After many visits to Walt Disney World, we all have more than enough pictures of Cinderella Castle, the characters, and attractions. And we have visited all of the big, obvious places. So what can we do to mix it up a bit?
Well, here are ten things you may not have done:
- Climb The Contemporary Resort. You can’t get to the top of this Resort using the elevators, because non-Guests are locked out of the upper floors. And maybe dining at The California Grill, the restaurant at the top of the building, isn’t in your budget. But there is a way up! Head to the end of the building that faces The Magic Kingdom. Head left just under the Monorail beams and exit to the balcony. Look to your left again and take the exterior stairs. These stairs lead to an observation deck on the roof of the Resort. From there, you can see and photograph for at least 180 degrees. Not many will have this experience, but you have to be fit. Believe me!
- Eat with another Guest. You are visiting The Happiest Place on Earth, so spread some joy! While dining at any of the quick-service food courts, why not ask if you can join someone who is already seated? Make a quick scan of the faces, pick the happiest ones, and start up a conversation. And perhaps a new Disney friendship!
- Photograph a theme. Don’t just snap away at anything that moves! OK, the Castle doesn’t move, but you know what I mean! Pick a theme and then keep an eye out for things to add to your photo-essay. Lamp Posts, Cast Costumes, and signage: all of these things are different in every Park and in every Land within the Parks. And if each member of your family picks a different theme, you’ll have lots of interesting photographs to share!
- Email from EPCOT. There are many Activity Stations in this Park. Simply ask a Cast Member: “Are there any activities here that I can do and then email to friends and family?” If there are, they will direct you to them. And it’s always free! Spaceship Earth, Mexico Pavilion, and Innoventions are just some of the locations that offer Activity Stations.
- Bird watch. Not every animal at Walt Disney World is Animatronic or placed in its position for maximum effect by Imagineers. Florida’s wildlife is just that, and Disney has no control over when they come or where they go! Children especially can have fun finding and noting all of the varieties of birds that have made their way into the Parks without paying.
- Take the DVC tour. Every Disney fan should do this at least once. It only takes about 2 hours, you get access to a beverage and snack bar at the beginning and ice cream at the end, plus a $15 Gift Card per adult or Fastpasses. You also get a souvenir book and some things for your scrapbook. And just between you and me: The Disney Vacation Club actually makes sense! This is especially a good use of your time if it’s raining.
- Break with tradition. It can be a lot of fun to step outside of your comfort zone! So on your next vacation, go on that ride that terrifies you. Visit the attraction that you think you wouldn’t like. Or visit your favorite attraction in a different way. For example, during our last visit to WDW, my wife and I went on The Jungle Cruise at night for the first time. It’s a whole new ride when viewed in the dark!
- Hunt for obscure landmarks. Do you know how to find the Lawnmower Tree at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground? Do you know where the Survey Marker is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? And what other obscure things are out there to be found? Only time and a keen eye will tell! Surf the net for ideas (perhaps here at Chip and Company) before your next trip.
- Join in the fun. Get involved in some Streetmosphere at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or World Showcase at EPCOT. Wear a funny hat when visiting a Park. Sing along on It’s a Small World. Just don’t sit there watching everyone else have fun! Get involved whenever possible. Remember, no one knows who you are, so let loose!
- Ask a Cast Member. There are thousands of people working at Walt Disney World. How many have you actually talked to? The next time you’re at a Park, find a Cast Member who isn’t busy, like the one standing outside a closed attraction. Trust me, she’s bored! Introduce yourself and ask: “What is your favorite Guest experience?” or “I want to do something different. What do you recommend?” You get a new perspective on the Park, and she gets a change in her day. It’s win-win!
So there you have it. Ten things you may not have done yet at Walt Disney World.
Lee Beatens has two sides as a Writer/Artist. His writing side is showcased at the Blog called Disleelandia, and his artistic side is showcased at the Blog called The CANADIAN Kingdom. His improbable third side is showcased here.
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