Home to the world’s best rides, plus famous characters and some seriously good dining and shopping, Disney World offers something for everyone. And whether it’s your first time at parks or your 10th annual trip, there’s always something surprising to keep you entertained. Here are 10 unusual things to discover on your next trip – from secret tunnels to swimming with sharks.
1) Watch the fireworks from a pontoon boat
You’ve probably heard about the daily fireworks display that’s held at Epcot. But did you know that you can see the show from the water? If you’re visiting the park as part of a big group, you can hire out a private pontoon boat for a special front-row seat. Setting sail from the Boardwalk Marina or the Yacht and Beach Club Marina, the boats accommodate up to 10 guests at a time. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance.
2) Get your hair cut on Main Street USA
Can you imagine going to a theme park for your haircut? Well, Disney World has it all! Head over to the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom for a variety of cuts, blow-drys and colorings. This being Disney World, there are special extras including colorful hair gels and ‘pixie dust’. Young kids can even get their first-ever haircut here – the package includes Mickey Mouse ears and a certificate. The musical talents of the Dapper Dans, Disney’s own barbershop quartet, may even provide a bit of entertainment during your pampering session.
3) Go underground at Magic Kingdom
One of Disney’s worst-kept secrets is that the park is actually on the first floor – there’s a whole other level below the rides and steets. A large network of corridors (utilidors) were constructed before Disney World opened with the theme park built on top. These secret tunnels are used for backstage functions and so cast members are able to reach different locations of the parks quickly and easily. Most Disney visitors won’t ever see the secret underground world of Magic Kingdom, but certain tours give visitors rare access –try the ‘Keys to the Kingdom‘ tour, which allows access to the tunnels.
4) Order the ‘grey stuff’
Remember that bit in Beauty and the Beast when Lumière sings ‘Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious’? Well at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland, within the Magic Kingdom park, the ‘grey stuff’ is actually a sweet treat on the dessert menu. This is used to be on a secret menu and had to be requested through quiet whispers, but now it’s available for everyone to try. The Be Our Guest restaurant is one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants highly recommended to make dinner reservations up to 180 days in advance. Get in touch with our concierge team to book in your reservation.
5) Go diving with sharks
DiveQuest, an activity centre inside Epcot’s Seas Pavilion allows visitors to dive inside a 5.7 million gallon saltwater tank. Guests who are scuba-certified can discover over 6,000 creatures in the huge aquarium, including dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and angelfish as they swim through the tank. The whole experience lasts 3 hours, and around 40 minutes of that time is spent underwater in the huge Caribbean Coral Reef aquarium. Guests must be at least 10 years old and scuba certified. Kids aged 12 and under should be accompanied by a paying, participating parent or guardian. Speak with our concierge team today to book this activity during your stay.
6) Decorate a Christmas tree – even in summer
The Liberty Square area of Magic Kingdom is home to a Christmas shop that’s open all year round. ‘Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe’ regularly allows the first child of the day to decorate the Christmas tree. They’ll be able to sign it with their name and date to let all visitors know. It’s totally free – just make sure you wake up early enough to be the first visitor of the day!
7) Become a princess at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Is your little one a massive princess fan? Then allow them the chance to transform into their favorite princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Springs! This unique salon gives your child the choice of a fabulous hairstyle, makeup, nail polish change and an astounding ballgown, all with a few professional photos taken (depending on which package you go for). The once-in-a-lifetime experience will leave your child feeling magical and throughout the day. Disney cast members will also give them extra attention, lifting their spirit even more. Whether you want to treat your little one for their birthday or a different kind of special occasion, it’s worth making a reservation in advance. Let our concierge team know when you’d like to visit and they’ll organise the rest.
8) Eat restaurant-style food at the movies
Dinner and the movies are rolled into one at the AMC Dine-in theater at Disney Springs. The skill of multi-tasking has been taken to another level with this recent addition to Disney Springs. Whether you’re craving a burger and a comedy or a scary film with a side of fries, this is the place to be. You’ll be able to enjoy restaurant dining with the luxury of seat-side service. For movie times and menu information, visit the Disney website.
9) Fly high in a hot air balloon
Over at Disney Springs, you can soar through the sky in the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon! The once-in-a-lifetime experience sends you up 400 ft in the air with a 360-degree view of the entire Walt Disney World Resort. The whole experience lasts 8–10 minutes. Try and spot the iconic Disney sights as you float high into the air – from Epcot’s Spaceship Earth to Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. This is perfect for families with young kids or older relatives, who might not fancy trying Disney’s adrenaline rides. Tickets can be purchased by the balloon in Disney Springs. This ride works on a first-come, first-served basis, so go early!
10) Go to a ‘dessert party’
The Magic Kingdom’s daily fireworks display is accompanied by a delicious dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace. End your day with the grand display and a wide selection of treats, including colorful ice cream, chocolate-dipped strawberries, themed desserts and create-your-own cookies.
Hot chocolate and lemonade is served up for the kids, and there’s sparkling cider, tea and coffee for the grown-ups. When showtime approaches, you’ll be escorted to your seats on the patio of Tomorrowland Terrace, ready for the fireworks to light up the sky. This event is very popular so book ahead – our concierge team can help you secure a booking.
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