I've been going to Disney World since the late-1980s, and now I visit the parks monthly.
I always eat at Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom and the fun lounges across the property.
I always eat at the lounges around the resorts, parks, and Disney Springs.
Disney World's complex dining-reservation system can quickly sour a trip. But luckily, some of the best meals I've ever had on the property have been at the reservation-free lounges at the resorts, parks, and Disney Springs.
Although they often have smaller menus, I think they offer better quality and value.
If I ever make a dining reservation, it's at Wine Bar George in Disney Springs.
If I am looking to make an advanced dining reservation, it will always be at Wine Bar George.
Located at Disney Springs, it's the only restaurant in Florida that's owned and led by a master sommelier. The rustic-chic space offers an incredible menu — including savory chimichurri skirt steak and creamy burrata — along with over 140 wines.
A Disney trip isn't complete for me unless I ride Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom.
Pirates of the Caribbean is quintessential Disney, and it's one of the last attractions that Walt Disney personally oversaw.
There have been some updates over the years to introduce movie characters and get rid of problematic parts of the ride (like the bride auction), but it still has its nostalgic smell, atmosphere, and soundtrack.
A visit to Epcot's Japan pavilion is a must.
You can travel the world in a day at Epcot's World Showcase, but even if I don't have time for every country, I always make sure to stop by the Japan pavilion.
It's home to several fan-favorite dining locations, a sake bar, and one of the only places in America to sip on frozen Kirin (a beer slushie).
The expansive merchandise shop imports the latest Japanese toys, clothing, and snacks. And tucked away in the back of a pavilion is a can't-miss exhibit celebrating Japan's culture of cuteness, Kawaii.
It's fun to hunt down limited-time treats.
One of my favorite parts about making frequent trips to Disney World is being able to try limited-time foods, from specialty cupcakes to new Dole Whip floats.
The classic pineapple Dole Whip is an iconic Disney snack, but I like trying out different flavors like lime, mango, and watermelon when they're available. There are even sometimes fun limited-time creations like Dole Whip tacos.
I love wandering Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, even if I can't get on a ride.
I'm not the biggest fan of the "Star Wars" franchise, but every time I visit Hollywood Studios, I explore Galaxy's Edge.
Securing a virtual boarding group for the Rise of the Resistance attraction is as hard as winning the lottery, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit the immersive, themed land.
It transports you to a galaxy far, far away through incredible detailing, tempting food, and wandering characters.
I make sure to say hello to my favorite cast members.
I always make sure to stop and say hello to some cast members, what Disney calls its park employees.
These are the people who make the parks go round, and they're the heart of the Disney experience.
Some employees have decades under their belt, so if you visit often, chances are you'll spot a few familiar faces. Be kind to them because they might throw a little extra magic your way.
I love visiting during the Epcot festivals.
It's been a family tradition to visit Epcot's festivals since they started in the 1990s.
The park now hosts four festivals throughout the year: International Food and Wine Festival, International Festival of the Holidays, International Festival of the Arts, and International Flower and Garden Festival.
It's a great way to go outside your comfort zone and sample new dishes and beverages inspired by cuisines around the globe. Entertainment also serves as a cornerstone of the festivals as they bring in national chefs, musical acts, and visual artists.
Hollywood Studios has two of the best attractions right next to each other.
Two of the best attractions at Disney World are sitting side by side at Hollywood Studios.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror brings old-school Hollywood to life through chilling thrills and a randomized drop system that keeps riders on their toes.
Right next door, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an indoor launch coaster with five personal speakers for each rider blasting a specialized soundtrack.
I enjoy taking part in special events and experiences.
I love the classic Disney experiences, but the new and seasonal events keep me coming back.
Add-on events usually cost extra, but they're a great way to enhance any trip.
Some of my favorites include a private tequila tasting at La Cava del Tequila at Epcot, a Sangria University at Coronado Springs Resort, and the annual Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic.
Forget drinking around the world, the Animal Kingdom crawl is where it's at.
Most people know about drinking around the world at Epcot, but there's an underrated snack/bar crawl at Animal Kingdom, too.
You can travel around the different lands — namely Africa, Asia, DinoLand USA, and Pandora — and try a variety of delicious bites and drinks.
Don't miss Living With the Land.
The relaxing boat ride explores the history of farming as you coast through thriving greenhouses.
Plus, it's a living and working facility, and Disney actually uses some of the plants grown here in restaurants around the property.
Skipper Canteen is the only Magic Kingdom restaurant worth your time.
Themed to the world-famous Jungle Cruise, the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen is one of the most exciting restaurants in all of Disney World.
It focuses on globally inspired, yet approachable cuisine, and the decor is ripe with subtle nods for Disney's most loyal fans to discover.
It's also one of the only spots in Magic Kingdom that serves alcoholic beverages.
Hanging at Disney Springs is the perfect way to end the day.
I always visit Disney Springs, Disney World's shopping, dining, and entertainment district.
It's home to a number of the property's celebrity-fueled ventures, including restaurants from Masaharu Morimoto, Jose Andres, and Guy Fieri.
This is also where you'll find one of the most unique experiences at Disney World, a ride in one of the last remaining vintage Amphicars. It's a boat-car hybrid vehicle that glides across the neighboring river.
I love riding the Skyliner.
Disney World's newest form of transportation, the Skyliner, has quickly become one of my favorites.
It's free, and the unique gondolas quickly whisk you between select resorts, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.
It's also a really fun way to spend a non-park day. You can hop on and explore the resorts and the Boardwalk.
I'm a big fan of the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs.
Because I visit so often, I'm mindful of my budget for accommodations.
I usually opt to stay at official Disney resorts that are owned by separate companies, like the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista.
Just steps from Disney Springs, the resort still has the usual perks — like extra park hours and complimentary transportation — but for a much better value.
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