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7 Worth-It Disney World Restaurants Where the Food Doesn’t Matter

Satu'li Canteen (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

The idea of creating an experience of a lifetime will take you to the ends of the vacation kingdom to get the best that the Disney company has to offer.

From resorts to parks, you’ll have the ambience and surroundings that may enhance the food or could even make you forget that you’re in the middle of Florida.

Coral Reef

This EPCOT restaurant is surrounded by 2000 sea creatures and the potential of one on your plate – just don’t think about that. It’s all the circle of life right?

Oga’s Cantina

Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

The atmosphere inside the hidden gem of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take you to another planet, along with a DJ who knows exactly what to play the get the room rockin’.


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Victoria & Alberts

I’ve never been in awe of a dining experience as much as the Queen Victoria’s Room at Victoria & Alberts. The food was an after-thought to the total feeling of being in the presence of classic Disney hospitality.

Satuli Canteen

It’s a must-do on every trip, as the theming will leave you looking at all the details in the main dining room. It’s also a blast to look at the hidden gems around the ordering area, including more back-story elements.

Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

This is an easy one. Stepping foot into one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and seeing the level of commitment to the story will make the meal incredibly enjoyable. The best room is definitely the West Wing, as it’s breathtaking.


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Enzo’s Hideaway

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to talk about this hidden spot at Disney Springs, but you definitely don’t need to worry about the food when you’re in a hideaway! Take a look around and try not to get lost when you’re finding your way to the washroom (It’ll happen – don’t stress too much)

Space 220

Space 220 at EPCOT (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

All-encompassing shopping at Disney is called ‘merchantainment’, but this is a level of immersiveness that could only be found at a Disney World restaurant. Let’s call it what it is….the Space 220 total experience is out of this world!


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Honourable Mentions

  • San Angel Inn
  • Sci-fi Dine-in
  • Contemo Cafe
  • T-REX

Hope this was helpful on your next trip to Walt Disney World!

10 Things You’ll Regret Not Doing at Disney World

Vans and Disney Collection at Walt Disney World (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Regret is real. The fear of missing out with the idea of prioritizing your spending and time will always make for decisions that could be regrettable.

Disney World is full of decisions that you have to make – and sometimes you choose poorly.

Here are the things that you’ll definitely think about when you’re at the Orlando International Airport, waiting for your flight home.

Eating Something New

Joffrey’s at Disney Springs (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)
  • Dole Whip is amazing, but have you ever had a Lefou’s Brew?
  • Popcorn is great, but have you ever had Zebra Domes?
  • Starbucks is just starbucks…maybe try Joffrey’s Cold Brew?

Recharge Time

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The most common response to a Disney World vacation is that you need a vacation to recover from the experience, and it’s completely true.

Take time in the parks and the resorts for a relaxing 15-minutes where you don’t have anywhere to be and can just enjoy your surroundings.

Exploring

Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

This can be as simple as taking a different route from Pandora: The World of Avatar to Expedition Everest or taking changing up the mode of transportation that you use for a mid-day adventure away from the parks.

There are always more things to see at Walt Disney World.


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Selfies

I’m a fan of making sure that everyone has a memory – even if people don’t like being in photos. Being the “photographer” means that the memories are on the other side of the lens and you can’t partake in re-living the experiences later. Trust me – take the selfie!

Getting Up Early

Rope Drop at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

When you snooze…you lose.

We’ve had amazing times at the Magic Kingdom in the mornings before 10am, as you are able to run between the various lands and attractions with minimal waits and full access. This is an important part of the trip, as you can leave the parks as the crowds start to get busy and come back later in the afternoon/evening and not stress about riding attractions that you already checked off your list.

Splurging

Creations Shop at EPCOT (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

I’m already planning how much budget we’ve got for snacks on our next trip – splurge and enjoy the trip.

Remember that splurging may not involve money – sometimes the best splurge is a day-off with an activity that you may not have thought about before – like a tour or a checklist/scavenger hunt.

IF your definition of splurging involves money, then you should 100% get that new shirt or cupcake.


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Checking Social Media

I’ve seen folks suggest that you should turn off your social media channels while you’re at the parks – please don’t.

The number of experiences and updates that you could be missing is astronomical (overstatement, maybe), but I wouldn’t have seen the 626 Dole Whip at Disney’s Polynesian Resort if I didn’t check Disney Food Blog during my June trip.

Advanced Dining Reservations

Breakfast at Ohana (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepsToMagic)

We discuss the concept of ADR’s a lot, but that’s because it’s important.

