The ULTIMATE Disney World Bucket List: 21 Things You MUST Do at Least Once!

Theme Park Must-Do’s Travel Series: The BEST Walt Disney World Bucket List

I’m so excited to leave the past few years behind. Although I’d accomplished my dream of publishing my first book, I’d also lost my mom the following months.

It has definitely been was quite a few tough years for me.

I am looking forward to all of the years to come and the 21 Disney World bucket list items I’ve been putting off for some time.

I have visited Walt Disney World on so many occasions. Even though I’ve been numerous times, there are still some things I have yet to do.

…so here are my 21 must-do Disney items for this year. Keep in mind, a lot of things deal with food and drinks!

I am very proud to say that I have completed my TOP Walt Disney World bucket list item, eating at Victoria and Albert’s. Read my experience here.

Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort Mickey Mouse Character Dining. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

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1. Do Keys to the Kingdom Tour

This has been on my Disney bucket list since 2013 and I need to just do it!

The Keys to the Kingdom Tour is the particular tour that I’ve heard great things about.

I’ve done so many different activities at Walt Disney World that taking a behind the scenes look will hopefully bring about a new and exciting adventure to my park hopping experience.

Save on your Disney World tickets with Tripadvisor TODAY!

2. Stay in the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

I am not a fan of the wild animals and creepy bugs that are associated with the great outdoors, but doing it Disney style may be the right catalyst for my transition into this great American pastime.

Staying at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is one of my resolutions that I am pretty curious to try.

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3. Have a Character Dining Meal at Garden Grill or Akershsus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot.

I have watched a few videos online that have made me super excited to indulge in this form of dining entertainment at Disney.

Epcot Theme Park Disney World Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Restaurant in Norway Pavilion Princess Tiana. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Restaurant in Norway Pavilion with Princess Tiana

Both experiences are buffet/all-you-care-to-eat style with the Garden Grill being located in a rotating restaurant inside The Land Pavilion.

COMPLETED (I ate at Akershus but I still have to try Garden Grill)!

4. Take a Tour of EPCOT’s Greenhouses

On your Living With The Land experience at EPCOT, you may have seen a small group of people walking around the greenhouses. The tour is super cheap and about an hour long.

It’s so much fun to see behind-the-scenes at the greenhouses to see how the fruits and vegetables are grown for the restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

NikkyJ on Living with the Land Ride during Disney Christmas at Epcot Festival of the Holidays. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

I did this once over ten years ago, but I would like to complete this conquest again.

COMPLETED (blog post coming soon)!

5. Conquer Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

I’ve been to many of the popular Halloween events here in central Florida except Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney's Magic Kingdom Theme Park Boo to You Halloween Parade in front of Cinderella Castle with characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

I have only heard great things about it. From years of reading and watching people’s experiences, I do know it’s an event for both the young and “old.”

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party Nikky

COMPLETED. Read my best tips for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party here!

6. Enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

The festive décor, the holidays lights, the Disney “snow,” and let’s not forget the Christmas cookies.

Santa and Reindeers during Disney Christmas Parade Magic Kingdom
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Parade (Photo Courtesy of Disney Co.)

I’ve heard that this party is the ultimate yuletide gathering to celebrate the holidays!

Read NEXT: How to do Christmas at Disney for FREE here!

7. Dine at Morimoto Asia Restaurant in Disney Springs

I’m such a fan of the famous Iron Chef. I can’t wait to have sushi and some delicious sake at Morimoto’s new restaurant.

COMPLETED. Read my FULL review of Morimoto Asia here!

8. Dine at Epcot’s Le Cellier

For years this restaurant has had rave reviews, but reservations are not always the easiest to get.

I’m also a fan of fine dining and doing it Disney way is always a plus! You’ll be happy to know that I’ve finally ate here and here’s my review.


Have a DIFFERENT kind of Orlando vacation with a Resort home next to Disney World. Find Your Disney Resort Vacation Rental here!

9. Dine at the Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace

I have never been here, nor do I know much about this place. What I do know is the architecture and look of the outside facade draws me in.

Crystal Palace Menu Display near the Entrance at Magic Kingdom. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

The buffet is also not a bad reason to eat in this magical place.

10. Eat the Legendary ‘Ohana Noodles

I want to join in on the luau, dance to my heart’s content, and eat all-I-care-to-enjoy in this family-style Polynesian feast.

Disney Polynesian Resort Village Ohana Bar Area

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11. Savor the Savanna

Yes! You can actually do this. I really hope that I’m able to dine on the African-inspired Savanna where I can put all of my senses into action with the delicious food, majestic beauty and incredible sounds of nature!

