10 things you must do at a Disney Park

No matter how many times you visit a Disney Park, there always seems to be something you haven't done -- a ride you haven't been on, a treat you haven't sampled, a show you haven't watched. I've put together a list of 10 fun experiences that should be on everyone's Disney Park bucket list.  Some are easy to do, others aren't.  We've already done the first five, and we're working on the last five!  Check out the list below and see how many you have done.....

Eat a Dole Pineapple Whip
It constantly surprises me that so many people who have visited Disney Parks multiple times have not yet tried a Dole Pineapple Whip!  This isn't just any treat, people, this is a one-of-a-kind concoction that combines creamy soft serve with refreshing pineapple.  It's a cult classic and there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to visit a Disney Park without experiencing this magic!

Ride at the front of the Monorail
Visitors are no longer allowed to ride at the very front of the Monorail in Disney World, but you can still do it at the Disneyland Resort -- and you never know when they'll decide to revoke that privilege, so do it while you can!  We did it once, and it's a great experience, especially when you have little kids.  They can pretend they're driving the Monorail, and grownups can sit back and enjoy the great views.  Note that you have to ask the attending Cast Member, it's first-come-first-served, and only four people are allowed in the front car.

Pull an all-nighter
How many people get to say they spent 24 hours inside a Disney Park?  It's certainly not for the faint of heart!  Disney started their all-nighter events with 2012's One More Disney Day, then continued with 2013's Monstrous Summer and kept the fun going with this year's Rock Your DisneySide.  It has become so popular that I'm hoping they make this an annual event.

Go trick-or-treating at Mickey's Halloween Party
The Disney Parks put on a number of special events every year, but if I had to pick one, my favorite would definitely be Mickey's Halloween Party.  Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I'm biased, but the party really is quite spectacular.  You get to wear a costume (normally adults aren't allowed to wear costumes in the parks) and see everyone else's amazing costume, you get to pose with villains and Halloween characters, you get to trick-or-treat all around the park, you get to watch a special Halloween parade and fireworks show, and you get to stay in the park till midnight!

Get chosen to open a park as Family of the Day
Every day, at every Disney Park, one family is selected to officially declare the park open for the day, and lower the rope barrier that separates the waiting crowd from the park attractions.  We were selected to be Family of the Day and opened up Disney's California Adventure on our September 2010 visit to the Disneyland Resort, and it was an amazing experience.  After rope drop, we were escorted by an army of Tower of Terror bellhops (as well as Chip and Dale!) to the Tower of Terror, where we signed the official Family of the Day guestbook and went on our own private Tower of Terror ride!  We were even given a souvenir photo.  Of course, there's no way to guarantee your family will be selected out of the thousands of families present at Rope Drop time, but you can increase your chances by being at the very front and center, having little kids, dressing decently, and being cheerful and enthusiastic.  Good luck!

Eat a Monte Cristo Sandwich at the Blue Bayou 
photo courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog

We never eat at sit-down restaurants at a Disney park because we prefer the flexibility of eating when and where we want (i.e. whenever and wherever it's least crowded).  We'd rather spend our precious time enjoying attractions than eating!).   But at some point, I am determined to take the extra time and money to make a reservation at the Blue Bayou Restaurant and clog my arteries up with this famous sandwich.

Ride the Lily Belle
The Lilly Belle car is the last remaining train car from the opening day of Disneyland. Lillian Disney helped design the interior (hence the name), and it's the last train car on the Disneyland Train "CK Holiday".  I've heard rumors that Lily Belle is now closed to all except Club 33 members, but I've also heard conflicting reports that they are limiting it to two rides a day.  There's really only one way to find out, and that's to head to the Main Street Train Station as soon as the park opens to inquire.

Eat at Club 33
photo courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog

Club 33 is the only restaurant in the Happiest Place on Earth that serves alcoholic beverages, and it's probably the worst-kept secret in the park.  Of course, knowing about it doesn't get you access to it.  If you can afford the $25,000 initiation fee and $10,000 annual fee, you could apply to be a member -- along with the 800+ other people on the waiting list.  Or you could hope to get an invite from an existing member.  Hey, I never said completing this bucket list would be easy.

Visit a Disney Park outside the US
What better way to combine my love for travel and my love for Disney? I'd love to visit a Disney Park outside the US and see what things are the same and what things are different!  I'm' sure there are all sorts of magical ways that Disney has adapted the experience to blend in with the local culture.  Any Disney Park will do -- Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong (or even the upcoming park in Shanghai), but I'm actively working on my Dad and siblings in Manila to arrange an extended family vacation to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

Go on a Disney Cruise
Okay, technically this isn't something you can do at a Disney Park -- but with all the one-of-a-kind Disney fun you get to enjoy only on a Disney cruise, it might as well be a Disney theme park!  I toured a Disney cruise ship once and was blown away by the quantity and quality of activities for the whole family.  Cruise vacation have gotten a bad rap recently, but even though the risk of virus outbreaks and sinking ships turns me off, I have so much faith in Disney's attention to quality and detail that I have no qualms whatsoever about cruising with Disney.

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