PlanningThe ParksTips

Top 10 Walt Disney World Must-Dos

With our next Walt Disney World vacation coming up soon, we thought it would be fun to share our top ten must dos when we travel to Walt Disney World.  These are experiences that we look forward to each and every trip.

From rides to food, these experiences are ones that have become a part of our family trips to Disney.  We hope by sharing our top ten you will be able to start thinking about what your top ten must dos when you take your next Disney vacation.

Mickey Mouse Epcot
Credit: Disney

Visit Mickey Mouse

Even though our kids are older now, it is still required that we take time to see Mickey Mouse each and every Disney vacation.

There is something special about seeing Mickey Mouse himself in Walt Disney World.  Each time we visit, the interaction is unique and magical.

We know that this time might look a little different as we won’t be able to hug Mickey, but we are looking forward to saying hello and checking out his adorable EARidescent outfit in Magic Kingdom.

If you too have meeting Mickey Mouse as a top ten on your Walt Disney World list, check out where you can currently find him throughout Walt Disney World HERE.

credit: Disney

Nighttime Shows

Disney does a lot of things right and one of the most amazing experiences that they do are the nighttime shows.

Even when the kids were little, we took time to make sure we experienced at least one of Disney’s nighttime spectaculars.

This upcoming trip we will have the opportunity to see two new nighttime shows.  Harmonious in EPCOT and Disney Enchantment in Magic Kingdom are two new shows that came with the 50th anniversary celebration.

A combination of new songs, projections and magic these two shows are a fantastic way to wrap up an evening in the Theme Parks.

We can’t wait to see these magical shows and enjoy seeing the wonder that Disney creates.


Enjoy the Resort

This one took us a while to put on our top ten list, but now it is super important.   Walt Disney World Resort hotels are some of the best of the best and truly are a part of the Disney magic.  

No matter which Disney Resort we choose to stay at, we take time to enjoy the amenities and offerings of the Resort.

From the amazing pools and pool activities to the food choices and Resort activities, there is so much offered at the Disney Resorts each and everyday.  We now take time to schedule in some Resort time so we can enjoy all that our Resort has to offer.

Space Mountain at Night
Credit: Disney

Ride the Mountains

Finally we are getting to some rides on our list.  For our family, it is a must do in Magic Kingdom to experience the mountains.Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain are three rides that each and every vacation we take time to ride- usually multiple times.

It is funny because each of us have a different favorite mountain so we have to make sure we take time to experience them all.

From the dark rockets of Space Mountain to the wild west of Big Thunder Mountain and the Laughing Place on Splash Mountain, we enjoy these three rides in Magic Kingdom and make sure to ride them each Disney vacation.

Mickey Bar

Enjoy at Snack in the Hub

Since Walt Disney World updated the hub area in front of the castle in Magic Kingdom, we really enjoy taking time to relax in this area.

We grab a snack from the pretzel cart or Casey’s Corner and find a spot on the hub grass to sit and relax.  

This spot is great for people watching and even catching the different cavalcades and soon the Festival of Fantasy Parade that go by throughout the day.

Enjoying these small, magical moments are some of our favorites now on our Walt Disney World vacation.


Tree of Life

Very much like enjoying the calm of the hub grass, we also enjoy the trails around the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

We love taking time to walk around the Tree of Life to explore and discover all the different animals that have been carved into the tree itself, but also the beautiful areas that are hidden around the tree as well.

You can find some empty, quiet areas around the Tree of Life making it a great area to take a moment away from the crowd.  If you time it right, you can even catch the flotillas as they go by on the Discovery River.

If you have little ones, a fun activity is to bring along an animal scavenger hunt so they can search for animals on the tree and cross them off on their list.  This kept our little ones busy for a while and they still talk about it years later.

Credit: Disney

Kilimanjaro Safari

Another experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom that makes our top ten list is Kilimanjaro Safari.  This ride is truly a magical experience as each and every trip is a unique one.

We love how up close we can get to the animals on the safari and how each ride we see and hear different things.

No where else can we experience something like this ride and we absolutely love taking time for it when in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Regal Eagle
Credit: Disney

Enjoy the Food

Not everyone is aware that Disney has some amazing food options.  We love taking time on our vacation to discover new favorites and enjoy some old classics.

Mickey bars, Mickey pretzels, popcorn, dole whip are all some of the treats that we enjoy each and every Disney vacation.  Even though they aren’t fancy, they are something that makes our trip extra special.

We also like trying out new dining locations whether that be quick service locations like Regal Eagle in EPCOT or new table service locations such as Steakhouse 71 or Space 220.

Disney is constantly changing and updating food options throughout the Walt Disney World Resort property and we enjoy taking time to experience these new options during our vacation.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney


This might seem silly but another top experience for us during our Walt Disney World vacation is the Disney transportation.

We love being able to ride the Disney skyliner, Disney monorail and the Disney boats.  These modes of transportation and fun and a ride all on their own.

No matter where we are staying, we plan in some time to experience the unique transportation options throughout Walt Disney World as they too are part of the magic.

Credit: Disney

Take in the Magic

Finally our last top ten must do when on a Disney vacation is taking in the magic.  I am a planner when it comes to our Disney vacations; however, I learned quickly that some of the most magical experiences are those we don’t plan for.

When in Walt Disney World on our vacation, we take time to just enjoy the magic that pops up during the vacation.  From random shows to fun games at the Resort, we don’t even know what new, magical experiences we will come across during our vacation.

It is important to slow down and enjoy those moments when they come up even when they might mess up “the plan”.  

Walt Disney World is all about bringing families together, so slow down and enjoy those moments together.

These are our top ten (current) must dos in Walt Disney World.  It is interesting to note that there aren’t a lot of rides on the list, but instead it is more about the moments together and the magic that surrounds us in Disney.

We hope this helps you plan for a magical 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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