“There’s a lot of things in life that you must do, but there are only a few of those must-dos that you really want to do – and that’s why we’re here today. We’re going to take you all around the Walt Disney World resort, park by park, and show you what’s hot and what you must do right now at Walt Disney World. This is Must Do Disney.”
Thanks, Stacey, but I’ll take it from here!
As my friend Stacey said, there are so many fun and exciting things to do on your Disney World vacation that, chances are, you’re going to want to do them all. From festivals that take you across the world to snapping photos with the most famous mouse of all, here are the 25 best things to do in Disney World:
1. Dine with Disney Characters
Meeting your favorite Disney character is special enough as is, but being able to dine with them is an experience all to itself.
There are 13 character dining experiences on Disney property. Here’s an overview of each of them, including where to find them, how hard it is to get reservations, and which characters are expected to appear:
Located over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s is an all-you-can-eat buffet that is open for both breakfast and dinner.
For breakfast, the buffet menu serves up classic, contemporary favorites including ham, waffles, buttermilk biscuits, and sausage gravy.
For dinner, you can enjoy everything from homemade macaroni and cheese and roasted pork to shrimp and grits, as well as a fully-stocked carving station that features the Chef’s selection of meats. Prices range between $51-$62 per adult and $33 – $39 per child (ages 3-9).
In addition to the all-you-can-enjoy buffet, you’ll be greeted by Mickey and his pals all dressed up in their finest chef garb. These friends include Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto. Every table will receive an autographed card from the Fab 5.
Chef Mickey’s is an incredibly popular restaurant for families, especially those with young kids, so reservations do fill up quickly. To score a reservation, be sure you’re checking for openings every day through your My Disney Experience app leading up to the day you want to dine there. Now that reservations can be canceled as little as two hours before the scheduled time, you may be able to score something last minute.
Read more: Chef Mickeys Dinner Review
Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
This is one of the most enchanting dining experiences on Disney World property and you’ll find it at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
The decor here is quite magical, as you’ll be dining in the Enchanted Forest. You can expect to see appearances from Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and the Evil Queen and you’ll dine on a prix fixe menu that includes aptly-named entrees such as the Magic Mirror’s Slow-braised Pork Shank and Brother’s Grimm Herbed Chicken.
This restaurant is only available for dinner, so you will have limited opportunities to snag a reservation. Like any of the Disney dining experiences, be flexible with your schedule, look for reservations as soon as your 60-day window opens up, and keep checking the app for last-minute openings. Prices here are $65 per adult and $39 per child.
Read more: Disney Fan Challenge: Can You Name the Seven Dwarfs?
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Out of all the dining experiences at Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table is by far the most regal. The menu contains classic staples like chilled jumbo shrimp, braised beef, and pork tenderloin. Breakfast is $65 per adult/$39 per child and lunch/dinner is $79 per adult/$47 per child.
Because you’ll be meeting Cinderella (and several other Disney princesses), young guests are encouraged to dress up but of course, this is totally optional. This is a decadent experience and one you should earmark for future trips.
Read more: The Best Places to Meet Princesses at Disney World
Cape May Cafe
I’ve only been to the Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Beach Club Resort once but it was enough to make an impact. If you want to dine with characters, you’ll have to visit during breakfast. Prices range from $35-$59.99 per person, and you’ll be able to enjoy Mickey-shaped waffles, eggs, oatmeal, and other classic offerings at this all-you-can-eat buffet.
During Minnie’s Beach Bash Breakfast, you’ll get to see Mickey and her friends (usually Goofy, Donald, and Daisy) all dressed up in their beachy gear, ready to hit the waves. The last time I was there the characters did a conga line with the young guests, which my nephew absolutely loved!
The Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace is one of my favorite dining experiences in all of Disney World because you get to hang out with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore (and I love, love, LOVE Eeyore). Best of all, they all give autographs, making it a great character dining experience for little ones.
The atmosphere is very whimsical and calming, with the large windows inside this greenhouse-style restaurant overlooking Main Street, U.S.A. Guests are served a buffet meal, with breakfast being served between 8:00 am – 10:45 am, lunch between 11:00 am – 2:55 pm, and dinner between 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm. All of it is priced between $35-$59.99.
Located over at the Polynesian, ‘Ohana is the only place where you can dine with Lilo and Stitch (but for breakfast only, not dinner). The atmosphere here is awesome. From the island-inspired decor and music to views of the exterior (depending on where you sit), this is a must-do regardless of whether you’re staying at this resort or not.
