| |

Overlooked Experiences at Walt Disney World

Having been to Walt Disney World numerous times, I still find myself checking things off my “new to us” list.  There are so many overlooked experiences at Walt Disney World, and I am excited to share them with you!

Walt Disney World is full of “must dos”.  Guests have their pick of four theme parks, two waterparks, miniature golf courses, Disney Springs, and let’s not forget to visit some of the Walt Disney World resorts, too!  

As soon as I enter a Disney theme park, my instinct is to go to our first “must do” attraction. A day at Disney is over before you know it, and there are so many amazing opportunities that are overlooked!

Walt Disney World overlooked experiences.  What not miss on your #WaltDisneyWorld vacation.

Outside the Disney Theme Parks

Disney’s Miniature Golf Courses.  Did you know that with your Magic Your Way Package, you are entitled to entry before 4PM at one of the miniature golf courses on Walt Disney World property?  Yes!  These are perfect for your “down day” when you need something to do outside of the theme parks.  Plus, they are well themed and a lot of fun!  Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter-Summerland Miniature Golf Courses are both 18-holes of family fun!

Winter-Summerland Miniature Golf will give you a “very merry” experience, even in the hot months of summer. Santa Claus himself designed it! Guests choose the Summer Course or the Winter Course. Winter Summerland is located near the entrance to Blizzard Beach. Guests will take a bus to Blizzard Beach, and then can walk to the entrance of Winter Summerland.

Fantasia Gardens invites guests to putt through 5 whimsical scenes, fountains, and hippos in tutus. This is located in the EPCOT area, and the Tower of Terror and The Swan/Dolphin hotels make for a magical backdrop. Guests can take the Skyliner to the Boardwalk and walk to Fantasia Gardens.

Christmas Tree Stroll. While this is definitely a seasonal event, it is still overlooked. Disney Springs is full of beautiful, themed Christmas Trees. Guests can pick up a free map, and complete a scavenger hunt of all the trees. Last year’s prize was an EARidescent Button! This is a complimentary activity, and the trees are amazing! Definitely not to be missed!


KidCot Fun Stops in EPCOT’s World Showcase.  Tucked away in each of the World Showcase pavilions is a KidCot Fun Stop.  Your children can visit with a Cast Member from that country, and learn something new! Pick up an international memento at any or all 11 stations! Guests collect activity cards at each country through World Showcase. This is perfect for the family who wants to wander World Showcase, but still wants something for the kids to do. 

L’Artisans de Glace.  A little ice cream, a little sorbet, and a whole lot of “YUM” is what you fill find at L’Artisans de Glace.  This little shop is tucked away in the French Pavilion of World Showcase, off the beaten path.  This artisanal French sweet shop is perfect for any time of day.  Their Mango Sorbet is my personal favorite.  And if you are feeling fancy, you can enjoy an Ice Cream Martini or a Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich.  L’Artisans de Glace is worth a visit, and a great change from the typical ice cream treats you will find in the Disney Parks. 

Via Napoli in EPCOT’s World Showcase.  LOVE Via Napoli!  This is my “must eat” location on every trip, and I love it more and more each time.  I think a lot of guests see it as “just a pizza place”, but it truly isn’t!  First, the pizza is wood fired and amazing.  A little charred, thin, amazing crust with your favorite toppings….yum!  Plus the waiters are pretty handsome, and the whole place has a vibe of Italian culture.  The open eating area, prompt service, and enough food to share makes it a great value and a good place for your family to eat! Oh, and don’t forget the Red Sangria….which is fantastic!  

Magic Kingdom

Photopass Tangled Lantern.  For guests who can stay in the park until closing, this is a special treat!  So many guests miss this beautiful photo opportunity, and it is one of my favorites! Near Rapunzel’s Tower, between the restrooms and stroller parking, you’ll find a Photopass photographer as dusk settles in and it begins to get dark. This beautiful glowing lantern makes for a one of a kind photo opportunity!

Main Street USA. Main Street USA is not just the pathway to Cinderella’s Castle. It is also home to some of the best entertainment at Magic Kingdom! The Dapper Dans are my favorite way to enjoy Main Street USA. This barbershop quartet makes appearances daily, beginning at 9:55AM most days. They play the chimes, tap dance, and have their own sense of humor!

Another overlooked experience of Walt Disney World, found on Main Street USA is the Main Street Confectionary. You can smell the sweetness before you even enter the doors! Here you will find amazing detailed, gorgeous sweets. But, as you walk in to the right, you will also find an observation window. You can watch the Cast Members decorate the chocolate apples, create stunning treats, and see how they put the finishing touches on your favorite sweets!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue….and Beyond at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.  Admittedly, I saw this show on my 8th Disney trip…and wondered why I had waited so long!  I feel as if this gets overlooked because its counterpart, the Festival of the Lion King, is so amazingly popular.   However, I think that Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond is definitely worth the visit.  The story is super cute, the production is really well done {it can’t be easy to make an underwater scene on a stage!}, but Disney does it well! Every stage show at Walt Disney World is fantastic, and this is no exception.  

Pandora at Night. For some guests, Animal Kingdom is very popular during the day. Then, they move to EPCOT or Magic Kingdom to catch the fireworks. However, Pandora is NOT to be missed at night! This amazing, beautiful land literally sparkles when it is dark. The land is glowing, full of bioluminescent lights and the sounds of the night.

The Tree of Life. It’s easy to walk into Animal Kingdom, pose for a photo in front of the Tree of Life, and move on with your day. But, the Tree of Life is way more than just a photo spot! I think it is a HUGE overlooked experience at Walt Disney World. There are over 320 animal carvings in this tree. If you look REALLY close, you will see a carving of the chimp, David Greybeard, near the bottom. Right next to him is a carving of Jane Goodall. PLUS, the Tree of Life “awakens” every night with beautiful projections and illuminations. This continues every 10 minutes from dark to park close.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. This show is one of my favorites. The choreography is fun, the costumes are beautiful, and it hits all your favorite Beauty and the Beast numbers. The theater is outdoors, but it is covered.  We like to sit in the bleachers toward the back of the show, under the shaded canopies.  I would consider this one of the best shows at Walt Disney World, and an attraction everyone should add to their park plan.  

Walt Disney Presents. This is a self guided tour, and definitely worth a visit. We love to enjoy this while it’s raining or super hot outside! This is a gallery of Walt Disney artifacts and history that is truly amazing. The desk where Walt worked is on display, as well as past artifacts. We have also seen costumes from popular films. Most recently, we saw costumes from Disney’s Descendants. Some of the artifacts change with what is popular, and if they are working on attractions in the parks. Currently, there is a model of the Galactic Starcruiser on display!

As you can see, Walt Disney World is way more than just headliner attractions!  Sure, the classics such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo, and the more popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Slinky Dog Dash should be at the top of your list of “must dos”.  However, I hope that in this list you have found some “new to you” experiences at Walt Disney World to try on your next trip!

Carrie Hurst

Not only do I love sharing all my vacation tips and ideas here on A Princess and Her Pirates, but I also work alongside families to create magical vacation memories year after year! Email me at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to begin the planning process, and join hundreds of families on my current guest list.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *