We're having Disney superfans share their favorite things to do at the theme parks

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Photos of people at Disney and Micky Mouse in front of Disney castle 2x1
Amber Wainwright; Kayleigh Price; Megan DuBois; Stephanie Machado; Rachel Mendelson/Insider
  • Insider has asked 12 Disney fans to share their favorite things to do, see, and eat at the parks.

  • Frequent visitors love classic attractions like the Carousel of Progress and Tower of Terror.

  • They also shared food recommendations from Casey's Corner, Satu'il Canteen, and Wine Bar George.

As part of our Disney Diaries series, Insider has been gathering must-do lists from people who love visiting the theme parks.

Here are some of their favorite things to do, see, and eat.

Kayleigh Price worked at Disney World for 2 years and still visits the parks often

Casey's Corner is the best quick-service restaurant at Magic Kingdom

kayleigh price working at casey's corner magic kingdom disney world
Kayleigh Price worked at Casey's Corner.Kayleigh Price

Even before working there, Kayleigh Price said she loved ordering from Casey's Corner and eating the all-American comfort food in front of Cinderella Castle

The menu mostly consists of hot dogs and fries, but it's known for its corn-dog nuggets.

Walt Disney Presents is a must for longtime Disney fans

Walt Disney Presents is a museum-like exhibit in Hollywood Studios that teaches guests about Walt Disney.

There's also a theater at the end of the attraction that is typically playing the "One Man's Dream" documentary about Disney's life and work. At certain points throughout the year, the theater instead shows special trailers or seasonal videos.

The wait at Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway can be long, but it's worth it

kayleigh price working at mickey and minnie's runaway railway at disney world
Kayleigh Price worked at the ride in Hollywood Studios.Kayleigh Price

As one of Disney World's newest attractions, and another spot she personally worked at, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is a must for Price every time she visits the parks.

She loves all the little details throughout the preshow and ride, as well as the catchy song played throughout.

Read Kayleigh Price's full Disney Diary: I worked at Disney World for 2 years. Here are 16 things I always do when I visit the parks.

Travel planner Kari Becker has been to Disney World over 40 times with and without kids

Grand Floridian Cafe is a great breakfast spot before a day at Magic Kingdom

plate with a muffin and a bowl of oatmeal at the grand floridian cafe in disney world
The food is great, and so is the setting.Kari Becker

If you're looking for a fun breakfast before heading to Magic Kingdom, travel planner Kari Becker finds the Grand Floridian Cafe delightful.

Every meal in the beautifully decorated dining room comes with warm biscuits and butter, and Becker recommends ordering the eggs Benedict and hash-brown casserole.

Pro tip: Ask for a table by the window so you can take in the grounds of the resort.

The 'Finding Nemo' show is stacked with talented performers

Before it closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, "Finding Nemo – The Musical" was a must-see for Becker on every trip to Animal Kingdom.

Now, the park is bringing back a new-and-improved version of the show called "Finding Nemo: Big Blue ... And Beyond."

Becker especially recommends the show for parents with kids as her own boys are drawn in by the beautiful storytelling.

You have to ride the monorail at least once every Disney trip

the monorail at disney world in florida
You can get some fun views of the property.Kari Becker

No matter where you're staying, on or off property, it's always worth taking spin on the monorail.

The nostalgic Disney transportation is fun for adults and kids alike, and it's convenient if you're looking to visit one of the Magic Kingdom resorts for shopping or dining.

Read Kari Becker's full Disney Diary: I'm a travel planner who's been to Disney World over 40 times. Here are 13 things I always do at the parks.

Carly Caramanna has been going to the parks for over 30 years, visiting Disney World over 500 times

Wine Bar George at Disney Springs is one of the best restaurants across the property

After visiting the Disney parks for over 30 years, Carly Caramanna's first pick for dinner reservations is Wine Bar George in Disney Springs.

It's owned and led by a master sommelier and has menu items like savory chimichurri skirt steak and creamy burrata along with over 140 wines.

Living With the Land doesn't always get the hype it deserves

micky shaped shrubs on living with the land at epcot
The ride is relaxing and educational.Carly Caramanna

Soarin' Around the World gets a lot of hype at Epcot, but Living With the Land right next door is one of Caramanna's favorite rides.

The slow-moving attraction explores the history of farming, rides past actual Disney greenhouses, and rarely has a long wait.

It's extra fun to visit Epcot during a festival

Epcot has been hosting festivals since the 1990s, and there are currently four throughout the year: International Food and Wine Festival, International Festival of the Holidays, International Festival of the Arts, and International Flower and Garden Festival.

Guests can sample new dishes and beverages inspired by international cuisines and enjoy unique entertainment offerings all around the World Showcase.

Read Carly Caramanna's full Disney Diary: I go to Disney World every month. Here are 16 things I always do, see, and eat at the parks.

After working at 26 locations across Disney World, Saira Umar has found her favorite things to do

Disney Springs has lots to explore and it's free to enter

saira and friend at disney springs photo op
Seeing “Avengers: Endgame” in Disney Springs was iconic.Saira Umar

You could easily spend a day exploring Disney Springs — the property's free dining, shopping, and entertainment district.

Saira Umar, who worked at Disney World, recommends grabbing treats from the Ganachery, Gideon's Bakehouse, or Amorette's Patisserie while you're there.

It's almost always worth it to take a midday break from the parks

Umar has found that getting to the parks early is key for cruising through the lines of some of the most popular attractions.

It also gives you time to take a much-needed break in the afternoon by seeing an indoor, air-conditioned show like "Mickey's PhilharMagic" in Magic Kingdom, the Short Film Festival in Epcot, "Finding Nemo – The Musical" in Animal Kingdom, or "Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy" in Hollywood Studios.

Epcot is known for drinking 'around the world,' but Animal Kingdom has some great drinks, too

saira drinking a drink in animal kingdom in front of you are most beautiful sign
There are fun drinks and photo ops at Animal Kingdom.Saira Umar

Umar is a fan of the alcoholic and kid-friendly drinks at Animal Kingdom.

She recommends the Frozen Flamingo (strawberry-and-passion-fruit slush) at Harambe Market, Pink Lotus (strawberry-lychee lemonade) at Thirsty River Bar, Night Lotus (apple, pear, and lime slush with passion-fruit boba) at Pongu Pongu, and frozen Coke from various locations.

Read Saira Umar's full Disney Diary: I worked at 26 locations in Disney World. Here are 17 things I do, see, and eat every time I visit.

Noelani Soto grew up in Miami and developed the perfect schedule for a 1-day trip

Dole Whip is always a must

Dole Whip is a classic Disney snack that's perfect for a warm afternoon at the parks.

Noelani Soto, who grew up taking short trips to Disney World from Miami, recommends the vanilla-and-pineapple swirl.

Pro tip: Place a mobile order and pick up in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom to skip the line.

Even if you're not staying there, it's fun to explore the Grand Floridian Resort

woman walking down a pathway at the grand floridian resort disney world
The fancy resort is worth visiting.Noelani Soto

Resort-hopping is a fun way to spend an afternoon, especially when you get to check out some of the fancier spots, like the Grand Floridian.

The Disney resorts also sometimes offer free activities, food, or beverages around the grounds.

Soto has been able to enjoy champagne and s'mores on different visits to the Grand Floridian.

After a day at the parks, you can grab a late-night cupcake at Disney Springs

An ATM at Sprinkles in Disney Springs offers cupcakes and cookies 24/7.

It's great for late-night cravings after a day at the parks.

Read Noelani Soto's full Disney Diary: I've perfected visiting Disney World for just 24 hours. Here are 12 things I try to do every time I visit.

Annual passholder Megan duBois has been visiting Disney World for over 25 years

Selfies are a great way to save memories from each trip

megan dubois taking a selfie with her family at disney world
It's fun to document the day at the parks.Megan duBois

Annual passholder Megan duBois has started taking selfies with her group right when she gets to Disney World in front of the park icons, like Cinderella Castle, the Tree of Life, the Chinese Theater, and the Spaceship Earth ball.

If you visit the parks often, it's a great way to create a memory for each trip.

Always head to Tower of Terror when there's a 13-minute wait

Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios has a little-known trick. Whenever the ride has a 13-minute wait on the My Disney Experience app or the boards around the park, it usually means there's actually no line at all.

This same 13-minute rule also applies at Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom.

End a day at Animal Kingdom with a ride on Flight of Passage

queue for flight of passage in pandora land of animal kingdom
The experience inside Pandora is totally different when the sun goes down.Megan duBois

The line for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom is usually over an hour long, so duBois recommends going right before the park closes.

The wait time might still be listed at 60 minutes, but the actual wait is typically 30 minutes or less.

Read Megan duBois' full Disney Diary: I've had a Disney World annual pass for nearly 25 years. Here are 13 things I do every time I visit.

Tarah Chieffi has 30 years of experience exploring the Disney parks

Instead of waiting in line for meet and greets, book character meals

tarah and her child with mickey mouse at chef mickey's restaurant
Chef Mickey's is so close to Magic Kingdom and you can meet Mickey.Tarah Chieffi

If you want to avoid character meet-and-greet lines, longtime Disney-goer Tarah Chieffi recommends booking a character breakfast instead.

They usually include four or five characters circulating the room, stopping at each table for photos and autographs.

It's best to make a reservation 60 days before your trip, as these spots are popular.

You can get a better view of the Magic Kingdom parades in Frontierland

All of the parades at Magic Kingdom start in the back corner of Frontierland between Splash Mountain and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn, and it's a great spot to watch them with slightly smaller crowds.

Since it's the start of the route, you also usually get a lot of extra waves from the characters on the parade floats. Plus you can move on to your next activity while everyone else is still watching the show.

Satu'il Canteen at Animal Kingdom is one of the best restaurants across the property

plates of food from Satu’li Canteen in animal kingdom
Satu’li Canteen has one of the best quick service menus at Disney World.Tarah Chieffi

Chieffi doesn't typically make a lot of sit-down reservations at Disney World. Instead, her family loves quick-service spots like Satu'li Canteen in Animal Kingdom's Pandora section.

The food is customizable and suitable for a range of diets.

She recommends the cheeseburger pods (which she says taste just like a McDonald's cheeseburger) and the green Hawkes' Grog ale.

Read Tarah Chieffi's full Disney Diary: I've been going to Disney World for over 30 years. Here are 14 things I always do there.

Stephanie Machado lives 15 minutes from Disney World and visits weekly

You can grab a Starbucks coffee at each of the theme parks

Stephanie Machado goes to Disney World multiple times a week, and as a coffee lover, she highly recommends grabbing a cup at Main Street Bakery (Starbucks) in Magic Kingdom.

Each park has a unique Starbucks location with a themed name.

Get in line for any rides you missed right before the park closes

stephanie and her husband in line for space mountain at disney world
It's the perfect time to get on popular rides that usually have long lines.Stephanie Machado

When you visit the parks often, riding every single ride isn't usually a priority. But Machado has a trick for landing in the shortest lines for must-do attractions.

She waits until the end of the night, especially if there's a nighttime show distracting much of the crowd.

There are several fun resorts to explore near Epcot

If you need a break, Machado recommends leaving Epcot through the International Gateway exit and grabbing a snack at the BoardWalk Inn or the Beach Club.

Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club serves humongous sundaes.

Read Stephanie Machado's full Disney Diary: My husband and I live 15 minutes from Disney World. Here are 7 things we do every time we visit.

As a current Disneyland employee, Amber Wainwright has tips for the California parks

Take fun photos with fewer crowds around Pixar Pier

amber posing in front of pixar pier sign at disneyland
There are lots of fun, colorful spots around Pixar Pier.Amber Wainwright

Castle pictures are iconic, but the area in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland is often very crowded.

Luckily, Disneyland employee Amber Wainwright says there are several other beautiful photo spots across the parks that are covered in artwork, like the wall on Pixar Pier.

Galaxy's Edge is a must for 'Star Wars' fans

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is home to the fictional planet of Batuu, and it's a great place for unique shopping, dining, and character experiences.

Wainwright highlighted eating Ronto Wraps at Ronto's Roasters, building a lightsaber at Savi's Workshop, and hunting rebel scum with Kylo Ren.

Catch a unique view of the fireworks from the Incredicoaster

amber riding a rollercoaster at disneyland
You can see the fireworks from some of the rides.Amber Wainwright

One of the most unique ways to watch the nighttime fireworks is from the Incredicoaster in Disney's California Adventure.

You get a bird's-eye view of the show while also riding one the of park's best coasters.

Read Amber Wainwright's full Disney Diary: I'm a VIP tour guide at Disneyland. Here are 12 of my favorite things to do in the parks.

Jackie Perrin visits Disney World with her kids and has stayed at every resort

Toy Story Mania is the best ride for families with kids

Jackie Perrin and her family make sure to ride Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios at least twice every trip.

Her family members get competitive about who gets the highest score on the interactive ride.

If you're at Magic Kingdom, she recommends Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin as a similar ride.

Main Street is full of hidden entertainment gems

jackie posing with the suffragettes on main street in disney world
The suffragettes are one of the many roaming groups.Jackie Perrin

There are so many little entertainment opportunities up and down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, particularly right after the park opens.

The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet gives a welcoming serenade and the Citizens of Main Street and Women's Suffragists interact with guests.

It's nice to spend some time at the resort pool at the hottest part of the day

People usually visit Disney for the theme parks, but Perrin said the resort pools shouldn't be missed.

Her kids love playing there, and there's sometimes even poolside entertainment like dance parties, games, trivia contests, and evening movies.

Some of her favorite Disney pools are at Caribbean Beach Resort, Wilderness Lodge, and the Beach Club Resort.

Read Jackie Perrin's full Disney Diary: I've visited almost every Disney World resort with my kids. Here are 15 things we always do at the parks.

Richard Keller regularly takes his 5 kids to Disneyland on a budget

Bring your own water bottles to the park so you can stay hydrated throughout the day

One of the best tips Richard Keller has for visiting Disneyland after making several trips with his family of seven is to pack your own water bottles.

The heat can leave you dehydrated, and buying drinks at the parks can be pricey, especially for big families.

Pro tip: Fill them up with ice ahead of time so the water stays cool throughout the day.

Churros are one of the best snack options at the parks, and they're big enough to share

hand holding container of churros covered in chocolate and peanuts
The chocolate-peanut churros are amazing.Sarah Gilliland

Churros are one of the most classic snacks at Disneyland, and they cost less than $10.

Plus, Keller said his family is usually full after sharing one or two.

He highlighted the cart near Haunted Mansion, which tends to have a shorter line and offers numerous shady places to sit nearby.

You can usually find merchandise on sale in the shops

Shopping for souvenirs with lots of kids can be stressful, but Keller has it down to a science.

They stop at the shops on Main Street on their way out of the park and check the sales racks, which sometimes offer things for up to 50% off.

Read Richard Keller's full Disney Diary: My family of 7 has gone to Disneyland for years on a tight budget. Here are 14 things we do to save money.

Sofía Olivar currently works at Epcot and has recommendations across Disney World

Big Disney fans will get a kick out of the Carousel of Progress

sofia posing in front of the carousel of progress wearing a jean mickey hat
The Carousel of Progress is in Magic Kingdom.Sofía Olivar

Disney World employee Sofía Olivar always rides the Carousel of Progress when she visits Magic Kingdom.

The classic attraction was built for the 1964-1965 World's Fair, and it has a catchy theme song and detailed sets.

The wait is also always less than 15 minutes, and the indoor show offers 20 minutes of respite from the sun.

The 'Hub grass' is a great spot to enjoy lunch

The lawns in front of Cinderella Castle (referred to as the "Hub grass") are the perfect spots to enjoy breakfast or lunch.

Olivar recommends a coffee from Main Street Bakery (Starbucks) and the loaded tots from Friar's Nook in Fantasyland — her favorite quick-service location in the park.

The margaritas in the Mexico Pavilion are a must

two peopling holding margaritas from mexico in epcot disney world
The best margaritas are inside the pyramid.Sofía Olivar

Olivar said La Cava del Tequila, located inside the pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, has the best margaritas in Disney World.

But if you're looking for a frozen treat, you can also stop at Choza de Margarita outside.

Read Sofía Olivar's full Disney Diary: I've worked at Disney World for 3 years. Here are 14 things I always do at the parks.

Read the original article on Insider