Disney World Must Do list for Kids (2024 Bucket List)

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There is something so magical about Disney World Vacation planning with your kids… especially because they view the world in a whole new way!

One of the Parenting Hacks we’ve learned for Disney World is to make a bucket list for each kid. This really helps us plan our day, stay prioritized, and not miss anything so there are no regrets on the way home!

Some ideas for a Bucket List for Kids at Disney World Include: One Ride, One Character Meet, One Food Item, and One Souvenir. Other Bucket Lists can be focused on just rides, or just attractions, but try to limit them to 3-5 items per day so you can still enjoy the Surprise and Delight Items at the Disney Parks!

You can also see the bucket list for the whole family in this list of 16 Can’t Miss Moments at Disney World! Or If you or your party wants to do Disney while skipping the rides, see what that would look like.

If this is part of a Birthday Celebration, I recommend combining some of the Bucket List items below with items on the Birthday Celebration List!

This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure here.

Disney World Can’t Miss list for Kids and Families

1. Meet Favorite Characters!

There is nothing better than meeting your favorite Character, even if they are the only ones you meet on your trip!

You can find Mickey at every park, but other characters are a bit more elusive. For example, the Frozen gang (Anna, Elsa and Olaf) are spread out between two parks.

And some Characters you might need a special event ticket for (like MNSSHP for halloween) or head over to Character Dining.

When you meet Characters, consider a picture, video or special autograph! Maybe just tell them about your day, or some insider secrets (they really do play along!) Last time I saw Princess Tiana she promised to give me her beignet recipe!

2. Catch a Show (or two!)

You’ll find so many things to do at Disney World besides rides and characters! There are a number of shows and smaller attractions at Disney Parks.

Fans of the Lion King (and Broadway) will love The Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom.

Princess lovers unite across the parks as Magic Kingdom and Epcot have a number of prerecorded and live shows to choose from.

Star Wars Families can take part in shows at Hollywood Studios, and can also enjoy The Muppets and Lightning McQueen while they are there!

3. Eat World Class Snacks and Meals

This blog started with food and it’s something I just have to talk about! Disney World has some crazy cool things for food items (yes! Even if you have Food Allergies!)

Disney is notorious for coming up with new themed snacks every season and special event. There’s even unique items at the resorts (sounds like a good ‘rest’ day activity for resort hopping!)

4. Enjoy the Nighttime Shows

Typically every Park has a nighttime show, but some are better than others. For example, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a nighttime show (that I really enjoy) but it doesn’t have fireworks or very loud music.

My recommendation would be Magic Kingdom for their Nighttime Fireworks. I’d recommend the first show of the evening, and then shop or play on the grass area in front of the castles for 20-30 minutes. (As the lines to get out of Magic Kingdom and onto transportation are ridiculously long after fireworks)

5. Grab a Special Souvenir

The Disney Stores are FILLED to the brim with special souvenirs, and the *majority* of these are custom to the area/the park.

If your child has a souvenir or gift in mind, remember that this might be the only place you will find it at the Parks and it’s almost never online! Disney does this to increase sales (scarcity is a powerful marketing tool!) but also because they have so much merchandise it’s not possible to carry every item every place.

I’m a big fan of light up toys or bubble wands for that special toy, because they can be used at the parks and then placed in the closet when you get home (insert maniacal mom laugh here). Plus Bubble Wands are toys that they can play with while in the parks, an activity of sorts. See all the current Bubble Wand and Light Up toys available at Disney so you have an idea of what to get (or avoid!) on your trip.

6. Ride some fun and unique Transportation

Disney World has some really cool options for transportation! There’s buses, skyliners, boats, monorails and ride share vehicles.

It’s a lot to consider as an adult, but there’s true magic seeing it through a child’s eyes!

My oldest loves the skyliner and monorail, my middle child desperately loves to ride the buses, and my youngest (and all the kids really) go wild over the chance to ride a train!

Here’s some transportation options!

  • Catch the Skyliner from Epcot to Hollywood Studios
  • Monorail from Magic Kingdom to Epcot
  • Ride the Buses from any resort to park OR park for free at Disney Springs and ride to a resort to go hopping
  • The Ferry Boat from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Magic Kingdom

7. Enjoy the Rides

I moved this towards the end, because every one thinks of rides at Disney World when planning. And yeah, they are fun! But there’s so much more to a vacation than the rides.

Some notable rides for kids that I recommend to everyone include:

  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends- EPCOT
  • Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios
  • Dumbo at Magic Kingdom
  • Navi River Journey at Animal Kingdom

More thoughts on the Must Do items at Disney World for kids

your vacation is your own… but you also can’t do everything if you stayed at Disney World for a month! There is SOOO much to do!

Making a list helps increase your happiness and sanity when planning, and makes the trip so much fun to look forward too! Think about what your kids would enjoy the most, and plan things around that to make this trip full of memories!

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