My Top 7 Personal Must-Do’s at Walt Disney World

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Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort is always something special – whether you’re a local that can visit more than once a week, or a vacationer on the trip of a lifetime, there is always something new and exciting to see and do when you’re in the place where dreams come true!

Although many guests have their own bucket list of attractions to experience, meals to enjoy or shows to see, my personal must-do’s rotate more around the everyday experiences that make each trip special. Sure, I love screaming at the top of my lungs on Space Mountain just as much as choosing a special treat at the Confectionary, but if I had to narrow down what really defines a trip to Walt Disney World, it would be best described by this list:

#7: Conquer The Mountain Range


Big Thunder. Splash. Space. Expedition Everest. Each of these unique thrill rides is captivating and exciting in its own way, and no trip is complete without stepping up to the challenge of at least one of these majestic mountains. The best part about scaling these beauties is that you don’t need hiking boots or gear – just a healthy dose of adventure!

#6: Ride a Boat








It’s a “fact” oft mentioned during Walt Disney World tours and trivia books; that the resort operates enough watercraft (boats, ferries, water attractions) that it boasts the world’s fifth largest navy. Whether that is true or not, it is undeniable that hopping onto a boat while in any of the four theme parks, traveling around the resorts and/or Downtown Disney is inevitable. My personal favorites are definitely Magic Kingdom’s “it’s a small world,” and Pirates of the Caribbean, Epcot’s Maelstrom and Gran Fiesta Tour, and lastly, the Ferry Boats that connect guests from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom.

#5: Meet Some Characters

charactersFinding, meeting and snapping photographs with some of the world-famous Disney characters is definitely a must for my trips. Whether it’s with iconic Mickey Mouse or more obscure “Long Lost Friends,” interacting with the characters is an experience not to be missed. If you’re traveling solo or are tired of being the one never in the pictures, do not fear! Whenever you visit a character meet and greet location, you can be sure there will be a PhotoPass photographer to capture the memory. Check out Erin’s recent post about where to find your favorites.

#4: Act Really Silly

Okay, so this one might be directly related to the last “must-do” but honestly, how often do you get to totally let loose and just have a great time? I highly recommend dancing to parade music, playing along with interactive queues and laughing a LOT!

#3: Have a Treat







Although walking around the parks can be quite the workout, Walt Disney World has its share of tempting treats to offset that calorie burn in a jiffy! From the iconic Mickey Premium Bar to the creative cupcake offerings and location-specific treats like the Carrot Cake Cookie, there are enough magical treats to last a lifetime, so in the interest of both your wallet and your sugar high…pace yourself with this one, but enjoy!

#2: Share With Friends

shareI am so fortunate to be within driving to Walt Disney World that I can hop in the car and be in the magic within hours, but I know that that’s not the case for everyone – so I share! Whether that means Face-timing my family in to watch the Fantasmic with me, or sharing my pictures from the park on Instagram, there is nothing more fun than sharing the magic – besides, it pumps me up for the next time I know that my friends will be right there beside me!

#1: Be a Kid

At Mile 23 of the 2013 WDW Marathon.

If you could not already tell, Walt Disney World is 100 percent my “Happy Place” – from the moment I pass under the “Welcome” sign to the last tram to the parking lot of the night, it’s a place where I can forget my adult responsibilities – if just for a few hours.

Even when I am visiting the property for something as serious as a marathon, I can count on having the time of my life and never for a second worrying about how I look or what other people think – a true hallmark of being a kid, if you ask me!

With a plethora of attractions, entertainment offerings, dining locations and more, there’s something sure to fit your family’s preferences – so tell me, what are your Must-do’s? 

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8 thoughts on “My Top 7 Personal Must-Do’s at Walt Disney World

  • August 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    The Carrot Cake Cookie is a must (especially when our Grand-daughter is with us!). Finding a rocking chair or nice bench to sit and “people watch” and just “take it all in”, and say “Ahhhhh….we’re HERE!” Dole Whips, Great Meals… lots of “Must Do’s” in this wonderful place for us!

    • August 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      I love that! Thanks for sharing that – agree, people watching is definitely entertaining at Walt Disney World…lots of characters 😉

  • August 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

    To me, “treats” are things like the egg rolls at Epcot’s Joy of Tea, corn dog nuggets at Casey’s in MK, or popcorn, my go-to snack everywhere. So no need to worry about a sugar high, although the wallet can still take a hit.

    • August 30, 2013 at 2:01 am

      Good point, Jan! I guess I think of those things as snacks, not treats, so I am glad you brought those up!

  • August 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    7. Go during colder weather months- sweaty is not fun
    6. Conquer at least one “land” all at once- you know, the way it was intended
    5. Have a touring plan ready- you may not use it, but you oughta have one
    4. Be there for rope drop- let everybody else wait an hour + for rides later in the day
    3. Dole Whip- The float version for me, thank you, in the evening when there’s no wait
    2. Table Service Meals- I’m on vacation, so I’d like to minimize how many time I have to carry a tray.
    1. The Haunted Mansion- The greatest attraction in the parks, even after 32 years!

  • August 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve seen so many mentions of this famous carrot cake cookie lately. do you know if it has any nuts in it? that would be the only reason I couldn’t eat it (due to hubby’s allergies).

  • September 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I’m skipping the giant attractions since those are a no-brainer. Here are some other things that I do on every trip.

    7. Have a Dole Whip at Adventureland (predictable, I know)
    6. Have a laid-back evening with dinner at Earl of Sandwich
    5. Ride old-school EPCOT attractions – Living with the Land, Maelstrom, Spaceship Earth, Mexico ride (trying to imagine it without the Three Caballeros)
    4. Eat lunch upstairs at the Columbia Harbour House
    3. Lose to my wife repeatedly at Buzz Lightyear (and more recently, Toy Story Mania)
    2. See Illuminations (only fireworks that I can’t miss)
    1. Stroll through One Man’s Dream for as long as possible

    I could make a list of 50, but this is a start.


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