10 Must-See Attractions at Disney World for First-Timers

Visiting Disney World for the first time is an unforgettable experience, and with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. Here are 10 must-do items that every first-time visitor should include on their Disney World itinerary to ensure they get the full magical experience.

Visit Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom

Cinderella's castle with its reflection in the water below it
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

This iconic fairy-tale castle is not only a perfect photo opportunity but also the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom. It’s a must-see for every Disney visitor. And, yes, there’s a restaurant inside!

To learn more: Best Character Dining Experiences for Girls

Watch the Fireworks Over the Castle

Cinderellas castle at Magic Kingdom in holiday lights of red, green and white with fireworks going off behind it
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

Whether it’s the classic “Happily Ever After” show or a seasonal special, experiencing the fireworks above Cinderella’s Castle is a quintessential Disney moment.

To learn more: 18 Free Things to Do at Disney World

Ride the Classics at Magic Kingdom

Outside of the haunted mansion with an old stage coach at Magic Kingdom
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

Make sure to experience the classic rides like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion. These attractions are beloved by fans and embody the spirit of Disney.

To learn more: Is Space Mountain Scary? Let’s Take a Look!

Enjoy a Meal at a Themed or Character Restaurant

Ohana Character Breakfast picture with Stitch
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

Dining at Disney is part of the adventure. Book a meal at unique spots like Be Our Guest Restaurant or the Cinderella’s Royal Table for a meal in a fairy-tale setting. Have kids? Dine with your favorite Disney pals at a character meal.

To learn more: ‘Ohana Character Breakfast – One of the Best Meals at Disney

Meet the Characters

All of Disneys princesses - Princess Cinderella with young girl both in blue ball gowns
Princess Cinderella at her castle in The Magic Kingdom

No trip to Disney World is complete without meeting some of the famous Disney characters. Whether it’s Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater or Elsa at Royal Sommerhus, these are magical moments you’ll want to capture.

To learn more: All the Disney Princesses – The Official List

Explore World Showcase at EPCOT

Mickey and Minnie manicured shrubs in front of the Epcot sphere
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

Travel around the globe in a day at EPCOT’s World Showcase. Enjoy cultural performances, eat international cuisines, and shop for souvenirs from around the world.

To learn more: Ultimate Guide to using Genie Plus at Disney World

Attend a Live Show or Parade

Be prepared at Disney by grabbing a seat early to watch the Festival of Fantasy parade

Disney is known for its spectacular live entertainment. Check out shows like “Festival of the Lion King” or “Finding Nemo – The Musical”. Or, grab a seat and watch the iconic Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom.

To learn more: Festival of Fantasy Parade Route

Ride the Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

This state-of-the-art ride offers an immersive experience into the world of Pandora. It’s a breathtaking attraction not to be missed.

Flight of Passage has both a stand-by queue and it is also available as an Individual Lightning Lane.

To learn more: Individual Lightning Lanes vs Genie Plus – What’s the Difference?

Visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios

Rows of storm troopers at Hollywood Studios
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

For Star Wars fans, piloting the Millennium Falcon and joining the Resistance in battle are dreams come true. The immersive environment and detailed theming make this a must-visit.

To learn more: 10 Benefits of Staying on Disney Property

Relax and Enjoy a Dole Whip

Pineapple Dole Whip float at Magic Kingdom
Image Credit: Treasuredfamilytravels.com

Take a break and indulge in this iconic Disney treat. This pineapple-flavored soft-serve dessert is a refreshing snack you can enjoy in the parks, especially popular in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom.

To learn more: Where to Get Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom

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