Disney World is an American treasure, and although there are other Disney parks throughout the world, there’s nothing quite like the original. There’s something about visiting this amusement park that brings out the child in each and every person who visits it. It might have something to do with the fact that no matter what direction you turn, there’s something to capture your eyes and your imagination.
But with so many things to see and do, how can you possibly know what’s worth your time and what isn’t? Well, we’re here to help. While there are more attractions in Disney World than there are fingers and toes in your family, these 50 must-see things at Disney World simply can’t be missed. Whether you’re seeking thrills on one of the park’s many rides and roller coasters or are simply looking to take in an energetic live show or 3D film, the attractions on this list are among the best that Disney World has to offer.
So before you embark on your Disney World vacation, take a virtual tour through this photo gallery of the 50 must-see things at Disney World. And, once you’re down in Orlando, be sure to visit each and every one. But, don’t forget to strike off on your own adventure, too. Even though this list is exhaustive, there’s always more to see and do in Disney World than anyone could possibly list.
1. The 3 Mountains in the Magic Kingdom
If a thrill is what you and the family are seeking, then be sure to visit this trio of mountains: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
2. Have a Breather at the Carousel of Progress
Take a trip through the history of one of America’s favorite destinations. The lines are usually short, and you’ll have an opportunity to recharge your batteries.
3. Take the Kilimanjaro Safari
There’s more than just rides at Disney World, there’s animals, too! Take a safari and marvel at all of the exotic animals that are on display.
4. Spaceship Earth at Epcot
Enjoy a ride through Epcot, and get a refresher course on the history of human communication while you’re at it.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean
As Walt Disney’s last contribution to the park, this ride is steeped in history and even served as the inspiration for the movies!
6. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Not for the faint of heart, this haunted elevator ride is sure to prove a hair-raising experience for you and your children alike.
7. The Force is With You at Star Tours
With a new movie coming out next year, Star Wars is on everyone’s mind once again. Get your fill at this ever-popular Disney World attraction.
8. Get Spooky at the Haunted Mansion
Located in the Magic Kingdom, this Disney World mainstay uses a variety of special effects to make visitors jump out of their seats.
9. Take to the Skies Over London like Peter Pan
The little ones are sure to enjoy all the fun and excitement of Peter Pan’s Flight, which is a ride that’s appropriate for all ages and heights.
10. Have a Sing-a-Long in the Enchanted Tiki Room
As one of Disney World’s oldest attractions, the Enchanted Tiki Room has been delighting visitors for over half a century.
11. Have a Cruise Through the Jungle
On the Jungle Cruise, visitors of all ages can take a wild ride down this recreation of treacherous rivers from all over the world.
12. Fly Through the Sky on Soarin’
What’s it like to fly through the skies of California and over the Golden Gate Bridge? Find out on this stunning ride.
13. It’s a Small World, After All…
Some people love it, and some people hate it. But, there can be no doubt that “It’s a Small World” is one of the things you have to see in Disney World.
14. Enter the Dream World of Mickey Mouse
The lights, fireworks and water show that is “Fantasmic!” will capture the imaginations of both children and adults.
15. Enter the Movies at Lights, Motors, Action!
This ongoing stunt show has fast cars, pyrotechnics and death-defying stunts. How could you possibly go wrong?
16. Make Your Own Candy at Goofy’s Candy Company
Is there a better combination than candy and amusement parks? Maybe if the candy that you’re eating is something you created yourself!
17. Cool Off at Blizzard Beach Water Park
It gets hot in Florida. If you and the family need to cool off, then the water slides and rides of Blizzard Beach Water Park are calling your names.
18. The Tree of Life
Don’t be one of the many visitors to Disney World who fail to check out the hidden pathways around the Tree of Life.
19. Have a Rockin’ Time on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
With a giant red Fender Stratocaster at the entrance, this roller coaster assaults riders with twists, turns and the music of Aerosmith.
20. Let Your Kids Become Archaeologists
At The Boneyard, your kids can play and dig through sand to uncover the ancient bones of the dinosaurs that once walked the earth.
21. The Puppetry in Finding Nemo: The Musical
This 40-minute performance that’s worthy of Broadway is sure to be a favorite of anyone who enjoyed the film “Finding Nemo”.
22. Experience the Muppets in 3D
As part of Hollywood Studios, this attraction is home to everyone’s favorite Muppets, from Kermit and Ms. Piggy to Gonzo and Fozzie Bear.
23. Get Your Picture Taken With Mickey Mouse
Visiting Disney World and not getting your picture taken with the mouse that started it all is pretty much sacrilegious. So do it!
24. Get Your Wishes Granted at Cinderella’s Wishing Well
Right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, you’ll find her wishing well. Toss a coin in and wish for the perfect Disney World experience.
25. Take it Easy and Ride the Monorail
On the monorail, which does a figure-8 loop around the park, you can get from point A to point B in style. And you can even check out many of the attractions.
26. Become an Astronaut on Mission: Space
This ride in Epcot will deliver a close approximation of what astronauts go through to you and your family.
27. The Animatronics of the Country Bear Jamboree
As another attraction in Magic Kingdom that’s been delighting visitors for decades, this is one animatronics show that you simply can’t miss.
28. Beauty and the Beast Comes Alive
If you’re with small children, be sure to take in the interactive story that is Enchanted Tales with Belle.
29. Take a Spin on Dumbo the Flying Elephant
This ride is practically a must for visitors to Disney World, so make sure you don’t skip it!
30. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Take in the sights of Tomorrowland while enjoying this strange futuristic vision of an urban mass transit system.
31. The Main Street Electrical Parade
Sure, it may not be entirely modern, but it’s a classic Disney World attraction and one that’s eminently worth your time.
32. To Infinity and Beyond!
The world of Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear comes alive on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, a family-friendly ride.
33. See Mark Twain Characters and Pirates
The world of Tom Sawyer comes alive at Pirate’s Layer on Tom Sawyer Island, which is an artificial island with plenty of things to see and do.
34. Go Under the Sea with Ariel
For fans of “The Little Mermaid” there is simply no better attraction in all of Disney World.
35. Have a Laugh at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
Half comedy club and half tribute to the Monster Inc. films, this attraction will have you and your family in stitches.
36. Sing Along to the Songs of Frozen
“Frozen” simply can’t be stopped, so go with the flow and take in this entertaining live show.
37. Take an Adventure with Indiana Jones
The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular in Hollywood Studios is a Disney World mainstay, and the sights (and humor) of this show prove why.
38. Make Your Own Toy Story
Toy Story Midway Mania offers a “4D” interactive shooting experience, and has become one of the most popular attractions in Disney World.
39. See the Diamond Mine from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
As one of the newest attractions in Disney World, this roller coaster is as much something to ride as it is to behold.
40. See Your Favorite Disney Characters in Concert
The 3D movie and concert going experience that is Mickey’s PhilharMagic is sure to please anyone that’s a fan of Mickey and the extended family of Disney characters.
41. Evade the Abominable Snowman
In Animal Kingdom, you can avoid the clutches of the Abominable Snowman on this exciting rollercoaster ride!
42. Hakuna Matata: What a Wonderful Phrase
Be sure to take in all of the pageantry in the Festival of the Lion King. Children will love singing along to their favorite songs from the movie.
43. Go Back in Time to Visit the Dinosaurs
On DINOSAUR, you and your family can take an adventure through time to see dinosaurs as they might have lived before they went extinct.
44. See Exotic Birds as Never Before
The Flights of Wonder show allows you and your family to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most exotic birds as they perform stunts for your amusement.
45. Be a Student of American History
When you visit the Hall of Presidents, you’ll be treated to a show of animatronic Presidents past and present. It’s a little corny, sure, but it’s worth the visit.
46. Join the Parade in Fantasyland
The Festival of Fantasy Parade, though short in duration (it’s only 12 minutes), is long on entertainment, dancing and music. Plus, there’s a dragon!
47. Visit the Chinese Theater in a Fraction of the Travel Time
Set in a recreation of Hollywood’s historic Chinese Theater, the Great Movie Ride will take you through a tour of some of Hollywood’s most famous feature films.
48. Get Wet on the Kali River Rapids
This wet ride down the rapids gives you plenty to look at and will cool you off if you’ve been overheating in the Florida sun.
49. Behold the Shimmer Lights of Spectromagic
If the Main Street Electrical Parade is a little too dated for your tastes, then the nighttime Spectromagic Parade is just what the doctor ordered!
50. Say Goodnight with Wishes!
If you haven’t burnt yourself out, then it’s worth hanging around to close out the park. The “Wishes!” fireworks and light show at Cinderella’s Castle is mesmerizing and shouldn’t be missed.