Our Top 10 Disney Bucket List Experiences

disneyland-half-marathon-10th-anniversary-rundisney-289

While writing our “Top” 10 NEVER AGAIN! at Walt Disney World list, I stumbled upon our old Disney bucket list post, and thought it might be due for an update. I started to edit it, only to realize that so much had changed that we probably should just do Volume 2 of our Disney Bucket List with some additions. If you told me when I wrote that original bucket list that, 3 years later, we’d have crossed off many of the items on it, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

Before we get started with our ultimate bucket list items, we have a few quick-hit bonus bucket list entries:

  • Keys to the Kingdom Tour (Walt Disney World)
  • Typhoon Lagoon at night
  • Visit The Jim Henson Company lot
  • One dessert in every country of World Showcase in a day
  • Celebrate Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary
  • Watch Wishes! from a bathtub at Bay Lake Tower
  • Eat at a filling meal at Captain Kidd’s…and live to tell about it 😉
  • DiveQuest at Epcot
  • Meet Gelatoni (Sarah)

We have been very fortunate in our Disney travels and various opportunities we’ve had. We are very aware that for many people, a vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list item. We are incredibly grateful for the experiences we’ve had. We hope our dreams listed in this post don’t come across as entitled fans unappreciative of what we have. We’re very appreciative of what we’ve been able to do, and we hope this post is taken in the ‘for fun’ manner it’s intended.

There are more items on even our short list, but many of them are redundant or the same types of thing (e.g. various tours, hotels with views or specific cool rooms, etc.), so let’s jump right to the “holy grail/crazy dreamin'” items on our bucket list, starting with the ones that are pretty unlikely to happen, and moving towards ones that are more attainable…

cinderella-castle-suite-bathtub-bricker

10. Stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite – We’ve toured the Cinderella Castle Suite twice, and we think our “ultimate” bucket list item would be this, as a result. Unfortunately, this is totally out of our control, so I’m not sure if it’s even appropriate for a bucket list at all. Basically, our “goal” here is to win a contest that tens of thousands of other people enter in order to stay a night here, or be awarded a stay in the suite for our continuing excellence in blogging. (The probability of the former occurring is a lot higher than the latter.)

Soarin

9. Visit All Soarin’ Around the World Locations – This is a pretty out there goal given that all of the destinations for Soarin’ Around the World aren’t yet known, but based upon a merchandise leak, it sounds like the destinations will include the Swiss Alps, Monument Valley (check!), Egypt, France (check!), Africa, Australia, Brazil, Fiji, and Disneyland (check!). All of those are places we’d ultimately like to visit, and while it’s improbable that we’ll hit them all (especially since there are likely other locations in the attraction), why not try? We’ve been to almost every location in Soarin’ Over California, and I never thought that would happen, so who knows?! As an honorable mention, I’ll add “Visit All Impressions de France Locations” to the list. Same idea as this one.

Who wouldn't *love* a photo of characters in the snow?! ©Disney

Who wouldn’t *love* a photo of characters in the snow?! ©Disney

8. Disney in the Snow – Continuing the trend of relatively unattainable bucket list items is seeing and photographing snow in one of the parks. Growing up in the snow belt of Michigan, I love (and miss!) the snow. Few things are more beautiful than a fresh layer of powder blanketing the trees. Realistically, any accumulation of snow is not going to happen in Florida or Hong Kong. Paris and Tokyo are different stories. It does snow periodically in those parks, with Tokyo seeming to be the more likely of the 2, getting a solid snowstorm just about every other January. The real challenge here is timing. You’d have to either live in Japan or plan a January trip and hope to get lucky. I’m not so sure I’d want to visit in Japan without the guarantee of snow…it’s pretty cold, and cold weather without the snow is no fun. However, I really want photos like the one above, so I’m going to do everything in my power to make this one happen eventually!

cinderella-castle-moody-fireworks

7. Disneyland & Walt Disney World in the Same Day – This is from the original list, and we still haven’t done it. Then, we wrote, “this would be very easy for anyone who lives in Florida. Just enter one of the parks before flying to Disneyland.” Well, it would also be easy for anyone who lives in California. We considered it ambitious then because it would require a single trip with stops in both California or Florida. It’s not nearly as much of a challenge now, but it’s still on our bucket list because we are total dorks and want photos with the day’s issues of the Orlando Sentinel and Los Angeles Times in front of Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Can you blame us? For an even more fatiguing challenge of a similar nature, we’d like to do Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in the same day.

sarah-tom-bricker-chef-silvio-palo-disney

6. Dine at Every Disney Restaurant – All of them, worldwide. I’m pretty sure that I already have reviewed more Disney restaurants than any other blogger, which is either a “bragging rights” feat or insane depending upon your perspective. The next goal is to dine at every restaurant worldwide. We’ve already done almost every restaurant at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Resort. Disneyland Paris presents the biggest obstacle to completing this challenge, because it has a lot of restaurants, many of which aren’t open regularly.

