Disney World has a ton of rides, restaurants, and entertainment options. The good news is that you’ll never run out of things to do. The bad news is that it can be hard to know where to begin.
We created this HUGE guide to use our years of experience to help you find all of Disney World’s “must do’s”. There’s info for all four parks, along with resorts and Disney Springs. It’s all in one place, so you can spend less time searching and more time having fun.
Whether you’re planning a full vacation or simply planning your afternoon, we’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
- Magic Kingdom Must Do’s
- Epcot Must Do’s
- Animal Kingdom Must Do’s
- Hollywood Studios Must Do’s
- Disney Springs Must Do’s
- Disney World Resorts Must Do’s
Magic Kingdom Must Do’s
#1. Ride Space Mountain
You’re doing yourself a disservice if you leave Magic Kingdom without riding on Space Mountain. It’s dark, it’s fast, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also one of Disney’s most iconic rollercoasters and it’s definitely one you’ll want a FastPass for! Check out our Magic Kingdom FastPass guide and ride ranking to get some important tips for that.
#2. Watch Disney Enchantment fireworks show
Disney Enchantment was just introduced on October 1, 2021 and it is unlike any other fireworks show you’ve ever seen inside Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Not only are the fireworks timed perfectly with epic music, but there are intricate projections animated on the Cinderella Castle for you to enjoy. Going a step further, you can also watch projections and glittering lights on the buildings on Main Street, U.S.A during the show.
#3. Eat a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle
Ah, the legendary Dole Whip. Trust me, it’s worth the hype. It’s one of the best desserts you’ll find at Disney World and it’s a borderline crime not to have one. Getting a Dole Whip is often my first course of action when entering the park.
#4. Ride Tron Lightcycle / Run
Tron is coming April 2023 and is the stellar new ride featuring out-of-this-world technology and fun. Riders mount a futuristic motorcycle and take off at 60mph to race against the fictional lightcyclers of the TRON: Legacy movie. This is one experience we highly recommend for thrill seekers.
#5. Eat at Be Our Guest
If you can get a coveted reservation for Be Our Guest, snatch it up as quick as you can! The restaurant is modeled after the Beauty and the Beast Castle and features an outstanding French-inspired menu. It’s absolutely one of Disney’s best restaurants. Be Our Guest ranks #1 on both our list of Best Magic Kingdom Restaurants for Lunch and our list of Best Magic Kingdom Restaurants for Dinner.
#6. Ride Pirates of the Caribbean
Another great dark water ride at Magic Kingdom. The sets are intricate and interesting and the ride has just enough “thrill” to make it fun for adults but tame enough for hesitant children.
#7. Watch Country Bear Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree oozes old-school Disney World kitsch. There’s nothing quite like watching oversized animatronic bears perform like they’re at the Grand Ol’ Opry. Consider this one a Magic Kingdom rite of passage.
#8. Eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table
It doesn’t matter who you are- it’s pretty cool to be able to eat inside Cinderella’s Castle. Cinderella’s Royal Table is expensive (it’s considered fine dining), but it’s totally worth it if you want a special experience. It’s also one of the few places that you can meet all of the princesses in one place. They’ll visit your table one-by-one as you eat.
#9. Ride Haunted Mansion
You can’t leave Magic Kingdom without taking a spin on a doom buggy through a dark, spooky mansion. The Haunted Mansion consistently ranks as a favorite among Disney fans who love getting up close to the “happy haunts”.
#10. Get Quick Service at Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow is one of the best quick service locations in Magic Kingdom, just off Liberty Square with a beautiful view of Cinderella Castle. One of the best recommendations we have for Sleepy Hollow is getting the Fresh Fruit Waffle – filled with nutella and fresh fruit. We’ve ranked it as our number one quick service choice for Best Breakfast in Magic Kingdom – see more breakfast items in this post.
#11. Ride Thunder Mountain
Rounding out “The Three Magic Kingdom Mountains”, Thunder Mountain is another “can’t miss” coaster. You’ll twist and turn through canyons and caverns in a wild west, gold rush setting. Thunder Mountain has a lot of quick turns and it’s known for slinging riders from side to side.
#12. Watch Festival of Fantasy Parade
Another classic and fun pastime is watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade which features lots of interactive floats. Twice a day, you’ll get the chance to see everyone from Mickey and the Fab Five to Disney Princesses and Heroes. These characters parade through the crowd displayed on floats, sitting on trolleys and sometimes riding their own horses.
#13. Ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train
Seven Dwarves Mine Train is one of Magic Kingdom’s newest coasters. It’s also one of the most popular rides at the park with very long wait times to match. The ride’s advanced animatronics and speedy track make it a great use of a Fastpass.
