21 Fun Things to do at Disney World
Attractions, Events, and Experiences to Make your Disney Vacation Extra Magical
I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine that there’s actually fun things to do at Disney World. After all, with 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, magnificent resorts, wonderful dining, and plenty of shopping, what could be fun about this resort destination?! I jest of course, but there are tons of fun attractions and activities that are absolute must-dos – plus lots of amazing activities which are sometimes overlooked. Here is our list of 21 fun things to do at Disney World so you don’t miss out on the fun!
21 Fun Things to Do at Disney World
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
This Magic Kingdom attraction is as classic as it gets! After the successful movie franchise starring Johnny Depp, Disney has added some fresh new features to this decades-old attraction, making it better than ever before. Not to be missed! (voted #1 on our Best Magic Kingdom Rides page)
Soarin’ is Epcot’s epic ride around the world and definitely not one to skip over. The attraction’s special effects and magical 180-panoramas make feel like you are flying. Book your FastPass+ early because Soarin’ is one of Disney’s most popular rides. (voted #1 on our Best Epcot Rides page)
3. Expedition Everest
Animal Kingdom is known for its live animal attractions like Kilimanjaro Safaris, but there are plenty of thrill rides here as well. Take a journey to the summit on the theme park’s largest attraction, Expedition Everest. The ride travels forwards and backward and is sure to get your adrenaline pumping! Make this your first stop in the morning because lines build up fast!
4. Tower of Terror
The Twilight Zone-themed Tower of Terror is Hollywood Studios’ not-to-be-missed thrill ride. It has the exhilarating drop you may expect, but the special effects and elaborate horror theme are really what take this attraction into a whole new dimension.
5. Water Parks
Unfortunately, some guests completely overlook Disney’s two water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. We suggest that you do not because these area of Disney are among the most fun and thrilling areas anywhere within the park. Both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are worthy destinations – especially on hot days – but we tend to enjoy the wave pool of Typhoon Lagoon and just about everything about the quirky Blizzard Beach. Try each one and see which you enjoy more! Our Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon comparison page is a good place to start your investigating
6. Surf Lessons
While you are at Typhoon Lagoon, why not head to the park’s massive wave pool and take a surfing lesson? Not only are the lessons instructional and educational, but most importantly they are really fun! Each lesson can accommodate up to 8 guests and you will have the opportunity to ride waves up to 6 feet.
7. Holiday Festivals
“Holidays” and “Disney World” are both words synonymous with fun and relaxation. So why not combine the two by celebrating the holidays at Disney? The park offers several special events throughout the year including Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween party, Magic Kingdom’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays and Candlelight. These events add a little extra magic and fun to an already magical Disney World vacation. See our Christmas at Disney World article for more holiday suggestions.
8. Dine at Epcot’s World Showcase
With so many wonderful restaurants inside Disney World, it’s not an easy task to narrow down your selection to just a handful. However, the restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase are not to be missed! Each of the 9 areas (countries) within World Showcase offer traditional food and drink of that particular country. And the food here is to die for! If you plan your trip to coincide with Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, you will really be in for a treat!
Every child (and adult!) should experience at least one character meal during their Disney World vacation. This is a really fun way to relax while interacting with some of Disney’s most beloved characters. As an added bonus, you will be served delicious food! Here is the list of venues for character dining. Bring your camera!
Disney character dining is a fun and easy way to get up close and personal with Disney characters. It also an interesting way to begin your day before entering the theme parks, or wind-down after a long day at the parks. It may be a difficult decision as to which character dining restaurant to reserve (because there are so many to choose from), but some of our favorites include Garden Grill, Tusker House, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, The Crystal Palace, Hollywood & Vine, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, ‘Ohana, and Chef Mickey’s.
10. The Mountains of Magic Kingdom
No Disney World vacation is complete until you have traversed the three-storied mountains of Magic Kingdom – Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain. Space Mountain is Tomorrowland’s classic dark space thrill ride, while Big Thunder Mountain takes you on a bumpy roller coaster ride through a wild west adventure and Splash Mountain takes you on an exhilarating (and wet!) log ride through the Briar Patch. All three are definitely must-do, FastPass+ worthy attractions for fun!
