things you MUST DO in each park

Welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Blue loop. Today we are sharing the must-dos on your first Disney vacation.

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I love Disney World, as if you cannot tell from my posts and my pictures. I have been over 12 times, my first time being when I was 5 years old. My mother had that trip planned out to a T and kept things pretty regimented throughout the whole trip. I realize now just where I get my extreme planning from, and even though I love that, I also enjoy going to Disney with just a few things that I MUST DO and then going from there.

So today I’m sharing just a few must-dos for each park so that as first-timers you don’t feel like you have to get all this stuff done without having time to do it! 

We will start with the place that I think is a very good place to start….

Magic Kingdom 

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Attractions: 

  • The newest ride in the Magic Kingdom, this is a mild roller coaster that anyone can love! (you will need a fastpass!)
  • Carousel of Progress 
    This one is purely an awesome attraction because it’s Walt’s original idea from the 1964 World’s Fair. I think the history behind it is awesome, but the music is incredible too. And the stories. This is my all-time favorite attraction at Magic Kingdom. Don’t even try to change my mind (no fastpass needed)
  • The Haunted Mansion
    I HATE being scared. Like, to the point that it makes me sick. But this ride is purely fun and all about the special effects and illusions. It doesn’t scare me, so therefore I don’t think it’s scary at all. (if you get here at the right time of day – early morning or probably later in the evening – you probably won’t need to waste your fastpasses on this!)

Restaurants:

  • Columbia Harbor House 
    We LOVE the food at CHH. Mom and I have both tried different things and loved everything we’ve eaten there. Definitely worth the quick-service credit because the food is such good quality! 

EPCOT 

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Attractions: 

  • Soarin’ 
    Don’t you dare EVER miss this one. You’ll never forgive yourself if you do. There’s something special about this ride of “soaring over California”. It makes you feel like you’re really there – the smells, the way it make you feel, there’s nothing better than this ride! (fastpass it!)
  • Mission: Space
    If you are a thrill seeker, take the orange ride. If you are not able to handle g-force or you might get motion-sick take the green ride. This attraction takes you up into space in a rocket and the g-force makes it feel almost real. (you can fastpass this but it’s not always needed!)

Restaurants: 

  • Akershus 
    My family loves this character dining restaurant – but we’ve only ever done it for breakfast. This is a Princess dining experience and usually you meet Belle, Cinderella, Ariel and Mulan (but this changes depending on the day). The breakfast is wonderful – with a pastry and Norwegian fixing buffet, and then family style food that comes to your table which includes yummy eggs, potatoes, bacon and sausage. (Get reservations!)

Hollywood Studios 

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Attractions:

  • Tower of Terror
    While I have my favorite rides in EVERY park, this is my favorite ride OVERALL at Disney World. It’s the one thing that I look forward to the most, and there’s a reason for that. It took me 4 trips to finally be forced to ride this, and after that I was addicted. Yes, you freefall. Yes, it’s so scary. But but does the adrenaline-junkie in me so love this ride. There’s nothing better than starting you off with a scary story about an elevator before putting you in said-elevator only to drop have you freefall in it. Yep, can’t think of anything cooler than that! (fastpasses needed unless riding as soon as the park opens!) 
  • Rockin’ Roller Coaster 
    Another thrill-seeking ride, especially if you love Areosmith. This is a indoor roller coaster that goes from 0 to 65 in mere seconds! They blare Aerosmith in your ear while you ride – and scream, usually – which is also an added bonus. Probably the best roller coaster in WDW. (get a fastpass!)
  • Toy Story Mania 
    This ride is for young and old alike. It’s like an arcade game only better – and you get to play against the person sitting beside you, which is an added bonus. I usually end up sitting with my little sister who is a gamer and always beat her – which is awesome for me since she beats me at most everything else. Score! (You’ll absolutely 100% need a fastpass for this unless you like to wait in 2-3 hours lines for one ride!)

Restaurants: 

  • Pizza Planet
    This is one of those places that some people like and some people hate. But if you like pizza and ceasar salads, this is the place for you. It’s a quick service place so you don’t need reservations, and it’s yummy, too. Definitely worth the money for what you get. 

Animal Kingdom

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Attractions: 

  • Kilamanjaro Safaris 
    At this ride, you get into half a bus (the top is cut off) and you ride through the wilderness with a guide. They show you all sorts of animals – and even stop so that you can take pictures. It’s always a bumpy ride but also a lot of fun! (A fastpass would save some time, so I suggest getting one!)
  • Expedition Everest
    While not my favorite roller coaster in Disney World, this one is fun! You even get to see a Yeti, which is pretty cool! Definitely a must-do for someone that has never been to Disney before. (get a fastpass!) 
  • Festival of the Lion King Show 
    Oh my gosh, this is by far my favorite show in all of Disney World. It’s so colorful and fun, and the music is incredible. This show has something for everyone from great music, to great dancing, to acrobats (monkey acrobats!). (Fastpass is available, but not always necessary) 

Restaurants: 

  • Tusker House – Breakfast
    Yet another character dining experience, this time with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. We’ve only ever been for breakfast. It’s a buffet and has all sorts-of yummy foods including American and African selections. We’ve even got a favorite waiter here who’s name is Neil. If you decide to go, request him when you get there – you won’t be disappointed! (reservations a must!) 

So there ya have it. My must-dos for all the parks at Walt Disney World. If you are a seasoned veteran or someone who has been to Disney a lot, what are some of your must-dos? 


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | First Timer Must-Dos Loop:

  • Lee Beatens

    I like how you broke it down to parks with attractions and restaurants! I would add the Sci-Fi Diner in DHS. And for an attraction, the People Mover in Tomorrowland. Are there any of your must-do’s that you do every time you go?

  • I love your list of must do’s! Like you, I was also forced onto Tower of Terror. It immediately became my favorite attraction at Disney World! So much fun!

  • Rosanne Mottola

    Ash, great post! I was smiling from ear to ear when you included the Carousel of Progress!

  • yensid4him

    The first bullet point under Magic Kingdom isn’t showing the name of the “mild roller coaster.” Is that Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride?