I read somewhere that one could spend an entire year at Walt Disney World and not do everything. I, for one, 100% believe it.
These tips are by no means an exhaustive list (I honestly could write a book), but in an effort to follow up my What to Do at Disneyland post, I tried to narrow it down. I know many of you will be visiting soon, and you've gotta take full advantage!
Here are five things you absolutely, undoubtedly, undeniably HAVE to do while in Walt Disney World, Florida:
1. Explore the Resorts
There’s no substitute for staying on Disney property. Staying at a Disney resort has many wonderful perks, including Extra Magic Hours (special early openings and late closings at various parks throughout the week), complete access to Disney transportation, and the Dining Plan.
If you’re unable or choose not to stay in a Disney resort, you still owe it to yourself to check them out! Hop on a bus, take the monorail- just like the parks, Walt Disney World’s resort hotels are completely immersive experiences.
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris
The closest Floridian thing to an African safari and one of the most enjoyable attractions is Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It's an incredible photo opportunity and well worth the (often long) wait time.
3. Dole Whip
There’s a myriad of great stuff to eat at Walt Disney World, and there are tons of ways to satisfy any Mickey Mouse-shaped craving. However, Dole Whip is a fan favorite.
Dole Whip can’t be much simpler: a non-dairy, soft-serve pineapple frozen treat. It’s available by itself, as a float with pineapple juice, or swirled with vanilla soft-serve. And it’s nothing short of amazing!
Dole Whips are available at the Aloha Isle snack counter in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom and Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort. The soft-serve is also available in vanilla or chocolate, or as a Coke or root beer float. But why would you settle for something so ordinary when you can have a delicious, one-of-a-kind Dole Whip? Yummy!
(On a side note, Disney offers a Dining Plan to its resort guests. For one reasonable price each day, guests can enjoy dining and snacks, including many fine dining experiences. At certain times of the year, Dining Plans are offered free with room reservations! I highly recommend taking this into consideration when planning a trip!)
4. Brave the Mountains
Four coasters at WDW are not to be missed: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Expedition Everest.
Without giving too much of the excitement away, I'll say that the four mountain rides are definite must-do attractions for thrill seekers of all ages. Each one provides a distinct yet genuine experience. Just make sure you take off your Minnie Ears!
One of my many favorite attractions is also one of the hardest to explain.
Soarin’ is a truly unique multimedia attraction that must be seen to be believed. Originally a gift from Disneyland, Soarin’ is a tour of some of the worlds most beautiful sights.
It's the only ride where I've ever seen guests applaud, "we're soarin', flyin'..."
Bonus: Special Events and Holidays
Walt Disney World is magical any time of the year, but there’s something even more special about the Disney touch during holidays.
Every year, Mickey hosts a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and A Very Merry Christmas Party, separately ticketed events during which the park will be open to a limited number of guests. If you can bag yourself a ticket, you're in for an unforgettable night!
Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and Flower & Garden Festival are also great too, with these being free during the Spring and Fall.
Super Secret Bonus: Mail a Coconut?
In the gift shops at Pirates of the Caribbean, Caribbean Beach Resort, and the Polynesian, you can buy a postage-paid coconut and mail it anywhere in the United States. Simply write on the flat service and drop it in the mail! How fun, right?
What do you think?
Have you been to WDW? What are your top picks? Let us know in the comments below...
Psst: Stay tuned for a "what to wear to Disney" post coming very soon.