11. Trade Pins
While Disney souvenirs can be found throughout the park, none are as potentially fun as trading pins. And not the pins themselves, but for the fun you can have trading pins with Cast Members and other guests as you walk around the park. Simply come prepared with your own pins (or purchase them at souvenir shops within the park), then approach a Disney Cast Member who is wearing a lanyard and start bartering. The rule is you can trade up to two pins at a time with each Cast Member (or as many as you can agree upon with other Disney guests). Trading pins is a big deal at Disney World because its fun and interactive!
IllumiNations is Epcot’s nighttime fireworks show. It is meant to celebrate the spirit of humanity and features laser and waterworks. What better way to end your fun day at the theme parks than with celebratory fireworks?!
13. Explore Other Disney Resorts
As you may be aware, Disney transportation is a complimentary (free!) service. As fun as your resort may be, why not hop on the monorail, bus, or boat and explore some of the other Disney resorts as well? It won’t cost you a dime. Check out their lobbies, grounds, and other features that make each Disney resort distinct and exciting. Some of the most interesting and beautiful resorts include Animal kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Port Orleans. However, the preschooler in your group may enjoy the fun themes of the Disney Value Resorts the most. See our Disney World Resort Comparison page for more information on the hotels.
14. Visit Disney Springs and BoardWalk
If you are searching for a spot to continue the fun after the theme parks, there is no better place to head than Disney Springs. This outdoor shopping mall is home to wonderful restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and street performances. And since it is outside of the theme parks, there is no fee or ticket required to enter this section of Disney World. Another fun area to explore is Disney’s BoardWalk, a quarter-mile promenade along the river, filled with plenty of dining option, shops, and nightlife to keep nighttime boredom at bay.
15. Fantasmic! Dining Package
The Fantasmic! Dining Package is Hollywood Studios’ wildly popular dinner and show package. This is how it works: you first eat a delicious meal at one of 3 select Hollywood Studios’ table service restaurants, then you skip the lines, head directly to your VIP seating at the Fantasmic! show, and enjoy a dessert as you watch the show. There you will see its colorful waterworks, dazzling firework displays, and a host of your favorite Disney Characters perform before you. Current restaurants offering the Fantasmic! Dining Package are some of Disney’s best dining establishments: Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Hollywood & Vine, and The Hollywood Brown Derby. For more details and to book your package before your preferred time slot is sold out, consult our Disney travel planners page.
16. Bibbidi Boppiti Boutique
Looking for a fun photo opportunity? Head over to one of the Bibbidi Boppiti Boutique locations and give your little ones a makeover worthy to be shared on Instagram or Facebook. The Bibbidi Bobbiti Boutique will transform anyone – of any age – into a realistic looking Disney princess, cowboy, or pirate. Be warned that this makeover does cost a pretty penny. Locations include Disney Springs and Cinderella’s Castle (Magic Kingdom).
17. Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
Be sure to catch the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade where the pageantry of Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is on full display as floats, music, dancing, and costumed characters march on by. The 12-minute magical procession is easy to miss so make sure you park yourself in Fantasyland before it is scheduled to ensure that you don’t miss out. Check with Disney for up-to-date times.
18. Rent a Boat
If being out on the water is your idea of fun, head over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for your opportunity to rent kayak and canoe. If a powerboat is more your speed, choose from a variety of watercraft like Sea Raycers, Boston Whalers, and Sun Trackers. Rentals costs range from $32-$45 per half hour. You can find motorized boat rentals at various Walt Disney World Resort marinas throughout the park.
19. Play Golf
There are three wonderful championship golf courses at Walt Disney World. Interestingly, these course were included in the PGA Tour from 1971 -2012. Disney also has a par-36 walking course for those who appreciate a smaller golf course. The golf courses at Disney are run by Arnold Palmer Golf Management company. I
20. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
Held around 7 pm during the fall and winter season – and 8 p.m. beginning in April throughout the summer – this Fort Wilderness sing-a-long, marshmallow roast, and visit with Chip and Dale is fun for kids of all ages. After testing your vocal range, stay at Camp Cinema for a classic Disney movie under the stars. These events are open to anyone – Fort Wilderness guests and non-guests alike.
21. Happily Ever After Show
If you’re in the mood for a quintessential Disney fireworks experience, don’t miss out on Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After. Here, Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle is brought to life with story, song, animation, and fireworks as stories of Disney’s beloved characters are told. The 18-minute Disney stage show takes place at dusk after the park closes.