Walt Disney World offers an almost unlimited amount of things for you and your family to enjoy. It is impossible to accomplish everything on your vacation to Disney, but these are our picks for the top ten things to always do on your Disney vacation!
10. Enjoy a Character Dining Experience – character dining combines two wonderful Disney activities. The Character Dining restaurants are always buffets or family-style restaurants and offer a great selection of food to fill you up. Meeting a Disney character during a dining experience is amazing. The characters make sure to visit each table and will take photos with you. With a wide array of restaurants to choose from, you can personalize your dining and character experience. My personal preference for a character dining experiences is breakfast – you enjoy great food before starting your day in the parks and breakfast is the cheapest meal!
9. Explore your resort hotel – I make a lot of assumptions writing these articles and staying on-site is one of them. On-site resorts offer great bonuses to your vacation experience. Take some time on one your days on vacation to just explore your resort. Disney is known for wonderful theming and that extends beyond the parks. You can even explore beyond your resort and check out some of the other resorts, too.
8. Try and find some Hidden Mickeys – Imagineers have been hiding Hidden Mickeys in rides, attractions, restaurants, even foliage around Disney for years. The pastime of finding Hidden Mickeys has become so popular that many park gift shops sell Hidden Mickey guides. I always prefer to keep my eyes peeled and try and find them myself, but you can always make the vacation a little more fun by devising a scavenger hunt for the entire family to enjoy!
7. Stay at Magic Kingdom until closing – Magic Kingdom tends to empty out very quickly after the parade and fireworks each night, but that doesn’t mean that the fun has to end. I always enjoy walking around the park after it has emptied out a little bit and the crowds are much less and the lines are non-existent. What would have taken you 6 hours to accomplish during the day can easily be accomplished in less than 2! Even better, if you stay 30 minutes after closing, you can enjoy “The Kiss Goodnight.” This is an amazing end to any day at the Magic Kingdom!
6. Enjoy at least one Mickey-shaped food item – there are many different foods available that are shaped like everyone’s favorite mouse. Most prefer the Mickey ice cream bar, others go for the Mickey waffles at breakfast, but the obvious best choice is the Mickey pretzel. No trip (even if it is just a day) is complete for me until I have my Mickey pretzel!
5. Watch “Celebrate the Magic” at Magic Kingdom – I stumbled upon this gem one night. “Celebrate the Magic” is the nightly audio-visual extravaganza using Cinderella’s Castle as a backdrop. Depending on the weather, you get to see Tinkerbell fly to begin this show which chronicles Disney history and movies and reminds everyone that it all started with a mouse!
4. Get a Disney t-shirt (or some other keepsake) – one of the drawers in my dresser is slowly becoming the Disney drawer. On most trips to Disney, I will walk away with at least one t-shirt. It is a great way to remember the special times that I have spent there with friends and family. Some people may think that t-shirts are too expensive, so consider getting an ornament, a pin, or a stuffed animal.
3. Take at least a half a day off – Disney vacations are expensive and I feel there is pressure on families to follow a specific, detailed itinerary each day at the park. Sleep in one morning and lounge at the pool. Come back to the hotel after lunch and take a nap and enjoy the free Disney movie that they show at each resort hotel each night. Everyone in the family will be truly appreciative of the time off and recharge their batteries.
2. Enjoy the fireworks – Disney offers a great selection of fireworks everyday for you to enjoy. Magic Kingdom tends to be the most popular (it is hard to find a better fireworks centerpiece than Cinderella’s Castle), but Epcot’s “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” is equally impressive. Hollywood Studios offers fireworks, but on a less frequent schedule, so make sure to check a Times Guide when you arrive to see if they are getting in on the pyrotechnic fun!
1. Ride a classic Disney attraction – everyone has a different definition of what qualifies
as “Classic Disney.” Some don’t feel complete without a drop down into the Briar Patch or spinning around at Mad Tea Party. Others love staying briefly at the Hollywood Tower Hotel or trying to find the Yeti at Expedition Everest. Pick out one (or ten of your faves) and make sure to enjoy it before your vacation comes to an end!
There are far too many combinations of things to do when you are at Disney and trying to get everything done is not feasible, but picking a certain number of things to try and do is a great way to make sure that you get the most out of your Disney vacation!