If you’re a major Disney fan, you yearn to check off various experiences, whether you have a formal list or not.
You’re in luck, as I have compiled 50 Disney Bucket List Items – most of them related to the parks and other destinations, but others as well – that you can work toward achieving.
1. Attend a 24-hour celebration at the parks. These occasions are rare, and draw big crowds, but might be worth it to say that you rode Space Mountain at 4 a.m.
2. Start a collection of Disney items. Examples include everything from buttons and pins, to figurines, Tsum-Tsum plushies, and even snow globes. The collection can be as expensive or cost-efficient as you make it. One piece of advice: it helps to start with a theme.
3. Pilot the Frontierland riverboat. Through putting in a simple request, you can “steer” the watercraft and earn a certificate, too.
4. Head to Walt Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri. The Walt Disney Hometown Museum may be worth your visit if in the area, and essentially represents one stop on the Disney fan pilgrimage. Another stop is further down the list.
5. Sit in the front of the monorail. For amazing views and a unique experience, this cannot be beat.
6. Attend the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Ever wanted to see a topiary of Buzz Lightyear and also get gardening tips? Here’s your opportunity.
7. Take a behind-the-scenes park tour. There are a ton of them offered at the parks, especially in Walt Disney World.
8. Watch all Walt Disney Animation Studios films. Yeah, that 55-movie marathon could take an entire long weekend to complete, so you might be best off watching one every week during the year. Do not forget hidden treasures like Fantasia 2000.
9. Attend Dapper Day. It’s that celebration at the Disney parks where you have to wear your finest attire. Just be careful not ruining your clothes by indulging in a potentially messy ice cream treat.
10. Write a Disney-themed book. Thankfully, it is easier than ever to get out your work, due in part to publishers like Theme Park Press and others that allow Disney fans with fantastic stories and insights to share.
11. Stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii. Perhaps the must-see destination on Oahu for the Disney folk. Check it out in the YouTube video below by the Disney Parks channel.
12. Design a Disney costume. This might be your incentive to participate in a Halloween costume contest. Tons of videos online provide ideas and tutorials on embarking on this process.
13. Attend the D23 Expo. For the true Disney fan, you cannot miss this biennial opportunity in Anaheim.
14. Ride a hot air balloon at Disney (via Characters in Flight). A low-cost way to take to the skies in a unique vehicle also provides magnificent views of Walt Disney World.
15. Propose/get engaged, married, or honeymoon at a Disney destination. Dreams come true in more ways than one.
16. Attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Even more appealing is that this is your one place to see Hocus Pocus‘s Sanderson Sisters.
17. Dine at Club 33. The price tag and wait list limits the pool, so it helps to have a friend or connection to help get you in the door.
18. Design a room in your home around a Disney theme. Simple touches can transform a room into a magical setting. One room in my abode, for instance, is akin to visiting Tomorrowland, complete with concept artwork.
19. Visit Disneyland Paris Resort. Disney’s European destination possesses some one-of-a-kind attractions, including a ride themed around Ratatouille.
20. Visit Tokyo Disneyland Resort. Tokyo DisneySea is considered by many to be the best Disney theme park in the world.
21. Visit Hong Kong Disneyland. After a rather lackluster debut, newer attractions like the trackless Mystic Manor, Iron Man Experience, and Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars have upped the ante.
22. Visit Shanghai Disney Resort. Mainland China opened its first Disney theme park last year, boasting an impressive array of state-of-the-art attractions, including the first Tron coaster.
23. Surf at Typhoon Lagoon. Sure, it’s an upgrade, and you have to wake up early, but this is a rare chance to catch some waves outside an ocean context. The video by the Disney Parks YouTube channel captures the excitement.
24. Celebrate your birthday in the parks. Just time that trip around your special day, wear a birthday badge, and you might be the recipient of some unexpected surprises and treats.
25. Participate in a runDisney race. Training for a marathon could never be more magical than this. The popular events are held around the world, though Walt Disney World is the site of the main ones.
26. Visit The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. Every now and then, Disney D23 offers screenings and tours at the notable studio.
27. Attend a concert by a famous Disney musician or voice talent. Folks like Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, and Lea Salonga occasionally perform to the general public.
28. Voyage on a transatlantic or European Disney cruise. This requires an investment of time, adventure, and potentially some degree of resistance to sea sickness.
29. Go on a Segway tour at one of the parks/resorts. It’s a super fun way to navigate the Disney settings.
30. Walk underneath the Magic Kingdom via the Utilidors. A seven-hour-long Walt Disney World tour takes guests through these basement passages.
31. Visit The Walt Disney Family Museum. Here’s your second Disney pilgrimage stop. Several years ago I visited the museum and, needless to say, was enchanted by the thoroughness and interactivity of the place on the Presidio. Take a look at my experiences in the video below.
32. Stay at Fort Wilderness. It’s camping, Disney style. Close to the Magic Kingdom, yet feeling like a secluded paradise, Fort Wilderness is a Walt Disney World mainstay.
33. Purchase a prop from an extinct Disney attraction. Of course, eBay continues to be the one-stop shop for some of these rare finds.
34. Get a silhouette portrait cut on Main Street, U.S.A. Affordable and awesome, these portraits are perfect for hanging in your home.
35. Go horseback riding in Walt Disney World. This is just another reason to check out Fort Wilderness.
36. Try 50 “unique” Disney desserts. You might need to come up with a number that suits you, but it’s worth checking out treats that are unique to specific places. The Carrot Cake Cookie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be the first to mark off the list.
37. See a Disney musical on Broadway. Current options include The Lion King and Aladdin. Next year brings Frozen. “Do you want to be a showman?” should be some of the new lyrics.
38. Take a picture with a rarely-seen character. It requires a lot of patience, potentially luck, and often times some asking around, but every now and then you can find the likes of Hercules and Megara, among others, wandering the parks.
39. Invest in Disney Vacation Club. Consider this a goal to attain sometime in the coming decades, as the cost investment is preventative for most. Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is the newest option, as seen in this video from the Disney Parks YouTube channel.
40. Throw a Disney-themed party. This month, for instance, might be perfect for dressing like Barbossa and staging a Pirates of the Caribbean party. You can watch one of the films in preparation for Dead Men Tell No Tales, or all four if you want to make it a ten-hour event.
41. Surprise a relative with a Disney trip. Countless videos along these lines circulate the web, but there’s always an opportunity to make it happen for a loved one.
43. Eat at each of the Walt Disney World resort hotels. This can take a while, but your stomach will thank you if you are intentional about where and what you consume.
44. Ride an Amphicar in Disney Springs. It’s a car. It’s a boat. It’s both! Take a ride/cruise in one of these awesome vehicles.
45. Name a child after a Disney character. Maybe you’re not going to name your baby Pooh Bear, but I think Winnie is pretty sweet.
46. Create a piece of art inspired by Disney. This might serve as a good reason to take up those drawing lessons you’ve been meaning to enroll in for years.
47. Participate in a Disney theme park stage show. Getting picked to partake in the Indiana Jones show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is just one example of how you can get that showbiz side of you out.
48. Help open the Magic Kingdom as the “family of the day.” You cannot necessarily plan on this one, so frequent visits to the park may increase the odds.
49. Spend a day at a park during a momentous anniversary. You pick the occasion, whether it be a graduation, family reunion, or something else.
50. Develop a Disney “picture wall” of moments at the parks. This is all the more reason to snap a photo every moment you can.
How many of these bucket list items have you completed? How many do you yearn to complete? Share your thoughts.
This is Brett Nachman, signing off.
Join me again on Thurs, May 18 for a very special reflective edition of Disney In Depth.