#14. Shop on Main Street
The Main Street Emporium is one of Disney World’s best and largest shops. It spans the entire length of Main Street, U.S.A., so it’s hard to miss. On the other side of the street, you’ll find everything from an art shop, a to crystal shop, an apparel accessory shop. Everything here stays open late, so it’s a good last stop before exiting the park.
#15. Watch Enchanted Tales with Belle
When available, Enchanted Tales with Belle is an interactive storytime attraction in Fantasyland. Belle herself will tell you stories with the help of animatronic Beauty and the Beast characters. Audience members will also be picked to help with the story and each guest gets a free bookmark from Belle at the end of the show. It’s a very cool experience, especially for the kids.
#16. Ride It’s a Small World
That song. Those animatronic children. No matter how much you may want to avoid having the infamous tune stuck in your head, It’s a Small World must be ridden. This ride is as “Disney World” as it gets and you’ve got to experience it at least once, no exceptions!
#17. Watch Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Mickey’s PhilarMagic is a 3D show that features some of the most famous music and scenes from classic Disney movies. Beauty and the Beach, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid- they’re all there. It’s a really cool show that is good for all ages.
#18. Take Pictures with Your Favorite Character
Whether it’s a Disney Princess like Cinderella or a Disney villain like Gaston, you’ve got a lot of character viewing options at Magic Kingdom. It can be tedious to wait in line all day to see every character in the park, so these new viewing options are a great way to see multiple characters at once.
#19. Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is the ultimate Magic Kingdom ride for testing friendships. You’ll be pitted up against your fellow riders while you shoot your way through Zurg’s minions. Your score is tracked on a screen for you to compare at the end of the ride. It can get pretty competitive, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
#20. Eat with Pooh & friends at The Crystal Palace
If you’re a Winnie the Pooh fan then a meal at The Crystal Palace is something you’ll really enjoy. The restaurant’s building is based on a beautiful Victorian greenhouse design. Inside, you’ll have a large buffet to choose from. Over the course of your meal, you’ll be visited by Pooh and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood residents.
#21. Get Ice Cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is easy to spot at the end of Main Street USA. There’s usually a long line out the door, but it usually moves pretty fast, so don’t let that deter you. There are a number of sundaes to choose from, including the famous, oversized “Kitchen Sink”. This is also the best place in Magic Kingdom to get a delicious ice cream sandwich. If you want some ice cream tips, check out our guide to Magic Kingdom’s Best Ice Cream.
#22. Ride Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is yet another classic Magic Kingdom staple. After boarding the boat, you’ll embark on a comical voyage through a wild jungle. The real draw to the Jungle Cruise are the Skippers. They stand in the front of the boat and offer quirky, tongue-in-cheek commentary throughout the ride.
Epcot Must Do’s
#23. Walk Around the Epcot World Showcase
Future World is great, but everyone knows that the World Showcase is what makes Epcot so special. Situated on the World Showcase Lagoon, the World Showcase features 11 themed countries spread along the circular waterfront. There are enough entertainment, dining, and attractions to keep you busy for a long, long time. The World Showcase’s abundance of culture, food, and drinks makes it especially awesome for adults.
If you’re looking for grownup fun at Epcot, take a look at our Insider’s Guide to Epcot for Adults.
We’ve also got a great guide to our 30 Best Epcot Tips & Secrets and a standalone guide to Epcot Dining.
#24. Watch Harmonious
HarmonioUS is Epcot’s new and state-of-the-art nightly fireworks show. It incorporates top-notch fireworks, a thrilling soundtrack, lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and more to create an amazing spectacle. If you want to guarantee a really awesome show, try to pick your viewing spot 30 minutes to an hour beforehand along any part of the World Showcase Lagoon walkway.
#25. Ride Soarin’ Around the World
Soarin’ is one of Epcot’s most popular rides. It’s a hang glider simulator that lifts you into the air and places you in front of a gigantic screen. You’ll feel like you’re truly flying through famous locations around the world, from the Matterhorn to the Taj Mahal. Wait times are almost always long and Soarin’ is absolutely worth getting Lightning Lane.
#26. Eat at Yorkshire County Fish Shop
Located in the UK Pavilion, the Yorkshire County Fish Shop is a simple quick-service restaurant that serves traditional English fish and chips. The fries are great and the fish is always perfectly breaded and fried. This is one of the best quick meals you can find inside a Disney park.
#27. Ride Spaceship Earth
If you’ve ever seen Epcot’s iconic, gigantic “golf ball” then you’ve seen Spaceship Earth. Inside Spaceship Earth, there is a ride by the same name. It’s a track ride that takes you on a slow-moving journey through the history of mankind. The sets are extremely details and showcase extensive animatronic work. You can’t leave Epcot without experiencing this ride at least once.
