Bucket List Disney World - 9 Can’t-Miss Experiences

If you’re planning your first trip to Orlando, we bet you already have a Disney World bucket list started.

It likely includes snapping a selfie at Cinderella Castle and riding all the classic rides such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and “It’s a Small World.”

But, a Walt Disney World park ticket grants many magical experiences you just can’t miss. Make sure these nine life-changing activities are part of your Disney World bucket list for a memorable first visit.

Keep reading for an in-depth guide to all of the experiences you cannot miss at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Disney Character Meet & Greets

Everyone has their favorite Disney character (even if we adults don’t want to admit it.) Make sure you find the chance to meet them while visiting Disney parks!

Character meet and greets aren’t just for kids, either. Adults can get in on the fun shaking hands with Mickey Mouse or posing with their favorite princess.

However, meet-and-greet opportunities aren’t always an easy process. For some characters, you can simply walk right up and snap a picture or two. Others require a wait. Make sure you double-check what times your characters of choice are available, where they’ll be, and if you can make a reservation.

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Reservations for popular characters like Mickey Mouse, Anna & Elsa, and Cinderella fill up fast.

Another way to meet iconic Disney characters is through a character meal. Character meals are available at various locations and times throughout each theme park and select hotel resorts. You’ll get to dine on delicious Disney food and get a hug from Winnie the Pooh, Chip n’ Dale, or Donald Duck! If you need help planning a meet and greet, find a cast member and they will happily assist you!

Elsa and Anna with two young girls signing their autograph books at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Disney World Resort Fireworks

If a fireworks show isn’t on your Disney World bucket list, what are you doing?!

Walt Disney Company firework shows use the latest projection mapping technology along with live theatrics to create a jaw-dropping spectacular night after night. Each park has its own unique show along with seasonal presentations during the holidays or special festivals.

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But, don’t be naive. Fireworks shows at Disney World are no walk in the park. You need to scope out your prime viewing spot in advance and arrive early to claim it!

daughter sitting on father's shoulders with fireworks in background
Tips for Staying Offsite at Disney World

Disney World Snacks

All Disney World fanatics will tell you, the snacks are out of this world. From Dole Whip to turkey legs (although, that’s really a meal!) and everything in between, the snacks available at Magic Kingdom and all other parks are mind-blowing.

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But remember to pace yourself! It’s all too easy to fill up on Mickey Bars, ice cream, and popcorn. Before you know it, you’re stuffed! Check out the food list of Orlando Disney parks to get a complete picture of what’s available to snack on!

Disney Dole WhipParades

For more entertainment, make sure watching a parade is on your Disney experience bucket list. Disney parades feature all the classic and new characters, upbeat music, magnificent floats, and endless magic.

Plus, seasonal parades include rare characters, themed floats, and so much more.

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events at Disney World 

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dragon breathing fire on a sunny with the castle in the background at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Disney Dining Experiences

It’s no secret that Disney World is home to world-class dining inside the parks and around the resort. Among the best restaurants around the resort include:

  • Victoria & Albert’s
  • California Grill
  • Be Our Guest
  • Wine Bar George
  • Chefs de France
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Narcoossee’s
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse

Treat yourself to fine dining the Disney vacation way!

Be Our Guest Restaurant table and chairs set up for dinner in Fantasyland at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USADiscover Hidden Mickeys

Did you know that Disney Imagineers have placed thousands of hidden Mickey mouse shapes strategically throughout the resort and water park? Go on a hunt during your visit and find as many Hidden Mickeys as you can!

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To help you get started, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to finding Hidden Mickeys in Walt Disney World.

Eat and Drink Around the World at Epcot

One of the most iconic Disney World experiences (and on everyone’s Disney World bucket list) is sampling the food and drinks from around the world at Epcot. From poutine in Canada to margaritas in Mexico, there is SO much food to taste at the World Showcase.

In fact, it’s such a popular activity that the park hosts the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each year to celebrate!

If this is on your Disney itinerary, you might want to skip breakfast. It’s a filling experience!

two women eating food at the German Pavilion in Epcot at Disney World Orlando, FloridaStar Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Are you a diehard Star Wars fan? If so, experiencing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios must be on your bucket list Disney World.

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This immersive new land places visitors right into planet Batuu. The minute you step inside, you’ll feel instantly transported into the Star Wars franchise, complete with character meet and greets, interactive rides and experiences, and out-of-this-world food. For Star Wars mega fans, this opportunity is a dream come true.

Have you ever found the elusive hidden Donald Duck galaxy’s edge?

Looking for some show biz entertainment? Check out our ultimate guide to Cirque du Soleil for some serious savings at Disney Springs.

view of Millennium Falcon Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland CaliforniaBehind-the-Scenes Tours at Disney World

Ever wondered how Disney World brings the magic to life? Perhaps you want to get up close with the creatures at the Animal Kingdom. No matter your wish, Disney World makes it come true with behind-the-scenes tours.

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You’ll embark on a one-of-a-kind adventure most guests never have the chance to experience. From learning the history of the parks to witnessing the intricate work that goes into each magical experience, you’ll walk away from your tour with a brand new appreciation for all that goes on at Disney World.

Check Off Your Disney World Bucket List—Get Tickets Today!

Ready to complete your Disney bucket list? Purchase your Disney World tickets or vacation package today.

Does your trip to Orlando include more than Disney World? Grab LEGOLAND Florida discount tickets, SeaWorld Orlando tickets, Discovery Cove tickets, and more. Don’t forget Tripster has the best deals on Orlando hotels. From resorts to convenient amenities near all of Orlando’s attractions, rest easy knowing you’re getting our best rates online.

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