Cinderella’s castle. The Dumbo ride. Spaceship Earth (The Epcot Ball). At this point, these images are about as iconic as the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building. For the less seasoned Disney vacationer, the theme parks are just about all they know… besides maybe a few cool hotels.
That’s actually probably not a bad thing.
Digging deeper into the number of experiences offered at the 40 square mile resort would be far too overwhelming for a first time visitor. As you start to want to discover more, Disney has a plethora of amazing experiences to “wow” you and keep you wanting to come back again and again (Even if you have to take out a 2nd mortgage!).
Here are my top 4 favorite “out of the box” experiences at WDW:
4. Rent a boat– The area in front of Magic Kingdom has two lakes situated around it: Bay Lake which was there all along, and a man-made lake added during construction called Seven Seas Lagoon. At resorts like The Contemporary and The Grand Floridian you can rent everything from canoes and Jet Skis to small sailboats and Pontoon Boats! There are also fresh water fishing charters, parasailing excursions, and more. My personal favorite are what they call little “Sea Raycers” which are small two person boats (pictured) that are a blast to take a child out on the lake. Note: There are also rentals at The Polynesian Resort and the Yacht Club Resort.
3.Ride a Horse– Over at the Ft. Wilderness Campground (Disney owned and operated) there is a stable of horses and ponies at Tri-Circle D Ranch. There are inexpensive pony rides for kids or, if your party is up to it, guided horseback riding trails. Ft. Wilderness in and of itself is a great place to visit, where you can grab a good meal at Trail’s End restaurant and even have a sing along party with Chip and Dale where you can roast marshmallows and watch a movie under the stars!
2. Special Events and Tours– There are many Disney fans out there who just can’t get enough from experiencing the Disney Magic as they see it before their eyes. They need to go behind the scenes. Disney offers all kinds of “Backstage” tours at their parks where a guide will give you more info than you could possibly remember about the thought behind how Disney Imagineers created the world tens of thousands of guests experience every day. Check out Disney’s website for more info. Be ready to shell out big dollars for some of the tours!
1. Dinner Shows– This is my favorite, and probably the most overlooked experience at
WDW. Each evening, Disney puts on 3 dinner shows where the food and entertainment are aplenty. They aren’t the cheapest meals in WDW, but I’ve always walked away feeling like they were worth the price of admission. Ft. Wilderness Campground is actually host to two of these experiences: “Mickey’s Backyard BBQ”, and “The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue” (definitely my preference). Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort plays host to the “Spirit of Aloha” show with a Luau theme filled with BBQ and muscular dudes spinning fire! Both of these locations are accessible by boat from Magic Kingdom so may be worth considering on a day you visit MK.
Are you ready to experience something unique on your next Disney World trip? Which of your favorite experiences did I miss? Make a comment below and add to the conversation