#28. Watch Reflections of China
Reflections of China, located in the China Pavilion, is one of Epcot’s 360-degree video experiences. It’s a short film that takes you on a journey through China’s most breathtaking urban and rural areas. You’ll see everything from the Great Wall to sprawling urban cities.
#29. Eat at Le Cellier Steakhouse
Le Cellier is a signature restaurant in the Canada Pavilion. It’s known serving some of the best steaks at Disney World. The restaurant is a uniquely themed recreation of a Canadian chateau-style cellar. It’s very popular and seating is limited, so try to get a reservation as far in advance as possible.
#30. Ride Mission: SPACE
Many people are surprised to find out that Mission: SPACE is actually Disney World’s most intense ride. It’s a spaceship simulator that sends you on a trip to Mars. The g-forces really rip, so be careful if you get motion sickness or have claustrophobia. If you want a more timid ride experience, there is a “less intense” line that eliminates the motion aspect of the ride.
#31. Eat Pastries at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
Les Halles is one of the best quick-service restaurants at Epcot. It’s located in the back of the France Pavilion and serves an extensive variety of pastries. You can also get small entrees here (the ham sandwiches are particularly good). If fresh beignets, eclairs, macarons, etc are up your alley, then you’re going to really like Les Halles.
#32. See Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
This cute and short show puts a new twist on the famous tale of Beauty and the Beast. You’ll get to sit in a cozy yet elegant theater and sing all your favorite songs. The twist is that Le Fou (the lead host in this show) was actually the catalyst for Belle’s romance with the Beast. It’s an interesting take on the classic story.
#33. Get Margaritas from La Cava del Tequila (21+)
La Cava is a quick-service margarita shop inside the Mexico Pavilion’s giant pyramid. It’s so well-liked that it’s among the top-rated Tripadvisor restaurants for all of Orlando. You’ll find hundreds of tequilas and plenty of unique margaritas on the menu. It’s dark and cozy inside, perfect for escaping the heat for a while and enjoying a cold drink with some chips and guacamole.
#34. Eat School Bread at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe
School Bread is my favorite dessert at Epcot. It’s a legendary Disney World pastry found in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion. It’s a bread pastry, filled with cold vanilla custard and topped with coconut. School Bread is a large dessert, but it’s not so sweet that it’s hard to eat. Don’t miss this one!
#35. Watch Canada Far & Wide
Canada Far & Wide is the third country-specific movie in the World Showcase. It’s presented in the same 360-degree style as Reflections of China. This film has recently been updated and is now narrated by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, who take you on a visual tour of Canada’s provinces.
#36. Ride Test Track
Test Track is an uber-popular ride. You’ll start by designing a car in the line queue, then you’ll move on to “testing” it out on the track. Most of the ride is indoors and the track bobs and weaves around obstacles. The ride ends with a big outdoor loop where you reach top speeds. Wait times are usually really long, so get a Fastpass if you can.
#37. Eat Pizza at Via Napoli
Via Napoli serves the best pizza at Disney World. True story. You’ll find this Neopolitan-style Italian restaurant in the back of the Italy Pavilion. It does serve things other than pizza, but the pizza is its main focus and it does an outstanding job making it. The ingredients are high-quality and the dough is perfect. You can choose from an assortment of pizzas on the menu or simply build your own. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
#38. Explore The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Seas isn’t just a Nemo ride. It’s a gigantic indoor aquarium complex that’s home to what was (up until recent times) the largest saltwater tank in the world. There is an incredible amount of ocean life inside. Manatees, dolphins, sharks, turtles, fish- you get the picture. The highlight of The Seas is the glass tunnel that leads you to the middle of the aquarium and gives you a 360-degree view of your surroundings.
#39. Eat at Biergarten
If all-you-can-eat German food with beer and live music sounds good to you, then you’re going to love Biergarten. It’s a German buffet-style restaurant that features a live polka band throughout the day. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you like beer. They serve German brews in steins the size of your head.
#40. Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
This brand new ride is extremely fun for all ages, especially for those who love the Guardians of the Galaxy. The ride takes you on a fast-paced tour through space as you escape the villain – it even propels you backwards for the majority of the ride and the vehicles can move a full 360 degrees in rotation! The ride will also vary each time, since different tracks of Star Lord’s Awesome Mix are featured on each go around.
