There is so much to do and take in at Disney World at any given moment of your trip. The sights, the sounds… the Smells!
It’s very easy to become overwhelmed and then end up missing out on some pretty special things to do while you’re there. So while you’re planning your next Vacay to MK, make sure that you include some of these things. You won’t be sorry that you’ve done it…Trust me!
Character dining is an absolutely can’t miss chance to have fun at Disney when you go. Now, I know it’s expensive, that’s why I don’t recommend doing it for every single meal. But It’s a great way to meet some of your favorite Disney pals, get some pretty awesome pictures, and have a decent meal while you’re at it. There are tons of different options out there. To start out with, you have the uber elite and hard to get reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Storybook Dining at Artist’s Point, and we can’t forget Be Our Guest in the Magic kingdom. Then you’ve got options like 1900 Park Fare where you can meet Cinderella, The Lady Tremaine, and the evil step sisters Drizella and Anastasia, as well as Prince Charming. You can also meet Alice and the Mad Hatter if you go for breakfast. Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can head over to Bon Voyage to meet Ariel, Eric, Rapunzel, and Flynn Rider. Now, if you’re more into the Fab 5, you can meet up with these guys at a host of different Character Meals. Chef Mickeys is probably the most well known. There are places like Garden Grill and Tusker House. Our personal Favorite, though, is The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom where you get to meet Winnie the Pooh and Friends. The food at a lot of these places isn’t the best. Most of them are buffet style meals, but the experience is completely worth the cost. Plus, if you’re a passholder, you can get discounts at a lot of these places and people on the Disney Dining Plans can also use a table service credit at these.
Did you even visit Magic Kingdom if you didn’t get a castle picture? Probably one of the best and most done pictures is the castle picture but it’s so worth it to stop for a second and snap that picture. It really is a breathtaking site and it’s fun to look back on the pictures and remember when you first walked in and saw that big Beautiful Cinderella Castle. By the way… it’s Cinderella Castle, not Cinderella’s Castle as a lot of people say. There… that’s something you now know.
GET THE MEMORY MAKER! Again, I know it’s expensive, but the Memory Maker is so worth it. Every time you take a picture with a character, stop at Photopass area, or ride and ride where you scan your magic band, you’ll have full access to all of these pictures and can print as many as you want.
Character Meet and Greats
No matter if you’re 1 or 100, take the time and get a picture with your favorite Disney Characters. Now, I know it may feel a little silly standing in a line to meet Ariel when your 35 and surrounded by a bunch of 5 year olds. You may be questioning your life choices at some point. But trust me when I tell you… it’s so worth it. Something happens when you meet your favorite characters. It’s like it turns you back into being a little kid yourself. I won’t lie… I’m sometimes more excited than my kids to meet certain characters and I may or may not have teared up a time or two.
Take the Monorail
The monorail is a quintessential Disney experience. You have to ride it at least once. You can take one of the monorails from Magic Kingdom or Epcot to one of the resorts or just to transportation station. But you’ve got to hop on it at some point just for a ride.
Eating something shaped like a Mickey Head
When you think about it, there is something kind of weird about eating something in the shape of the Big cheese’s head, but it’s oh so satisfying. Weather it’s chowing down on of the amazing Mickey Waffles at a character breakfast or cooling off with a Mickey Premium Bar, you’ve got to try a Mickey Shaped something while you’re at the parks.
Watching the nighttime shows
Disney has some of the most amazing nighttime displays you’ll ever see and each park has something completely unique that you won’t see anywhere else. So weather you’re at Magic Kingdom and watch Happily Ever After or the Electrical Water Pageant or you see Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, hang out and watch these amazing shows. There is something so emotional and awe inspiring about these. Plus, once they are over, most people head out of the parks but if you hang out at Magic Kingdom after Happily Ever After, you can ride a lot of the rides with little to no wait time. We’ve been able to ride Barnstormer 6 times in one night without having anyone else on the ride with us.
Close out the Park
Magic Kingdom is open the latest of any of the Disney Parks and closing it out is one of the most fun things that you can do. As mentioned above, Once Happily Ever After is over, the park clears out and everyone heads to the Monorails, Ferry, and buses but don’t be one of those people. Stay and ride the rides. Enjoy the shorter wait times, and get to experience something that a lot of guests will never see… The Kiss Goodnight. If you’re a Disney fan but just thought, “what’s that?”, you’re not alone. A lot of people have never heard of or seen it but it really is something special.
The Kiss Goodnight essentially Disney Worlds way of thanking the guests and telling them goodbye for the night. It’s a little over a 2 minute show that starts with Cinderella Castle twinkling as the melody from When You Wish Upon a Star plays. It is followed by a narrator giving a small speech. It normally will repeat itself every 30 minutes or so once the park is closed.
The best place to see this is from Main Street U.S.A.
Get a Picture with Minnie Ears or a silly hat
This one is pretty easy to do, even if you don’t own any Minnie Ears. Head to one of the shops, pick out a set of Minnie Ears, and snap away. I love Minnie Ears and there’s just something fun about taking a picture while donning a pair of them.
Interact with the street performers
Everyone immediately thinks about the fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy) or the Princesses when they think of Disney characters but there are SO many more than just them walking around the parks. The Dapper Dans, The Citizens of Main Street or Hollywood, The Mayor, The Fire Chief, Policemen, etc. These characters are so much fun and really do so much. So take a minute and talk to them, watch their shows, and get a picture with them.
Take a Wall Picture
There are so many great walls around Disney to take pictures with, so take advantage of it. There’s the Purple wall in Magic Kingdom, The Cotton Candy wall outside of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, There are several really cool walls in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. So don’t miss out.
Look for Hidden Mickey’s
This is a fun little scavenger hunt the whole family can enjoy. You can find hidden Mickey’s everywhere at Disney and Disney resorts. Some of the resorts even have little handouts and scavenger hunt prizes if you find them all. So while you’re walking around, make sure to take a look around you and try to find some of those hidden Mickey’s.
Walk Around the Tree of Life
A commonly overlooked treasure at Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life. There are some pretty amazing carvings all over it and inside of it. So while you’re walking around looking at everything else, take some time to explore this amazing feature and see what animals you can find on it.
Grab a Snack
Some of the treats at Disney are really amazing and they can’t be found anywhere else. Even if you just buy one, I highly encourage you to grab a snack (and I don’t mean the giant turkey legs) while you’re at the parks. Magic Kingdom has some very delicious Ice Cream treats which are perfect for a hot day at the parks, Of course there are those delicious Mickey Pretzels and popcorn all over, there are also things like bacon on a stick.
Explore the Resorts
Disney Resorts are an experience in and of themselves. If you have an extra day, or find that one of your vacation days have been rained out, go on a resort exploration. You most likely won’t be able to see in the rooms but the lobbies are free game. Go on a hidden Mickey hunt or just go explore the gift shops and decor. You can also eat at the restaurants in the Hotels without having to be a guest at the hotel. These restaurants are sometimes not as crowded as the ones in the parks or at Disney Springs, so it can be a better option for when you’re hungry.
There are so many things to do at Disney that you should never get board but you really want to make sure that you don’t miss out all of these things. Seeing something as small as a hidden Mickey in a ride line or hearing the Citizens of Hollywood arguing as they make their way down the road really are what add just that little bit of extra magic to your day.
What are some of your favorite non-ride things at Disney that you think everyone should do at least once? Let us know in the comment section below.
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