You’ll want to get a few reservations for your trip. It’ll save you time and effort finding meals, as you’ll be able to check the menus beforehand in addition to being able to have a comfortable air-conditioned time away from the crowds.

Best Dining Reservations? We’ve got an article on it, but the best reservation is one that will add something to your day.

Eating at the Parks before the Airport

This one is easy. The Airport leaves a lot to be desired in the dining category, so eating before you head to the airport will make everything better – you really don’t need a Chick-fil-A or Dunkin before getting on the plane.


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Treat Yo Self

Gaston Christmas Ornament at Bonjour Gifts in the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The final one is simple – the biggest regret that you’ll have is not taking care yourself on the vacation.

  • Do you want a candy apple? Get it
  • Do you want a new shirt? No harm
  • How about spending an hour of back to back rides on Pirates of the Caribbean? Go ahead

A trip to Disney is about enjoying yourself and creating a memory that you’re proud of. Don’t worry about living vicariously through other’s idea of what a ‘dream vacation’ is – you’ll never be able to live up to the expectations.

Hope this was helpful!

Things That We Will Only Do Once at Disney World

Candy Cauldron at Disney Springs (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

There are experiences at Disney World that are avoidable from the outset, but there are things that you just have to do once in order to say that you did it.

So this originally started as a re-write for our 10 Things we will Never Do Again article, but we really wanted to showcase things that we did once and are okay with it. It’s not a negative – just the way it is.

Buying Ears

Mickey Ears (Belle and Disney International Program) Photo: Dustin Fuhs

There are reasons to buy multiple sets of ears, but outside of being a local or a Disney-Bounder, there’s really only so much real estate on top of your head to fill in a single vacation. We’ve brought down the same two pairs of ears for multiple vacations, and there’s been little reason to replace them.


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Buy a Candy Apple

Treat Case at Zuri’s Sweet Shop (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

From personal experience, there are so many candy apples that you can eat. They’re messy and very time consuming, and did we mention that they were messy? Buy one to get the photo and then stick to snacks that are easy to save for later.

Planet Hollywood

We tried Planet Hollywood while on the Disney Dining Plan and as we walked out of the Disney Springs’ restaurant, it was just okay.

When you’re thinking about a Disney World dining reservation, there are hundreds of options to try and avoid “settling” on a restaurant that may not be memorable.


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Keys to the Kingdom

Tours at Disney World are awesome, but once you’ve done the 8-hour Keys to the Kingdom walking tour at the Magic Kingdom, you don’t have to do it again.

The facts don’t change and the only thing that really fluctuates from tour to tour is the personality of the tour guide.

30-Minute Shows

Up! A Great Bird Adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

The American Adventure, Hall of Presidents, Festival of the Lion King and many other shows at Disney World are great to see once. They’re amazing and the attention to detail mixed with the skill of the performers can shock and awe anyone in the audience.

That being said, there is very little repeatability in these entertainment offerings, so once you’ve seen a show…move on to the next.

Timeshare Presentation

IHG Timeshare Presentation – Photo: Dustin Fuhs

Pretty sure we’re not alone in this one, but we made the biggest mistake ever by trying to take advantage of “discounted Universal Orlando tickets” in exchange for sitting in on a timeshare presentation.

Long story short, it’s not worth it. We literally had to spend 2.5 hours in high-pressure sales situations just to save $50 and it’s still something that I talk about all these vacations later. The lies that are told to trick tourists would shock no one after sitting through a presentation, and thus is one of the things that you’ll only do once.


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And Finally…

Booking a Party on the last night of a Vacation

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Train Station (Photo: Dustin Fuhs)

Actually, the regret is less about the activity that you’re planning on doing on your last night of the trip and more about the time that you have to get up to disembark to the airport.

Plan your last couple days to have gaps and free time, but the last vacation night should be something that will be memorable and send you off with a good feeling.

Where to Avoid Crowds in the Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland Transit Authority in the Magic Kingdom (Image by Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Over the years, we’ve been told that the best way to avoid crowds is to pick the right dates for your vacation and to be flexible with your plans.

This is different.

The goal for this topic is to share spots within the Magic Kingdom that you can get away from crowds, big or small. Anxiety is a real thing for folks to deal with and it may take time to get back into being comfortable in a post-firework heard of sheep going to the monorail, so let’s look at locations that you can catch your breath.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority

Tomorrowland from the Tomorrow Transit Authority Peoplemover (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The TTA is 10 minutes in length and can guarantee a nice break from the heat, crowds and is the perfect time to eat a Dole Whip.


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Hub Grass

Cinderella Castle from the HUB Grass (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Directly in front of Cinderella’s Castle is a recent addition – grass! It’s not quite real, and there’s no shade at all but the opportunity to catch your breath in the middle of the Magic Kingdom is definitely something to keep in mind.

Columbia Harbour House – Second Floor

Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom
Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

We’ve talked about this location as one of the best spots for air conditioning and one of the top quick service restaurants in all of Walt Disney World – but it’s also a great spot to escape crowds. Most guests don’t know that there’s a second floor, and in addition to being near a fairly hidden washroom, it’s on our list for a reason.


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Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Similar to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, the Hall of Presidents will give you a breather in an experience that may get out away from the crowds and give you a nice dose of air conditioning. You may not realize how nice it is to sit down until you can’t get back up after the 25-minute show is over.

Splash Pad at Pete’s Silly Sideshow

Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Head past Be Our Guest, through New Fantasyland and keep walking until you’re in the world of the sideshow. With Dumbo on one side and Pete’s Silly Sideshow on the other – you’ll find a splash pad in the theming of a circus train. We’ve been known to hang out here after the sun goes down, as it’s another spot that may not have the best shade from the Florida elements.


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Honourable Mentions

Tom Sawyer’s Island – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
  • Tortuga Tavern – large seating area with mostly empty tables (when available)
  • Tom Sawyer’s Island – the only hesitation is that you have to deal with the rafts to and from the mainland.
  • Haunted Mansion – you get your own doom buggy, but the stretching room could be a challenge.
  • Main Street USA Side street – Can be busy depending on the time of day, but if you get it at the right time – it’s perfect!

The Bonus!

The Walkway to the Contemporary Resort from the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

And if you want the best spot to avoid crowds at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll actually want to leave the park and take a 5-minute walk to either the Contemporary Resort OR the Grand Floridian Resort. It’s completely worth the time if you’re having higher anxiety and need to step away before bailing on your total plans – as it’s all about degrees.

Hope this was helpful!

10 Things That Can Take You Out of The Disney Bubble

Chester and Hester's Dinorama at Disney's Animal Kingdom - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

The Disney Bubble is the collective space that your vacation takes place in, which can include everything from the Orlando International Airport to the Theme Parks and Resorts. Basically, if you can see the “Disney” influence – you’re in the Disney Bubble.

From time to time, things may interrupt your vacation to take you out of the Bubble. Since March 2020, this has been easier to do but there is still a number of things that you may not be expecting to see that will bring you back to reality.

Social Media Notifications

Starting out with an easy one, but anytime your phone buzzes for something that isn’t a dining reservation – it has the potential to take you back to your regular life of responsibility. Before you go into the bubble, make sure to turn off your non-essential notifications.


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Disney Transportation Ads

The Walt Disney Company is one of the most influential media companies in the world and has dozens of brands that could benefit from the kool-aid sipping Walt Disney World vacationeer. Do we really need to know that a new show is debuting on ABC Thursday nights at 8pm?

If it’s not an ad for a Disney World experience (theme park, Disney Springs, Water Parks, etc) then it can take you out of the excitement.

Security Lines

Standing in line to get a bag check – sounds simple eh? It’s the time that brings out the worst in everyone, as there is no procedure or organization. Talk about shattering the fantasy of thinking that everyone has the same manners and remembering that everyone is a fish in the sea.


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Italian Pavilion

The real point is ‘third party participants’, but the best example is the Italian pavilion. Outside companies and folks who are offering services & products in the theme parks can take you out of the experience, as it turns into a situation where you are around non-Disney employed individuals that may be on their phones or completely oblivious that they are “on stage” and “playing a role”.

It’s all about the sale, and it pops the Disney bubble.

Sunglass Hut in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom

Island Supply by Sunglass Hut at the Magic Kingdom
Island Supply by Sunglass Hut at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

There’s a story here, but most guests will only see a brand that they can encounter at the local shopping mall and ask why.

Animal Kingdom Carnival Games

Carnival Games at Chester & Hester’s Dinoland (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

It’s all part of the Chester & Hester Dinoland USA experience, but games of chance can be perceived as something that doesn’t belong in a Disney Theme Park and is just a money grab. I agree with this train of thought, as I don’t want to be yelled at over a microphone to come and drop money for a chance to win a plush toy.


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Starbucks

Connections Cafe Starbucks Location at EPCOT (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

This isn’t a bad thing. I really like the consistency of Starbucks and enjoy the ability to earn rewards at the Disney Springs corporate locations, but it can take you out of the bubble when you see the lines.

