Planning a Disney World holiday? It can be hard to know what to do, with so many options. Alison is fresh back from a week in Orlando and talks through her ten must-do experiences…
1. Meeting Mickey Mouse
Well, you can’t visit Walt Disney World without meeting the main mouse himself, right? There are loads of places around Walt Disney World that you can meet Mickey – choose where to go based on whether you want a character meal with him there (Space In Your Case’s Katie loves Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort) or just queue for a quick hello and photo, which park you’ll be in and which costume you want to meet him in. For some of the meet and greets, you can use your Fastpass+ and if you go to the Animal Kingdom meet and greet, you’ll get to meet Minnie Mouse at the same time.
2. Soarin’ at Epcot
The description of this ride on the Walt Disney World site/app/park guide simply doesn’t do it justice. But then it is pretty hard to describe. “Take flight on a breezy, airborne adventure as you hang glide above some of the most breathtaking wonders the world has to offer,” it says. What they fail to mention is that IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE ACTUALLY FLYING. It’s amazing and by far one of my Epcot highlights. It’s properly tears-in-your-eyes stuff. My six-year-old loved it so much, she went on it twice.
3. The Sprinkles cupcake ATM
An ATM. That you can order a cupcake from. Do I need to say any more? Sprinkles is legendary in the States, and once you taste a cake, it’s clear why. This branch can be found in Disney Springs, the big shopping area in Walt Disney World. It’s a great place to wander around, to get a break from the main parks, but there’s still a bit of Disney magic here. If you eat in any restaurant at Disney Springs, skip dessert and head for Sprinkles (the red velvet cupcake is a-mazing). The ATM is even open 24 hours so you have no excuse.
4. Dinner at T-Rex
Also at Disney Springs is T-Rex – a huge dinosaur themed restaurant where every 20 minutes a meteor shower hits the earth and wipes out all of the dinosaurs. The first time it happened, it really threw us, but before we knew it, we were too engrossed in the menu of salads, steaks, burgers and fish (I had the mahi mahi and it was fab). There’s a great play area for the kiddos too.
5. Toy Story Midway Mania at Hollywood Studios
There are two Toy Story rides at Walt Disney World – Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom. This one is by far the better of the two, probably because it’s much newer and uses better technology. Wearing 3D glasses, you spin around, shooting at various targets, trying to get a higher score than your partner. So much fun. Especially if you’re really competitive, like me.
6. Wishes Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
To be honest, all of the fireworks at Walt Disney World are spectacular… but there’s something about the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes fireworks that’s extra special. People start saving a spot to watch them over an hour before they start – check this out to see which are good spots to watch them. They start with a lovely film projected onto Cinderella’s Castle, and then the main event starts. It’s truly breathtaking. My favourite part involves Tinkerbell – look out for her!
7. Eating pizza on the Boardwalk
The Boardwalk is one of those parts of Disney World that you might never head to, unless you’re staying at the Boardwalk Inn – a hidden gem if you like – but I definitely recommend an evening there. Grab some pizza from the pizza window, sit by the water, get a frozen margarita from Boardwalk Joe’s and watch as the place lights up, as the sun goes down. It’s gorgeous. On the evening we were there, a magician was doing tricks on the boardwalk, and they were showing Monsters University on a big outdoor screen with blankets on the grass.
8. Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train, Magic Kingdom
I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to rollercoasters – I always have been, but I’m sure I’m even more of a wimp now than I used to be! But if I know a rollercoaster is fairly tame, I’m all for it. Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train was just fast enough for me to love it, but not too fast that it left me feeling queasy! It has a lovely Seven Dwarves element to it, as you ride through their mine, and then the swoops, twists and turns begin. I even got my 70-year-old mum onto it – although I’m not sure she was too keen!
9. Meeting a princess
We made it our mission to meet as many princesses as we could – our six-year-old is, as many kids her age are, really into Disney movies, so meeting real life characters was VERY VERY exciting to her. And OK, I admit, I loved it too. You can meet them at character dining (we did breakfast in the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, in Epcot) or queue to meet a princess at specific spots around the parks. It’s worth finding out which princess will be where, and what time, so that you can plan your days a bit. The princesses are all BRILLIANT – they really take the time to chat to each child, give them some photos, sign an autograph and make them feel special.
10. Eating Mickey Mouse shaped food
This is a MUST-DO at Walt Disney World, and it’s not too hard to achieve because you can eat Mickey moused shaped ice cream, waffles, pretzels, biscuits, sprinkles – you name it! I was so keen to eat the Mickey waffles, that when I ordered some pancakes in Trattoria al Forno one morning, I ordered a Mickey waffle on the side….. greedy? Yep! But it made me so happy.
Are there any experiences you’ve done at Walt Disney World that you’d add? Comment below and tell us!
Alison was the guest of Walt Disney World – you can read another post from her over on Not Another Mummy Blog. As always, all views on Space In Our Case are our own. For prices and details on booking a holiday to Disney World, check out their site.