects that transform Cinderella Castle, and a musical score that is fantastic.

Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is more of a show. This includes not only fireworks and protections as well as live actors. This is a beautiful show that, like Happily Ever After, has an outstanding musical score.

Don’t miss out on these moving evening spectaculars.

Family enjoying a meal in EPCOT
Family enjoying a meal in EPCOT

Enjoy a Meal

Food is part of what makes Walt Disney World magical. Enjoy a good meal during your vacation. This can be either a table service or quick service meal depending on your goals.

There are great dining experiences in both of these areas. While visiting the Parks and Resorts, take time to have a nice meal. Enjoy a signature meal at Jiko or California Grill. Meet some characters at Chef Mickey’s and Ohana.

For quick meals, visit Nomad Lounge or Brown Derby Lounge. We also enjoy Steakhouse 71, Satu’li Canteen, Sleepy Hollow, and Woody’s Lunchbox.

No matter what type of food you are looking for, take time during a Disney trip to enjoy some of the great meals.

Mickey Pretzel, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Mickey Shaped Goody

Another must do experience when at Walt Disney World is to enjoy something Mickey shaped. There is something magical about enjoying a Mickey ice cream sandwich in front of the castle.

There are so many great Mickey shaped items. Try a pretzel, ice cream bar, or visit one of the many candy stores to find a Mickey themed treat.

Crescent Lake, Disney's Beach Club Resort
Credit: V Mills

Enjoy Your Resort

This is hard to do but is so important during a Disney vacation. Take time to enjoy your Disney Resort. So often we are rushing to the Parks that we miss out on the magic that the Resorts have to offer.

Head to the pool where you can enjoy afternoon activities for the whole family. Enjoy a meal, walk around and explore, visit the arcade or play area if there is one.

The Disney Resorts are part of the magic. Schedule in time to enjoy them.

Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail
Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail


Another amazing part of the magic at Walt Disney World is the transportation. Even if you don’t need to use the Disney transportation during your vacation, schedule in time to enjoy it.

Both the monorail and skyliner are so unique to Walt Disney World. Enjoy exploring the property by taking a ride on these modes of transportation. Visit another Resort for a snack, drink or meal. These special modes of transportation shouldn’t be missed.

Festival of the Lion King
Credit: Disney

See a Show

Something else that Disney does extremely well are live performances. Make sure during your Disney vacation that you experience at least one show.

Each Park offers unique shows for Guests to enjoy. From the Broadway caliber performances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo The Big Blue and Beyond to hilarious performances with For the First Time in Forever a Frozen Sing-Along at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, all the shows at Disney are fun and magical.

Check the My Disney Experience app during your trip to see when these performances will take place during your trip.

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland
Credit: Disney

Classic Rides

Don’t visit Walt Disney World without experiencing some of the classic rides. No matter how old or young your group is, these classic rides are what Disney is all about.

Fly to Neverland with Peter Pan or sing along on it’s a small world. Visit the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The classic rides might not be the most exciting, but they are a big part of the Disney magic.


New Rides

Disney is always working to bring new rides to Guests. Don’t miss out on some of these fantastic new rides. Enjoy thrilling rides on Tron Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

The whole family can enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Explore these new rides to experience the best that Disney has to offer.

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Slow Down

Finally, make sure you take time during your trip to slow down. Whatever this might mean for your family.


Enjoy an ice cream in the hub, walk the trails at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or explore the World Showcase in EPCOT. Maybe you relax at your Disney Resort for a whole day. No matter what you do, allow yourself time to slow down during your trip.


Those are ten experiences you don’t want to miss out on during your next Walt Disney World vacation.








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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