Preparing to visit Walt Disney World for the first time, my sister Melanie and I had leaned on the expansive knowledge of one of our aunts who had visited Walt Disney World a few years straight and seemed to know what she was talking about. 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. We are big planners and pretty much needed the outline of all things to do, see and eat and figured you may too!
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. These notes shared where to eat, what to fastpass, and where we could afford to wait in line. Seriously, we didn’t want to be the people using a fast pass for Illuminations if we could see it just as well from Japan. These notes 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 insiders. While others stumbled around with maps, we skipped the lines, had the 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 by theme park in the separate posts below. You can also click the image for the downloadable pdf that has all the checklists for all four parks.
Your First Disney Vacation
If you are a beginner Disney Vacationer 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), but its the big stuff. The stuff you can’t miss. As of right now this doesn’t include Toy Story Land or Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. You can see those quick guides here.
On the checklist you’ll notice a few things in parentheses. If it has an FP next to it, it means that this ride is worth trying to get a Fast Pass for. The lines at these rides are longer than most and you can wait more than an hour without a fast pass. Read our tips on Fast Passes for more info.
The rest of the letters noted refer to dining. S= Snack, QS= quick service ( which means you can walk right up and order, no reservation needed) and TS = Table Service and often means you’ll need a reservation. Read up on Disney Dining.
What’s on Our Disney Bucket List?
These lists compile our tried and true items for each park. And yet even these lists will provide you too many things to do in one day, BUT they will help you narrow down the choices. If you’re a frequent Walt Disney World visitor looking for something a little edgier, never fear, we’ll be sharing the more detailed lists for Disney fanatics in soon enough. Things to keep in mind.
- Disney doesn’t have to be stressful.
- You can still have fun in the rain.
- This is what you’ll need in your day bag.
- Hop the monorail if the parks are too crowded.
The Walt Disney World Checklists
Click on the Bucket Lists image below for a 14 page printable/downloadable WDW bucket lists. You can also save this to your ibooks app which is super handy for in-the-park access! These will help you immensely when you’re up against the 180 day deadline to book your advance dining reservations ( ADR’s) or for when your fast pass (FP) booking window finally opens up. This is free for our readers and subscribers– otherwise you’d have to drop the .99 cents for this e-book on amazon:) So enjoy the freebie!
If you want to read these individually, check out the posts here:
And be sure to let us know which are your must-do items and we’ll add it to our lists!