The food is served family style, all in a big skillet. If you don’t like your food touching, this may be a restaurant you want to avoid. This ‘Ohana breakfast skillet contains fan favorites like Mickey-shaped waffles, eggs, sausage, potatoes, and ham. Many guests agree that the Pineapple-Coconut Breakfast Bread that’s served with this skillet is one of the best things on the menu (which will cost $29 per child/$45 per adult).
Dinner is a bit pricier at $38 per child and $59 per adult and also offers an all-you-can-eat skillet, featuring shrimp, chicken, beef, roasted vegetables, and the famous ‘Ohana noodles.
Like another entry on our list, people seem to either love ‘Ohana or hate it and honestly I fall somewhere in the middle. The food and atmosphere were good, but the meet-and-greets were disorganized, so it did take away from the experience. But hey, even Experiment 626 can have an off day.
Read more: Ohana Dining Review Dinner
Tusker House Restaurant
Heading over to Animal Kingdom, you’ll be able to enjoy a buffet-style feast while mingling with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in their coolest safari outfits.
Dinner, which costs between $35-$59.99 per person, includes everything from plant-based favorites to spit-roasted Tandoori chicken, and corn dog nuggets. This is an excellent character dining experience that tends to get overlooked a lot, and why? No one really knows.
Hollywood & Vine
If you have young children that love Disney Junior, then a trip over to Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios is a must-do.
Your child’s favorite Disney Junior stars come out to play for the Disney Junior Play n’ Dine breakfast. This usually features Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, and Fancy Nancy.
During special times of the year (usually around the holiday season), you will be able to dine with Minnie Mouse for both lunch and dinner. Like many others on this list, pricing ranges between $35-$59.99 per person. This is the only character dining experience at Hollywood Studios and it’s a lot of fun for Mouseketeers of all ages.
Read more: Best Places to Eat at Hollywood Studios
Be Our Guest
Remember earlier when I said that there was another restaurant that people either loved or hated? Well, welcome to Be Our Guest.
For both lunch and dinner, Be Our Guest, over in Fantasyland, offers a 3-course prix-fixe menu that includes items such as French onion soup, escargot de Bourgogne, filet mignon, and miniature desserts. Kids under the age of 9 can enjoy custom 3-course meals that include cheese boards, iceberg wedge salads, chicken breast, macaroni and cheese, and seasonal fruit. Both meals cost $60 or more per person.
The limited menu is why this dining experience remains so divisive among fans, because what 10-year-old wants to eat escargot de Bourgogne or even French onion soup? Plus, the only character interaction is with the Beast at dinner.
It’s worth experiencing, especially to be able to dine in the Grand Ballroom or West Wing but be prepared that you’re paying more for the experience than you are for anything on the menu. Chances are, you’ll want to grab some turkey legs after your reservation is over.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a great place to take your kids to meet their favorite princesses while visiting EPCOT.
This character dining restaurant can be a bit on the pricey side, with prices reaching $60+ per adult, however, it truly is a magical experience. From the gorgeous Norwegian architecture and cathedral ceiling, you’ll truly feel like you’re visiting a banquet hall fit for royalty.
And speaking of royalty, you’ll usually be able to meet Mulan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Belle, Snow White, Pocahontas, Ariel, and Mary Poppins. Unfortunately, Anna and Elsa aren’t in attendance because they’re just across the way from the hall greeting guests.
Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera
This is one of the newest character dining experiences and you can find it at Disney’s Riviera Resort.
During breakfast, you can see Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and Daisy donning their artsy outfits as you enjoy a prix-fixe menu that includes everything from eggs, sour cream waffles, smoked salmon, and Quiche Gruyere. Prices are $35-$59.99 per adult. Breakfast is offered between 7:30 am – 12:15 pm. This is one of the most popular character dining experiences on property, so be sure to book as soon as possible.
Garden Grill Restaurant
GREAT NEWS: it was just announced that breakfast is finally returning to the Garden Grill Restaurant in EPCOT!
This is such a unique dining experience, not only because it features Chip and Dale, but because the restaurant spins, offering you views into the Living with the Land attraction down below.
One cool thing about this menu is that the majority of the vegetables served are grown in the Living with the Land greenhouses. Pretty cool, right?
