Top 20 Walt Disney World Must-Do’s During This Phased Reopening

You’ll hear many people say that there are lots of temporary closures at Walt Disney World Resort. And there are, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a lot that’s available. So, here are the top 20 experiences that are must-do’s during the ongoing phased reopening…

20. “it’s a small world” – Magic Kingdom Park

“it’s a small world” is an attraction that celebrates unity and peace (among other noble things), so there’s no better experience to name-drop first than this one, especially during such a turbulent year. Beyond its themes, it’s also an enchanting, whimsical ride that will stay with you long after it ends.

it's a small world
it’s a small world

19. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Magic Kingdom Park

It’s understandable that you might also wish to satisfy your adrenalin while you’re in the resort, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a great starting point. Careen along a winding track, zip through dark caverns and traverse a rocky terrain, on yet another Disney World classic!

18. Shopping – Walt Disney World

Retail therapy has been a saving grace for many people this year – and who can blame them. Well, there’s probably nothing more therapeutic than the perusing and purchasing of exclusive Disney World merchandise. And you know you won’t need to keep your eyes peeled for the likes of Grogu!

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17. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There’s nothing quite like a stage performance to ignite your love for all things Disney. It’s been a tough year, but the Frozen-themed sing-along is sure to bring some much-needed heart-melting warmth, so that you might be able to take all that accumulated stress and, you know, let it go.

16. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant – Magic Kingdom Park

This Main Street Italian eatery is easily one of the best in the entire resort. And if you’re a fan of Lady and the Tramp, you’re bound to love it even more, as it celebrates the charming 1955 canine-studded animated feature, spaghetti meatballs and all!

15. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This attraction is “2 ½-D” – what more is there to say! Okay, it stars the classic bunch – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, et al – and even you and your loved ones! In other words, you won’t just be watching this silver screen gem – you’ll be part of it!

14. Be Our Guest Restaurant – Magic Kingdom Park

Put Magic Kingdom Park’s French cuisine to the test by visiting Be Our Guest Restaurant. The Beauty and the Beast-inspired dining experience is one like no other, offering three areas – The Grand Ballroom, The West Wing (yes, you’re allowed in this one) and The Castle Gallery.

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

13. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

2020 has been quite a year for all things Star Wars, owing thanks largely to Disney Plus’ gargantuan hit The Mandalorian. And now, with a roster of new live action shows on the Tatooine horizon, it’s time to celebrate the faraway galaxy all over again and visit the immersive world of Batuu.

12. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Magic Kingdom Park

Walt Disney Studios recently announced a new, upcoming CG-animated movie called Lightyear. But no, it’s not a Buzz Lightyear spin-off or origin story – instead, the movie will follow an astronaut who goes on to inspire the infamous space ranger (you know, the guy who makes this ride quite a blast)!

11. Toy Story Land – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Most themed lands offer buckets of escapism, but in Toy Story Land you’ll ‘shrink’ to the size of a toy and explore Andy’s very own backyard – it just doesn’t get more escapism than this! Be sure to ‘round-up’ your loved ones and check out signature rides Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! too.

10. Pandora – The World of Avatar – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Pandora – The World of Avatar is the most unique themed land in all of Walt Disney World. Its two signature attractions are also out of this world. So, why not head on over while it’s a little quieter. If you’re a huge Avatar fan, you’ll also get your fix while you wait another 2 years for the sequel…

9. Under the Sea – The Journey of the Little Mermaid – Magic Kingdom Park

Walt Disney Studios also recently announced the full cast for the upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid, so an underwater adventure with everyone’s favorite mermaid and crab is a must. And besides, down where it’s wetter, it’s better.

8. Holiday Celebrations – Walt Disney World

Yes – the Holiday Celebrations have arrived at Walt Disney World! It’s time to get into the spirit and check out what fun and festivities each of the parks has to offer. There’s décor galore too, not to mention plenty of themed food and merchandise to boot.

Photo Credit: Disney

7. Photo Opportunities Galore – Walt Disney World

As it’s the Holidays, be sure to make the most out of your visit by capturing as many special festive-themed moments as possible. But winter or not, there’s always something picture-perfect throughout the resort. So be prepared to say ‘cheese’ under those face coverings!

6. Tree of Life Holiday Awakenings – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

It’s not all about Cinderella Castle – make sure you head over to Animal Kingdom Park’s centerpiece during night-time, for a spellbinding, colour-drenched performance that combines cutting edge animation, illumination and laser technology.

5. Character Spotting – Walt Disney World

Character Greetings and other similar experiences remain temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols. But don’t worry – you can still get your fix throughout the resort, in the form of certain attractions, shows and modified Dining Experiences.

Credit: Disney

4. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars has never been hotter, so it only makes sense to experience Walt Disney World’s original Star Wars-themed ride from a long time ago. This attraction is frequently kept up to date with new characters, battles and locations, while maintaining the retro-arcade vibes that make it so special.

3. Frozen Ever After – Epcot

Frozen continues to warm the hearts of people of all ages the world over, and there might be no better time to board a Nordic vessel and set sail through Arendelle than during the height of winter. Meet famous characters and explore familiar lands, all brought to life just like a certain snowman!

2. Play Disney Parks – Walt Disney World

Many Walt Disney World attractions remain temporarily closed due to the ongoing viral crisis. So, if you really want to maximize what attractions are available, then download Play Disney Parks mobile app and turn wait time into play time!

Play Disney Parks App _ disney fanatic
Photo Credit: Disney

1. Cinderella Castle Holiday Projections – Magic Kingdom Park

Things have been a little lacking where night-time illuminations are concerned in recent months – to no surprise, of course. However, you can now enjoy the festivities with Cinderella Castle Holiday Projections. No description required – the clue’s in the name!Please be sure to familiarize yourself with all healthy and safety measures relating to COVID-19, before your visit. You can do this by checking out the official Walt Disney World website, where you can also keep up to date with availability for all attractions, entertainment and more.

About Daniel

Dan is a huge fan of Star Wars, Disney, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, TMNT and Harry Potter, and has written for numerous film-focused and Disney-related sites, including Epicstream, Theme Park Tourist and Homey Hawaii. He has also recently completed his first children's novel, which he hopes to get published within the next year.