PlanningThe ParksTips

Must Do Experiences for a First Visit to Disney

If you are getting ready for your first magical Walt Disney World vacation, we can just imagine all the excitement that is building as you countdown the days.

To help with the excitement, we have some top experiences we think are must for a first visit to Walt Disney World.  There is so much to see and do throughout the Walt Disney World Resort that we thought it would be fun to look at some of the top magical experiences.

Mickey Mouse Epcot
Photo Credit: Disney

Meet Mickey Mouse

One of our top must do experiences for a first trip, or really any trip, is to take time to meet Mickey Mouse.  There is something truly special about meeting the main mouse himself in Walt Disney World.

There are a few places that Mickey Mouse typically greets Guests.  Right now you can find him at the Town Square Theatre in Magic Kingdom as well as in EPCOT at the Imagination Pavilion.

Even though this meet and greet is a little different, no autographs or hugs currently, it is still a great time to say hello to Mickey and celebrate being in the magic together.

Dumbo Ride

Ride Dumbo

Even though some older kids might not want to, we highly recommend taking time to ride Dumbo over in Storybook Circus during your first visit to Magic Kingdom.

Adults will enjoy the magical moment as they ride in Dumbo and see the sights of Magic Kingdom.  Little ones will love being able to “fly” Dumbo moving him up and down as he soars around Magic Kingdom.

A ride on Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a must do for a first Disney World vacation.

Credit: Disney

See the Fireworks

We have all seen the commercials with the fireworks lighting up the sky behind Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.  This experience is a must do during a first vacation to Walt Disney World.

Take time to find a good spot to take in the newest nighttime show Disney Enchantment.  This show brings the magic of fireworks, projections, beloved Disney songs all together into a fantastic show that is a must do.

Eat Something Mickey Shaped

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

These iconic treats can be found throughout the Disney Park and the Disney Resort.  There is something truly magical about that Mickey shaped treat on Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Ride the Classics

Something that makes Walt Disney World so magical is the iconic rides that 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, Peter Pan’s Flight are just a few of the rides in Magic Kingdom that a first timer should take time to experience.

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.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Experience the Disney Transportation

Another great feature that sets Walt Disney World above other Theme Parks is the transportation.  We feel that 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 around 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.

Spaceship Earth
Credit: Disney

Take Photos

Stopping and taking photos in front of the icons throughout Walt Disney World is a must for us on all vacations but especially on a first trip to Walt Disney World.

Snap photos yourself, or have Disney PhotoPass Photographers take them as you are in each Theme Park.  Having these magical moments captured will be ones that you enjoy for years to come.  See what other photos we recommend taking HERE.

Visit Star Wars:  Galaxy’s Edge

Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, we highly recommend making a stop into Batuu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a must do during your first vacation.  This immersive and amazingly themed land truly transports Guests to a whole new planet.

Take time to walk around and enjoy all the amazing details and hidden gems throughout this land, but also take time to ride Rise of the Resistance.  This highly immersive ride places Guests right in the middle of the action like no other ride.  It really is a one of a kind experience.

Credit: Disney

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Another ride that we would put on the must-do list for a first time visit to Walt Disney World is Kilimanjaro Safaris is Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This 18-minute open air ride through the Harambe Reserves is a ride experience. Guests won’t get anywhere else.

See over 34 different species as they make this reserve their home. Giraffes, lions, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, and many more animals can be seen in a natural environment.

Each safari experience is unique and different and is one of a kind experience that shouldn’t be skipped out on during a first trip.

These are some of our top must-do experiences for a first time trip to Walt Disney World.  We hope that they help you get excited for your trip and determine what are some experiences you might want to do while visiting.

Wanting more tips?  Check out our top two rides in each Theme Park HERE.  Also see our top rides not to miss on a first trip HERE.




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.

Related Articles


Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker