Pirates of the Caribbean? Done! Peter Pan? Done! Flight of Passage? Been there done that! Slinky Dog Dash? Yup! Had dinner at Cinderellas castle? Yup! Seen the Prince’s picture change at Be Our Guest? Yes, Sir!
You’ve been to Disney World a million times and you’ve pretty much seen and done everything. Or maybe this is your first trip to Disney and have been researching things to do for the last year. Your itinerary is built. You know everything there is to know.
But do you really?
One of the most exciting things about visiting Disney World is that each experience can be completely different. There are so many rides, shows, and events going on, that each time you head down to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” you will never get board. But there are a lot of things that you can do at Disney that may surprise you! So here’s a list of twenty things you may not have known that you can do at Disney World.
- Bring food and water into the parks- I’ve seen this pop up a ton on Disney Planning sites and pages. One of the biggest questions people have is if they are able to bring food and drinks into the park with them. The answer is yes. Bring all the food and drinks you can carry! Well maybe not all…. there are a few rules to keep in mind. You cannot bring alcohol into the park. If you try to bring it in and the bag checkers find it, they will take it from you. Best just leave that at home or in your room. Also, no glass. So make sure if you’re bring food or water from home that you have it packed away in either plastic Tupperware or ziplock bags. Other than that… enjoy! Bringing your own food is a great way to cut down on cost while enjoying your visit to the parks.
- There are”Baby Care Centers”- If you have a baby or small child, these Baby Care Centers need to be one of the first things you map out in each park. There is one located in each park, normally somewhere close to the entrance. (You can click here for a link to the Disney World site to see the locations of each Center at the parks.) The Baby Care Centers are a great place to sit and relax in air conditioning so that you and the youngest members of your party are able to cool off a bit in those hot summer months. They offer private rooms that you can sit in to feed your baby or small children and the rooms normally have a TV and a small table in them so other members in the family can be entertained while one child eats or takes a quick nap. There are more than enough changing stations and bathrooms for you to use with sanitary sheets that can be placed on the changing tables to keep things nice and clean. You can also purchase any baby care items you may need including, but not limited to, Tylenol and Motrin, diapers, wipes, food, and extra clothes. As of right now, these centers are sponsored by Huggies so all diapers and wipes in there will be Huggies brand. There are microwaves to heat food and water machines to get fresh cold water from as well.
- Get more than 3 Fastpasses in a day- Fastpasses are pretty much a requirement when visiting Disney World Parks. If you want to have a chance at riding any of the more desirable rides like Slinky Dog Dash, Flight of Passage, or Seven Dwarfs Minor Ride, without having to stand in a 200 minute standby line(yeah that’s average for some of the rides during peak months), you’re going to need a Fastpass. If you are not staying in a Disney Resort then you are able to book 3 Fastpasses up to 30 days out. If you are staying in a Disney Resort Hotel, then you can book 3 Fastpasses up to 60 days before your trip. This is pretty common knowledge. What you may not know is that, once you’ve used those first three passes, you can actually set up three more for the same day.
- Get Free drinks- Now don’t get too excited about this one, we aren’t talking about free beer. Rather, when you’re in the parks, you can go into any quick service restaurant and ask for a free cup of ice water. This is a great excuse to go sit down for a minute and relax or cool off. The quick service cast members will gladly provide a big glass of cold water to you upon request. Also, if you happen to be on a Disney Dinning Plan, you will receive a mug that you can use for free refills of soda, coffee, juice, and water while at the resorts. This is only good while you are in a resort though and will not get you free drinks, other than the ice water, while in the parks.
- Disabled Access Service Cards (DAS pass)- Disney is all about helping the entire family have a magical time while you are in the parks. For this reason, Disney offers a DAS Pass for disabled people coming to the parks. For more information on who qualifies for a DAS pass and what all is offered with it, just click here. That link will take you directly to the Disney DAS pass fact sheets.
- Pin Trading- This is a fun activity for everyone to participate in. It’s actually pretty addictive. You can trade Disney pins with cast members throughout the parks. I’ve even seen park goers set up huge displays while at the parks and trade out of their own books, though I believe it is discouraged to set up displays like that, but feel free to trade with people all over the parks and resorts.
- Convert Quick Service to Snack credits- If you are on a Disney Dining Plan(DDP), one of the things you may notice is that you don’t really need as many credits as are offered on your plan. One of the things you are able to do is convert Quick Service credits into Snack credits. Just visit the front desk at the resort you’re staying at and they can convert one quick service into three snack credits. You can also choose to use three snack credit for one quick service. So, just remember that the DDP is really flexible and can be used how you need it to be used.
