25 Surprising Things To Do At Walt Disney World

Here is a list of 25 things to do at Walt Disney World that may surprise you. There are so many hidden little treasures to explore at Disney World. This is one of the reasons so many people keep going back!

1. Go Horseback Riding

Guests ages 9 and up can take a trail ride exploring the natural beauty surrounding Fort Wilderness Resort. You don’t even have a be a guest at one of the Disney resorts.  Reservations are made through the Tri-Cirle-D Ranch by calling (407) 939-7529.

2. Take a Segway Tour

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort also offers the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure. On this two-hour tour, guests will ride a 2X, an all-terrain Segway, around  Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the stables of Tri-Circle-D Ranch, and Bay Lake. Tours are held daily at 8:30 and 11:30, prior reservations are required and can be made by calling (407)-939-8676. Check-in at the Bike Barn at Disney’s Fort Wilderness 15 min prior to your tour. 

Pro Tip– Allow lots of extra time to get to the Bike Barn if you are not staying at Fort Wilderness. If you are driving you will need to park in the guest parking lot at the front entrance then take an internal bus to the Bike Barn. If you are coming from a different Disney resort and using the bus transportation, you will need to take a bus from your resort to a park or Disney Springs then catch a bus from there to Fort Wilderness. Disney does not offer bus service direct from resort to resort, don’t ask me why.

3. Take a cake decorating class

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and the cost of your cake, which is $59 is included. The Disney Food Blog has a great review of this class with pictures here. It is a slightly dated review so some of the information is no longer accurate. Current pricing, available dates and to book this class go here. 

4. Get a haircut

It may not be that surprising that you can get a haircut at Disney World. There are 5 salons on the Walt Disney World property that offer hair services, but did you know that you can get a haircut right in the Magic Kingdom? Well, you can! The Harmony Barber Shop is located right on Main Street U.S.A and offers a charming, old-school barbershop feel. 

While anyone can get a haircut here, their signature service is the My First Haircut package. This includes a haircut, a milestone certificate, keepsake lock of hair AND a Mickey ears hat with “My First Haircut” embroidered on the back. You get all of this and an amazing memory for $25! They also offer kids haircuts for $18 and adult haircuts for $19. Complimentary pixie dust (glitter) is also offered.

 Other places that offer haircuts for the entire family are:

  • Salon of the Springs at Wilderness Lodge 
  • Ivy Trellis Salon at the Grand Floridian 
  • La Vida Salon at Coronado Springs 
  • Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness at the Yacht and Beach club
  • Mandarin Spa at the Dolphin

5. Sing Karaoke

Yep. Have a little sake and get your sing on at Kimonos. This (amazing) sushi restaurant turns into a karaoke bar every evening around 9:30. Don’t worry, if sake is not your thing, they offer an extensive bar menu. Kimonos is located at Disney’s Swan hotel.

Pro Tip-Kimonos does not participate in Disney’s Dining Plan and does not accept Magic Bands for payment.

6. Take surfing lessons

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon offers surfing lessons in America’s largest outdoor wave pool. Classes are offered before park open and are limited to 12 students. A continental breakfast is also included. 

7. Learn to hula dance

Hula lessons are taught in lobby at the Polynesian resort Monday through Friday at 3:45 and Saturdays at 10:00am. This lovely tradition was started by Auntie Kau’i. She came to the Polynesian with her husband in 1971 to start the luau dinner. I hear that you can still find her in the lobby at times, making leis or telling stories of the Polynesian culture and history.

8. Get a Henna tattoo

Getting a beautiful henna tattoo is the perfect way to have a little Disney magic with you for a couple of weeks. You can have one done at the Morocco pavilion in Epcot or Mombasa Marketplace in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Prices run from $15 to $35 depending on the design. They will even add a little Disney flare with some pixie dust if you like! 

9. Participate in Flag Retreat

This is one of those things that Disney does that makes me all sappy, nostalgic and blessed. I love it!
This ceremony takes place at 5:00 PM in Main Street USA’s Square at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World Security and a randomly select Veteran conduct the ceremony. Guests are lead in reciting the pledge of allegiance and a chorus of “God Bless America” while the Color Guard removes and folds the flag for the day.

10. Make s'mores by a campfire

Basically all of the moderate and deluxe resorts have evening campfires where they offer free, unlimited marshmallows for guests to roast. So technically you could make s’mores at any of these resorts if you bring graham crackers and chocolate. 

The Fort Wilderness Campground also offers a Campfire Sing-A-Long with Chip and Dale. This is basically a  free character meet and greet! The fun begins around 7:00 in the fall/winter season and 8:00 in spring/summer. Unlike the campfires at the moderate and deluxe resorts, there are not free marshmallows but you can buy everything you need to make smores at Chuck Wagon Snack bar or bring your own.

11. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage

You can enjoy a relaxing ride through the beautiful grounds of Fort Wilderness Resort or Port Orleans Resort. Carriages fit 4 adults (or 2 adults and 3 kids). Rides are 25 minutes long and reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY

12. Sail on a pirate ship

Ok, so, I am using the term “pirate ship” loosely. These are more like pirate adventures on a watercraft of sorts. There are currently two pirate adventure cruises available for children ages 4-12. They are offered daily from 9:30-11:30am. Young buccaneers will sail to ports while they hear  legends of pirates past and discover clues that may just lead to a bountiful treasure chest.

 Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise

 Departs from Caribbean Cay, at Caribbean Beach Resort. On this adventure they will hear the story of Old Port Royale and its pirate-laden past

Albatross Treasure Cruise

Kids hear “The Legend of the Albatross” and search for pirate booty across Crescent Lake and Epcot park’s World Showcase Lagoon. Departs from Bayside Marina at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.

Both adventures include a snack and drink, pirate booty and bandana. 

To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-PLAY

Two other pirate themed boat tour options are Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage

13. Watch an outdoor movie

All Disney Resorts offer nightly Movies Under the Stars. Start times vary by resort but are generally between 8:30 and 9:00pm. You can get specific time and what is showing by contacting the resort front desk.

14. Have a picnic in front of the castle

This is an easy one. There are open “grassy” spaces just past Main Street in the area known as “the hub”. They are actually astroturf which nice as it is not messy and you don’t have to worry about grass stains. The view of the castle is perfect! So grab some lunch and relax on the (artificial) lawn for a little picnic.showing location of grassy area

15. Tour The Underground Tunnels

Did you know that Magic Kingdom is built on top of a maze of underground tunnels known as “utilidors”. Walt wanted to maintain the authenticity of each area of the park. He did not want cast members from one area walking through other areas where they did not belong. So they built a series of tunnels that makes it possible for Cast Members to move between lands and across the park in an efficient, covert manner. On a backstage tour such as Keys to the Kingdom you can get a glimpse into some of the Utilidors and how they use them.

16. Rent a bike

Both adult bikes and children’s bikes—some with training wheels—are available on a first-come, first-serve basis from the following Disney Resort hotel locations:

Helmets and child seats are complimentary with all bike rentals. Florida law requires bicyclists under 16 years of age to wear helmets.

There are designated routes for biking at each resort. Rental prices are roughly $9/hour and $18/day. Surreys for 2 or 4 people are available at:

17. Go fishing

There are a couple of options for fishing at Disney World. Guided fishing excursions can be booked for up to 5 people. This catch and release tour is fun for guests of all ages and experience levels. Excursions include:

  • An experienced guide
  • Rod and reel
  • Tackle
  • Artificial and/or live bait (NITRO boats will not offer live bait.)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages only (Guests may not bring alcoholic beverages aboard.

Fishing excursions are available at the following marinas and can be booked by calling : 407-WDW-BASS

The other option is to do some dockside fishing at Port Orleans Resort-Riverside. All gear can be rented at the old-fashioned Fishing Hole which is stocked with catfish, blue gill, sunfish and bass. This is offered from 7:00am to 1:45pm

 

18. Attend a Luau

At Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you can attend the Spirit of Aloha Dinner. This enchanting luau includes Polynesian dancing and an all-you-care-to-enjoy, family-style feast. It is offered Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5:15 and 8:15pm. Click here for more information and to make reservations.

19. Take a free restaurant tour of Jiko

Every day at Animal Kingdom Lodge the table service restaurants Boma and Jiko host a free culinary tour. Guests can check in prior to 4:00 at the Boma. You do not have to be a guest at a Disney resort or make a reservation to participate. The tour focuses on design elements of each restaurant and how it represents African culture. You will also learn about some of the food offerings and even have some samples.

20. View animals in the Savannah at night

Another great opportunity at Animal Kingdom Lodge is viewing the animals on the savanna at night. Every evening shortly after sundown you can go to the Uzima Overlook where a cast member will be handing out night vision goggles. (check with the front desk to confirm times) This is also a free activity.

21. Create your own treat at Goofy’s Candy Company

At Goofy’s Candy Company in Disney Springs, you can customize your own treat creation. First, you select from a Caramel Apple, Marshmallow, Gingerbread Mickey Cookie, or Mickey Krispy Rice Treat. Then you pick a dipping flavor of White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate. Select a topping (or more for an additional $1.oo per topping) of Sprinkles, Mini M&M’s, Peanut Butter Chips, Chopped Peanuts, Chopped Pecans, Chopped Walnuts, Sliced Almonds, Cinnamon and Sugar, Dark and White Chocolate Chips, Crushed Oreo Cookie Crumbs, Crushed Butterfingers, Coconut, Graham Cracker Crumbs. And finally, pick a drizzle of White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate. Yikes!

22. Buy an authentic Black Forest cuckoo clock from Germany

You need not travel the world to collect authentic souvenirs from your favorite counties. Just visit Epcot. Here you will get a taste of 11 different countries all within a mile! At the Volkskunst, in Germany, is where you can find your Black Forest Cuckoo clock.

23. See the largest collection of African art outside of Africa

Apparently, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge houses this collection with over 380 museum quality pieces throughout its two buildings. No wonder this resort is beautifully represents African culture and art. 

24. Do a progressive dinner at the Monorail resorts

Highway in the Sky Dine Around offers a progressive dinner between the 3 monorail resorts. For $170 you will receive a 5-course meal traveling between the Contemporary, The Polynesian and the Grand Floridian. Your final course will be served on a private patio for viewing of the Happily Ever After fireworks show. Go here for more information and to make reservations.

25. Ride in a "Minnie" Van

Minnie vans are a new private car service offered at Disney. These adorable red and white polka dot vans are available around all of the Disney Parks and Resort. They are driven by Disney Cast Members but powered by Lyft. Scheduling a ride is done through the Lyft app. While this is a much spendier option then regular Lyft or Uber the service provided is top notch and definitely worth the cost for a special event or to access areas that are a little harder to reach such at Fort Wilderness or the front entrance of Magic Kingdom.

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