The Most Magical Place on Earth is a destination that attracts millions of guests each year. The most popular theme park worldwide, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, attracts a reported 20.4 million tourists each year. Whether this is your first visit to this happy place or 10th, some things should be on your essential Disney World bucket list.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Disney World Bucket List for Adults
- Disney World Bucket List Activities for Children and Families
- Disney World Food Bucket List Ideas
A bucket list is a way to keep track of the things you want to do before you die. If you’re a Disney fan, there are some things you absolutely can’t miss. Though this list has far more than you can do in a single trip, it’s just another reason to keep coming back to the most magical place.
So what exactly are the most essential Disney World bucket list activities? Here’s a complete list from a Disney World local and cast member. From there, learn how to make a travel bucket list of your own to spark your own list.
Disney World Bucket List for Adults
Who said Disney World is only for kids? Disney adults will let you in on one of the best-kept secrets: Disney is better as an adult! It’s true, and these Disney World bucket list activities specifically for adults prove just that.
1. Attend the Food and Wine Festival
First, it’s a must-do to attend the annual Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. Held every fall, this famous celebration includes chef-curated boosts from across the globe, letting you try sample-sized food and drinks from different cultures.
Tip: Attend on weekdays to experience shorter lines at festival booths.
2. Drink around the world at EPCOT
Another EPCOT must is to challenge yourself to drink (or eat) around the world. An Orlando right of passage, this is one of the best ways to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion.
Tip: Always start in Mexico—trust me!
3. Thrill-seek on Disney’s coasters
Though far from the coaster capital, Disney does have its fair share of thrills. Most coasters are concentrated in Hollywood Studios, but you can also find a few favorites at the other parks.
Tip: Take advantage of Genie+ or Single Rider lines to avoid long wait times.
4. Play a round of golf
Many are surprised to learn that Disney World also has world-class golf courses. Shades of Green, Disney’s military resort, has one of the best courses in the area. You can join the Walt Disney World Golf’s Players Club or visit for your own tee time.
5. Do a monorail bar crawl
While “bar crawl” and “Disney” might seem like oxymorons, there are quite a few bars to be found at Disney World. Some of the best are on the resort monorail loop, including the Polynesian, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian.
6. Enjoy a night out at Disney Springs
Speaking of bars, no adults-only trip to Disney would be complete without a night out at Disney Springs. The area of Disney Springs previously known as Pleasure Island was originally developed as a nightclub hub.
Tip: For dancing on the weekend, check out The Edison, a roaring-20s themed bar with live music and dancing Thursday through Sunday.
7. Take a behind-the-scenes tour
If you’re interested in seeing behind the magic, it’s worth booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the parks. The most popular tour is Keys to the Kingdom, giving guests a glimpse into the world-famous utilidor system under the Magic Kingdom.
8. Book a spa day
Need a bit of relaxation? Your Disney World getaway doesn’t have to be hectic. Book yourself a spa day at Disney Grand Floridian resort or Saratoga Springs resort. Though it’s encouraged to book in advance, you can also book once you arrive based on availability.
9. Rent a boat
Disney has miles of waterways that are prime for exploring. If you’re a resort guest, you can rent one of the many watercrafts, including jet skis, to explore the Seven Seas Lagoon. Rentals are available for tours, by the hour, or so on.
You don’t have to be staying on property to enjoy the theming of the Disney World resorts. You can easily resort-hop by using the free bus, monorail, or skyway transportation from the parks.
Tip: For a unique resort experience, visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge to see the African savanna animals roaming.
Disney World Bucket List Activities for Children and Families
Whether you’re building your own summer bucket list or creating a family trip plan, these Disney World bucket list activities are perfect for families. Kids of all ages love these parks, and so do their parents.
11. Spot a Hidden Mickey
Hidden Mickeys are hidden around the park, sometimes in plain sight. Get a guidebook or challenge your family to see who can find the most Hidden Mickeys during your trip.
12. Visit Galaxy’s Edge
May the force be with you! Disney World is home to Galaxy’s Edge, an immersive Star Wars-inspired land. Interact with your favorite characters, join the resistance, and build a special lightsaber.
13. Run a Disney World Race
Want to challenge yourself to get active? RunDisney hosts a variety of running events throughout the year, and these are designed for all ages. From kids’ runs to full marathons, why not run through the Most Magical Place on Earth?
Tip: Be sure to sign up for RunDisney races ASAP—they almost always sell out.
14. Go on an African Safari
Next, you can explore the African savanna without leaving the country. Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safari explores over 100 acres of land, allowing guests to spot 34+ species of animals up close.
