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7 Must Do Things at Walt Disney World

Updated on November 9, 2014
Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom | Source

Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida is the ultimate family vacation destination. There is so much to see and do. In fact, it can seem downright overwhelming for a first time visitor. Of course, there’s the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But beyond the four main theme parks for Walt Disney World, there are water parks, entertainment districts such as Downtown Disney and Disney’s Boardwalk that feature dining, shopping, and attractions.

With so much to see within the 43 square miles that make up Walt Disney World, you won’t be able to see and do it all. Here are my recommendations for seeing the best of Walt Disney World with these seven must do things.

Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade (Magic Kingdom)

New in 2014, Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade is the the new daily parade in the Magic Kingdom. Presented daily at 3pm, this colorful parade features your favorite Disney characters including Elsa and Anna from Frozen. Winding its way from Frontierland through Liberty Square and finally down Main Street USA, you’ll see floats such as Mickey and Minnie flying high above the parade in a hot air balloon to a fire-breathing Maleficent dragon that stretches 52 feet in length and 25 feet in high.

Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Set in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest will take you via a train to the top of Mount Everest. However, your trip is interrupted along the way by the mysterious Yeti. He’s ripped-up the tracks and there’s nowhere for your train to go except down and backward into a dark tunnel. This ride is not for the faint at heart!

Soarin’ (Epcot)

One of the most popular rides at Epcot, Soarin’ will take high above the The Golden State, California. This flight-simulator type ride originally opened at Disney’s California Adventure and came to The Land pavillion at Epcot in 2005. You’ll gently glide over the vineyards of the Napa Valley, float above the Pacific coast highway, and even sail over Disneyland at night.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is a shopping, dining, and entertainment area just a few miles from the theme parks but still on Disney property (remember, Walt Disney World is over 43 square miles in size). At Downtown Disney you’ll find some great restaurants such as Gloria Estefan's Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, two restaurants by Wolfgang Puck, Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood, and many more fantastic and unique places to eat. And if shopping is you thing, check out the many Disney and non-Disney shops and boutiques throughout Downtown Disney.

And when the sun sets over Walt Disney World, Downtown Disney is the place for exciting shoes. Over at the House of Blues you can catch a concert. Or find yourself wrapped up in the wonder of Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba; Cirque du Soleil’s permanent show at Walt Disney World. And with many of the restaurants and venues open late, Downtown Disney is the perfect way to end your day at Walt Disney World.

Festival of the Lion King (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

In the all-new Harambe Theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is one of the most colorful spectacles at Walt Disney World. Presented several times each day, Festival of the Lion King brings together all of sounds, colors, music, and characters for a theater-in-the-round celebration.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (Epcot)

Epcot has always been known as a great place to try food from different countries. With 11 World Showcase pavilions, you can sample food from Norway, Germany, Morocco, and more. But once a year, for several weeks in the fall, Epcot hosts the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The festival brings the food and drink of over 20 countries to World Showcase together with live music acts such as the Pointer Sisters, Richard Marx, and Wilson Phillips.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Under The Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid (Magic Kingdom)

Travel “fathoms below” with Ariel and her undersea friends Sebastian and Flounder in the Magic Kingdom’s newest ride. The journey begins as you enter the caves beneath Prince Eric’s castle and make your way to board a clam-mobile and you dive deep in to Ariel’s colorful undersea world featuring all of your favorites characters and music from the Disney classic The Little Mermaid.


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    • magicalvacation profile image

      Josh Avery 2 years ago

      Some of my favorites! Soarin' is an experience like none other...

    • Julia Eppehimer profile image

      Julia Eppehimer 3 years ago

      Soarin' is definitely the best ride ever! I have never seen the Lion King show though; that sounds really interesting!