#41. Shop at the Mitsukoshi Department Store
The Mitsukoshi Department Store (check out our full guide to the store) is one of the coolest shops at Disney World. It’s a real Japanese department store brought over from Japan. You can find all sorts of things inside. Up front, there’s merchandise from famous animated brands like Hello Kitty, Pokemon, My Neighbor Totoro, and more. Clothing and home goods are in the middle. The back of the store has groceries, especially candy and sweets. I frequent Mitsukoshi to buy ramen noodles and other random foods.
#42. Meet Your Favorite Characters
Like the other parks, Epcot has a number of character cavalcades and character dining options. Anna, Elsa, Mulan, and Snow White are some of the favorites. There are plenty of others like Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland scattered around, too.
#43. Eat Ice Cream at L’Artisan des Glaces
The ice cream served at L’Artisan des Glaces is hands down the best at Disney World. It is one of the very few shops that serve handmade ice cream and it’s delicious. There is a variety of flavors of plain ice cream, along with a menu of specialty items. My personal favorite is the “Croque Glaces”. It’s a special ice cream sandwich that puts a scoop of ice cream between a piece of freshly-baked brioche bread. The bread is then toasted to lightly crisp the exterior and seal the edges. Trust me- it’s awesome. Don’t go without checking out our Ultimate Guide to Epcot Ice Cream!
#44. Watch The American Adventure
The American Adventure is arguably Epcot’s greatest entertainment attraction. It is a stage show that portrays American history with detailed sets and impressive animatronics. It’s definitely a special show and shouldn’t be passed over. It’s equal parts American pride and classic Epcot charm.
#45. Get a Frozen Kirin Beer (21+)
This is an easy one to miss if you don’t know what to look for. At the front of the Japan Pavilion you’ll find a small quick-service window that serves some drinks and small food items. It’s here that you’ll find the frozen Kirin beer on draft. It’s an icy, refreshing way to drink a beer while walking around the World Showcase.
#46. Watch the Street Performers
From Chinese acrobats to Japanese drummers, you’ll find a whole host of street performers scattered around Epcot. If you spot one of the performing groups while you make your way around Epcot, take a moment to check them out. They’re all very impressive and very good.
#47. Listen to the Voices of Liberty perform inside The American Adventure rotunda
The Voices of Liberty are a very talented group of vocalists who perform traditional American songs inside The American Adventure building. You’ll find them in the building’s central rotunda. They perform right before every one of The American Adventure’s showtimes. Their patriotic a capella renditions are outstanding.
#48. Drink Your Way Around the World (21+)
Drinking Around the World is a time-honored tradition for adult Epcot guests. The goal is to band together with your buddies and drink your way around the World Showcase’s 11 countries. If you’ve spent some time at Epcot, you’ve probably seen sleepy-eyed groups of people stumbling their way around Canada or Mexico as they make their final stand. It’s a lot of fun if it’s done right and done responsibly. We give you more details on how to Drink Around the World at Epcot in this post.
Animal Kingdom Must Do’s
#49. Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris
Kilimanjaro Safaris is Animal Kingdom’s best attraction. The “ride” puts you into a real, free-moving truck to transport you through the park’s Harambe Reserve wildlife area. You’ll see lions, elephants, hippos, wildebeest, crocodiles, ostriches- the list goes on and on. It’s a truly unique theme park experience and the collection of African wildlife is really impressive. Certain times of the day are best for seeing the animals and we created a guide to Kilimanjaro Safaris to give you some tips for the ride.
Also, be sure to check out our complete list of Animal Kingdom tips and secrets.
#50. Watch the Festival of the Lion King
The Festival of the Lion King is one of Animal Kingdom’s live shows. It’s a huge musical show that takes place in a circular room, so there’s not a bad seat in the house. You’ll see all of your favorite Lion King characters, along with a whole host of singers, dancers, and acrobats. I’m always impressed by the talent on display in this show.
#51. Ride Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is, in my opinion, Disney World’s best rollercoaster. The unique thing about this coaster is that it actually goes in reverse for a portion of the ride. Overall, Expedition Everest just feels a lot “bigger” than many other Disney rollercoasters. It’s especially good at nighttime.
#52. Eat at Satu’li Canteen
The new Pandora section of Animal Kingdom added a ton of fun to the park. One of the best addition was the quick-service Satu’li Canteen. It serves a number of “bowls” that are extremely good. You pick a meat, a base (rice, potatoes, etc), and a sauce for your meal. Everything is high-quality and it’s one of the best, most unique quick-service meals at Disney.
#53. Ride Avatar Flight of Passage
Flight of Passage is the flagship ride of the new Pandora section of the park. It’s a state-of-the-art 4D experience that places you on the back of a “Banshee” to take a ride through the world of Pandora. The details are so good that it really does feel like flying. The ride’s seating is shaped kind of like a motorcycle, making you feel like you’re actually riding on the back of a Banshee. You’ll even feel it breathe during the ride.