Poorly-Maintained Guest-Facing Items

“For what they charge to get into this place, you’d think that Disney can afford a little paint.”

Completely understandable and the in-park experience is what the brand has instilled in the guests because of the prices charged. Expectations can take you back to reality incredibly fast, like a poorly maintained menu at a Main Street USA restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

Surveys

Disney shouldn’t need to have cast members standing at the exits to ask if guests were satisfied. More-so, the cast members aren’t actually empowered to solve problems, so there’s little to gain from the experience and definitely takes you out of the vacation.


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Final Thoughts

Disney World vacations can be interrupted by the outside world in many ways. The end result can take you out of the excitement of a dream trip that you’ve spent significant time and money on – but you can come right back into the bubble with a cupcake!

Uncomfortable Questions To Ask Before a Disney World Vacation

Jungle Cruise Hoodie - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Disney World vacations can be overwhelming and completely subjective, which would make a first-time visitor or a seasoned pro question every single piece of advice that they read on a website. With that being said, there are a number of increasingly uncomfortable topics that are being discussed in private friend groups that could be normalized.

Budget Discussions

Grand Floridian Resort Beach
Grand Floridian Resort Beach – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
  • How much did you spend on hotel?
  • How did you get a discount on food & merchandise?
  • Do you buy ‘x’ before you go down?
  • What credit cards get you access to perks?
  • If you’re from outside of the USA, are there things that you can do to save money on the exchange rate?

All of these are topics that have been asked on countless group boards and will continue to be a subject of conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics from friends and if it’s uncomfortable for you to hear about financials – then maybe you should get over your fear of asking, as it’s important to know what you can avoid paying full rates for.

By the way, people lie about costs all the time. If you don’t believe the answer, ask for proof.


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Food Discussions

Night Blossom at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
  • When did you actually get your Advanced Dining Reservation?
  • How was the food in a non-blog post answer – everything on a vacation can’t be magical. Get credibility by providing honesty
  • Have you ever eaten at ‘X’ and was there a reason why you keep going back OR why you haven’t been back since?
  • Can you take ‘doggy bags’ (or leftovers)?
  • When should you actually go to your reservation and what happens with the reservation fee if you no-show?
  • Can an adult order off the kids menu?

It’s become second nature to just assume that everyone knows everything about a Disney World vacation, but we all didn’t go to Disney University (actual thing, btw) and didn’t all graduate from the College of Disney Knowledge (also a real thing).

Dining and food topics tend to be discussed when you’re planning the trip, but can be overlooked when you’re thinking about the tickets and other factors that can make or break your vacation. Ask the questions because some are easier to answer (yes, adults can order off the kids menu when available) than others (we tend to get an original group of reservations 60 days out, but change almost all of them the week before.)

In addition – most people will lie about the experience if they paid a lot for it and want to make it seem like it wasn’t a poor decision on their part. Rule of thumb on our end is to look at reviews and take the average (throw out the best and the worst) and read the experiences that are in-depth and involve similarities to your trip/party.


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Merchandise Questions

Haunted Mansion 1000 piece puzzle
Haunted Mansion 1000 piece puzzle – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
  • Is everything exclusive to the theme parks?
  • Can you still buy Haunted Mansion merchandise online?
  • What should I do if the shirt I bought is the wrong size when I get back to the resort?
  • How do you see if another store/location has the size you want?
  • Is there actually better merchandise at the resorts than in the parks?

These aren’t too uncomfortable, but the best thing to do is to ask before you actually pay for the item. Is there a warranty? Is there a return policy? Are there discounts available? Talk to the cast members who are working the cash registers, as they are able to answer any questions that you have and can point you in the right direction.

If you see a fan-designed theme park inspired shirt, ask if it’s from TeePublic and see if you can get the link or the name of it. We find designs all the time and it’s so much fun to be wearing unique shirts vs an off-the-rack mass-produced product.


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Final Points

The most uncomfortable questions are usually surrounding something that will only affect your family or a specific topic. “We’re planning to go down in three months and are staying at x-resort and are only buying an x-day ticket pack…” are topics that aren’t easy to answer ahead of time, as things are changing all the time in a post-pandemic era and will require time to solve.

The other thing to keep in mind is that things change all the time, including things that you may have experienced first-hand in the past. Staying up-to-date will allow for your trip to stay memorable and not be full of disappointment.

Hope this was helpful!

Things That We Do On A Vacation That May Be Annoying to Other Guests

Disney Bus at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney Bus at Disney's Contemporary Resort - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

This may be type-casting for someone who owns a trip planning website, but there are definitely things that we do on a vacation that may be difficult to justify to others.

