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By: Dole Whip Diva

Even as a self-proclaimed Disney pro, I have not accomplished everything there is to do in Walt Disney World. I have never done Captain EO, I have never had a Peanut Butter milkshake from 50’s Prime Time, and I have never become a Wilderness Explorer. Still, these items are on my never-ending checklist for all future trips to Disney World. I am here to tell you the top must do’s for first timers! This list will cover a broad spectrum of attractions for different age groups. This list ONLY covers  attractions and shows, not dining and characters.

Magic Kingdom

  1. All the mountains- Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space MountainThese are definitely all thrill rides, but aren’t too bad for even the youngest of thrill seekers.
  2. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train-This ride combines the elements of a thrill ride and a slow-moving ride. I think this ride is the perfect compromise for families with thrill seekers and those looking for a more relaxed experience.
  3. Haunted Mansion– Haunted Mansion is definitely a classic. This slow-moving dark ride is perfect for those hot summer days that Florida is known for. Younger guests may get a little spooked on this one, so you might want to leave this off of the list for little ones.
  4. Pirates of the Carribean– Another classic ride that always find its way onto my must-do list.
  5. Jungle Cruise– You even get to meet their head salesman!
  6. Peter Pan’s Flight– I feel like I step right into Neverland when I ride this ride.
  7. Meet Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theatre– I’ve had some great interaction with Mickey at the Town Square Theatre. From a cute card trick to fawning over my Duffy plush, I have great pictures with Mickey. Visit towards the end of the night for a lower wait time.
  8. Festival of Fantasy ParadeI get chills every single time I watch this parade. There are so many opportunities for pictures and interactions with characters. Prince Phillip told me happy birthday once! The parade is at 3:00 each day and starts out in Frontierland, so you should line up at least 15 minutes before.
  9. It’s a Small World Such a classic attraction, I can never say no. If you’re wearing a MagicBand, keep an eye out for a personalized goodbye at the end!
  10. Wishes The best way to finish off a magical day is watching this incredible fireworks show. Find a place along Main Street or in the hub for a full view.


  1. Spaceship Earth This is the icon of EPCOT and the perfect way to cool off in the middle of the day.
  2. Soarin– One of my absolute favorite rides at Disney World! This ride ALWAYS has a long wait time, so definitely get a Fastpass!img_4908
  3. The Seas with Nemo and Friends- Board your “clamobile” and dive into the seas with Nemo! The Finding Nemo characters swim along with real fish in a 5.7 million gallon tank.
  4. Turtle Talk with Crush If you’ve ever wanted to talk to Crush from Finding Nemo, now you can! I don’t know that I’ll ever be too old for this attraction. I love the really fun interactions you can have with Crush.
  5. The World Showcase Every country has something a fun and unique experience to offer. There’s no better way to experience so many different cultures in such a short amount of time.
  6. Illuminations- The best way to close out a full day at EPCOT is to enjoy Illuminations from anywhere around the World Showcase! Find a spot at least 30 minutes before to have a good view

Hollywood Studiosimg_2016

  1. Tower of Terror– You can tell this is going to be a great ride the second you hear the screams from Sunset Blvd. The drops are totally random so no ride is going to be the same.
  2. Rockin Roller Coaster- There’s nothing quite like speeding through the dark while listening to Aerosmith. If you want to ride multiple times and don’t mind being split up from your party, try riding as a Single Rider. I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes!
  3. Star Tours- A fun ride whether you’ve seen Star Wars or not! ( but it’s way more fun if you’ve seen Star Wars.) There are several different ride experiences so try riding multiple times!
  4. Toy Story Midway Mania– The perfect way to bring a little friendly competition into your vacation.
  5. Fantasmic!– Step straight into Mickey Mouse’s imagination and enjoy scenes from your favorite Disney movies. I can guarantee you will be singing along at some point. If you want to avoid getting wet, don’t sit on the first several rows in the middle sections.

Animal Kingdom: img_2977

  1. Festival of the Lion KingThis may just be personal preference, but I love this show. With so much singing and dancing, I think it is entertaining for all ages. It’s a must do for me every time I visit the parks.
  2. Finding Nemo: The Musical- Honestly, I don’t know how I skipped over this show EVERY time I went to Animal Kingdom but I finally went to see Nemo this past trip and WOW. I would have never known what I was missing out on. This show was a really neat way to bring the animated film to life on stage. The classic characters, fun songs, and an energetic atmosphere make this show a must do for me.
  3. Kilimanjaro Sarfari-  There are not many times you will ever get to see all these animals in one place without leaving the States. Kilimanjaro Safari is an attraction for the whole family and is a really cool opportunity to see a ton of different animals. I recently got to experience the Safari at night and actually saw the lions awake and moving! Early morning is also a great time for this attraction.
  4. Expedition Everest Definitely a must-do for every thrill-seeker. My favorite place to sit is in the very back, as it feels faster than the front. If you don’t mind being separated from your party, try out the single rider line. I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes to ride. The single rider line is located to the right of the regular entrances to the queue.

With so many things to do, first time trip planning can be overwhelming. Disney World is constantly changing and adding new attractions, it can be hard to keep up. But you have found yourself here, which means you are on the right track! If you’d like help planning your Disney vacation, contact Patricia with All for Dreams Travel here and get a free quote!