1900 Park Fare
As of publication, 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian is closed. However, when it opens up, you’ll be able to enjoy a character meal with the likes of Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice in Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter.
Stay tuned for updates as to when this dining experience reopens (hopefully soon).
2. Eat Mickey-Shaped Snacks
Move over, Dole Whip, because the most iconic snack in the Disney Parks is a Mickey Mouse premium ice cream bar. Or, wait, is it Mickey Waffles? What about Mickey Pretzels, Mickey-Shaped Pizza, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream sandwiches?
Ah, it’s too hard to choose! So let’s just group them all together. Mickey-shaped foods are an iconic staple of any Disney World vacation. You can usually find ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, and Mickey Pretzels at most kiosks throughout the parks.
Likewise, Mickey Waffles are available at most Disney resorts for breakfast. For your Mickey-shaped pizza, you’ll have to head over to Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, as this is currently the only location that serves it.
Read more: Best Mickey Shaped Treats at Disney World
3. Attend a Special Event (After Hours)
Disney’s after-hours specially-ticketed events are a ton of fun and a great (and semi-affordable way) to add even more magic to your day. The two most popular after-hour events help celebrate the Halloween and Christmas seasons: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
These offer special photo ops, parades, fireworks, and character meet-and-greets. For example, during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the villains come out to play, so it’s a great way to snag photos with hard-to-meet characters.
Read more: Things to Pack for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
In addition to these holiday festivities, Disney World also offers other fun after-hour events like Disney Villains After Hours and Disney H20 Glow After Hours at Typhoon Lagoon. All events are an additional ticket on top of your park ticket and vary in cost, but are usually around $179 a ticket, depending on when you’re visiting.
4. People Watch
Maybe “people watching” is too strong of a descriptor, but it’s what you’re going to end up doing any time you just take a seat to take in your surroundings.
Any fan will tell you that Disney is not a relaxing vacation. Especially if you’re sticking to a tight schedule, the only times you’re going to rest is back at your resort and on your flight back home. However, sitting down and soaking in the sights and sounds is one of the best things to do in Disney World because of how relaxing it is.
Disney is so fast-paced and so go, go, go, that it can be easy to forget to relax and just appreciate where you are. Whether you’re grabbing a seat at the Walt Disney World Railroad train station, on one of the benches on Main Street, U.S.A., or in the hub grass, the best thing you can do at Disney is sometimes just appreciate being there instead of at school or in the office.
5. Skip the Line with Disney Genie
Disney Genie replaced the old FastPass system and with a fee, you can skip the line at your favorite rides – and what’s better than that? While it will cost you money to skip the line, right now it’s one of your only ways to try out the new TRON Lightcycle/Run roller coaster.
Click here to learn all about Disney Genie, including how it works and what you can expect to pay.
6. Watch Happily Ever After
Disney’s iconic firework show, Happily Ever After, returned to Magic Kingdom on April 3rd, much to the delight of Disney fans everywhere (let me know in the comments if you streamed it online like me!).
Though every Disney World firework show is good in its own right, Happily Ever After has gained such a cult following because of its message: that finding your happy ending is always possible, even when the cards are down – and who can’t relate to that strong message of hope? I know I can.
Read more: Best Disney Restaurants to Watch Fireworks At
Since its reintroduction, projections line the first half of Main Street, U.S.A. These projections coincide with the ones on the castle and feature some new favorites like Maribel from Encanto and Miguel from Coco.
7. Enjoy the Pools (Disney Resorts Have Some of the Best)
If there’s one thing that the Disney resorts do right, it’s their selection of pools. There are over 50 pools at Disney World, many of which are themed. Here’s how many pools are available at each Disney resort:
- Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1 pool
- All-Star Movies: 2 pools
- All-Star Sports: 2 pools
- All-Star Music: 2 pools
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: 2 pools
- Fort Wilderness: 2 pools
- Wilderness Lodge: 2 pools
- Grand Floridian: 2 pools
- Polynesian Village: 2 pools
- Pop Century: 3 pools
- Art of Animation: 3 pools
- BoardWalk Inn: 3 pools
- Swan and Dolphin: 10 pools
- Contemporary Resort: 4 pools (including Bay Lake Tower)
- Coronado Springs: 4 pools
- Old Key West: 4 pools
- Caribbean Beach: 6 pools
- Port Orleans – Riverside: 6 pools
- Yacht and Beach Club: 6 pools
One of my personal favorites is the adult-only pool at the Contemporary. It’s slightly away from families, so it’s perfect for couples who just want to enjoy some alone time away from the crowds.