Take photos of signs

Animal Kingdom Signage – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Being a fan of the creative decisions that go into setting the scene for an environment could mean taking a photo of a sign. Normally, folks can be convinced that grabbing a pic of an attraction sign or even a restaurant – but what about when you’re taking a photo of a piece of concept art that adorns the wall of a store?

Order Uber from the bus station

Shocking – we don’t like waiting for Disney Transportation. When you’re on vacation, time is money. Other guests may have a different idea of what could be acceptable for waiting for a bus, but if it’s more than 5 minutes…the UBER app is already open and there’s money on the table that I’m setting the pick-up location to the bus stop.

Ask for specific seats

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Did you know that you could get a different experience when you sit in a certain seat on an attraction? Whether you’re in the backseat on Expedition Everest or the front seat on Living with the Land – there is a difference.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific seat and be prepared to accept an additional wait. Remember that the folks around you may not understand that you have one chance to ride this specific attraction and why settle for a lesser experience when you can control it?


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Talk to the Cast Members

Arribas Bros at Disney Springs
Arribas Bros at Disney Springs – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

I’m one to talk to the Cast Members – and it’s hilarious to everyone around me. As a former CM, it’s always fun to talk about things that don’t focus on the robotic responses that happen in a role (nearest washroom, location of an attraction, etc). It’s one thing that I’ll never apologize for, as the folks working on the front lines are people too.

Take photos in queue lines

Journey Into Imagination with Figment Queue – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Creative departments (Universal Creative & Disney Imagineering) put a lot of thought into the queue lines, as they are telling the full story of the experience. I’m going to enjoy the full attraction, and it may involve taking a fun memento for my collection – like a photo of the Haunted Mansion interactive queue details. #SorryNotSorry

Talking to the Chef at a Restaurant

Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl at Satuli Canteen – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

There are times that you have to ask about allergies and dietary restrictions. Yes, it can be interruptive and annoying to other guests – but the chefs at theme parks are well-trained to be efficient and accommodating.


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Being on Time or Early for a Reservation

If you reserve a time for an experience – why wouldn’t you want to be on time for it?


Well those are the Things That We Do On A Vacation That May Be Annoying to Other Guests. Did I miss anything? Let me know through social media!

Fan-Designed EPCOT-Inspired Hoodies

Skyliner Hoodie
Skyliner Hoodie

For those of us who aren’t able to watch the transformation of EPCOT into the new 21st century version EPCOT live, we can at least get a hilarious ode to the classics. It’s also fun to buy designs that you can’t find in the Northwest Mercantile!

Epcot Forever Opening Date Hoodie

There is nothing more impactful than showing your appreciation for a classic Disney experience that will last forever.

Epcot Forever Opening Date Hoodie
Epcot Forever Opening Date Hoodie

* Note, this experience has already been replaced.

If you can Read This…Thank the Phoenicians

See above…

Thank the Phoenicians
Thank the Phoenicians

*Please note – what a great attraction, right?!

Spaceship Earth Hoodie

Classic, yet unique. Just like the Jeremy Irons version!

Spaceship Earth Hoodie
Spaceship Earth Hoodie

Imagination Institute, distressed Hoodie

Inspired by the Disney attraction in Epcot, the Imagination Institute

Imagination Institute, distressed Hoodie
Imagination Institute, distressed Hoodie

Unnecessary Walks at Disney World

Disney Skyliner Station
Disney Skyliner Station - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

The idea of walking around Florida in the mid-day heat during a vacation is difficult to comprehend until you’re actually in it.

One of the most important lessons to learn, and unfortunately one that’s inevitable, is which walks are a good idea and which ones you should avoid. Usually you’ll find yourself thinking about your decisions in life when you’re drenched in sweat and trying to find the nearest form of air conditioning.

Walking from EPCOT to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walking from EPCOT to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The Skyliner provides you with an opportunity to skip this walk all-together, as you’ll be able to enjoy a moving gondola from turnstile to turnstile. It’s a great thing to keep in mind because after years of making this 20-minute walk, it’s become difficult to bear when it’s 100% humidity.

IF you intend to make the trip, our advice would be:

  • Get a cup of free water from Starbucks before leaving the park
  • Pick a route before you leave (Boardwalk or Yacht & Beach)
  • Take a 5-minute air conditioning break while walking through the resort gift shop
  • Don’t be afraid to re-hydrate by the Resort lobby, as they usually have free water.