15. Camp at Fort Wilderness
Did you know it’s possible to camp at Disney World? Not only is this an inexpensive way to stay on property, but it’s also a fun chance to explore the Central Florida wilderness. You can reserve campgrounds at Fort Wilderness for an affordable price.
Tip: Not into camping? Visit Fort Wilderness Campground for nightly smores and campfire songs.
16. Get spooked at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
For the perfect dose of treats (without the tricks), get tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom. This yearly afterparty takes place on special nights in September and October.
17. Become a Galactic Hero
Another Magic Kingdom-must is to become a Galactic Hero on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Earn points by helping Buzz Lightyear defeat Emperor Zurg. If you reach the highest score, 999,999, you’re crowned a Galactic Hero!
18. Wander Pandora at night
The Animal Kingdom land Pandora might be eye-catching at day, but wait until you see it at night. Different plants, sights, and sounds seem to come to light, bringing new magic to the Avatar-inspired land.
19. Visit all four theme parks in one day
If you’ve got time to spare and want a fun challenge, try to visit all four theme parks in a single day. This rope-drop to park-close activity might be exhausting, but it sure is fun.
20. Slip ‘n Slide at the Water Parks
Lastly, escape the traditional parks for something a bit cooler. Especially in the warm summer months, it’s worth taking a break from the heat at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s water parks.
Tip: Typhoon Lagoon has one of the strongest wave pools in the world, while Blizzard Beach has one of the tallest slides (Summit Plummet).
Disney World Food Bucket List Ideas
Many first-time guests are surprised to learn about the many unique dining experiences at Disney World. Disney is quite literally a foodie’s dream, from fine dining to traditional theme park food. Make sure all of these are on your food bucket list.
21. Dine at Victoria and Albert’s
Fine dining comes to life at the Grand Floridian’s Victoria and Alberts. This seven+ course meal starts at $185, and it’s a two-hour meal you’re sure to remember.
Tip: Reservations for Victoria and Albert’s are booked six months in advance.
21. Visit Trader Sam’s
Though people are familiar with the classic Trader Sam’s bar in Disneyland, did you know there’s a counterpart on the East Coast? Found at an understated location in Disney World’s Polynesian Resort, Trader Sam’s is an interactive way to enjoy your favorite tropical drink.
Tip: This bar is standing room only, and it only takes walk-up reservations. To make sure you get in, add your name to the list right as the bar opens at 4:00 pm each day.
22. Dine with characters
It wouldn’t be a Disney dining experience without some character dining. By meeting your favorite characters and enjoying a great meal, you get some special interactions with the Disney pals.
23. Cheers with High Tea
Perfect for the young and the young at heart, experience a small dose of the royal treatment with High Tea at the Garden View Tea Room. Located in the Grand Floridian, this is a memorable experience everyone will enjoy.
24. Have a Casey’s Corner hot dog
What could be better than a theme park hot dog? What about a theme park hotdog that’s a foot long with mac and cheese on it? Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom is a hot dog lover’s paradise.
25. Try the grey stuff
Lumiere said it best in Beauty and the Beast. You really should try “the grey stuff,” it’s delicious! You can try the “grey stuff” cupcake at the “Be Our Guest” restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
26. Savor a dole whip
The classic Disney food, there’s a reason so many people love the dole whip. Created with dairy-free sorbet and pineapple juice, this is the perfect treat to cool off on a hot day.
Tip: Avoid long lines by snagging a dole whip from the Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Resort.
27. Snag a Mickey ice cream
Another quintessential Disney World treat is the classic Mickey ice cream. Ice cream shaped like Mickey Mouse just tastes better!
28. Attend a dessert party
If you’re serious about desserts, attend one of the park’s dessert parties. Found in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios, these dessert parties give you front-row seats for enjoying the nightly firework show.
29. Watch a dinner show
The magic of Disney World really is about showmanship. See this come to life with a dinner show like the Spirit of Aloha Dinner or the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue.
30. Buy a souvenir popcorn bucket
Lastly, no Disney World trip is complete without souvenirs. Combine your love for sweet treats with one of the most unique souvenirs by buying a classic popcorn bucket. Available at any popcorn stand, many of these are limited edition collectibles.
Create Your Disney World Bucket List
Whether this is your first time at Disney or you’re a frequent visitor to the magic, make sure you take advantage of every opportunity. From free activities to luxury experiences, there’s something for everyone here.
Your bucket list is a chance to explore what matters most to you. From travel to spending time with your family, Disney World is a place for nostalgia, memories, and togetherness.
- “Attendance at the Magic Kingdom Theme Park 2009 to 2020.” Statista. Statista.com.