#54. Walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Spoiler alert: This is where you’ll find the gorillas. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is one of Animal Kingdom’s two walkable wildlife trails. On this one, you’ll see gorillas (the highlight), hippos, and other African animals. The gorillas are usually very entertaining and you can get inches from them (separated by glass).
#55. Eat at Yak & Yeti
Yaki & Yeti is my one of my favorite park restaurants. It’s a Nepalese-themed restaurant that has a large menu of pan-Asian foods. The theme and decor is a nice changeup from what you get at most Asian restaurants and the food is very good.
#56. Walk Around Pandora: The World of Avatar
The new Pandora section of Animal Kingdom is breathtaking. The structures, landscaping, and general theme make it a pretty spectacular sight. It’s at its best when the sun goes down, so make sure to take a stroll through when it’s dark.
#57. Eat at Tiffins
Tiffins is Animal Kingdom’s new-ish signature restaurant. Its theme celebrates the Disney Imagineers’ exploration and preparation when they were creating Animal Kingdom. The menu is one of Disney World’s best, featuring lots of upscale yet wild options.
#58. Watch Finding Nemo: The Musical
Finding Nemo: The Musical is Animal Kingdom’s other major musical stage show. The whole show is elaborate and fun. The music is great and the costumes are some of the most impressive for a Disney show.
#59. Walk the Maharajah Jungle Trek
Maharajah Jungle Trek is Animal Kingdom’s other wildlife trail. It is located in the Asia section of the park and features all sorts of Asian animals. You’ll see everything from tigers to bats to komodo dragons.
#60. Watch Animal Kingdom Kitetails
Lights, music and kites combine to create a fantastical performance on the water, featuring beloved animal characters from your favorite Disney movies in kite form. The kites are operated by individuals and are intricately made to represent each character from movies like the Jungle Book and the Lion King.
#61. Ride Dinosaur
Dinosaur is a super bumpy ride that sends you back in time to chase down dinosaurs. It’s not overly fast, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in general rowdiness. The vehicles rocks back and forth like crazy while dinosaurs pop up around you.
#62. Watch Up! A Great Bird Adventure
Up! A Great Bird Adventure is an entertaining stage show featuring multiple species of live birds. The show was updated recently to include Russell and Doug from Pixar’s Up movie. The show’s exotic birds give some pretty impressive performances.
#63. Ride Kali River Rapids
If you don’t mind getting soaked, Kali River Rapids is great. It’s a standard river raft ride that lasts for a while and includes a few good drops.
#64. Ride Na’vi River Journey
The Na’vi River Journey is the second ride in the Pandora section of the park. It’s a dark water ride that takes you through the bioluminescent world of Avatar. It’s not the most thrill-inducing ride, but it has some cool details and impressive animatronics toward the end.
#65. Find DiVine
You’ve got to do some searching for this one. Divine is a live performer, on stilts and covered in foliage. She is one of Animal Kingdom’s best-kept secrets and many people walk right by her without noticing. If she’s out, you’ll likely find her on the Asia pathway, the Africa pathway, or in the Oasis (the front part) of the park.
#66. Get a Pongu Lumpia from Pongu Pongu
There’s a small window in Pandora that serves a handful of drinks and treats. One of the treats is the Pongu Lumpa. It’s a warm empanada-style dessert with cream cheese and pineapple on the inside. It’s a super good quick snack that won’t break the bank.
#67. Eat Lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue
Flame Tree Barbecue is a great quick-service lunch spot with lots of outdoor seating. The menu has plenty of meats like pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. The portions are large and the food is always good.
Hollywood Studios Must Do’s
#68. Ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
It doesn’t get more “Hollywood Studios” than the Tower of Terror. It’s my favorite ride at the park and one of the most thrilling experiences at Disney. The theme, the decor, the line queue, the big drop- everything about the Tower of Terror is awesome. Don’t leave Hollywood Studios without riding it at least once!
Want tips on booking fastpasses for Hollywood Studios? Give our Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tiers a look before reserving yours!
#69. Eat at Hollywood Brown Derby
Hollywood Studios isn’t known for having an abundance of great restaurants, but Hollywood Brown Derby is a big exception. It’s the park’s signature restaurant and serves much better food. The restaurant is based on the original Brown Derby Restaurant in real life Hollywood. If you like Cobb salads, Hollywood Brown Derby’s is the most famous around.
#70. Watch Fantasmic!