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Walking Around the World Showcase

Walking Around the World Showcase at EPCOT (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

I love the world showcase! It’s full of amazing treasures, great food and shops to explore. Why is it on the list?

Once you commit to the walk, there’s no real turning back. It’s 1.2 miles, and that doesn’t include any of the walking into the pavilions themselves. It’s all in the open air and the walkways reflect the sun in a way that you can only describe when you’re dealing with it.

IF you intend to go around the World Showcase, our advice would be:

  • Pick at least two pavilions that you’d like to spend some decent time in. This could be a meal/snack and an attraction or an indoor experience.
  • Take your time and don’t rush. There’s no need to walk from Mexico to the UK when you can just start in Canada and go one pavilion over. There are shortcuts, so make wise decisions.
  • Don’t go mid-day. Go early or go late afternoon.

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Walking at Resorts with Internal Shuttles

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Shuttle Sign – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

We’ve got a golden rule: If there’s an internal bus shuttle, it’s not worth walking around the resort.

The number of times that I’ve gotten on a bus from a theme park to Saratoga Springs or Coronado Springs just to make a mistake on which stop to get off at would be more than I’d like to admit. In fact, even if it’s off-season and you’re trying to have a resort day, do your research before getting on a bus.

Honourable Mentions

  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (One way in and one way out)
  • Tomorrowland to Frontierland VIA Fantasyland (Just go through the Hub)
  • Orlando International Airport (Pay attention to your gate, luggage pickup carousel and Rideshare)

Magic Kingdom Trivia

Cinderella's Wishing Well at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

When you think about going to Walt Disney World, most people would think automatically picture walking up Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella Castle.

The Magic Kingdom has a history that goes back to 1971 when the Florida Project became a reality and more than 50 years later, the park is still going strong.

Let’s look at a few of the facts and trivia that will provide a whole new level of understanding for the most visited theme park in the world.


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How many bricks in Cinderella Castle?

It’s actually made of steel and fibreglass (and sometimes a birthday cake)

How many audio animatronics are in the Magic Kingdom?

There are more than 1100 audio-animatronic figures in the park, which includes rides like:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
  • Under the Sea
  • Splash Mountain
  • Haunted Mansion
  • it’s a Small World

Who was the first guest to visit the Magic Kingdom?

William Windsor, Jr. and his family were officially the first guests to visit the Magic Kingdom


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How many “boat” attractions are in the Magic Kingdom?

There are 6 attractions that are water experiences, with a “gotcha” in Peter Pan’s Flight.

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Splash Mountain
  • it’s a Small World
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Tom Sawyer Island Rafts

We’ll be adding more trivia to this post constantly, as there’s always more to learn about the Magic Kingdom! If you’ve got a trivia question that we should include, please send me a note on Instagram @SteptoMagic

The Best Disney World Jigsaw Puzzles

Disney World Jigsaw Puzzles (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

If you’re searching for some Friday night plans that don’t involve scrolling through Instagram or watching DisneyPlus, here are the best Disney World jigsaw puzzles for life in 2022, and beyond.

We hope you love the puzzles we recommend! Just so you know, Steps to Magic may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

The 40320 Piece Ravensburger Disney Puzzle

The 40320 Piece Ravensburger Disney Puzzle

Theme park fans are always looking for the latest & greatest souvenir to show off on social media. From Pop Vinyl to Pins, Patches and Books…we all have collections that are bought in order to bring happiness to our own space. This just seems like the next level of “wow, I can’t believe you bought that!”

Get it from Amazon: Yes, you want this!! 😉

Main Street USA Walt Disney World Resort Puzzle by Thomas Kinkade

Main Street USA Walt Disney World Resort Puzzle by Thomas Kinkade (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The ”Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkade illuminates Walt Disney World Resort’s Main Street USA with his familiar glow. Revisit the Magic Kingdom when you recreate the nighttime scene with this 1000-piece puzzle.

Get it from ShopDisney!


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Disney Villainous Ursula

Disney Villainous Puzzles (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Piece together this 1000-piece puzzle featuring Ursula, the vengeful villain from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Assemble the puzzle to reveal the sea witch surrounded by her mischievous henchmen, Flotsam and Jetsam, as well as Ariel, King Triton, Prince Eric and many more. All Villainous puzzles are based on the award winning strategy game “Villainous” by Ravensburger. Enjoy puzzling the magnificent realms of your favorite Disney Villains. 

Get it from Amazon.com: Available in a bunch of characters!


