( for the happiest place on earth )
1) THE PARKS - When most people think of Disney World, they're probably thinking of the Magic Kingdom (considering, you know, the castle). But there are also three other parks to take part in: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, each with their own appeal. Here, pick one. Or get a parkhopper ticket and see them all.
2) WATER PARKS - There are two of them: Blizzard Beach (with a snow theme!) and Typhoon Lagoon. Do slides. Go swimming. Do things!
3) DOWNTOWN DISNEY - Get your shop on! Downtown Disney is, essentially, the shopping district, and you will probably get lost in World of Disney at one point during your stay. There's the Marketplace, which caters to people with Disney tastes (and also has the Earl of Sandwich, which is hella great), while the West Side has a movie theatre. And Candy Cauldron. It's all pretty cool.
4) RESORTS - They have to come into play at some point during your vacation, right? Good thing you have so many to choose from. And there's a 110% chance that they will have awesome food. And towel animals.
5) WAITING IN TRAFFIC ON I-4 - You're not even on property yet. I'm so sorry. On the plus side, you could just give up and go to the outlets.
1) SUMMER - The crowds are out. It's Florida. It's hot. Please stay hydrated.
2) FALL - It's still hot! However, there's also the Magic Kingdom halloween party going on! Do you want to go trick-or-treating? Hell yeah you do.
3) WINTER - Go see some soap snow! Or, the Osbrorne Family Festival of Lights! Even still, you can hop over to Magic Kingdom and get some hot chocolate and cookies. Just don't expect it to be cold. It's probably still hot.
4) FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL - This is more important than including spring: Epcot's yearly showcase of foods from around the globe - and the alcohol to go with them. Fill up. Get wasted. Just watch out for everyone else who is probably just as drunk as you.
1) ATTRACTIONS - There are a lot of good ones. Don't get overwhelmed. Are you debating what to get a Fastpass for? Are you braving the two-hour lines for Space Mountain? Are you riding Haunted Mansion for the fiftieth time in a row? Are you actually just poking your head into the Hall of Presidents to take a nap? It's okay. We don't judge.
2) PARADE - Don't scoff, these things are elaborate. They also clear out about half the park as they stop and marvel at some floats. And if you're in the right place (I.E. Magic Kingdom), there might be dancing involved. From you. It's a thing.
3) SHOPPING - Another chance for you to get lost in World of Disney! Or the Emporium! Or, go buy some mouse ears. Don't be the only one without them, come on. (Alternatively, join the crowds scrambling for ponchos when it inevitably starts raining.)
4) PARKING - Yes, this is an event and an adventure all in itself, from finding your spot to hopping on the trams, to getting back out of the park and doing it all again. If you can find your car. Spoilers: You probably can't. Should've just taken the bus.
5) EATING - I'm not saying you haven't lived until you've had a Dole Whip, but that's exactly what I'm saying. Also, try not to explode when you eat the kitchen sink. And if that doesn't work for you, turkey legs. Turkey legs everywhere. Or you can just go get drunk at the Tune-In Lounge at 10:00 AM. Nobody's judging.
6) CHARACTER DINING - An entirely separate entity, because it's exactly what it sounds like: a dinner with characters. Well. Characters walking around and grabbing you for photo ops while you eat.
7) SCAVENGER HUNT - Do you want to go find clues to help Agent P save the world (formerly Kim Possible)? Yeah you do. Go get a cell phone. Go do it.
8) FIREWORKS - They say Disney World does have the best fireworks, and it's true. Just look out at the entranced faces through Magic Kingdom or Epcot once dark falls. Alternatively, this is your cheesy romance option handed to you. Go. Grab it.
9) MEETING CHARACTERS - Are you begrudgingly getting your picture taken, or are they your absolute favorite? Did you catch them just as they came out, or are you in line about to punch the attendant if they cut the line off before you? (Protip: please do not punch our character attendants).
10) WATCHING A SHOW - Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, anyone? Broadway-style musicals? Fantasmic, after it gets dark? Sit down. Eat something. Go watch them. Is there audience participation? Probably.
11) WORKING - You might be at a restaurant, you might be working a ride, you might be in guest services, you might even be a character! Or it might be your first day, and you're stuck in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom. But let's be real - all that matters is who you're gonna kill the next time a guest asks you what time the three o'clock parade is.