Animal Kingdom African Kilimanjaro Safari with Momma and baby giraffe. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

This cool experience is offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and a theme park ticket is required.

12. Have a drink at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto in Disney’s Polynesian Resort

I’m ready to indulge in the umbrella-in-my-drink lifestyle.

COMPLETED! Read my experience at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto here!

13. Complete the Monorail Pub Crawl

This is one of the best ways for adults to do Disney. I can’t wait to dine and drink at some of the best restaurants in the Polynesian Resort, the Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary Resort.

Disney Magic Kingdom Monorail passing by

Disney used to have an official crawl called “Highway in the Sky Dine Around”, but you can definitely create your own foodie itinerary.

14. Dine at the Sci-Fi restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A classic drive-in theater with food inside Walt Disney World sounds pretty awesome to me!

COMPLETED (blog post coming soon)!

15. Finally score 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

I keep trying and honestly, I suck at these types of attractions. Hopefully this year I will be able to get it done!

Ready to start planning your next Disney World vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

16. Explore Pandora at Night

The world of Pandora immerses you and takes you automatically into a magical journey with the Na’vi people the Disney way.

Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney Animal Kingdom Waterfall
Pandora World of Avatar at Night in Disney World

It is so beautiful in the day, I know it has to be spectacular at night based on some of the videos I’ve seen online.

Animal Kingdom World of Avatar Floating Trees in Pandora. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.
Pandora World of Avatar in the Day at Disney World

COMPLETED! Read the full Pandora World of Avatar guide here.

17. Delight in Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

After listening to an episode of WDW Radio, I was convinced to try this unorthodox Disney experience. Once you’ve heard the charismatic host, you’ll want to do it too!

Garden View Tea Room Disney Grand Floridian. Sweet scones, warm tea, and bite-size cream sandwiches. Disney World Bucket List.
Garden View Tea Room Disney Grand Floridian

COMPLETED! Read or listen to my experience with Afternoon Tea at Disney World here!

18. Do All Four Walt Disney World Theme Parks in One Day

I haven’t done this in years! Now I’m more of a go to Epcot for dinner and drink kind of person then leave.

This would be a great way to rekindle my love of the parks.

WATCH NEXT: Best Restaurants at EPCOT You MUST Visit on Your Disney Vacation!

19. Watch the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

If you are looking for a fun nighttime activity during your trip to Disney World or the Orlando area in general, look no further than the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

Disney Wilderness Lodge Resort Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

It’s one of the best shows at Walt Disney World and one that you cannot miss!

I finally got to it and it was absolutely amazing! The food, the Cast and the energy is all on ten.

Plus, I got pulled on stage to participate in the show (the ultimate fear of an introvert, lol)!

Disney Wilderness Lodge Resort NikkyJ performing on stage at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.

COMPLETED! Read my experience and review of the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue here!

20. Buy a Holiday Décor Item from Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe

I have a new thing that I’m into and that’s collecting Christmas décor from all of the theme parks I visit.

I promise that this year I will start my collection by buying something from Ye Old Christmas Shoppe in the Magic Kingdom theme park.

21. Have a Meetup Day with Fellow ThemeParkHipsters

I would love to meet each and every one you guys who have been following the blog for a while.

Meeting ThemeParkHipster Solo Theme Park Traveler. Disney World Bucket List

It will be so awesome to enjoy thrilling attractions and delicious food with you all!

COMPLETED! Check out this year’s meetup schedule and message me if you’d like to join us.

What to Know Before You Go to Walt Disney World

Before I end this Disney World bucket list, let’s go over some of the most common questions I’m asked.

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How much does Disney World cost?

A one-day REGULAR season Disney World ticket starts at $109* (prices do fluctuate based on the season).

Save on your Disney World tickets with Tripadvisor TODAY!

What day of the week is best to go to Walt Disney World?

Tuesday is the best day of the week to have your solo Disney day. If Tuesday doesn’t work, Wednesday and Thursday are good as well.

Choose the BEST Day to Go to Walt Disney World with This Crowd Calendar!

What are the best Disney resorts for Solo Travelers?

What rides at Disney World have a Single Rider Line?

The Magic Kingdom currently does not have any single rider attractions but below are the Walt Disney World rides that do have this feature:

Disney World Single Rider Attractions

While planning out your day, you’ll want to have your Genie+ Passes booked and arrive early to the park.

WATCH: 13 Beginner Tips for Going to Disney World This Year!

My Final Thoughts on Completing My Disney Bucket List

Whew! I know this is quite this list to have completed by the following year. I hope I can conquer each item this year. Wish me luck!

Mandara Spa at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort with NikkyJ. One of the best Disney World bucket list items to put on your to-do list.
My visit to Mandara Spa at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort (another item to add to your Disney World bucket list)!

I will continue to update this post with pics of my experience after each adventure is completed

Theme Park Travel Guide to the Ultimate Disney World Bucket List with Winnie the Pooh on parade Float.
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I want to know what’s on your Disney World bucket list? Let me know in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Planning a trip soon? If so, read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue NikkyJ Dinner Show Disney World. Author bio of theme park expert Nikida Metellus.

About the Author

My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor, and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!

Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.

Connect with me on Instagram!

(Original Date January 1, 2018/Updated April 20, 2024)

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14 thoughts on “The ULTIMATE Disney World Bucket List: 21 Things You MUST Do at Least Once!”

  1. Happy New Year! Off your list, the main ones I’ve done were the character breakfasts (which we’ve talked about), Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe (bought a couple of really pretty tree ornaments) and Sci Fi Dine In. It was cute…but I’ve heard the food is now hit-or-miss compared to what it used to be. I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to go back. Then again, I’ve heard that about several of the restaurants on your list, so who knows? *shrug*

    I love so much of your list, I have a feeling a lot of your stuff will make my bucket list too. If you ever get the chance to do it, I *highly* recommend the Deluxe Dining Plan. Yes, it’s *crazy* pricey — but so are a bunch of the restaurants on your list. This way, you can cross a bunch of items off your bucket list in one big foodie trip and only have one nasty incident of sticker shock. 😉

    As for my bucket list…*crack knuckles* okay, here goes:

    1. 4 parks in one day. This is at the top of my list because I’d have to get in shape to pull it off, and I *really* need to get in shape. So, motivation.
    2. Have a do-over with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Yes, technically, I have been at the park during the party hours. But my experience was an atomic-level bomb of a train wreck. I want another shot at it.
    3. Complete the Phineas and Ferb challenge at EPCOT. On top of everything else, my nephew is a huge fan of the characters.
    4. Dine at Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table.
    5. Watch a spring training game at Wide World of Sports — ideally, I’d love to watch my beloved Detroit Tigers beat the Braves :-).
    6. Be able to go to Disney much more often, either by becoming a DVC member or buying a ‘snowbird’ condo near the park.
    7. Dine at the Hollywood Brown Derby.
    8. Visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and stay at the hotel.
    9. Go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dressed as a princess (probably Rapunzel or Belle).
    10. Stay in one of those 2 bedroom villas on the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Polynesian. My new fantasy suite…*sigh*
    11. Go to the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival and see a taping of The Chew.
    12. Catch up on Disney movies. I’d like to at least have seen the all of the major animated ones.
    13. See the Kiss Goodnight.
    14. Go back to California Grill — but get a reservation to dine during the fireworks this time.
    15. Experience the parks with either my nephew or my husband’s family. I’ve only ever been to Disney with my husband and I’d love to see the parks from another perspective.
    16. See the Hoop de Doo Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness. One of two things I didn’t get to do on my last trip that I truly regret not doing.
    17. Dine at Monsieur Paul at EPCOT (my other regret from my last trip)
    18. Ride Rock’n Roller Coaster and Expedition Everest. I love coasters…but I’ve never ridden these. Must fix this.
    19. Go to one of the international parks, like Paris or Tokyo.
    20. Do a Disney Cruise.
    21. Meet up with one of my favorite Disney bloggers/vloggers at the parks. (Interested?)

    And an honorable mention, mostly because the universe would have to work overtime to even give me a shot at the opportunity to do this:

    22. Sing as a member of the Candlelight Processional Choir.

    • Wow!!! What a list.

      Now I want to update my list, lol.

      Disney is going to take all of our money. Like seriously, I want to do everything on your list. I finally got to do Victoria and Albert’s a few months ago and I want to go again [even with the cost 😉 ]! I need a second job to Disney right, lol!

      • Personally, I would love to just become a super successful Disney blogger so that my Disney-supporting job could be talking about Disney all day long. 😛

        You’ve been to V&A? Sooooooo jealous! Did you blog about it? I live vicariously through those kinds of details….

        • You definitely have the talent and passion to become a Disney blogger. If you send me a private message to, I can send you some resources that I use to continue to grow ThemeParkHipster 🙂

          I haven’t posted my V&A article yet. I want to make sure I do it right. It was sooooo amazing!!!!

    • I’ve done Le Cellier, Trader Sam’s, Afternoon Tea, and I have met up with ThemeParkHipsters at the parks 🙂 Hopefully, I can knock out a few before the end of the year.


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