- Free adventures for kids- Everyone knows about the rides at Disney but did you know that kids (and adults too) can participate in different adventures and quests for badges and other awards? There is the Pirate adventure at Magic Kingdom where you can help Captain Jack Sparrow complete a series of quest. Once you complete so many of them you can receive a free fast pass for Pirates of the Caribbean. There is also the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom scavenger hunt in Magic Kingdom as well. Then you can do the Wilderness Explorers in Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios has the Jedi training academy where kids can sign up to be part of a show where they are trained in using the force to defeat Kylo Ren and other bad guys. Finally, there’s Kidcot Fun Stop and Agent P’s World Showcase in Epcot. There are booths set up throughout the park where you can get all signed up.
- Visit an aquarium- Disney World is home to one of the worlds largest aquariums at the Seas with Nemo and Friends Located in Epcot. Learn facts about sharks, dolphins, manatees and more and interact with cast members as they swim around the aquarium.
- Get a haircut in Magic Kingdom- Did you know that you can get a hair Cut at Disney? Book a special first haircut appointment for your kiddo or book yourself a haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop located in City Hall at Magic Kingdom.
- Horseback riding at Tri-Circle- D ranch- If you’re looking to have an adventure outside but want to take a break from the parks for a little while, head over to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Fort Wilderness Lodge where you can go horseback riding on the trails. For more information or to book a ride click here.
- Dine with an Imagineer or Animal Specialist- Who wouldn’t love an opportunity to pick the brain of an Imagineer or Disney Animal Specialist? Guest 14 and over (sorry kiddos, this ones for the bigger kids) can book a lunch at the Brown Derby with an Imagineer. You can also book a lunch at Sanaa where you can learn all about taking care of the many different animals at the parks all while enjoying an amazing four course meal.
- Pirate Makeover- Do you have a little boy or maybe a little girl who’s not about that princess life and would rather pass over the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experince? Well there’s also a Pirate Makeover where you’re little marauder can get made up to look like their favorite pirates, empresses, or mermaids. Click here for more info.
- Pirate Trip and Fireworks- Take the Pirates and Pals Voyage for a one of a kind chance to watch the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. Now this is one of those bucket list items for me to do with the kids, I’ve got to wait until things four and five can be trusted to not jump off of the boat and swim their way to land first. You get to spend a couple of hours eating sweet treats, listening to stories, and watching the fireworks display all while meeting characters and hanging out on a boat. It just sounds awesome.
- Hidden Mickey Challenges- These are awesome and can be done anywhere during any weather while your at Disney. Some hotels have special lists made up where you can hunt around the resort for hidden Mickey’s for awards or you can do your own hunts for hidden Mickey’s while you’re in the parks. Either way you do it, you’re bound to have a lot of fun and see a lot of cool things that maybe you never noticed in the parks before.
- Outdoor Movies and S’mores- Check with the resort that you are staying in, but many (if not most) offer free movies by the pools and some even offer fireside s’more making. It makes for a great way to unwind after a long day at the park.
- Explore the resorts- Have you ever wanted to go see what it’s like in the Grand Floridian or Polynesian? Maybe you’ve always wanted to check out the Contemporary Resort and do a bit of shopping? Well good news, YOU CAN! You don’t have to be staying at a resort in order to go check things out. Many of the resorts have restaurants in them that you are able to dine in and shops you can explore without having to actually be guest. (and bonus thing to the list here- sometimes these restaurants aren’t as crowded so it’s easier to get into them and may not be as noises as the ones in the parks.) This is always a great way to spend those days that get rained out. Just keep in mind, you probably won’t get to see inside of one of the rooms but ask the front desk if they have a hidden Mickey scavenger hunt there and set out on a day of exploration.
- Run a marathon- yup you can run marathons at Disney… if you’re into that sort of thing.
- Explore Behind the scenes- Disney has all kind of different tours that they offer for an amazing behind the scenes view at what makes the parks tick. They can be pretty expensive and may not be for all ages, so just make sure that you read the fine print before you sign up for one.
There you have it guys, twenty things you may not have known you can do at Disney. Let me know in the comment section what you’re favorite thing on the list is and make sure to post me in those Disney pics over on Instagram @goldfishandgin . Don’t forget to hit that follow button on the right.
~ See ya next time!