Mickey Ice Cream Bar
Mickey Ice Cream Bar

12 Favorite Experiences For First-Timers Around Walt Disney World Resort

Everyone remembers their first Walt Disney World Vacation. Young and old alike light up when the Magic Kingdom is mentioned and chances are they’ll share a memory of eating cotton candy on Main Street U.S.A, flying in a pirate ship in Peter Pan’s Flight or watching Tinker Bell soar through the night sky from Cinderella Castle. First impressions make for big memories and the same holds true for memories of first-time vacations to Walt Disney World Resort. We get the feels thinking of all the Disney magic and unexpected details that hook guest during their first visit to the happiest place on earth, so this article shares our favorite experiences for first-timers at Walt Disney World.


1. Getting a First Visit Button

First time visitors need to remember their vacation with a special memento – a Disney celebration button. Drop by the Fire Station on Main Street U.S.A to get a free first-time visitor button to wear during your vacation.  These buttons are also available at resorts, shops and around all the parks and Disney Springs. They are fun souvenirs to display at home after your vacation.

2. Hitting Classic Rides

There are some classic can’t miss rides that every Disney newbie must check out. We all have our favorites but my Magic Kingdom picks are Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World!, The Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain.

Haunted Mansion

3. Riding the Monorail

From one railway to another, Disney first-timers must ride the monorail.  The highway in the sky offers a great view of the original part of the property and is such an iconic Disney experience.

Bonus Tip!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >

4. Visiting at Least Two Parks Really Well

In order to see plenty of attractions without stress and to really see Disney, we recommend newbies plan on hitting only two parks during a two-day trip. Visiting the Magic Kingdom is a must do for first-timers with the second park choice being up to preference. Regardless, this plan should allow time to enjoy the parks and attractions without feeling too regimented and pushed. Epcot would hands-down be my second park pick on a two park vacation.

Credit: DisneyPhotoSnapper

5. Ride Soarin’ Around the World

First-timers cannot miss a ride on the immersive hang glider ride experience, Soarin’ Around the World. This attraction showcases some pretty incredible Disney technology that will have you convinced you actually are flying over the Bavarian alps, Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower.

6. Eating a Dole Whip or Mickey Premium Bar

Cool off with your choice of tasty treats. Mickey Premium Bars are the adorable Mickey shaped chocolate covered ice cream bars sold around the parks and resorts.  Dole Whips are previously only sold at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland and at Pineapple Lanai at Polynesian Village Resort, but now you can find a Dole Whip in several locations including Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Pop Century Resort, and Disney Springs. Many of these other Dole Whip locations have modified Dole Whip treats such as Dole Whip Nachos at Disney Springs! Both ice creams are on our must-eat vacation list.

7. Checking Out Disney Resorts and Transportation

Disney transportation options can be a fun way to learn about the property for those new to Walt Disney World. With options to travel by ferry, bus, monorail, boat or Skyliner – getting there really is half the fun. Disney resort are showstoppers with theming, details and dining that will impress first time visitors. Who knows, after seeing a few Disney resorts a Disney newbie might just start planning their next Walt Disney World Vacation.

8. Ride Spaceship Earth

First time visitors to Epcot must ride Spaceship Earth at the front of the park. This slow-moving ride chronicles human communication over the ages and looks forward to new innovations in our future.

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

9. Watch a Disney Show

Its east to get distracted by all the great rides in the parks and miss the shows.  From animatronic shows like The Hall of Presidents, Country Bears, and The American Adventure to live performances held in EPCOT’s American Adventure Pavilion from performers around World Showcase, there is no shortage of awesome shows in the parks. Be sure to check your the My Disney Experience app for more details on what’s available when you visit.

10. Walk World Showcase

World Showcase in Epcot is such a fun place to browse shops, hear music from around the world, taste new food and enjoy the beautiful architecture and ambiance. First time visitors to Epcot should take an afternoon to enjoy this detailed section of the park.

11. Dress Like a Tourist

Its ok you’re on vacation we can forgive you for dressing like a tourist. Embrace the Disney vibes with character t-shirts, comfy sandals and a fanny pack full of park essentials.

12. Take too Many Photos

Of course you want to capture all the memories.  Take that castle selfie, photograph the gorgeous countries of World Showcase and explore the beauty of the Millennium Falcon.  You have our permission to take way too many photos- after all you have to document your first visit to Walt Disney World!

Millennium Falcon

About Katie

I love talking and reading and breathing and everything Disney. I am married to an amazing man who also has a love for Disney. I love Walt Disney World and we try to visit as often as we can. I am thankful for a mom who raised me to have such a love for Disney and of course for Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse! My favorite characters are Minnie Mouse and Belle. I have an English Degree and I love to write so I am so excited that I am able to put my love of writing and Disney together. Thank you for reading my articles and sharing in my love for Disney!