We all know it’s physically impossible to do everything on any WDW trip, unless you were to stay for a whole month, and maybe not even then. There are certain things, though, that you just know you’ve got to try your darnest to do each time. It’s been far too long since my last trip, so I’m just going to reminisce for a bit…
10. Eat a Mickey Pretzel – We all know calories don’t count in WDW (shhhh. Let me live this lie in peace), so you know my trips are full of treats. I know it’s probably just like a ton of other soft pretzels available anywhere for much less, but there’s something about Mickey Pretzels and Disney’s liquefied cheese that brings me a whole new level of comfort. Every trip, no matter how long, or how many delicious meals are planned, I have to have a Mickey Pretzel. I am never too full for one. (I mean, it was kind of like “get engaged…check….eat a Mickey Pretzel…check.”)
9. Wander Through the Emporium, Start to End – I am well aware that I am the perfect Disney consumer: I buy into all the Disney merch and love to bring “stuff” home with me even when it has no practical purpose. I’ve accepted this about myself and try to budget before I get overwhelmed and can’t close my suitcase. That said, I absolutely love walking through the Emporium. Something about the glittery storefronts and the 360-degree Disney merchandise is so exciting to me. It’s not just some shop – though I can’t rationally explain why that is. I just love Emporium!
8. Pin Trade – I’m pretty new to pin trading, but I’ve become a fast addict. It’s a great way to get to chat with any Cast Member and learn a little bit more about them or their pins! It turns out that Cast Members almost always want to chit-chat, and pin trading opens that door. Especially in Epcot, wandering around the World Showcase, I’ve gotten to learn so many personal facts about Cast Members and the countries they come from, even if we decide not to trade! Remember a Cast Member must always say yes to a trade, so long as you’re offering an authentic Disney pin, and you can trade up to two pins with any Cast Member on a given day.
7. Ride the PeopleMover – I know it’s not the most thrilling ride WDW has to offer, but there’s something about the PeopleMover and its relaxing journey that makes it a must-do every visit to Disney. Even if it seemingly has a long line, the wait is never too bad to get on PeopleMover and it’s a great attraction to sit, observe, people-watch, or just rest. Even if I’ve got the recording nearly memorized, I enjoy hearing it over and over again.
6. Ride the Monorail – I don’t need to be going anywhere. Sometimes I’ll just take the resort loop full circle, but I love the highway in the sky. I know it sometimes gets some hate for being crowded, being late, or breaking down, but I’ve got nothing but love for the Monorail (especially the green one). There’s something just so perfectly “Disney” about it that makes me feel very content.
5. Go to a Disney Starbucks – I know, you might be thinking this is because of a need for coffee to power through the days, but I honestly dislike the taste of coffee. What I do need, though, are the adorable, special cups offered only at Disney with colorful silhouettes of characters magically whooshing about! No joke here: I love the special Disney Starbucks cups and I feel so happy when my drink is in one — tea, water, some ridiculous blended froo froo drink — it doesn’t matter.
4. Meet a Character – Sure, I’ve got my favorite characters to meet (Donald, Chip, and Dale), but I’m not picky when it comes to satisfying this must-do. I love meeting all characters! I feel like meeting characters is the easiest way to step into all the fairytales I’ve grown up cherishing. If Pocahontas asks if I’m a traveler on a voyage following the arrow, you can bet I say, “Yes! Yes, I am!”
3. Watch Happily Ever After – This one is obviously a new tradition considering HEA’s youth at the parks, but it’s a necessity nonetheless. I think Disney’s newest nighttime show is both touching and beautiful, and while I watch it on YouTube regularly from home, it’s never quite the same as seeing it live. Tears. Every time.
2. Get a Mango Margarita in Mexico – Usually, I’m a huge tequila snob. I only like 100% blue agave tequila and I prefer my margaritas on the rocks with salt. I like my tequila shots chilled but without lime or salt, and I’m not opposed to just sipping tequila neat. For some reason, though, that all goes right out the window when I see Cantina de San Angel. I have absolutely no clue what goes into their blended mango margarita and I really don’t care. It’s cold, refreshing, fruity, and just generally delicious.
1. Ride Dumbo, the Flying Elephant – This one is a necessity for the nostalgia factor. I’ll be honest, I have very few memories of my childhood trips to WDW with my family — I was just too little. I remember the excitement and the joy, but I have no clue what we did — except for Dumbo. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t ever remember not loving Dumbo, so it’s no surprise that I would take off on a mad dash to get to the Dumbo attraction in Disney World. I very vividly remember running to Dumbo decked out in green and having him lift me up up up to the highest we could go. I remember feeling as if I was on top of the world. Because of these memories, I’ve always got to visit my buddy, Dumbo.