The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World and Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the United States, near the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee.
Best Things to Do
1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Timings: Mon–Sun: 9:00 AM–6:30 PM
Africa, Animal Kingdom (Walt Disney World), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
Kilimanjaro Safaris takes you on a savannah tour in an open-top vehicle for up-close encounters with giraffes, okapis, waterbucks, crocodiles and warthogs. Thanks to the unpredictable nature of the animals, every ride is a new adventure. While you’re guaranteed to see animals at all times of the day, go early in the morning for the best chance of meeting up close, not to mention shorter wait times.
2. Avatar Flight of Passage
Timings: Mon: 8:00 AM–11:00 PM
Tue: 7:00 AM–Midnight
Wed: 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
Thu, Sat: 8:00 AM–10:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM–9:00 PM
Sun: 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Pandora – The World of Avatar (Walt Disney World), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Avatar Flight of Passage, based on the record-breaking 2009 film, lets you soar over Pandora’s landscape behind a banshee mountain. The graphics are stunning. Make sure to look around and take everything into account, but that’s only part of the experience. Feel the banshee breathe as his “body” expands and contracts beneath you, the wind blowing your face and the ocean spray.
3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Timings: Mon–Sun: 10:00 AM–7:00 PM
351 S Studio Dr (Walt Disney World), Orlando, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
The Hollywood Tower Hotel, looming at the end of Sunset Boulevard, is an icon of Disney’s Hollywood Studios that houses one of Disney World’s most thrilling attractions. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror dares you to enter a rickety service elevator to the hotel’s 13th floor and propels you up and down—then back up again—for a truly hair-raising experience.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4875 Caribbean Way (Magic Kingdom Adventureland), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
Pirates of the Caribbean is located in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. It’s a slow, dark boat ride with a small drop at the beginning. Passengers at the edge of the boat may get a little wet, but there’s no need for a poncho here. This ride underwent some big changes in 2018; the red-headed damsel in distress from an auction scene was replaced by Redd, a shotgun-wielding woman pirate who’s after the town’s rum supply.
4. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a one-of-a-kind comedy experience and one of the most underrated attractions at the Magic Kingdom. The interactive show, hosted by Mike Wazowski, converts human laughs into energy to power the fictional city of Monstropolis. The Laugh Floor uses digital puppetry technology and features live actors behind the scenes to voice the “monster” comedians.
5. Splash Mountain
4955 Caribbean Way (Magic Kingdom Frontierland), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
The centerpiece of Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain is based on the animated scenes from Disney’s controversial 1946 film Song of the South. The ride features more than 100 audio animatronic frogs, possums, and other critters, and three songs that will surely get stuck in your head for a zip-a-dee-doo-dah day. Get a FastPass+ reservation if you can. If you’re on standby, hit the ride first thing in the morning or, if you can brave the chill, wait until evening, when the lines are shorter.
6. Haunted Mansion
Timings: Mon–Thu: 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
Fri–Sun: 9:00 AM–9:00 PM
1180 Seven Seas Dr (Magic Kingdom Liberty Square), Orlando, FL 32830, United States, disneyworld.disney.go.com
Enter the Haunted Mansion, a Gothic revival-style manor at the back of Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom, and board a “doom buggy” for a tour of the 999 haunts that reside within. Little kids are often frightened at first, particularly when the room plunges into complete darkness. There aren’t any gory scenes, but the ride is dark and some ghosts pop out in a graveyard scene. Try to hit the Haunted Mansion early or late in the day for the lowest wait time.
Tips for Visiting Disney World on a Budget
- DO buy tickets up front.
- DO visit during non-peak times.
- DO shop around.
- DO take advantage of free activities.
- DO plan every day of your trip out—including meals.
- DON’T buy Park Hopper passes.
- DON’T be seduced by all the extra trimmings.
- DON’T buy Character Meals.
Where to Live
- Best Western International Drive: Orlando, Florida, United States.
- Crowne Plaza Orlando – Lake Buena Vista: Orlando, Florida.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista: 12191 south apopka vineland road, Orlando, Florida.
- Value Resort Hotel Rankings
- Moderate Resort Hotel Rankings
- Deluxe Resort Hotel Rankings
- Deluxe Villa (Disney Vacation Club) Resort Rankings
Best Time To Visit Walt Disney World
The good news is that when it comes to crowds, the rest of this year – and probably most of 2021 – should be a good time to visit! Keep in mind that crowds are increasing, but not to pre-pandemic levels. Also, keep in mind that to limit capacity and maintain social distancing, Disney is asking customers to book park reservations until September 26, 2021. Demand has been below these capacity limits overall, except in the case of from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where that park is now unavailable for more than half of October and part of November 2020. We expect this trend to continue, largely due to interest in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but also keep in mind that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is simply the smallest park and therefore has the smallest capacity.
Where to Eat
- Flame Tree Barbecue: Lunch And Dinner Menu – $ ($14.99 and under per adult)
- BaseLine Tap House: Launge Menu – $ ($14.99 and under per adult)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant: Theme Dinning -$$ ($15 to $34.99 per adult)
- It’s also worth noting that if you’re trying to do “Disney on a Dime,” one of the easiest ways to save money is to not eat at Walt Disney World restaurants. Dining at Disney is expensive, and unlike park tickets, it’s not mandatory. You can save a lot of money by eating off-site, or better yet, getting groceries and preparing your own meals.
HOW LONG TO VISIT
The length of your stay at Walt Disney World largely depends on the type of trip. If you’re not a big fan of Disney, but taking your kids on a “once in a lifetime” rite of passage trip, we recommend a vacation to Walt Disney World of at least 6-7 days.
The exact length will vary a bit further depending on how much vacation time you have available and whether you plan to visit theme parks or non-Disney destinations. Along with visiting the Disney theme parks, you’ll probably also want to add a day to your itinerary to relax, and it’s good to tune in in the middle of your trip so you don’t get exhausted by the theme parks. The other consideration when planning trips to Walt Disney World might be time to spend on other things.
The most popular direct-from Disney vacations booked via DisneyWorld.com cover some combination of hotel, park tickets, and dining. Sometimes these packages offer excellent savings off rack rates, sometimes they’re merely full price elements of the trip bundled together.
Even though you can save a lot with vacation packages, you’re saving that off Walt Disney World’s on-site pricing. We believe it’s worth it to pay a premium for the “Disney Difference” and location, but that may not matter as much to you.
Disney World Packing List
- Don’t leave home without your ID (license) and credit card.
- A top recommendation on the MagicGuides Disney World Packing List is to bring comfortable walking shoes. Happy feet are crucial to happy Disney World vacationers!
- We suggest you bring a lightweight backpack/daypack to Disney parks. This will hold your essential items – like tickets, ponchos, sunscreen, water bottles, snacks, phone chargers, Disney world map, etc – and spare you the expense of renting a storage locker.
- It’s important to consider hydration when deciding what to pack for Disney World. Walking around all day – under the warm Florida sun – is sure to make you thirsty.
- Rain is always a possibility in Orlando, even when clear skies are forecasted. So rain jackets are also important.
- It’s easy to drain batteries at Disney, so come prepared to recharge your phone.
- Bringing extra bags is often overlooked on Disney packing lists. We recommend that you bring several large Ziploc or trash bags to keep your dirty (or wet) clothes separated from your clean clothes.
- Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, or whatever else you may need to keep the sun from affecting your enjoyable Disney vacation.
- Snacks are also a great item to pack for road trips and flights to and from Orlando.
We hope the MagicGuides Disney World Packing List has helped you formulate your own list of what to bring on your trip to Walt Disney World.