10. Take the Monorail
Taking the monorail during a Walt Disney World vacation may seem like a relatively ordinary thing to do, but it really is a huge part of what makes this kind of vacation unique. The monorails are so classic Disney. To any devout Disney fan, there is something really special about pulling up to the entrance to Main Street USA in a monorail. One of my favorite monorail rides to take is actually to Epcot, as I love the little tour the monorail gives you of Future World before it pulls into the station.
9. Meet the Characters
Meeting characters can be really fun, and it’s also a great way to give yourself a little break from rushing to all the different rides. Even if you do not have children, meeting the characters can still be fun and exciting. But for those with kids – let them take their character experience one step further with the Jedi Training Academy. Included in your Hollywood Studios park admission for ages 4 to 12-years-old, young Jedi’s have the opportunity to learn the way of the Jedi and even fight against Darth Vader or Seventh Sister after some special Jedi training practice. Boys and girls alike will remember this experience for years to come! Just be sure to head straight to registration when the park opens as slots fill quickly!
8. Attend a Dinner Show
Walt Disney World offers two dinner shows for guests– the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue, located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The two shows both offer family style dinners, and excellent entertainment, which are sure to make for a great evening away from the parks.
7. Pin Trading
Pin trading can be a fun way to collect some interesting Disney memorabilia during your trips to the parks. While it can easily become very addicting (trust me on this one) it’s also a great way to show your love for specific attractions or characters. There are pins for virtually anything Disney related, so you’re bound to be able to start a collection for whatever specific area you’re looking for.
6. Hit the Water Parks
During my time in the Disney College Program, I was really surprised at how many guests I spoke to who had never been to a Disney waterpark. If you’re only on a quick weekend trip, I totally understand not going to the waterparks, however if you have an extended stay it really is worth visiting the parks at least once. The theming at both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon is excellent, and the attractions definitely live up to the Disney standard, greatly surpassing your local waterparks.
5. Resort Hop
Disney puts as much detail into the theming and designs of the resorts as they do in the parks. If you’ve never wandered through other resorts that you’re not staying at, you really are missing out. While you cannot use certain amenities at resorts that you are not staying at, like the pools for instance, you most certainly can visit the lobbies, restaurants, and shops of any of the Disney resorts.
4. Visit During a Special Event
There are so many different events that take place at the Walt Disney World Resort you’re boung to find one that fits your interests! My favorite events to attend are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Other fan favorites include Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Epcot International Festival of Holidays. When booking your trip, do some research into what unique events might be taking place during your time in the parks.
3. Run Disney
Run Disney events are like no other races other there. The health and fitness expo, which takes place in the days leading up to your race features a variety of running products, many made by the brands you love with a Disney twist. In addition, the expo allows guests to attend seminars and other small events, which can help them better prepare for the race. The races themselves are times (runners must keep a 16 minute mile pace) but they are most definitely walkable or doable with a light jog. The characters guests can meet along the track are typically lesser-seen characters that you would likely not be able to meet otherwise, and the after parties are tons of fun as well.
2. Splurge on a Dinner
While eating out on vacation can typically be more expensive than we’d all like, I think it’s nice to splurge just a little bit during one meal on a vacation. Even if you’re really on a tight budget, put some extra money aside before your trip, make some reservations, and plan on having one expensive dinner at a signature restaurant. Your wallet might not be thrilled with this idea, but you should splurge at least a little bit on vacation, and a relaxing dinner can also provide you with a little escape from the craziness of the theme parks.
1. Resort Recreation
The Disney resorts offer a number of recreational amenities, including parasailing, boat rentals, water skiing, horseback riding, and bike rentals, just to name a few. In addition, many of the resorts offer different children’s and family activities throughout the day, all of which are unique programs put on by cast members of the Walt Disney World resort. If you’re looking to do something unique and fun on a day off from the parks, check out the recreational offerings at the resorts. Reservations can be made in advance, or during your trip depending upon availability at that time.