We’re always on the lookout for unique things to do at Walt Disney World. It’s undeniable that it’s always evolving and if you don’t take a trip for a few years, you’ll return to find boatloads of new attractions, restaurants, and rides! However, if you’re an avid Disney fan like us, it can sometimes feel like you’ve done everything that there is to do. But Disney’s property is enormous and despite how it may feel, there’s always something new! Here are 25 unique things to do at Walt Disney World when (feel like) you’ve done it all:
1. Search for Hidden Mickeys
Disney’s property is filled with hidden Mickeys, left by Imagineers as a “signature” on their work. Some are super easy to spot while others may require some help from a cast member. There are books and websites dedicated to hidden Mickey hunting, so look up some clues and see what you can find!
2. Get a makeover at the Grand Floridian salon
Every little girl loves the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but sadly, they only offer their services for those up to 12 years old. If you want a makeover of your own, check out the Ivy Trellis Salon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. They offer adult princess (or villain!) makeovers that can be as subtle or as over the top as you’d like. Grab a glass of champagne and your favorite Disney buddy and splurge on a makeover for a special event like Dapper Day or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
3. Attend a non-Disney sponsored special event
From Dapper Day to Gay Days, there are many non-official Disney events at the parks! With meet-ups, conventions, and shopping, they’re a great way to plus up a typical Disney trip. Find one that interests you and hit the park – most don’t have any sort of additional entry fee!
4. Create your own monorail loop dining experience
The monorail loop dining experience is an incredibly unique experience, but it’s quite pricey and isn’t always available. As an alternative, DIY your own monorail loop dining experience! Some options: Start with a drink at Trader Sam’s, have dinner at Citrico’s, and end with dessert at Contempo Cafe. Or, start with a drink at Misner’s Lounge, have dinner at California Grill, and end with dessert at Pineapple Linai!
5. Rent a personal boat and explore Seven Seas Lagoon
Did you know that at many deluxe resorts, you can rent a boat and explore Bay Lake and/or Seven Seas Lagoon? From two-person mini-speedboats to large family pontoons, anyone is welcome to hit the lake! Special tip: If you’re a fan of abandoned things, this is the best way to get an up close and personal view of the former River Country and Discovery Island!
6. Take a backstage tour
If you’re the ultimate Disney fan, this is the ultimate way to experience the parks. Disney offers a variety of tours, ranging in theme, price, and length, where you can go backstage and learn about the inner workings of Walt Disney World. From exploring the Magic Kingdom utilidors to learning Disney history to spotting half-costumed characters, backstage tours are the perfect way to expand your Disney knowledge. And if you’ve somehow done them all already (in which case wow, we’re jealous!) take one again – no two tours are ever the same!
7. Meet rare characters that you’ve never met before
Try to collect the signatures of as many characters as you can – it’s a great way to always be on the hunt for new, rare characters who may be out for a surprise visit! To optimize your chances, hit the parks early in the morning when characters are more likely to be roaming, particularly in places like the Magic Kingdom hub. Or, check out “Characterpalooza” (which is one of Walt Disney World’s best kept secrets), in which a group of characters randomly appear in Hollywood Studios for ten or fifteen minutes in the mid-afternoon. Rare characters tend to make an appearance from time to time!
8. Take in the hidden details and history of the parks
Disney doesn’t do anything accidentally and their eye for detail can’t be beat. Every land, ride, attraction, and detail is thought out and has some sort of purpose – there are probably hundreds of hidden items that you never noticed were actually purposefully placed to be part of the story. Use the blog posts below to find some of our favorite hidden features!
9. Spend a night at Jellyrolls
If you’ve never been to Jellyrolls, you’re missing out on a Disney-insider staple. Jellyrolls is a dueling piano bar located on Disney’s Boardwalk where guests can request songs to be played by one of the two pianists. No song is too obscure (or so they say), so see if you can stump them! If you’re in the mood for a Disney sing-a-long, this is definitely the place to go. Note that there is a cover fee to enter (but no drink minimum).
10. Talk to cast members
Cast members come from all across the globe to work at Disney World. From the international cast members working in the World Showcase to Disney College Program students to senior citizens from neighboring Floridian towns, each cast member has a story to tell. You’ll find that many love to talk and will tell you about their Disney experience, favorite fun fact, or even a backstage secret!
11. Explore a new resort
You don’t have to be a resort guest to enjoy the various Walt Disney World resorts. Each has a specific theme with unique shops, restaurants, lounges, and more, and all public areas are open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you’re staying there! Some of our favorite activities include watching the animals on the plains at Animal Kingdom Lodge, grabbing a drink at Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian, and listening to the music in the Grand Floridian.
12. Do a segway tour
Do you remember when you could test ride (drive?) segways in Innoventions? That exhibit is long gone, but you can still ride a Segway in one place on Disney property – Fort Wilderness Campground! Twice a day, they offer guided Segway tours, complete with a full Segway training and exploration of the grounds. We took this tour in March of 2019 and loved it – we highly recommend it for anyone looking for a unique experience!
For more information about this tour, check out our YouTube video!
13. Watch streetmosphere performances
If you are someone who literally has done everything that Disney has to offer, this is one of the best options. Streetmosphere performers, such as the Citizens of Hollywood, do a variety of interactive, improv skits. They perform based on their surroundings and audience participation, so no show is ever the same. We often will watch the Citizens three or four times a day, since you never know what they’re going to come up with! To see a full list of all of the Citizens of Hollywood, check out this article.
