Disney World Checklists for All 4 Parks

Disney World Checklists for All 4 Parks

If you’ve been thinking about a Disney World Vacation and wondering how you’re going to fit it all in, we’ve got a secret. You don’t have to do everything, just the best things. Preparing to visit Walt Disney World for the first time, we had leaned on the expansive knowledge of one of our aunts who had visited Walt Disney World a few years straight. Mind you, we knew we wanted our first trip, just in case it was our only trip, to be AMAZING. And needed as much expert advice as we could get. So we pulled together Disney World Checklists for All 4 Parks. We are big planners and pretty much needed the outline of all things to do, see and eat, and figured you might too! These lists were a godsend and made our trip so much better than we could have managed on our own. Here we’ll share the checklists, and our favorite things in each park that are MUST DO Disney experiences.

Planning Your Disney Trip

After sharing our pending Disney trip with family, our aunt prepared four pages of handwritten notes on notebook paper littered with a few post-its that told us everything we needed to know. Seriously, this was pretty comprehensive. These notes went with us everywhere and shared where to eat, what to ride, and where we could afford to wait in line. They told us about the parades and where to sit, the evening events at each park, and which things to skip altogether. Everything was broken down by theme park and completely invaluable. We felt like Disney insiders. While others stumbled around with maps, we skipped the lines, had reservations, and arrived everywhere on time with the best views. We were amazed.

We used these notes the first and second year we visited Disney until they began to crumble and now share them here with you so you can be sure to have as much fun on your Walt Disney World trip as we did. We’ll break down specifics in the Disney World Checklists for All 4 Parks below.

Magic Kingdom Main Stree USA

If this is your first Disney Vacation these lists will be your lifeline for making great choices. If you’re a seasoned Disney expert you’ll recognize these as the tried and true always awesome choices. Know that this isn’t everything ( not even close) you can do at Walt Disney World. But it’s the big stuff. Get ready to Plan Your Vacation with tips, guides, and checklists. Walt Disney World includes 4 theme parks, over 25 resorts, more than 200 restaurants, 4 golf courses, a shopping center called Disney Springs, the Disney Boardwalk, and the ESPN sports complex. Check out the Free Printable Walt Disney World Check List Guide for a snapshot of all the things in each park. 

Walt Disney World Parks

Did you know Walt Disney World has four theme parks? And 2 Water Parks? And 2 areas that are FREE to visit? Once you figure out how long to stay at Disney World,  you can figure out which Disney Parks to visit during your stay. With over 25 rides at Magic Kingdom, the newer Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios, festivals at EPCOT Park, and Pandora in Animal Kingdom there is plenty to occupy your time! Take a look at our pages specific for each park to get a lay of the land and choose how to best lay out your trip. 

Both the Disney World Boardwalk Area and Disney Springs are free areas at Disney that do not require a park ticket. As such, you can visit these places whether or not you’re visiting Disney.

Walt Disney World Resorts

Choosing your Disney Resort is as much part of your vacation as everything else. With over 25 resorts on Walt Disney World’s 40 square miles of land, there are a lot of options. From hotels that are close to Disney, to hotels a little farther removed. Some hotels have attractions, like the animals on the savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge and some of them have beaches. Other Disney hotels are geared towards children and families, while others still have lounges, bars and signature dining. Whatever you choose, here is the breakdown of the main resort categories, both by price and location, so you can find the best resort for your stay. 

Choose your Disney Resort By Cost

Choose your Disney Resort By Area and Transportation

Walt Disney World Restaurants

In addition to figuring out how to navigate each park, and picking your resort, you will also get the fun of picking out where to eat! By far one of our favorite things about any Disney vacation is the food. And an essential part of the Disney World Checklists for All 4 Parks. You can Book your Advanced Disney Dining Reservations up to 60 days in advance of your trip and we highly recommend you do so! Mainly because the best Disney Restaurants fill up quickly, and if you’re hoping for a special experience then you’ll need to plan ahead! You can also make your Disney vacation experience  a little easier by adding the Disney Dining Plan to your vacation package. This allows you the option of prepaying for your food, and  then being credited a meal allotment per day of your vacation. While this typically doesn’t cover all your food, it’s a great option and sometimes helps save you money. We’ll chat our favorite restaurants in each park below. 

Disney World Tips

If you’re hoping that this vacation would be easy, then take a look at our best posts on how to prepare for the Florida rain, weather, crowds and walking 10 miles a day in the parks. 