Hope this was fun for you! We’ll do our best to update this article with new puzzles when we find them:)

How to Avoid Burgers and Fries at the Magic Kingdom

Prime Rib Sandwich at Steakhouse 71 at Disney's Contemporary Resort (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The best restaurants in the Magic Kingdom are a mix between fine dining affairs and casual sit-downs, offering some of the best sandwiches, light meals, and theme park fuel in all of Walt Disney World.

It doesn’t stop there: Dole Whip, and awesome snacks are also available.

Prime Rib Sandwich at Steakhouse 71

The 5-10 minute walk from Main Street USA to Disney’s Contemporary Resort is well worth the trip when you can get the Prime Rib Sandwich at Steakhouse 71.

Starting out with the obvious is important – the Magic Kingdom doesn’t have the best food, so leaving and going next door could actually be the best option for your party.


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Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House

Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom
Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Easy, simple and incredibly delightful are all words to describe this sandwich at Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. Hummus, tomato, broccoli slaw on a multigrain bread with a side of chips…perfect! This is why it’s one of the best quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World!

Home-style Meatloaf at The Plaza

If you know me, you know that I love a good classic meatloaf! The Plaza gives you this awesome dish with a side of mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies…and add a hand-dipped milk shake on the side. That sounds like the perfect meal to keep your energy up for a day of Magic.

Lobster Roll at the Columbia Harbour House

Double-dipping is perfectly fine, because the “no burger” feel of this Liberty Square quick service location will make you want to come back over and over. The Lobster Roll is almost worth the ticket price of the Magic Kingdom by itself, but when you add in the lava cakes…just sign me up!


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Curried Vegetable Crew Stew at Skipper Canteen

The curried vegetable crew stew, which is a favorite of the Crew Stew Crew (especially Stu). Seasonal Vegetables and Pineapple Tofu in a House-made Curry Sauce served with Coconut Rice. Sure, you can get a grilled steak or a char siu-marinated pork dish, but if you really want to explore the culinary adventure at Skipper Canteen…go all in!

Fajita Platter at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn

Oh, you wanted something different than typical “burgers and fries” theme park food? From personal experience, you’ll want to skip this one;) The air conditioning is great, but the food can make your tummy feel like you’ve eaten…traditional heavy theme park stuff.


Hope this was helpful in planning your next day at the Magic Kingdom!

Window Shopping in Disney and Universal

Harry Potter Wands at Universal Orlando - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Window shopping in Disney and Universal is such a fun topic. From food to experiences, you can spend a lot of money on things that you could avoid through time and thoughtful planning. This isn’t your typical “walking past a store” window shopping…we’re talking about something that should be experienced that you can enjoy on the sidelines before putting your credit card on the table.

Savi’s Workshop

Looking to finally build your dream lightsaber? If you actually have a “dream” lightsaber…build it at Savi’s Workshop!

If not, this is the best experience to be the “plus one” at Disney World. The show elements along with the amazing storytelling by the cast members will take you into a world that you’ve never seen in a theme park. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is all about the details, but there are things that are “pay to play” and Savi’s Workshop and the Droid Factory are the key ones.

Best $199 that you should convince your friend to spend!

Kitchen Sink

Beaches and Cream is an awesome dining experience at Disney’s Beach Club resort. From burgers to classic diner foods, there’s one thing on the menu that you may be tempted to jump into…the Kitchen Sink!

Scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips smothered in every topping they have. Also available Chocolate Lovers or Neapolitan.

The experience is great IF it’s on your bucket list and you’ve got enough friends to split the $35 cost! If not, just do what we do and grab a reservation for a late night snack and watch everyone around you walk out with a tummy ache.


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Ollivanders in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

Heading over to Universal Orlando, the Makers Of Fine Wands Since 382 BC have one of the coolest Harry Potter experiences on property. Anyone can buy a wand (seriously, they have them at the Orlando International Airport!), but when’s the last time that you had the chance to see the ceremony performed where the wand chooses the wizard?

Ollivanders really shows off the storytelling of the wands, and will allow for a young guest to have a wand chosen specifically for them (ps it’s not free…they still have to buy it). Why is it a great window shopping experience? Well unless you’re a kid, you won’t have to buy a wand to participate in the show.


Stores with a Show

We have an article about the best stores with a show element, so definitely check that out. It talks about the retail locations that have something fun inside, like the pick-a-pearl in Mitsukoshi Store in Japan and the Glass Blowing in Arribas Brothers at Disney Springs.


I hope this was helpful in giving you ideas about your next day at Disney & Universal! If there are things that you’d like me to add to the list, please reach out @stepstomagic on Instagram and let me know why it belongs in the category!

