Top 10 Things Disney World Rookies Must Do’s


Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Is it your first time? Don’t worry, we have your back! We know that planning your vacation and your days at the parks can seem like quite an undertaking considering the massive amount of things to do and see; but that’s part of what makes Disney World great because you will never get bored and there’s always a reason to come back!

But what do you do with all of those options? What should you not miss on your first trip? What if you miss out?

Stress no more! Just sit back and relax while I list the top 10 things Disney Rookies shouldn’t miss during their magical Disney Vacation!

10. Monorail-Disney World’s has its own unique transportation system, a sleek, elevated train that transports guests to and from select Disney Resorts to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom! This mode of transportation is so iconic, and even fun, that Disney fans sometimes ride it just for fun! For the complete Disney experience, and especially if you have kids, the monorail is a must for Disney Rookies! Try this Monorail Tour.

9. Deluxe Resorts-Disney’s most luxurious resorts are magical experiences within themselves and they can be enjoyed by guests who may be staying elsewhere! Each resort has its own theme and features restaurants, shops, hundreds of details, cool pools, and gorgeous views and landscaping. Visiting Disney resorts is actually called “resort hopping,” and it’s a relaxing way to take a break during the heat of the day or to avoid the crowds.

8. Unique Treats-Food at Disney is also an experience, especially when it comes to sweet treats! Disney World has become famous for a few of their yummy snacks; and with all of these options, Disney Rookies should definitely not settle for the generic theme park hot dogs and cotton candy. What kind of unique treats are we talking about? We recommend the iconic Mickey Premium Bar, Dole Whips, a variety of creative cupcakes, cultural sweets from Epcot, and more!

7. Main Street USA-This part of the Magic Kingdom serves as the park’s entryway and is full of old fashioned charm, Disney history, great shopping, dining, and the best view of Cinderella Castle! Looking to browse, enjoy the Disney quality, and grab a snack, Main Street USA is definitely the place and it’s absolutely gorgeous lit up at night!

6. Thrill Rides-Disney Rookies may be under the impression that Disney World is full of kiddie rides, but they are definitely wrong! Disney World has many high adrenaline thrill rides that not only make guests scream, but also immerse you into a story and are some of the best attractions on property. Disney Rookies, be sure to check out Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Rock n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Star Tours, and Space Mountain!

5. Enjoy a Character Meal-Character Meals are typically buffets at the Disney parks and resorts where Disney characters drop by your table for some one-on-one time! While opinions vary on which character meal to visit, or whether they are worth it, we think at least one is must-do for Disney Rookies, especially if you have kids! It’s a great way to meet characters without waiting in line in the sun for a few seconds of character interaction. Which character meals are best? I recommend the Crystal Palace, Akershus Storybook Dining, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and ‘Ohana!

4. Kilimanjaro Safaris-This Animal Kingdom attraction is not only a big crowd pleaser, it’s also an awesome experience! This ride lets guests ride in a safari vehicle through acres and acres of what truly looks like an authentic African savanna where real, African wildlife roam freely! It’s about the closest you can get to a real African safari and it’s an awesome chance to see animals out and about as they would be in the wild! It’s also a ride that every member of the family can enjoy, young or old. So Disney Rookies, don’t miss this!

3. World Showcase-This section of Epcot offers pavilions representing eleven different nations from around the world and features their architecture, history, culture, traditions, merchandise, and dining! Even the Cast Members who work in each of these pavilions are actually natives from those countries and are willing to share their knowledge with you. World Showcase offers some of the best dining on property and can be browsed and enjoyed at your own pace without waiting in lines as you can come and go and see as you please. It’s also one of the best places to do some unique souvenir shopping.

2. Soarin’-This attraction is arguably one of the best on property and shouldn’t be missed because everyone can enjoy it! Soarin’ is about as close as a guest can get to flying, but provides plenty of security for those who don’t prefer thrills. On this attraction, you sit on a bench seat along with other guests and are lifted towards a bowl shaped screen. When the film begins, showing a variety of landscapes from scenic California, you feel like you are flying right over them, even to the point of smelling oranges from the California orange groves and feeling a gentle spray from the ocean! This attraction simply has to be experienced and is one of Disney’s best!

1. Epcot & Hollywood Studios-Pretty much everyone going to WDW knows  visit the Magic Kingdom, but many visitors don’t bother visiting Epcot or Hollywood Studios! While I like Animal Kingdom, these two parks feature some of the best Disney attractions, restaurants, and offer different views of the magic of Disney. So Disney Rookies, while you definitely shouldn’t miss the Magic Kingdom, don’t count out these other two, fantastic parks for some of the best of the best of Disney!

So are these on your Disney to-do list? Do you think these are definite must-dos for first time guests? Disney Rookies, do you feel any more at ease? Be sure to let me know!

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Savannah has been visiting Disney World since before she could walk and it is still her favorite vacation destination. Today, she is a history teacher and girls basketball coach in Illinois who spends her spare time writing about Disney on A Glass Slipper Vacation, a site she and her mom created to share their knowledge and passion for Disney.
  • Stefanie Bartolomeo

    I see what you’re saying. But I had the oppostie feeling when I took the monorail & boats to hang out at the Polynesian & Wildnerness Lodge resorts & I was staying off property. It felt great b/c I got to enjoy the atmosphere of them and the yummy food they serve at the lounges for a fraction of the price of one night’s stay.

  • Theresa Martin

    You cannot use the pools at other resorts unless they are “sister” properties. So unless you are staying at the deluxe hotels you cannot use the pools there. If I may, I would not rent a car if you are staying at a Disney property. You can use Magical Express to get to the hotel and then Disney will move you around the property.

  • ivlichelle

    I disagree with the “Deluxe Resort” item on the basis that they can be VERY expensive! Splurge if you can, but the fastest way to ruin Disney for someone is for them to feel its too expensive to go / enjoy!

  • Katie

    We were going to try resort hopping on our April trip but were wondering if we can use the pools at the other resorts if we are staying at another resort? Also, will they let us in to park, say at the contemporary or Grand Floridian so we can hop on the monorail or should we make a lunch or dinner reservation there? Thanks!

  • Savannah

    Thank you, Kathy! I’m so glad this article was a help to you. I wish you the best with the rest of your planning and I just know you’re going to have a blast on your trip! Tell Mickey I said hi!

  • Kathy Stracener Clemmer

    Thanks for the list. I’m making my first trip to Disney World in May and this really helps me know how to plan! Thanks. I enjoy all your articles.