- I’ve been going to Disney World since the late-1980s, and now I visit the parks monthly.
- I always eat at Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom and the fun lounges across the property.
- My favorite rides are Pirates of the Caribbean, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Living With the Land.
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Although they often have smaller menus, I think they offer better quality and value.
The Tambu Lounge at Polynesian Resort and AbracadaBar on the Disney Boardwalk are just a few that I frequent.
Located at Disney Springs, it’s the only restaurant in Florida that’s owned and led by a master sommelier. The rustic-chic space offers an incredible menu — including savory chimichurri skirt steak and creamy burrata — along with over 140 wines.
There have been some updates over the years to introduce movie characters and get rid of problematic parts of the ride (like the bride auction), but it still has its nostalgic smell, atmosphere, and soundtrack.
It’s home to several fan-favorite dining locations, a sake bar, and one of the only places in America to sip on frozen Kirin (a beer slushie).
The expansive merchandise shop imports the latest Japanese toys, clothing, and snacks. And tucked away in the back of a pavilion is a can’t-miss exhibit celebrating Japan’s culture of cuteness, Kawaii.
The classic pineapple Dole Whip is an iconic Disney snack, but I like trying out different flavors like lime, mango, and watermelon when they’re available. There are even sometimes fun limited-time creations like Dole Whip tacos.
Securing a virtual boarding group for the Rise of the Resistance attraction is as hard as winning the lottery, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit the immersive, themed land.
It transports you to a galaxy far, far away through incredible detailing, tempting food, and wandering characters.
These are the people who make the parks go round, and they’re the heart of the Disney experience.
Some employees have decades under their belt, so if you visit often, chances are you’ll spot a few familiar faces. Be kind to them because they might throw a little extra magic your way.
The park now hosts four festivals throughout the year: International Food and Wine Festival, International Festival of the Holidays, International Festival of the Arts, and International Flower and Garden Festival.
It’s a great way to go outside your comfort zone and sample new dishes and beverages inspired by cuisines around the globe. Entertainment also serves as a cornerstone of the festivals as they bring in national chefs, musical acts, and visual artists.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror brings old-school Hollywood to life through chilling thrills and a randomized drop system that keeps riders on their toes.
Right next door, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an indoor launch coaster with five personal speakers for each rider blasting a specialized soundtrack.
Add-on events usually cost extra, but they’re a great way to enhance any trip.
Some of my favorites include a private tequila tasting at La Cava del Tequila at Epcot, a Sangria University at Coronado Springs Resort, and the annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic.
You can travel around the different lands — namely Africa, Asia, DinoLand USA, and Pandora — and try a variety of delicious bites and drinks.
I recommend the international tapas at the Nomad Lounge and the playful cocktails at the prehistoric-themed Restaurantosaurus Lounge.
The relaxing boat ride explores the history of farming as you coast through thriving greenhouses.
Plus, it’s a living and working facility, and Disney actually uses some of the plants grown here in restaurants around the property.
It focuses on globally inspired, yet approachable cuisine, and the decor is ripe with subtle nods for Disney’s most loyal fans to discover.
It’s also one of the only spots in Magic Kingdom that serves alcoholic beverages.
It’s home to a number of the property’s celebrity-fueled ventures, including restaurants from Masaharu Morimoto, Jose Andres, and Guy Fieri.
This is also where you’ll find one of the most unique experiences at Disney World, a ride in one of the last remaining vintage Amphicars. It’s a boat-car hybrid vehicle that glides across the neighboring river.
It’s free, and the unique gondolas quickly whisk you between select resorts, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.
It’s also a really fun way to spend a non-park day. You can hop on and explore the resorts and the Boardwalk.
I usually opt to stay at official Disney resorts that are owned by separate companies, like the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista.
Just steps from Disney Springs, the resort still has the usual perks — like extra park hours and complimentary transportation — but for a much better value.