But honestly, all the pools offer something unique, as well as a beautiful theme. For example, Disney’s Beach Club offers a lazy river, while Art of Animation features The Big Blue Pool, which is the biggest pool on Disney property.
8. Enjoy a Trip on the Monorail
Taking a ride on the monorail is one of my husband’s favorite things to do while visiting Disney World. It’s also one of the main reasons we try to stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, as the monorail runs right through it.
The monorail is a transportation method that is exclusive to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Known as the “public transport of the future,” the monorail connects to four resorts, Magic Kingdom park, and the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) in what’s called the monorail loop.
There are two main routes that the monorail takes. The first takes you to Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary, and then the Transportation and Ticket Center. This is where the routes split up. If you want to visit Epcot, this is where you’ll get off, as the monorail from the TTC station will take you straight to Epcot.
If you don’t want to connect to Epcot, stay on the monorail route and you’ll make stops at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa before looping back at Magic Kingdom.
Not only is the monorail a fast and convenient transportation option if you’re staying at one of these resorts, but it can also be a lot of fun. Though not an official offering from Disney, many guests take the monorail to visit all four of the deluxe resorts on this route and visit the bars/lounges available in what’s known as the “monorail crawl.”
Read more: 10 Weird Disney World Things to Do
Sometimes, we would just take a hop on the monorail to explore the other resorts or get out of our room for a while. Whatever your reason, a classic monorail ride is one of the best things to do in Disney World. Plus, it’s completely free!
9. Don’t Forget the Skyliner
Another popular transportation method to get around the Walt Disney World resorts and theme parks is the Skyliner. Though it’s been around for a few years at this point, the Skyliner is still a big attraction that has made staying at certain resorts, such as Disney’s Pop Century, more enjoyable, since it offers quick transportation to and from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Like the monorail, the Skyliner is only available at certain resorts: Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and the Riviera. Though there are multiple pickup points throughout the route, the main hub is located at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Here’s how the routes go:
- Guests staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort will disembark at Caribbean Beach, which is the next stop.
- Once at Caribbean Beach, you will either take the Skyliner route to Hollywood Studios or Epcot.
- If you’re heading to Hollywood Studios, you will go straight there.
- If you’re heading to Epcot, you will make a stop at Disney’s Riviera Resort before making your way to the theme park.
Here’s a map of the Skyliner routes:
The same routes will apply on your way back, just in reverse order. Like the monorail, many guests partake in a makeshift “skyliner crawl.” However, if this isn’t for you, just taking it to visit the theme parks or enjoy the views is more than enough reason to take a ride on the Skyliner, especially during sunset.
10. Try Out a Backstage Tour
Besides simply being there, one of the best things to do in Disney is take a behind-the-scenes tour. Have you always wanted to check out the famous Utilidors? If so, book a Keys to the Kingdom Tour.
Is Living with the Land your favorite ride? See how everything is grown with the Behind the Seeds Tour. These are just a few examples of the many tours that allow you to go off-stage at Disney World and see how the magic (literally) happens.
I recently wrote about what to expect when booking VIP Disney Tours, and I encourage you to check them out and see if they’re right for you.
11. Eat Around the World
When it comes to food, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you visit during one of the EPCOT festivals I’ll mention below. However, you’ll still have access to fantastic restaurants and quick service locations throughout the World Showcase even if you go in between festival season.
Grab a jumbo pretzel from Sommerfest in the Germany pavilion or some school bread from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. Bring some maple popcorn from Canada back to your resort to enjoy later. There are so many amazing culinary marvels to be enjoyed in EPCOT’s World Showcase.
Read more: Best Places to Eat in EPCOT: The Ultimate World Showcase Food Guide
If you’re up for it, go ahead and try out the Eat Around the World Challenge. This is when you and your party pick two foods to try in each of the 11 pavilions. Plus, if you’re sharing these items with friends, you can minimize costs.
There’s also a Drink Around the World challenge, which we also cover. Click the link to learn more (including how much it’ll cost you).
12. Go Meet Mickey Mouse
Of course, one of the most iconic things to do in Walt Disney World is meet the mouse that started it all: Mickey Mouse!
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to see Mickey Mouse. Here’s everywhere you can find Mickey Mouse at Walt Disney World:
- Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom
- Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival at EPCOT
- Opening ceremonies at Magic Kingdom
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
- Adventure Outpost at Animal Kingdom
- Red Carpet Dreams at Hollywood Studios
- Disney Junior Play and Dance! at Hollywood Studios
- Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios
- Tusker House Restaurant at Hollywood Studios
- Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom
While some of these experiences aren’t meet-and-greets, even just seeing Mickey Mouse is pure magic.
Read more: Creative Ways to Collect Disney Character Autographs
13. Enjoy an EPCOT Festival
EPCOT has long been known as the “adult” theme park, but it’s now known as the festival theme park. EPCOT holds four festivals per year: the International Festival of the Arts, the International Flower & Garden Festival, the International Food & Wine Festival, and the International Festival of the Holidays.
Each festival coincides with a season. The Festival of the Arts usually takes place in January and February; Flower & Garden takes place usually between March and July; the Food & Wine Festival usually takes place between August and November; and the Festival of the Holidays takes place between November and December.
The dates vary per year, but regardless of which festival you attend, you’ll love all the photo ops and how much entertainment and great food and drinks you have access to.
Some of my favorites include the Eat to the Beat Concert Series during the Food & Wine Festival and checking out all the booths during this festival and Flower & Garden.
14. Meet Baby Yoda
GROGU! I MEAN GROGU! Consider me in good company considering Pedro Pascal – a.k.a. the Mandalorian also referred to Grogu as Baby Yoda on live television (check out the video here):
Read more: Favorite Funny Baby Yoda Memes
The Mandalorian and Grogu are the newest additions to Galaxy’s Edge over at Hollywood Studios and it’s an adorable meet-and-greet.
Like all the other characters inside Galaxy’s Edge, Mando and Grogu are walk-around characters, meaning they don’t have a designated spot where you can have a private interaction with them. Likewise, they don’t always appear at the same time, making planning a bit more complicated.
Your best option is to visit the Black Spire Outpost Marketplace and the area near Ronto Roasters, as this is usually where you’ll find them. If you can, try to visit these areas soon after rope drop, so there aren’t as many people around. Guests tend to crowd him, so don’t expect to have the most private or extended interaction.
15. Celebrate Something (A.K.A. Wear the Buttons!)
Visiting Walt Disney World while you’re celebrating something special like a birthday or anniversary adds an extra layer of magic because Cast Members tend to acknowledge it.
In some cases, they may add a little bit of pixie dust to your day when you’re wearing a button, commemorating something special. For example, during my honeymoon, a Cast Member took us to a secret meet-and-greet with Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas.
And it was all because of our celebratory buttons! Here are some examples of when to wear a celebratory Disney button:
- Family reunions
- Etsy shop openings/milestones
- Bachelor/bachelorette parties
16. Hunt for Hidden Mickeys
No one quite knows just how many Hidden Mickeys there are in the parks, but there are definitely over 1,000 of them spread throughout the theme parks and resorts. Some of these are pretty well known such as in the shape of the dinner plates in the ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansion, whereas some are a little harder to miss such as Mickey’s silhouette before the big drop on Splash Mountain (RIP, you are gone, but never forgotten).
Some are even more hidden than that, like the one at Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland. Every year, on November 18th, the sun will hit the rock formation in the queue for this ride so perfectly that you’ll be able to see a small silhouette of Mickey Ears.
Just like any type of scavenger hunt, hunting for Hidden Mickeys is a great way to keep yourself and your guests entertained while waiting in line for rides. If you want to learn more about where some of these classic Hidden Mickeys are hiding, check out these blogs:
17. Catch the Entertainment
There are endless opportunities to catch entertainment on your Walt Disney World vacation. From watching Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios to meeting Disney Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall and being in awe at Animal Kingdom while watching the Festival of the Lion King, you’ll be enchanted by these magical experiences everywhere you go, all of which are included in the price of your park ticket.
Here’s a list of all the most popular forms of entertainment you’ll find at Disney World and where you’ll find them:
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
- Happily Ever After
- EPCOT Forever
- Cheers to the New Year: A Sparkling Celebration
- Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Wonderful World of Animation
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
- Festival of the Lion King
- Donald’s Dino-Bash
18. Get Up Close with Animals on the Safari
The best (and easiest) way to do this is by making a park reservation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). Regardless of whether you think DAK is a half-day park or designed for a full day of adventures, one thing we can all agree on is that Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the best things to do in Disney World.
Kilimanjaro Safaris isn’t just a ride, it’s an experience. An experience that can get you up close and personal with rhinos, zebras, lions, gazelles, crocodiles, cheetahs, and Mufasa – I mean, lions – on a wildlife reserve that is home to over 30 species. DAK also offers VIP tours like Caring for Giants and Up Close with Rhinos, where you can learn about these majestic animals.
If you’re not visiting Animal Kingdom, you don’t have to miss out on the savanna. Just visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are areas of the resort, including the rocking chairs near one of the lounges that allow you to see animals like giraffes and zebras.
For $89 a person, you can also book the Starlight Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, which takes you out onto the savanna after the sun goes down to see what these creatures are really up to.
19. Eat Inside Cinderella’s Castle (Not for the Food But for the Experience)
Booking a dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table is the only way you can walk inside the famed Cinderella Castle sitting at the end of Main Street, U.S.A.
This dining experience is about as royal as they come and the experience is made for a king and a queen (and of course, those princes and princesses, too). The menu is a hit or miss with fans, serving up everything from Parisian Gnocchi to Grilled Tenderloin of Beef.
For both taste and aesthetic design, my favorite item on the menu is the Grilled Chicken, which features a grilled nut pesto. Because of how popular this restaurant is, you should expect to pay a lot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The prices are as follows:
- Breakfast: $65 per adult/$39 per child
- Lunch: $79 per adult/$47 per child
- Dinner: $79 per adult/$47 per child
Despite the hefty price tag to dine here, it’s worth it in terms of the experience Cinderella’s Royal Table offers. The interior looks like an actual castle, with big cathedral windows overlooking Fantasyland, offering up a unique view you won’t be able to find anywhere else. And, as mentioned earlier, the ability to meet the Disney princesses just adds to the magic of this whole experience.
If you can swing it, definitely add this to your travel itinerary. It’s worth experiencing at least once, especially while the kids are little.
20. Visit Disney Springs
Disney Springs should be on every guest’s to-do list when visiting Walt Disney World. You don’t need a ticket to enter and parking is free.
Once inside, you’ll be able to shop at the trendiest stores like Vera Bradley, Anthropologie, Coach, Columbia Sportswear, and Fabletics. If designer duds aren’t your style, don’t worry – there are plenty of Disney-based stores that sell designs you won’t be able to find anywhere else on property like the Art of Disney, World of Disney, and DisneyStyle.
You can catch a Cirque du Soleil show, indulge in local food trucks, and grab some tasty churros from Sunshine Churros (go for the Nutella dipped churro – trust me!), check out the spooky, gothic vibe of Gideon’s Bakehouse, or order a cupcake via ATM at Sprinkles Cupcakes!
Read more: Fun Things To Do In Disney Springs: No Ticket Required!
And speaking of food, did you know that there are 28 restaurants in Disney Springs (not including quick service kiosks like Sunshine Churros or Gideon’s Bakehouse) where you can sit down and enjoy a great meal at? Here’s a list of all the sit-down restaurants available in Disney Springs (and what you should order from each):
- The BOATHOUSE (Duck Duck Razz)
- Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (Red Vine signature pizza)
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (Short Rib Hash)
- Chicken Guy! (Bourbon Brown Sugar BBQ signature sandwich)
- City Works Eatery & Pour House (Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap/Pineapple Beach, Funky Buddha Brewery)
- D-Luxe Burger (Barbecued Burger)
- Earl of Sandwich (The Full Montagu)
- The Edison (DB “Clothesline” Candied Bacon)
- Enzo’s Hideaway (Pasta Della Nonna)
- Frontera Cocina (Play With Fire)
- House of Blues Restaurant & Bar (Chicken ‘n’ Donuts)
- Jaleo by Jose Andres (Pressed sandwich of Spanish ham and Manchego cheese)
- Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante (Raviolo Al Formaggi)
- Morimoto Asia (Morimoto Spare Ribs)
- Paddlefish (Peel & Eat Key West Pink Shrimp)
- Paradiso 37 (Honolulu Pulled Pork Sandwich)
- Pizza Ponte (San Gennaro)
- Planet Hollywood (L.A. Lasagna)
- The Polite Pig (Grilled Street Corn)
- Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant (Bangers + Mash = Yum)
- Rainforest Cafe (Creole Mac & Cheese)
- Splitsville Dining Room (Killer Bee pizza)
- Stargazers Bar (Choose Four Local Craft Draft Beers beer flight)
- STK Orlando (Japanese Wagyu A5 Strip)
- T-REX (Pot Roast Pot Pie)
- Terralina Crafted Italian (Bread Pudding French Toast)
- Wine Bar George (Olive Oil Cake)
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (Herb Peppercorn Crusted Pork Tenderloin)
These are just some of my favorites whenever we visit these restaurants, however, it was really hard to choose just one! In addition to eating here, you can also get professional PhotoPass photos taken, do pin trading, go bowling, ride a carousel, buy Christmas ornaments, and watch a movie.
21. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hands down one of the coolest and best things to do in Disney World for adventure seekers is taking a ride in a genuine hot air balloon. Aerophile – the World Leader in Balloon Flight is located on the West Side of Disney Springs, right next to Starbucks.
This hot air balloon takes you 400 feet into the sky, giving you spectacular views of Disney property, including Spaceship Earth, and even parts of downtown Lake Buena Vista. While you can enjoy the sights of this 8-minute ride during the day, I highly recommend taking it at night. Spaceship Earth is just a glowing ball of awesome(ness), and the lights from the city are sparkling. It’s truly enchanting – and at just $25 per adult and $20 per child, it’s an affordable experience, too.
22. Shop at the Largest Disney Store in the Country!
Did you know that when visiting Disney Springs, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit and shop at the largest Disney store in the country? It’s called World of Disney and they sell everything from Loungefly backpacks to kitchen accessories, clothes, stuffed plushies, Minnie ears, and whatever the latest trend is – like NuiMos and Munchlings!
You can get lost in this store! And because of how much they offer, stopping in here is one of the best things to do in Disney, especially if money is burning a hole in your pocket.
23. Go DisneyBounding!
DisneyBounding is when you wear clothes similar to or in the same color palette as a favorite Disney character – and there’s no better place to do this than at Walt Disney World.
In the past, I’ve gone Disneybounding as Woody, Ariel, Minnie, and Ursula and it’s always a blast. Not only is it fun to go clothes hunting at your local thrift store before your trip, but it makes for fun photo ops with the characters themselves.
Check out this Disneybound Minnie Mouse inspiration outfit!
24. Celebrate Your Honeymoon
If you recently got married or are planning to soon, celebrating your honeymoon at the Most Magical Place on Earth is one of the best things to do in Disney. Sure, this ties into a little bit of Entry #15 but celebrating something as big as a honeymoon is a great way to experience Disney on a completely new level.
For example, on my Disney honeymoon, my husband and I booked a reservation at Victoria and Albert’s, which is one of the most luxurious dining experiences on property. We got a massage at the Grand Floridian Spa. And, we even splurged a little to book two different resorts that way we both got to experience what we wanted.
Sure, we wore the buttons and the matching t-shirts, but our honeymoon allowed us to experience a “grown-up” Disney and take a slower pace. So if you want to experience Disney on a whole new level (before you have kids), I highly recommend visiting for your honeymoon.
25. Toss Out the Schedule and be a Kid!
Even though Disney Genie and Lighting Lane (like the old FastPass+ system) can make it easy to skip the line and ride more attractions, it also completely removes spontaneity – and sometimes, that’s the best part about a magical Walt Disney World vacation.
As a kid, you didn’t like structure so why have it while visiting somewhere that allows children of all ages to reclaim their innocence and get away from the hustle and bustle of adult life?
Some of my favorite trips have been when we’ve ditched the schedule and done what we felt like doing at the moment. Doing this can alleviate the stress of having to get somewhere in time. Since I feel this pressure a lot because of work and all my other responsibilities around the house, experiencing it while I’m on vacation is the last thing I want.
Tossing out the schedule and just being a kid is, by far, one of the best things to do in Disney World!
What do you think is the most magical thing to do in Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments what you would add to this list of the best things to do in Disney World.
And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more Disney tips, tricks, and trivia.
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
Need More Help Planning Your Vacation?
A travel agent is an essential resource when planning a vacation. Reach out to Magical Travel and they will make sure your vacation is pure magic and no stress! Their services are 100% FREE to you!