Fantasmic! is an epic outdoor show that is part fireworks, part stage show, part water show, part lights show. There is so much going on during a Fantasmic performance. You’ll see tons of characters doing all sorts of different performances while fireworks, lights, and water are going off all around. It even incorporates boats that circle the stage. This is definitely Hollywood Studios’ best nighttime show.
#71. Ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has always been a massive part of Hollywood Studios. It’s one of the most intense rollercoasters at Disney and is entirely indoors. The ride is famous for its start, a jolting 0-60 takeoff into a tunnel. Some may think it’s a little too scary – to learn more, read our post on How Scary is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster? to determine if it’s right for you.
#72. Ride Rise of the Resistance
One of the newest and most technologically avant garde ride in Walt Disney World is Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Being so popular, it can be a challenge to find Lightning Lane passes for this one, but trust us – it is SO worth it for this amazing experience! You can also wait in a standby line for this one.
#73. Eat at the Sci-Fi Dine-In
Even though the Sci-Fi Dine-In’s food is good, the restaurant is really all about the experience. It’s fully indoors, but it’s designed to make you feel like you’re at an old-school drive-in theater. The tables are cars with rows of seats and counters. The big screen plays old thriller/sci-fi movies while you eat.
#74. Drink at Oga’s Cantina
A new establishment introduced with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the iconic “Star Wars Bar”. Oga’s Cantina takes direct inspiration from the first Star Wars movie, Epside IV: A New Hope, where Han Solo takes Luke into a bar on Tatooine. Your mind will be blown stepping inside for the very first time, seeing such similarities and sipping on other-wordly drinks.
#75. Ride the Millennium Falcon
Another new addition to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge portion of Hollywood Studios is the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The ride assigns you a position: Pilot, Engineer or Gunner. Based on the assignment you get, you’ll team up with others to make up one flight crew that guns down enemy ships, steals their cargo and returns it to the Resistance. A truly fun experience, especially for the ultimate Star Wars fans.
#76. See Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
This exciting show tells the full story of Anna and Elsa as seen in the original Frozen movie. The funny cast invites the audience to participate in telling the story and singing along, which is a great time for kids and adults alike. At the end, Elsa even shows up to sprinkle snow on the crowd.
#77. Walk through Walt Disney Presents…
This attraction used to be called “One Man’s Dream” but was recently renamed. It focuses on showing the history behind Walt Disney’s vision for the park and for the Disney company in general. At the end of the tour, you’ll enter a theater where you’ll watch a video about Walt himself. Wait times are never a problem and this is absolutely worth seeing, especially if you’re a true-blue Disney fan.
#78. Ride Slinky Dog Dash
Slink Dog Dash is the flagship ride for Hollywood Studios’ new Toy Story Land. It’s a rollercoaster that strikes a good balance between “thrilling” and “kid-friendly”. The ride also actually lasts for a decent amount of time, which is nice. Don’t hesitate to use a Fastpass for this one- the wait times are super high. Also, try riding this one at night. It looks really cool when it’s dark.
#79. Watch Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage is a stage reenactment of the traditional Beauty and the Beast movie. It shortens the story down but still has plenty of music and performance to make it worthwhile. The costumes are particularly good with appearances from Lumiere, Cogsworth and the gang.
#80. Eat at Woody’s Lunch Box
Woody’s Lunch Box is the main quick-service restaurant in Toy Story Land. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves a simple menu with normal breakfast items in the morning and some decent sandwiches from the afternoon on. The grilled cheese is great and the “Lunch Box Tarts” (fancy homemade pop-tarts) alone make the restaurant worth visiting. If you want a sugar-high in the morning, get the S’mores Breakfast Sandwich.
Disney Springs Must Do’s
#81. Eat at Raglan Road
Raglan Road is my favorite Disney Springs hangout. It’s a large Irish pub with live music and dancers every night. You won’t find a more lively spot to spend an evening at Disney. The food is also very, very good. I’ve been to Raglan Road more times than I could ever count and it never gets old. For the price of dinner or drinks, you get top-notch entertainment and a great atmosphere. Raglan Road is one of our top picks on our list of the Best Disney World Restaurants for Adults.
#82. Take an Amphicar Tour
Right next to the Boathouse restaurant, there is a launch that has amphibious cars. For a price, a captain will take you for a 25-minutes sightseeing tour around Disney Spring’s lake. It’s a pretty cool way to see Disney Springs in a new way.
#83. Shop at the Market Co-Op
The Market Co-Op is a collection of Disney shops that sell more unique items than what you’ll find in most other stores. There’s a home good section, a women’s clothing section, a dress/accessory shop, a men’s clothing section, an art section, and more. There are usually some cool finds in here.
