Before heading to Walt Disney World this summer, I made myself a Disney to-do list of new attractions, restaurants, shows, stores, foods, and anything else I wanted to try. There’s just so much to do at Disney World and I still haven’t done it all. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to every item on my list (6 out of 10 isn’t bad, right?), but I checked off a lot — and tried other new things along the way! Here’s what I experienced for the first time and highly recommend to my fellow Disney travelers.
1. The New ‘Up’ Bird Show
Animal Kingdom’s UP! A Great Bird Adventure is the cutest show around. If you ever saw the original bird show, Flights of Wonder, held at the Caravan Theater in Asia, it’s pretty much the same thing, with the addition of Russell and Dug from Pixar’s Up. Along with the audience, Russell and Dug learn about different bird species and it’s really interesting. And, yes, Russell and Dug are just as adorable and funny as they are in the film.
2. Via Napoli
I can’t believe it took me this long to try Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria at Italy in Epcot. I had always seen amazing photos of the pizza and I can now attest the pizza is as good as it looks in pictures. The atmosphere is also great. Some might think the menu is pricey, but my family of four shared the $39 Margherita 1/2 Meter Mezzo Metro, which is what we would’ve spent (maybe even more) on four individual meals elsewhere. There was plenty of pizza and it was worth the price.
3. Joffrey’s Frozen Flame
You can never go wrong with Joffrey’s. This summer, the coffee and tea company introduced the Frozen Flame at kiosks around the parks and, wow, is it tasty. The frozen beverage is passionfruit and strawberry flavored. It’s the perfect drink for those hot Disney days. For an additional price, you can even “spike” it with Grey Goose Vodka or Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. I didn’t add alcohol, but I bet a spiked Frozen Flame would be fantastic.
4. The ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Show
The Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Live! show at Epcot is so much fun! It, of course, features Star-Lord, Gamora, and Baby Groot from the Marvel films, in addition to the hit music. The audience watches as Star-Lord tries to save the galaxy from “bad music” by teaching the Xandarian Chamber Orchestra music from his awesome playlist. The show plays at the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase and runs until Aug. 19, so you’ll want to check it out before it’s too late.
5. BaseLine Tap House
If you’re in need of a cold beer or a glass of wine, head straight to BaseLine Tap House in Hollywood Studios. It’s located right around the corner from the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, where the Writer’s Stop used to be. It’s a great outdoor spot and has a cool vibe. Snacks are also offered, but I only tried the beer, which was excellent. I can’t wait to go back.
6. The Carrot Cake Cookie
The famous Carrot Cake Cookie sold at the Trolley Car Café in Hollywood Studios is everything I could’ve hoped for and more. Even though the cookie is different in size compared to the original (the two round carrot cakes are now thicker), it tastes amazing. I never tried the old cookie, but I really enjoyed this updated version. I’m a huge fan of carrot cake and anything cream cheese, so I devoured it.
7. These Cauliflower Tacos
This one is for vegetarians. At Frontierland in Magic Kingdom, you need to head to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and try the Spicy Breaded Cauliflower soft shell tacos. You get three cauliflower tacos (you can also choose Ground Beef, Seasoned Chicken, or Spicy Beef) topped with a five-spice yogurt and pineapple salsa. You can also add additional toppings at the fixin’s bar. They were really good! I don’t eat meat or seafood, so this was a nice surprise. I also appreciated the portion size. I like to share meals at Disney World, because I love snacking at the parks, so these tacos were great to split!
8. The DisneyStyle Store
This is the cutest store ever! There is so much to do at Disney Springs, but one store you need to check out is DisneyStyle. As great as the merchandise is, what really makes the store is the design elements. For example, make sure you look above, because you may miss beautiful details, like these Tangled lanterns! There is also a photo opportunity, where you can sit in a teacup from the Mad Tea Party ride. How fun is that? It’s the smallest details that make the biggest difference and make Disney feel magical, right?
9. Mobile Ordering
Mobile Ordering has been at Disney World for awhile now, and if you haven’t tested it out, you really need to. It is so worth it and is a huge time saver, especially if you’re hungry and don’t want to wait in a long line for food. I’ve tried Mobile Ordering before, but I really put it to good use this summer. It’s so nice not having to stand in line and to receive your order in about 10 minutes or so. Not every dining establishment offers Mobile Ordering, but many restaurants do throughout Disney World. Seriously, take advantage of this option!
10. The Coco-Inspired Exhibit
At the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot, you need to visit the Coco-inspired exhibit inside the pyramid. There are beautiful window displays featuring characters and scenes from the movie that you’ll want to stare at forever. There is also an interactive Mirror of the Dead for guests to create their own skeleton. If you’re a huge fan of the Pixar movie, like I am, this is definitely worth your time.
11. Walls Of Disney
There are so many Walls of Disney, including the Purple Wall in Magic Kingdom, the Bubblegum Wall in Epcot, and the “You Are Most Beautiful” Wall in Animal Kingdom. I tried all three for the first time and they make for fun photo opportunities. You wouldn’t think a wall would make such an awesome backdrop, but at Disney World they do!
If you haven’t yet, hopefully you’ll give all, if not some, of the above a try next time you’re at Disney World. Now, I’m ready for another to-do list. What should I try? Let me know your thoughts!