(Note: exempted from this is Club 33 at Tokyo Disneyland. This is a bucket list item for us itself, but it’s highly unrealistic. The restaurant is the same idea as Club 33 at Disneyland, but located in World Bazaar (Main Street) at Tokyo Disneyland. They have a fairly strict policy on photos inside the restaurant, so you’ll seldom see photos online. This is another one that’s pretty much out of our control–short of learning Japanese, getting jobs in Japan at companies that may (or may not) have memberships, working our way to an executive level at which we can utilize said memberships, and then going, I don’t see this happening. Doesn’t hurt to dream!)

disneyland-paris-sleeping-beauty-castle-bricker

5. Castle to Chateau – The top 5 consists of more realistic and attainable goals. The actual bucket list goal here is to run an inaugural runDisney event, as I feel I’m sort of late to the party with runDisney (I’m envious of all the 10+ year old shirts I see at runDisney events.) To pump up this entry a bit, I’ll say the “goal” here is actually to earn runDisney medals on two continents in the same month, which should happen this year, as I’m registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon and Disneyland Paris Half Marathon this September. Of course, running 13.1 miles twice in a month is hardly a foregone conclusion, so I can’t cross this one off the list until I do it.

San_Francisco_2013_0554 as Smart Object-1 copy

4. Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum – This was on our original list and the only reason it claims a numbered spot on this list is because I’m embarrassed that it’s still on the list. We’ve been to San Francisco a few times in the last couple of years, and have yet to go. This is despite me often preaching the historical significance of Disneyland and other integral components of Disney history. We’ve heard great things about the Walt Disney Family Museum, and have penciled in a California Coast road-trip to San Francisco in May, and this is the top priority on our agenda.

DSC_2714 as Smart Object-1 copy

3. Adventures by Disney – We keep going back and forth on Adventures by Disney. Numerous readers have asked, and we always answer in hypothetical: on the one hand, it’s pricey, but on the other hand, I have yet to hear a negative review of Adventures by Disney. While part of the adventure on our travels is the journey and mistakes we make along the way, having someone else take care of everything might be a nice change of pace. We are probably more cost-conscious than typical Adventures by Disney guests, so I wonder if the sticker-shock would be really tough to get past. This is our ultimate someday bucket list item. Someday, when we have more money or there’s a good deal on an itinerary, we’d love to experience Adventures by Disney firsthand.

shanghai-disneyland-tall-189

2. Shanghai – Being at Shanghai Disneyland for opening day was a relatively unattainable item on the last incarnation of this list, but this was also written before we crossed Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland off the list. However, it was also before we had a solid grasp of the realities of international travel. I’ve never been as apprehensive about visiting a park for the first time as I am about visiting Shanghai Disneyland. Due to the unique nuances of Chinese culture and the crowds that swarmed at the Disney Store in Shanghai when it opened a couple of years ago, we are preparing for this park and DisneyTown to be swamped with guests for its first year.

mickey-mouse-balloon

Mickey Mouse Balloon Photo ©Disney

1. Photograph Ear Force One, Zip-A-Dee-Doo Duck, or Spaceship Earth Balloon – This is a modified item from the original list and was in my “relatively unattainable” category. After crossing off either items from that category, I’m convinced that I’m persistent and stubborn enough to make this one a reality, too. I know these Disney balloons with character are seldom-used, but they are still used, including at real-world balloon festivals. I’m going to make it my mission to figure out when they’ll be in use, and head there to photograph them. With the Albuquerque New Mexico International Hot Air Balloon Festival (something I really want to photograph regardless of Disney balloons) and Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival nearby, I will make this a reality! Heck, maybe I’ll even kill two birds with one stone and photograph it at the opening of Shanghai Disneyland!

Tokyo-Disneyland-0779

It’s been fun crossing items off of our Disney bucket list over the course of the last several years, and continuing to add things we want to see, experience, and do helps keep the parks fresh for us even after numerous visits. There’s always something we haven’t done, whether it’s a new seasonal event, restaurant, etc., to help keep things fresh. Who knows what will be on this list the next time we update it!

Now, it’s your turn…what are some of the top items on your Disney bucket list?

Need Disney trip planning tips and comprehensive advice? Make sure to read Disney Parks Vacation Planning Guides, where you can find comprehensive guides to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond!

For Disney updates, discount information, a free download of our Money-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World eBook, and much more, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, we’d really appreciate it if you’d share it via social media to help spread the word. We put a lot of work into making this site a helpful planning resource, and hope it’s useful to you! 🙂

Your Thoughts

What do you think of our bucket list? Have you done any of these things? What are the top items on your bucket list? Which bucket list items of your own have you crossed off? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!


42 Responses to “Our Top 10 Disney Bucket List Experiences”
  1. Dylan June 8, 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *