Orlando visitors quickly realize that there are an abundance of things to do at the Walt Disney World resort. If this is your first time visiting Disney World, chances are you’ll only focus on seeing the most popular attractions at the main four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
However, if you’re looking for something different to add to your Orlando vacation plans, keep the following highly underrated experiences in mind.
8. Famous Snacks
One thing that there is no shortage of in Walt Disney World is snacks. But, as with everything else, Disney snacks are different. Disney fans with a sweet tooth have so many delicious options to try. Some of the more well known snacks include the Dole Whip, Churros and the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar. However, my personal favorite snacks are the School Bread and the Strawberry Tart at Epcot’s Norway and France pavilions respectively. Disney snacks have been made famous by previous guests that have tried them, and there is a good reason for it. They are without doubt some of the tastiest snacks you’ll find in a themed attraction.
7. Dinner Shows
Staying on the subject of food. Mmmmmmm, food. The Walt Disney World dinner shows are something that you must try at least once. Some of my favorites include the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. I go into more detail about some of these dining experiences in my free book, 15 Things You MUST SEE at Walt Disney World, which you can download here.
6. Lunch Menus at Restaurants
It comes as quite a surprise to some visitors that items on the lunch menus at popular restaurants are significantly less expensive than as priced on the dinner menus. For instance at Be Our Guest restaurant within the Magic Kingdom park, the average price of an entrée is $30 on the dinner menu. However, the average price of an entrée on their lunch menu is $12. Now, you do get what you pay for in terms of food. But if it’s the unique quality experience of dining at a popular restaurant that you’re looking for, the lunch service is a much more affordable option.
5. Disney Springs
While you may have visited the Disney Springs area on past visits, perhaps when it was known as Downtown Disney, it’s important to realize that the area has been greatly re-themed and expanded. There is now more shopping and dining experiences than ever. There are many amazing things that you may not have had time to do in the past here, such as La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil. On my first couple of visits to Walt Disney World, I would always arrive at the Disney Springs area and just saunter around without a map of the area. When I started to go more frequently to Disney Springs (then known as Downtown Disney) I began planning my time better by studying what was actually in the map. I must say that I’m glad I did, because I initially missed out on a lot of shops and entertainment that I didn’t know existed.
4. Quality Souvenirs
Disney is the absolute best company in terms of producing quality souvenirs! Most other theme parks and resorts around the world produce merchandise items, but they aren’t usually the type of things guests are just dying to get their hands on. Disney is totally different. They always have a quality merchandise line to choose from. Here are our favorite items (take note of how you can buy merchandise for a cheaper price on Disney’s Official Amazon Store).
3. Mini Golf
Many guests don’t realize that Walt Disney World is home to four miniature golf courses! And no, they’re not just any mini golf courses. They’re Disney mini golf courses, so you know they’re going to be highly entertaining.
Nestled beside Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park, you’ll find Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. The experience is split into two sides: the Summer Course and the Winter Course.
The Summer Course promises “fun in the sun” amid surfboards, sandcastles and ornaments hanging from palm trees. Mind you don’t wake sleeping Santa buried in the sand!
The Winter Course allows you to putt your way to the “North Hole” while dodging Squirty the Snowman, who sprays water at golfers when their ball passes beneath him. After sinking the last putt on Hole 18, golfers receive a special message from Santa Claus, courtesy of the WinterNet!
Close by the Swan Hotel in the Epcot resort area, you’ll find another two courses at Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf. Each course has 18 holes and is themed around Disney’s Fantasia. There is a whimsical course and a more traditional course. I’ve always been more fond of the whimsical course as it is a lot more fun!
2. Backstage Tours
Disney’s backstage tours are best enjoyed by guests that have visited the parks more than once. While first-time guests will enjoy the tours, repeat guests will get so much more out of the experience. Disney offers some of the best tours at a themed attraction, giving you an up-close look at how magic is created at the Walt Disney World resort. The Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot, gives guests an insight into the many ways that Disney are improving the agricultural industry. While the Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will cater to the interests of animal lovers. One of the most popular tours at Walt Disney World is the Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom, providing a 5-hour insight into some of the world renowned attractions that Disney is famous for.
1. Water Parks
Without a doubt the most missed experience on this list are the Disney water parks. When you purchase your WDW tickets, you have the option to add on some extra experiences. The most popular option is the Park Hopper passes. However, if you’re not that bothered about doing multiple parks per day, which can be a hassle with Disney transportation and parking, it’s a much better choice to opt for the Water Parks add-on. The water parks are an amazing experience and are often much quieter than the theme parks, since most people opt for Park Hopper passes as mentioned above. Blizzard Beach has a ski-resort theme and is home to the jaw-dropping slide: Summit Plummet. While Typhoon Lagoon is based around a tropical destination hit by a storm. When the storm grew less intense, the locals noticed that it had shaped the mountains into thrilling water slides. Both water parks are an amazing experience that should not be missed.
Just in case you’re interested, Undercover Tourist have agreed to offer the WLO community a free day at the water parks when booking a 3-day ticket directly through our special link: http://weloveorlandofl.com/freewaterparkticket
Did we miss anything that you might be missing? Leave us a comment below!
Until next time, my friends.