Our recent trip to Disney World was one for the books. We ate the best food, rode all of the best rides, visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and just enjoyed some quality time together. Planning a Disney vacation is not for the faint of heart. I’ve lined out some of our favorite tips and tricks below to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Plus, I have a Disney Packing List below to help with your planning!

Disney World Restaurants

Janie Ippolito Disney Restaurants

Plan your dining EARLY and make reservations as soon as possible. Experiences fill up quickly, so if you have must-haves on your list, book them as quickly as you can.

Magic Kingdom Sit-Down Restaurants

Be Our Guest Dinner – You get to meet Belle and the Beast! $$$$
Tony’s Italian Restaurant – $$
Cinderella’s Royal Table – This is a hard-to-get reservation. The restaurant is in the castle. It is super pricey and the food isn’t great, but it’s a really cool experience. The Disney princesses visit you at your table!! $$$$

Magic Kingdom Quick Service (Great Lunch Options)

Harbor House 
Pinocchio Village Haus 

Epcot Sit-Down Restaurants

San Angel Inn – This is in the Mexico Pavilion. It’s my personal favorite Mexican food! It’s very authentic. $$
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – This is in the Norway Pavilion right next to the Frozen ride. It’s another princess character meal. If I was you, I would compare this menu and Cinderella’s Royal Table. It’s a similar price, but this one isn’t in the castle so it’s not the same environment. $$$$
Teppan Edo – This hibachi restaurant is in the Japan Pavilion. $$
Le Cellier Steakhouse – Excellent steakhouse but very pricey! $$$
Toppolinos – Great for a character breakfast!
Via Napoli – Good Italian, great pizza and great for kids of all ages!

Epcot Quick Service

What’s amazing about Epcot is each country sells food. I recommend watching Disney Food Blog on YouTube. They tell you all the best foods to eat around all the different parks. I’ll give you a few of my favorites!!

Fish and chips (UK pavilion)
Tacos de Pollo (Mexico pavilion)
Pretzel (Germany Pavilion)
Mac and Cheese (America Pavilion)
ICE CREAM  (France Pavilion) – Literally the best ice cream ever!!!

Hollywood Studios Sit-Down Restaurants

Hollywood studios isn’t my favorite place to sit down and eat. The restaurants just aren’t my favorite, but I’ll still list some options below!

50’s prime time cafe – A fun 50s-themed restaurant. It’s one of those restaurants where the server heckles you. $$
Roundup rodeo BBQ – A Toy Story-themed family-style meal. It’s a new restaurant with pretty good barbecue! $$$
Sci- Fi Dine- In Theater – The food is nothing great, but the environment is really cool. The restaurant is set up to look like a drive-in theater. You eat your meal in a car and watch old “scary” clips of movies! $$

Hollywood Studios Quick Service

Woody’s Lunch Box – Home of my favorite grilled cheese!
Ronto Roasters – Star Wars Themed Food
Milk Stand – Blue and green “milk” from Star Wars. It’s super sweet, but kids love it!
Baseline Tap House – A great place to stop for a drink, and they have the best cheese boards and big pretzels!
Backlot Express – Good, quick fast food. They have everything from salads, chicken tenders, and burgers!

Restaurants at Disney Springs

Chef Smith Homecoming
Gideons – A MUST for desserts & sweet treats!

Restaurants Not in the Park – On the Monorail Loop

Ohana – This is at the Polynesian. Breakfast is a character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. It’s so good!! But I absolutely love Ohana for dinner. $$$$
Chef Mickey’s – This is in The Contemporary. I would recommend going for breakfast if you were to go. It’s a character breakfast with all of the main Disney characters. You will see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Pluto. It’s buffet style, easy, and close! $$$
Steakhouse 71 – Also located in The Contemporary. We’ve never been but we’ve heard good things. It’s a relatively new restaurant. $$

Disney World Rides, Shows, and Attractions

Magic Kingdom Rides for Younger Kids

• Carousel
• Small World 
• Haunted Mansion – but it IS scary, so be cautious
• Aladdin’s Magic Carpets 
• Pirates of the Caribbean 
• The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
• Under the Sea – The journey of the little mermaid 
• Dumbo
• Mad Tea Party 
• Tomorrowland Speedway
• Tron – Really, really cool roller coaster, but you either need to pay per person OR get a virtual queue for it. You have to get a virtual queue at 7:00 am or 1:00 pm.

Magic Kingdom Rides for Older Kids

• Pirates of the Caribbean
• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
• Haunted Mansion 
• Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Always a long wait and kind of overrated, so if it’s a long wait, I’d recommend skipping it!
• Tomorrowland Speedway
• Space Mountain

Epcot Rides for Younger Kids

• Spaceship Earth 
• Nemo Ride
• Living with the Land 
• Journey Into Imagination 
• Disney and Pixar Short Film
• Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure 
• Frozen Ride
• Grand Fiesta Tour Staring the Three Caballeros

Epcot Rides for Older Kids

• Guardians of the Galaxy – MUST DO ROLLER COASTER! If your kids like rollercoasters, it’s a really cool indoor rollercoaster. It’s my new favorite ride in all of the parks. It’s Marvel-themed, which I know nothing about. It’s another ride that is either a virtual queue or pay per person.
• Test Track
• Soarin’

Hollywood Studios Rides + Attractions for Younger Kids

• Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
• Mickey Animated Shorts
• Muppets 3D
• Alien Swirling Saucers
• Toy Story Mania
• Disney Junior Play and Dance Show
• Beauty and The Beast Live Show
• Meet Olaf 
• Frozen Show – SUCH a GOOD one!
• Fantasmic – They now have an 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm show time!!

Hollywood Studios Rides for Older Kids

• Tower of Terror 
• Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 
• Slinky Dog Dash
• Millennium Falcon – Star Wars ride, but we like Rise of the Resistance better!
• Rise of the Resistance 
• Star Tours – older Star Wars ride

More Attractions

Disney Springs – Tons of shopping, great restaurants, and a really fun place to explore!

Disney Boardwalk – It’s beautiful! And a perfect place to relax and let the kids run.
There is a grass area where you can eat food hang and relax. Also, family bikes, boardwalk games, shopping etc., and a boat that takes you to and from Epcot

Disney World Tips + Tricks

⁃ Early mornings and closing hours have the shortest lines and wait times!!
⁃ People mover is amazing and relaxing (Located in Magic Kingdom)
⁃ Bring or rent a stroller! Even if your kids don’t use it anymore, they will be worn out and tired!
⁃ Order Minnie/ Mickey ears ahead of time. You can get them way cheaper on Amazon! Same goes for light up wands and bubble toys! I will attach them in my Amazon storefront! Trust me on this, this will save you so much money!!
⁃ You can bring your own food and drinks into the park! So stock up on water and snacks. They’re expensive in the park. Water bottle is $5.00!!
⁃ Wear sneakers!!
⁃ Bring ponchos! Florida weather is so temperamental, and it can rain one second and be sunny the next!
⁃ The Memory Maker Package is so worth it! You can get tons of family photos at different spots and they’ll send them right to your phone.
⁃ If you have a chance, check out Disney Springs!
⁃ Don’t forget to take breaks and enjoy your resort! There is so much to do at the resorts, and the kids just love hanging at the pools! Disney is exhausting, so it’s nice to have a day to chill at the resort in between parks.
⁃ DAS Pass- If you have a medical need, go up front and ask for a DAS Pass. This pass will let you book ride by ride, and save tons of time and waiting in line. It’s a lifesaver.

Disney Packing List

To make things extra easy on you, I’ve created a Disney Packing List! Download it here!