Disney World Bucket List (everything you need to do on your next vacation)

If you’ve ever thought about creating a Disney World bucket list, you’re in the right place. We’re here to make it easy, fun, and oh-so-magical. Whether you’re a Disney newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s always something new and exciting to explore.

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Saying Hi to all your favorites (or your kiddos favorites!)

Besides the rides, the characters are one of the reasons that most people go to Disney World. But not all characters are out at the same times throughout the year.

And PLEASE < prioritize > the characters you want to meet for the beginning of the day. Many Characters have limited hours, and many don’t work very late in the evening/night. (plus pictures look better in the morning!)

You Can:

  • Meet Characters at Character Meet and Greets included in your ticket
  • Meet Characters at Random Meet and Greets at the Resort Hotels
  • Meet Characters at Character Meals
  • See Characters in Parades and Shows
  • See/Meet more exclusive Characters at Special Events like the Christmas and Halloween Party

Eating with your favorite pals at Character Meals

Food and Fun Disney Characters? It’s a yes for everyone from toddlers to grandmas! Character Dining is a great way to get a break and fill up on yummy offerings and then get some memorable pictures with some of your favorite characters.

Without the line.

Without the hassle.

And you get some delicious food (and a chance to take a rest!) while you are at it.

PRO TIP: when meeting characters, consider getting their autographs! They can autograph lots of items like Autograph books, regular books, post cards, water bottles, t-shirts etc.

Get a Picture with the Castle

And don’t forget to do a Walk Through! The Castle at Magic Kingdom, better known as Cinderella’s Castle is open to walk through when shows aren’t happening (you can check the guide to see the Castle Shows). It’s also closed during the evening for Fireworks. But during the Mid Morning and Mid Afternoon you can walk through the Castle and get a picture with both the front and the back.

Want to make it even more magical? You can eat INSIDE the Castle. This requires a prepaid reservation that you can do through your online Disney Account or with your Travel Agent.

Catch the Nighttime Shows 

This is a no brainer for many, especially because Disney does such a good job with advertising their nighttime shows. (Though the nighttime prices for the glow up stuff gives me heart palpitations! I prefer to bring my own that I grab on amazon.)

Disney Parks have gone out of their way to make it magical the times you are at the parks, with a grand finale at night! Each of the parks have their own fun nighttime shows that are a great way to end the day.

Get your Thrill on with all the Rides!

I know, I know, rides are a given at Disney World.

But, with the longer lines, and the free fastpass system being removed, rides are no longer top priority for many people.

It can be hard to ‘do all the rides’ at Disney World, so this is a friendly advice to pick the rides that you really *want* to do. Then you can prioritize those ahead of time and be clear what you will and will not wait for when it comes to lines!

I separated this because it does require some preplanning. You should not assume that even if you purchase (or don’t) Genie+, the new paid skip the line tool, that you will get every ride you wanted.

Look for Hidden Mickeys

There are entire books dedicated to Hidden Mickeys (don’t look! it’s cheating! just kidding they are super helpful) because it is such a fun thing to do!

Why is looking for odd shapes fun?

I have no idea, but once you’ve started, you can’t stop! From looking while you are having a bite to eat, to walking around and waiting in line, hidden mickeys are everywhere inside and outside of the parks!

Mickey Shaped Snacks

Social Media is abuzz with all of the amazing snacks and food options at Disney World, but not all snacks are created equal. When you follow folks like Bethany Vinton, Disney Food Blog, and Disney for Foodies you are getting an inside look into what food is worth your time and money! Need Gluten Free or Food Allergy Recs? Mouse Ear Memories has those! Theres also Vegan accounts covering the Plant Based options like Vegan Disney Food and Vegan Disney Food.

Broadway Style Shows for the Whole Family

While my kiddos aren’t able to sit through many of the quality shows offered just minutes away in Downtown Orlando, they can sit through the shorter (but still amazing) versions at Disney World!

Catch Broadway Style shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (I recommend the Lion King!) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Beauty and the Beast is top tier, and Frozen is very funny and great for all audiences).

Meet Mickey Mouse

You knew I was going to keep this for number 1.

I mean, who goes to Disney World and doesn’t get a picture with Mickey Mouse? That’s just unheard of! Go see the old guy, give him a big high five, and get a picture that says you came to Disney World.

Not big on meeting Characters? Grab a selfie with Mickey in the background while he’s on the Parade or Stage Shows.

Other Notable Items that might make it onto your Bucket List

Everyones Disney trip is unique, including their Bucket List! Here’s a quick peek at other things you might want to add to your vacation.

  • Riding the Train at Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom
  • 5 Star Dining for Teens and Adults at Select Restaurants
  • Recreating Pictures from your past vacations (or setting up a picture to repeat on your NEXT Vacation!)
  • Meeting Mickey Mouse at all Four Parks
  • Getting a picture with Mickey AND Minnie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Doing the Mountain Ride Challenge, where you ride Space Mountain, Seven Dwarf Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain (all at MK) and Everest (DAK)
  • Exploring the Resorts and doing a Resort Crawl. The Monorail resorts are the easiest to do, and especially lovely during the Winter Holiday Season
  • Catch the Parade and Stage Shows. Hours Vary (and can be cancelled by weather) but great additions to the overall Magic of the day.

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