The Best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World

Capt Cooks at Disney Polynesian Resort - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

The best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World will satisfy the cravings you have at any time of day or night. Whether you’ve got a hankering for pizza at 3 a.m. or Mickey Waffles at 6 a.m., these places are here for you.

Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This quick service location at the Grand Floridian is open 24-hours a day, with a selection of snacks that span the full day. The main entree are pizzas, but they have fruit, baked goods and other pre-packaged items to get you through til breakfast starts serving.

Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Village

Flatbreads, baked goods and more fresh fruit…you’ve got options at Captain Cook’s that won’t break the bank. Just know ahead of time that Dole Whip isn’t available (sorry!) late night!


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Late Night Snacks

We’ve got a full article about the late night snacks available on Disney Property here, because knowing where you can eat after a certain time period could help.

Tips to Avoid Having to Eat Super Late

  • Grab something at the Airport if your flight is outside of regular business hours.
  • If you’re in the parks, pick up an extra pre-packaged snack (like chips or pretzels).
  • Stop by Starbucks for a pre-packaged wrap combo. These are great because they come with fruit and a full wrap that you can eat half now and half later.

Hope this was helpful! I know for a fact that searching for quarters to drop into a hotel vending machine for a drink or snack is not ideal.

The Best Rooftop Patios in Disney World

Coca Cola Store Disney Springs Night
Coca Cola Store at Disney Springs - Photo by Dustin Fuhs

The best rooftop patios in Disney World provide something to sip on while gazing out over the magic of Disney, and maybe a great bite to eat too. When you’re planning a day, why not think about enhancing your vibe with one of these hidden gems?

Here are the best rooftop patios in Disney World.

Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar

Disney Springs has a place where you can get great drinks, awesome ambiance and an even better view. The Coca-Cola Store Rooftop Beverage Bar brings their adult beverage menu to the crowds who want to see how to spin the classic drink into something memorable!

California Grill

Up on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the views of the surrounding area will blow your mind! This is typically a signature dining location, however the California Grill Lounge is available as a first-come first-served seating area, which offers the same menu as the restaurant. Talk about the perfect rooftop “patio”!

Capa Bar at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Enjoy unparalleled views from the swanky roof deck―and live music in the lounge area on select evenings.

As the evening begins, ready a toast at the bar with a host of craft cocktails, each created by Capa mixologists. Then, imbibe on the ambiance of the experience—whether indoors or al fresco—as you mingle with fellow Guests during a sunset happy hour or before exploring a diverse menu of small plates, succulent entrées and so much more.


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Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort

New is always better! When the Riviera Resort opened, the idea of being on the Skyliner route made this location perk our attention. The rooftop patio on the tenth floor will give you amazing views with great food…all with the accessibility of being within a stones throw of EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

STK Orlando

Often overlooked due to the abundance of Disney Springs restaurants, but that could be your perfect chance! If you’re looking for a high-end rooftop patio with great views of the Aerophile Characters in Flight and the hustle & bustle of the nightlife…STK could work for your party.


Hope this was helpful in planning your next day at Walt Disney World!

Hilarious Disney Inspired Face Masks

I Need Space Mask
I Need Space Mask

Welcome to the new normal of 2020/2021! On top of staying safe, these Disney-inspired Fan-designed face masks will keep you close to the magic!

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Steps to Magic may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

No Touchy! Mask

No Touchy! Mask
No Touchy! Mask

Seeing something with Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove is rare…but this quote just needed to be on a mask!

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!


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Thank the Phoenicians 

Thank the Phoenicians
Thank the Phoenicians

We can read it. We shall thank the Phoenicians

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!

Haunted Mansion Stay Back Foolish Mortal Mask

Haunted Mansion Stay Back Foolish Mortal Mask
Haunted Mansion Stay Back Foolish Mortal Mask

Social Distancing with a Disney-spin is always welcome!

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!


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Talk Less, Smile More Mask

Talk Less, Smile More Mask
Talk Less, Smile More Mask

With Hamilton being on Disney+…why not bring the master of lyrical goodness to your mask!

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!

Dr. Seeker’s Travel Company Mask

Dr. Seeker's Travel Company Mask
Dr. Seeker’s Travel Company Mask

We’re not going to make it…without this mask!

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!


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I Need Space Mask

I Need Space Mask
I Need Space Mask

Space Mountain is one of my fav coasters at the Magic Kingdom! In the world where we all need a little more “space”…this is perfect!

Get it from TeePublic: Available in all sorts of colors, sizes and designs!


Want more? Check out our fav Universal Shirts list!

If you really want to add some serious shirt options, check out our shirt content for even more!