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I've worked at Disney World for 3 years, and I'm currently stationed in Epcot's France pavilion.
I love the loaded tots from Friar's Nook and the margaritas from La Cava del Tequila.
I always make time for the parades, characters, and firework shows throughout the parks.
Although I haven't reached that goal yet, I started working at Disney World three years ago as a merchandise host at Coronado Springs Resort through the Disney College Program. Now I'm doing my second college program as an attractions operator at Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot.
Regardless of how many times I visit, there's always something new to try at the parks, so I have an ever-evolving list of things to do, see, and eat.
I've found some of the best spots to watch the Magic Kingdom parades
In terms of Magic Kingdom's parade and cavalcades, I have two places I love to watch: right on Main Street or at the base of the Liberty Square bridge.
Main Street can get very crowded, so I recommend saving your spot early. Even though there might be a lot of people, your pictures will look amazing with the shops and castle in the background.
People aren't allowed to stand on the actual Liberty Square bridge during the parades, so standing right next to where the bridge starts will make you the first person the characters greet when they cross it. It's a great spot for fun interactions.
Pro tip (especially for shorter people like me): Stand behind trash cans, strollers, or wheelchairs. That way no one will block your view.
There's nothing like having lunch with a view of Cinderella Castle
Whenever I visit Magic Kingdom I like to get a coffee from Main Street Bakery (Starbucks) and an order of loaded tots from Friar's Nook in Fantasyland.
The toppings on the tots change every so often — my favorite is Buffalo chicken — and ever since I was introduced to them, I stopped going to any other quick-service locations.
Once I have my food and drink, I'll sit on the lawns at the end of Main Street (called the "Hub grass") and enjoy my lunch with a view of Cinderella Castle.
One of my favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom is the Carousel of Progress
My family and I never miss the opportunity to belt out the "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" theme song on the Carousel of Progress.
As a set designer, I love seeing the details of the transformation of an American home throughout the 20th century.
The attraction is a little older — it was actually designed for the 1964–1965 World's Fair — and many people don't care for it. But I have a special love for it since it was Walt Disney's own conception.
If that's not enough, you'll never have to wait in line for more than five minutes, and you get to rest your feet for a good 20 minutes.
The food at Epcot is always amazing, but I try to stick to the seasonal offerings
Epcot has some of the best food at Disney World. But with so many options, it can be hard to narrow down what to eat on each trip.
I recommend sticking to the seasonal festival booths around the World Showcase that rotate throughout the year for Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, and Festival of the Holidays.
If you're anything like me and love to try new things, you'll be able to enjoy lots of little bites — especially if you're traveling with family and friends who want to share.
Visiting the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot means mandatory margaritas
The Choza de Margarita outside of the pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion has good frozen margaritas, perfect for a hot summer day.
But I always order my drink inside the pyramid at La Cava del Tequila. I'm from Mexico, and I'll vouch for these margaritas.
No matter how long the line is, they're worth it. I especially love the avocado margarita.
If you're a fan of Jungle Cruise, eat at Skipper Canteen
According to the restaurant's backstory, the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD was started by Dr. Albert Falls. But as his business declined, the cargo-shipping company started hosting sightseeing cruises (i.e. Jungle Cruise).
Then Dr. Albert's granddaughter, Alberta, turned the company's headquarters into a restaurant for the hungry cruise passengers.
At the Skipper Canteen, you'll be able to try delicious meals inspired by Asian, South American, and African cuisines. Plus all three dining rooms are filled with amazing memorabilia and Easter eggs.
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is also fun for adventurers
Trader Sam's is a hidden gem at the Polynesian Resort that also has an adventurous backstory.
The titular owner decided to open a tiki bar and asked his friends at the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD to help him decorate his new space. You'll find incredible immersive theming and delicious tropical-inspired drinks.
Keep in mind this place is rather small and fills up very quickly. Be prepared to wait in line, but it's completely worth it.
The servers have an amazing sense of humor and make a spectacle out of every drink you order.
There's something magical about watching nighttime fireworks shows
If you've only ever seen the fireworks from inside the parks, there are other fun ways to experience them.
For Magic Kingdom's nighttime shows, I recommend going to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or Contemporary resorts.
You'll get amazing seats to view the fireworks, and the resorts also play the soundtrack to the show.
Frozen Viking coffee is one of my latest favorites
When you visit Epcot, make sure to stop by Norway's hidden gem, the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.
The small bakery sells all sorts of delicious Norwegian pastries and drinks.
After a friend recommended it, I tried its frozen coffee with Bailey's and Kamora coffee liqueur and fell in love.
It's refreshing and not too sweet — the perfect afternoon dessert.
If you're an 'Indiana Jones' fan, check out Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar
Located in the heart of Disney Springs, Jock Lindsey's is perfect for an evening of amazing cocktails and delicious snacks.
It's themed after "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark." The story is that Jock Lindsey, Indy's friend, adapted his airplane hangar into a rest stop for travelers and locals to visit.
Make sure to ask for seating indoors so you can take a closer look at all of the trinkets and decorations — but watch out for Jock's pet snake, Reggie, because he might be on the loose.
You don't have to be a kid to get a little pixie dust at Magic Kingdom
Next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, head to Sir Mickey's souvenir shop in Fantasyland and ask an employee if you can get "pixie dusted."
The only thing I'll say, as to not ruin the surprise, is that it'll be an incredibly magical moment that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Yak and Yeti is always on my list of favorite restaurants
When you visit Animal Kingdom, make sure to try Yak and Yeti Restaurant, which offers delicious food inspired by different regions of Asia.
My favorite dish is the ahi tuna nachos. They're recommended for two people, but I wouldn't blame anyone who finished them by themselves.
My favorite thing to do in the parks is meet the characters
There's something incredibly magical about seeing Mickey and the other characters at Disney. I know it can be hard or awkward for some people, but personally, I love the fun interactions.
Don't be afraid to ask them questions, compliment them, or tell them about yourself. They love to hear all about your adventures in the parks.
I have inside knowledge about the best time of day to visit Remy in Paris
At work, people always ask me when the line for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure is the shortest.
Although it's never a guarantee, the line usually dies down to about 20 minutes in the evening right before we close.
But make sure you get your timing right if you're also planning on watching Epcot's Harmonious fireworks show at park close, which I highly recommend.
Read the original article on Insider