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First Trip to Disney? Don’t Miss These Experiences

A first trip to Walt Disney World is highly magical but can also be overwhelming. As you prepare your countdown and the excitement builds, you might also be stressing slightly.

Walt Disney World has so much to offer that it can take much work to narrow down precisely what you want to do during your trip. As you can’t see and do it all (don’t think you can), we have some of the top magical experiences you shouldn’t miss.

Meeting Mickey Mouse
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Meet Mickey Mouse

Meeting Mickey Mouse is one of our top must-do experiences for a first trip, or any trip. There is something extraordinary about meeting the main mouse himself in Walt Disney World.

There are a few places where Mickey Mouse typically greets Guests.  A few places you can find him are at the Town Square Theatre in Magic Kingdom and in EPCOT at the Imagination Pavilion.

Get ready for beautiful hugs, smiles, and excitement as you say hello to Mickey and enjoy the magic he helps create.


Enjoy the Fireworks

The nighttime shows at Walt Disney World are breathtaking. Take time during your first trip to see at least one of the night-time shows. In Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After combines fireworks, projections, and a beautiful story to create a fantastic show that is beautiful and moving.

Another favorite nighttime show is Fantasmic at Disney’s Holywood Studios. This nighttime show uses water, fire, music, and a variety of our favorite Disney characters to make an excellent and entertaining show.

Don’t think the nighttime shows are like any other fireworks show you have seen. Walt Disney World creates fantastic shows that are breathtaking.

Credit: Delish

Eat Something Mickey Shaped

It wouldn’t be a Disney vacation without eating something Mickey-shaped while visiting. Find a delicious treat like a Mickey pretzel, Mickey ice cream sandwich, or a Mickey bar.

These iconic treats are throughout the Disney Parks and the Disney Resort. In Magic Kingdom, there is something truly magical about that Mickey-shaped treat on Main Street, USA.

Dumbo Ride

Ride the Classic Disney Rides

When you first visit Walt Disney World, take time to ride the classics, no matter how old or young you are. These rides are what makes Disney so extremely special. The iconic rides have been bringing families together throughout the years. It wouldn’t be a first trip to Walt Disney World without experiencing some of the classic rides found in the Disney Parks.

Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s a small world, Haunted Mansion, and Peter Pan’s Flight are just a few of the rides in Magic Kingdom that a first-timer should take time to experience.

Don’t forget to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant during your first trip. Adults will enjoy the magical moment as they ride in Dumbo and see the sights of the Magic Kingdom. Little ones will love being able to “fly” Dumbo moving him up and down as he soars around Magic Kingdom.

In EPCOT, ride Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land to experience classic EPCOT.

Although many new and more advanced rides have come to the Parks, these classics are what Disney is all about.

Memory Maker

Snap Photos

As you are taking in all the magic, make sure that you also slow down and take some photos throughout your trip. We love capturing the icons at each of the four Disney Parks. Take advantage of Memory Maker by having Disney PhotoPass Photographs capture your photos.

These magical moments will allow you to enjoy them for years. Get creative with your photo locations as well. Check out some of our ideas HERE.

Disney Skyliner; Disney Monorail
Credit: V Mills

Enjoy Disney Transportation

Another great feature that sets Walt Disney World above other Theme Parks is the transportation. Experiencing the unique Disney transportation is a must-do when visiting Walt Disney World.

Disney does offer buses and boats, but the monorail and Skyliner are options you won’t find at your local Theme Park.

During your first vacation, schedule some time to experience these two modes of transportation. Take the Skyliner between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or ride the monorail to see some Magic Kingdom resorts.

It is fantastic to have free transportation offered as it makes getting around less stressful as you don’t have to worry about car seats and getting lost. Take advantage of it and also take time to enjoy it.

batuu at night DT
batuu at night DT

Experience Unique Lands

When visiting Walt Disney World for the first time, slow down and enjoy the theming throughout the Parks. A great example of this is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land are two fantastic themed lands.

As you enjoy the rides in these lands, make sure you also slow down to enjoy the unique details that bring the land to life. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an immersive and amazingly themed land truly transports Guests to a whole new planet.

Enjoy all the fantastic details and hidden gems throughout these unique lands.

Outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we highly recommend enjoying Pandora’s World of Avatar and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The beauty of this land is impressive and can be enjoyed both during the day and at night.

The themed lands that bring the Disney Parks to life are all part of the magic. Make sure you slow down to enjoy them during your trip.

When visiting Walt Disney World for the first time, ensure you have these top must-do experiences. We hope that as you get excited about your trip, these suggestions will help you better plan for how you want to enjoy the Disney Parks.


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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