The Walt Disney World Checklists

No matter when your next visit to Walt Disney World, grab our Walt Disney World printable planner for lists of attractions, restaurants, touring plans, comparison pages, and more. Everything you need to get started planning a Disney vacation. And grab the FREE Printable Walt Disney World Checklists to print or save to your phone.  You can also save this to your iBooks app which is super handy for in-the-park access! These lists compile our tried and true items for each park. And yet even these lists will provide you with too many things to do in one day, BUT they will help you narrow down the choices.

mickey and minnies hollywood studios ride

The Best Things to Do at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has several major claims to fame! As home to Toy Story Land, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey’s Runaway Railway, there is plenty to do here. We like visiting the most popular rides before the crowds set in, and taking a break in the afternoon on the Disney Boardwalk, which is within walking distance. If you’re hoping to catch Fantasmic! or Wonderful World of Animation you can plan to head back to Hollywood Studios in the evening to see the shows or grab dinner. Check out the Hollywood Studios Checklist for everything we recommend including in your Hollywood Studios Day. 

Must Do Rides at Hollywood Studios

  • Tower of Terror
  • Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Star Tours
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Slinky Dog Dash

Don’t Miss Shows at Hollywood Studios

  • Indiana Jones Stunt Show Spectacular
  • Fantasmic!
  • Beauty and the Beast Live Onstage

Don’t Miss Experiences at Hollywood Studios

  • Ones Mans Dream Exhibit
  • Green Army Men Drum Corps in Toy Story Land

Best Restaurants at Hollywood Studios

As a smaller park the Hollywood Studios Restaurants are a bit limited. That said, there are still some worthy places to try for a breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks. Here are the places worth trying. 

  • Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge – Grab a Drink and Appetizers
  • Hollywood Scoops- Grab a Milkshake
  • Woody’s Lunch Box- Lunchbox Tart
  • Ronto Roasters- Grab a Ronto Wrap
  • Baseline Tap House- Bavarian Pretzel
  • The Market- Num Num Cookie

Animal Kingdom Statues for 50th Anniversary

The Best Things to Do at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Park typically closes earlier than other parks at Walt Disney World. As a result, we recommend planning to tackle important rides like Flight of Passage in the morning. The newest land in Animal Kingdom is Pandora and includes Satu’li Canteen, arguably one of the best places for lunch in Animal Kingdom. Check out the Animal Kingdom Checklist for everything to look forward to in Animal Kingdom. 

Must Do Rides at Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Kali River Rapids

Don’t Miss Shows at Animal Kingdom

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Tree of Life Awakenings

Don’t Miss Experiences at Animal Kingdom

  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Wilderness Explorers

Best Restaurants at Animal Kingdom

Honoring the African, Asian and Na’vi cultures, you can find loads of unique food options at Animal Kingdom. They have some of the best Snacks at Disney World and so many are worth a try. Check out all the Animal Kingdom Restaurant Reviews to find your favorites. Here are ours.   

  • Satu’li Canteen- Bowls and Bao
  • Kusafiri Bakery- Breakfast bowls and the Colossal Cinnamon Rolls 
  • Nomad Lounge– For drinks and small plates

EPCOT 50th Anniversary Pylons

The Best Things to Do at EPCOT Park

EPCOT park offers up a year of themed festivals, rides, restaurants, and more. New rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Guardians of the Galaxy join newer restaurants like Gelateria Toscana, and the Space 220 Restaurant. As Disney’s second largest park, there are actually quite a few fantastic rides here. Check out everything you can do on the Epcot Checklist.

Must Do Rides at EPCOT

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Soarin’ 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
  • Gran Fiesta Tour with Three Caballeros
  • Test Track
  • Living with the Land

Don’t Miss Shows at EPCOT

  • LuminoUs Nighttime Fireworks 

Don’t Miss Experiences at EPCOT

Best Restaurants at EPCOT

As home to the World Showcase at Disney World, EPCOT Park Restaurants include a variety of cultural cuisines. But some of the best restaurants at Disney World are hidden away, so it’s a good thing you have this list to help you pick the best ones. Keep in mind too that if you’re visiting during one of the many EPCOT Festivals throughout the year, then you’ll have even more foods to try during your visit. 

Cinderella Castle at Christmas Walt Disney World

The Best Things to Do at Magic Kingdom 

Magic Kingdom is home to Cinderella’s Castle and has more rides than any other park. Here you can experience Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train. If looking for a signature dining experience, Cinderella’s Royal Table is always a favorite, but not our best recommendation. Check out everything you can do on the Magic Kingdom Checklist.

Must Do Rides at Magic Kingdom

  • Flight of Peter Pan
  • TRON
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
  • it’s a Small World

Don’t Miss Shows at Magic Kingdom

Don’t Miss Experiences at Magic Kingdom

Best Restaurants at Magic Kingdom

Of all the park, the Magic Kingdom Restaurants are, dare we say, the most disappointing? While Magic Kingdom has great snacks, there are only a few restaurants inside the park we actually visit. But more often than not we head to the Disney Monorail Resorts just outside the gates instead. Here are the Restaurants in Magic Kingdom that are worth a try. 

Walt Disney World Checklists

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as printing our Walt Disney World Checklists and choosing everything you want to do in each park. From there, you can choose one park per day and decide your favorite things you hope to do in each park. Hopefully, this quick guide has been helpful and given you an idea of some of the Best things at Disney World. Enjoy planning! 

Disney World Check Lists for earch park

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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