14. Participate in an “around the world” challenge
The World Showcase in Epcot offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience other cultures through authentic food, drinks, and merchandise! The most classic around the world challenge is to try a drink in each country. We recommend doing this one with a buddy so that you can split drinks – 11 can be a bit much for one person! If you’d rather do something that doesn’t involve alcohol (or you aren’t 21), consider trying a small bite from each pavilion – during the festivals, each pavilion has small plates that are perfect for tasting. Or if you have more of a sweet tooth, do the candy challenge – find an authentic piece of candy in each pavilion!
15. Try your hand at Disney photography (check Instagram for inspiration!)
Photographing Disney is a fun and unique way to experience and capture the parks. Even as a beginner, you can get some awesome shots while learning and practicing new techniques! For inspiration, be sure to check out some of the Disney photographers on Instagram. Some of our favorites include @dougdoesdisney, @magicalshannonmarie, and @jasonpphotography. And to see what we’ve captured, you can check us out @themouselets! Also, check out @disney_nuts ‘s YouTube channel for some awesome Disney photography tutorials.
16. Taste test the latest dessert
With the rise of Disney Instagrammers, Disney has recently been upping their dessert game. From themed-ice cream cones to specialty cupcakes, they are constantly releasing new desserts that look as good as they taste! Seek out the latest trendy treat and see if you think it’s worth the hype.
17. Eat at a new restaurant
If you’ve tried every restaurant on Disney property, you must be in some sort of record book! There are over one hundred different dining options at Walt Disney World including resorts, Disney Springs, and the parks. Next visit, try a new place! A few of our underrated favorite restaurants include Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco, Epcot; the Garden Grille; Grand Floridian Cafe; and Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
18. Close down Magic Kingdom
Have you ever been the last person in Magic Kingdom? We have! When the park closes, cast members allow you to stick around for another hour (or more) to take photos. As various areas of the park empty out, cast members will be standing by to close them out, but they won’t rush you and are happy to wait as you take photos of an empty park, and even get that coveted solo Main Street shot!
19. Take a VIP tour
If you have the money, a VIP tour is the ultimate way to experience the Disney parks and the pinnacle of unique things to do at Walt Disney World. You’ll get unlimited Fastpasses, private transportation, free snacks and water, access to backstage areas, and of course, a private tour guide who can tell you anything and everything that you want to know about the parks. The price is obviously quite high but pro tip – if you can get a group together and split it, the cost can be somewhat doable and could be worth it for a single day, special occasion splurge!
20. Take an animation class at Art of Animation resort
If you visited Hollywood Studios or DisneyQuest prior to 2015, you may remember Animation Academy, a drop-in class in which a real Disney animator taught you to draw a classic Disney character. Unfortunately, it was removed from Hollywood Studios in favor of Star Wars Launch Bay and was gone with DisneyQuest when it was demolished for the NBA Experience. However, Animation Academy is still available for your enjoyment, if you can find it! During the Festival of the Arts at Epcot, you can experience Animation Academy in the park and, according to the press releases for the new Play pavillion, Animation Academy will be offered there as well. However, in the meantime, Animation Academy is offered year-round at Disney’s Art of Animation resort and is open to all visitors, not just guests of the hotel!
21. Go parasailing at the Contemporary
Experience Walt Disney World from above and go parasailing on the Seven Seas Lagoon! Available from the Contemporary Resort for any visitors to Walt Disney World, you can choose the standard or deluxe experience (deluxe will get you a few more minutes in the air and a higher sail for better views). If you’re more adventurous, check out the other water sport excursions, also available from the Contemporary Resort.
22. Roast s’mores and watch a movie at Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
Each night at Fort Wilderness, Chip and Dale make an appearance for some campfire fun! Join them to gather around the fire to roast marshmallows (available for purchase or you’re welcome to bring your own), take photos, sign autographs, and sing along to Disney favorites with one of Fort Wilderness’s cowboys. Afterwards, they’ll play a classic Disney movie on the big screen, where you can enjoy a favorite film under the stars! Again, this is open to anyone, not just guests of the resort.
23. Watch the fireworks from a new location
Disney’s firework spectaculars are one-of-a-kind but for frequent visitors, it can be fun to change it up. Try watching the fireworks from a different viewpoint – ag Magic Kingdom, check them out from the top of Swiss Family Treehouse, the back of the castle, or even rides such as Dumbo, Splash Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain. In Epcot, watch from the balcony outside Teppan Edo or on the patio behind Yorkshire County Fish Shop!
24. Volunteer in the Indiana Jones show
You may have seen the Indiana Jones show, but have you ever participated? Being a part of the show is an awesome way to experience it in a whole new way! To get selected, try to be sitting closer to the front of the theater – it’s okay if you’re not in the first few rows, but it’s better to be closer and off to the side than further back and in the middle. As soon as you hear the casting director ask for volunteers, immediately jump up and start waving your hands and cheering – don’t be shy! If you’re one of the first people that catches their eye, you’re very likely to get chosen. And if you don’t get picked on your first try, just try again next time!
25. See the Hoop-De-Doo-Revue
The Hoop-De-Doo Revue is one of the longest running dinner shows in American history. It plays three times a night at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and has various tiers of seating options and pricing. This show is one of the most hilarious, popular shows on Disney property so if you’re interested, be sure to book as far in advance as you can! And on the night of, leave plenty of time to get there – you’ll have to take a bus within the campground, so definitely factor that into your travel time.
Looking for other unique things to do at Walt Disney World? Check out our eight ways to splurge!