#84. Eat Dessert at Amorette’s
Amorette’s is a bakery located right next door to the giant World of Disney store. It serves some of the best baked goods at Disney World, along with some other delicious desserts. Their cakes are works of art and they also provide custom work. This is my go-to Disney Springs dessert spot.
#85. Take a Ride in the Hot Air Balloon
One of the first things you’ll notice walking around Disney Springs is the huge hot ait ballooon routinely rising and falling. You can pay to go up in it. It’s worth the fee ($20 for adults, $15 for kids) once, just to see Disney World from 400 feet in the air.
#86. Go Bowling at Splitsville
This isn’t your rundown hometown bowling alley. Splitsville is a gigantic, upscale bowling alley/restaurant that stays pretty busy in the evenings. The food is decent and the bowling is great.
#87. Eat at Morimoto Asia
Morimoto Asia is another one of Disney Springs’ best restaurants. Celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto is the mind behind the restaurant and he created an awesome menu for it. The restaurant’s building is also pretty incredible. It’s very modern and flashy compared to most other Disney Springs facilities. There’s a great lounge upstairs. If you don’t have a reservation, go to the lounge or go outside to the “Street Food” quick-service extension of the restaurant.
#88. Take a Picture with the Coke Bear
There is a massive Coca-Cola store right next to the Orange Garage at Disney Springs. You’ll find all kinds of Coke products inside, but the highlight is taking a picture with the 7-foot-tall Coke Bear character.
#89. Shop at World of Disney
World of Disney is the largest Disney store in the world. It’s HUGE. You’ll find different departments that carry just about everything you could think of.
#90. Eat at The Boathouse
The Boathouse is a fairly new addition to Disney Springs, but it’s quickly become a fan-favorite. It’s an upscale but casual restaurant that serves outstanding seafood, steaks, and more. It’s a beautiful spot inside and out. Whether you’re dining as a couple or dining with the whole family, this is a great option.
#91. Get Drinks at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (21+)
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is a heavily-themed bar based on Indiana Jones. There are a lot of creative drinks and the building itself is quirky and cool.
#92. Watch a Movie at the AMC Theater
The AMC theater at Disney Springs is a good place to relax for a while and escape the Disney hustle and bustle. It’s especially good if you can watch a Disney movie at Disney World.
#93. Walk Through the Numerous Shops
There are TONS of other shops scattered around Disney Springs. There’s something for everyone, men, women, and children.
#94. Get a Sundae or a Milkshake from the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Chances are good that you’ll smell the chocolate scent coming from the Ghirardelli shop before you see it. It stays constantly busy, serving milkshakes and ice cream galore.
#95. Eat at D-Luxe Burger
D-Luxe Burger is a newer addition to Disney Springs. It’s a fast-casual, Disney-operated restaurant that serves some surprisingly great burgers. Lots of unique combos and some delicious homemade sauces.
#96. Get Drinks at The Edison’s lounge (21+)
The Edison is a full restaurant, but I like it better for drinks than for a meal. The food is decent, but the lounge is the really cool part. Great for late-night drinks on an adults-night-out.
Disney World Resorts Must Do’s
#97. Hang out at Stormalong Bay at The Beach & Yacht Club Resort
If you’re staying at the Beach Club Resort or Yacht Club Resort, you’ll have access to Stormalong Bay. It’s hands down the best pool area at Disney World. Honestly, “pool” isn’t an accurate description. Stormalong Bay is more akin to a miniature water park, with multiple pools, a big waterslide, a lazy river, lots of lounging areas, and more. While you’re there, take a walk around the Epcot Resort Area and visit some of the other nearby resorts.
#98. Eat at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort
If you can get a reservation for ‘Ohana, don’t hesitate to book it. ‘Ohana is uber-popular and for good reason. The food is great and is served all-you-can-eat. You’ll also get some Hawaiin music and entertainment over the course of dinner. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served. Breakfast features Lilo and Stitch for character dining. ‘Ohana also happens to be an awesome place to watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks in the evening.
#99. Do a “Monorail Crawl”
Whether you’re eating, drinking, or just sightseeing, it’s a ton of fun to simply hop on the monorail and explore. The Grand Floridian, Polynesian Resort, and Contemporary Resort are linked together via monorail, making it super easy to resort hop. Some of my favorite days at Disney have been spent doing nothing other than making my way around these resorts.
#100. Spend an evening at the Boardwalk
Disney’s Boardwalk is a full resort that features a classic Atlantic City-style boardwalk. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options up and down the boardwalk.
#101. Eat dinner and watch fireworks at California Grill
California Grill is my personal favorite restaurant at Disney World. In my opinion, there’s nothing else like it. The restaurant itself is situated on the very top of the Contemporary Resort, providing the best view of Disney World that you can find. It’s a magical place to have a meal. The restaurant has private outdoor observation decks that are the best spot to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks.
#102. Get drinks at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
Trader Sam’s is the best bar at Disney World and it’s not even close. As soon as you walk in, you’ll realize you’re not in any old bar. Trader Sam’s is an interactive indoor tiki bar that is decked out with incredible decorations and an amazing staff. The whole bar will react to your drink order, complete with effects and animatronics. The drinks are perfect and are served in special ceramic mugs available for purchase (I have too many of them.)
#103. Eat at Jiko: The Cooking Place at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jiko is an upscale African restaurant located inside the main Jambo House building at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food is absolutely outstanding and the setting is cozy but elegant. I’ve never had a bad meal here. Try the Botswana Short Rib!
#104. Take a carriage ride around Port Orleans Resort
Port Orleans Resort is without a doubt my favorite Moderate resort at Disney World. The resort has Moderate-level pricing with Deluxe-level outdoor areas. One of the best ways to enjoy the Port Orleans property is to take a 25-minute horsedrawn carriage ride. The carriage will take you down paths by the river and through the middle of the resort.
#105. Eat dinner at Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian
If you’re looking for the finest fine-dining at Disney World, Victoria and Albert’s is your spot. It’s one of the most prestigious restaurants in Florida with its AAA 5 Diamond rating. A dinner here is expensive, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for an amazing experience.
#106. Watch fireworks or a sunset on the Polynesian Resort beach
Every night, the Polynesian’s beaches fill with guests who want a great view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The beaches are situated directly across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom, giving you a head on view from across the water. The beach is also beautiful for sunset-watching.
#107. Get drinks or a meal at Geyser Point at The Wilderness Lodge
Geyser Point is pretty new to the Wilderness Lodge and has quickly become one of my favorite hangouts. It’s an open-air bar and grill that serves good food and good beer. The real draw though is its view of Bay Lake. It’s the perfect spot for kicking back and enjoying a sunset while you have a drink.
#108. Check out the animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
There’s nothing quite like having giraffes, zebras, and other African wildlife right in the middle of a resort. The Animal Kingdom Lodge has some amazing wildlife enclosures directly in the center of the resort areas, making it easy to leisurely watch the animals run around during the day. Whether you’re staying at the AKL or just stopping by for a meal, make sure to walk outside and take a look.
#109. Hoot and Holler at the hoop-dee-doo Musical Revue
This fun, family-style dinner show gets everybody out of their seat for a good time. You’ll find it at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The fare is good American-style BBQ in platters big enough for your whole party. While eating, various performers will take the stage for songs and skits and will even select people to join them from the crowd.
#110. Get drinks at the Jellyrolls piano bar (21+)
Jellyrolls is a popular dueling piano bar located on the Disney Boardwalk and arguably the most lively and chaotic atmosphere on Disney property. The pianists are very talented and play any tune imaginable, including your Disney favorites. They take requests and can play just about anything you throw at them. It’s a great spot for an adults-night-out, especially if you like good music.
Still in the planning phase of your vacation?
We also created a complete guide to Planning a Disney World Vacation on a Budget. It’s a highly detailed resource to help you decide where to spend your money and enjoy Disney World on any budget.
Our annual Disney World gear guide is another helpful resource for getting you ready for your trip.
This was SO helpful! I’ve been doing a lot of research for our trip, but this is first time I heard about the amphicar tours and exactly why people kept recommending Trader Sam’s. Your posts are super helpful! This might be our only trip to Disney for a long time, so we are trying to research what is worth experiencing and what is worth skipping. Thank you!
Thrilled to have helped! It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the number of things to do at Disney and we totally understand the pressure that can come with planning a trip. Especially if it’s the only one you’ll be taking for a while. It’s always our goal to cover as much as we can, because we hate to see anyone miss out on something simply because they didn’t know it existed. Hope you have an outstanding trip and please let us know if we can help with any other questions you may have!
Love the idea of getting a drink at Trader Sams and watching sunset from Polynesian. Do you think we could do that and make it back to MK for fireworks? we’re going in November.
From November 3rd (after the time change) on, the sun will be setting at about 5:30 PM. Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show will start at 9:00 PM, unless it’s a special event night (Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party). On Christmas Party nights, the fireworks may take place somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30 PM.
Either way, you shouldn’t have any problem at all doing Trader Sam’s, a Polynesian Resort sunset, and Magic Kingdom fireworks in one fell swoop!