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Top Ten Things Every Guest Should Experience at Walt Disney World

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10 great Walt Disney World Attractions

Top Ten Things Every Guest Should Experience at Walt Disney World

10.  Visit Walt Disney:  One Man’s Dream

Walt Disney One Man's Dream

Okay, this may seem like a really silly choice.  However, many guests walk right by this great attraction that tells the history of Walt Disney and the Disney corporation.  It has great classic items like Walt’s office, his first foray into audio-animatronics and the multi-plane camera.  If you skip this attraction, you probably don’t understand the heart behind Walt Disney World.

I spoke with a friend the other day who has visited Disney parks many times and had never seen this attraction because the family thought it would be a boring waste of time.  It’s interesting history and it’s air-conditioned!  Do it in the afternoon.

9.  Rent a water craft

Sea Raycer at Contemporary Resort in Disney WorldOne of the favorite memories of my kids is the time we rented a Sea Raycer and boated around the Seven Seas Lagoon.  We splurged for an hour rental and I drove each of my children around for 20 minutes each.  They loved the view of the Magic Kingdom from the center of the Seven Seas Lagoon and getting a far off glimpse of the old River Country area.  Boats can also be rented from the Downtown Disney area and Epcot resorts area.

  • Boston Whaler Mantauk 17′ – up to 6 guests.  Drivers must be 18 or older. These boats are restricted to the waterway from which they are rented.  Cost is $47.93 for 30 minutes.
  • Canoe or Kayak – available at the inlets of Fort Wilderness
  • Pontoon Boats Sun Tracker 21′ – up to 10 guests.  Drivers must be 18 or older. These boats are restricted to the waterway from which they are rented. Cost is $47.93 for 30 minutes.
  • Sailboats.  A 13-foot catamaran is available at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
  • Sea Raycer – up to 2 guests.  It’s like a little mini-boat and very maneuverable.  Drivers must be 12 years of age and up and at least 5 feet tall; younger Guests may ride as passengers. The maximum combined weight permitted for a Sea Raycer by Sea Ray® is 320 pounds.  Cost is $34.08 for 30 minutes

The Contemporary Resort also offers Sammy Duvall’s Watersports that includes:

Parasail
Regular Flights: Deluxe Flights:
450ft. 600ft.
8-10 min ride 10-12 min ride
$95 +tax per single $130 +tax per single
$170 +tax per tandem (2 people together) $195 +tax per tandem

Flight schedules:

*7 days a week weather permitting.
*Summer season flights depart every half hour between 9am and 4:30 pm. March 15th- September 14th.
*Winter season flights depart every half hour between 10am and 4:30 pm. September 15th- March 14th.

Personal Watercraft
PWC Tour: PWC Rentals:
1 hr – $135 + tax per PWC(Reservations only) ½ hr – $80 + tax per PWC(Walk-up only)
1 hr – $135 + tax per PWC(Reservations)
  • PWC Tours are available at 9am (Summer) and 10am (Winter) only.
  • PWC rentals are available from 10am-4pm (Summer) and 11am-4pm(Winter).
Water Skiing, Wakeboarding  and Tubing Trips
  • ½ hr trips $85 + tax (Walk-up only)
  • 1 hr trips $165 + tax (Reservations suggested)
  • Premium trip: $185/ includes pick up and drop off for Bay Lake Resorts.
  • *Each boat carries up to 5 guests
Hours:

Summer (March 15th- September 14th): 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with our last trip departing at 4:00 PM.

Winter (September 15th-March 14th): 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM with our last trip departing at 4:00 PM.

8.  See the Kiss Goodnight show

In order to see this simple “See you real soon” show, you’ll need to stick around the Magic Kingdom until the park fully closes.   Around or shortly after closing the castle will change light colors and an audio spiel will play to end your magical day.  If you’re visiting on a day with long hours, you’ll want to take a mid-day break!

7.  Take a Disney World tour

Wendy at Mickey's Philharmagic at Family Magic Tour

If you have small children, you’ll want to look into the Family Magic Tour of the Magic Kingdom and the Behind the Seeds Tour in Epcot’s Land pavilion.  We’ve done each of these experiences and they were great fun for little ones.  We journeyed through the Magic Kingdom with our guide and even got to watch Mickey’s Philharmagic with Peter Pan and Wendy.  My little girl and I took in the Behind the Seeds tour and saw how they grow plants in a variety of environments.  She enjoyed the fresh, cold cucumber at the end of the tour.  We have also taken part in the Seas Aqua Tour with my older two children.  It was a behind the scenes tour of the aquariums in Epcot.

Here’s a listing of some of  the tours that Walt Disney World offers:

  • Backstage Magic
  • Backstage Safari
  • Behind the Seeds
  • Dophins in Depth
  • Family Magic Tour
  • Holiday D-Lights Tour
  • Keys to the Kingdom
  • The Magic Behind our Steam Trains
  • Yuletide Fantasy
  • Epcot Divequest
  • UnDiscovered Future World
  • Marceline to Magic Kingdom
  • Wild Africa Trek
  • Wild by Design

6.  Attempt a family challenge

You could create your own challenge like doing everything in Walt Disney World that has a Western Theme, riding all the roller coasters in one day or riding a certain number of rides across 4 parks in a single day.

Some of the challenges that we have taken on include owning every Ultimate Touring Hall of Fame record for Ultimate Tours, meeting 71 character meets with 68 of them in different costumes and 60 total unique characters in a single day.  My brother and I once attempted every moving attraction in Walt Disney World in a single day (during the old paper Fastpass period).

Plan out your challenge well and have fun!

5.  Drive laps in a Richard Petty driving school car or exotic car  (now extinct)

Richard Petty Driving Experience in Walt Disney World

My son entered me in a contest to drive an actual Nascar style race car at the Richard Petty Experience in Disney World.  It’s located at the end of the Magic Kingdom’s parking lot.  It was a LOT of fun.  I paid to do the ride along first and that was more of a thrill that driving the car because you are not in control and the driver is allowed to go much faster.  They now offer Junior Ride Alongs for children, which is sure to be a blast for them.

4.  Visit a Disney Water Park

Surf Wave Pool at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Many guests come and enjoy the 4 main theme parks and totally miss out on the extravagantly themed water parks.  I believe we visited 3 or 4 times before we added that Water Parks and More feature to our tickets.  Then we realized what we had missed out on.  Typhoon Lagoon is my favorite place to relax and enjoy an afternoon.  I could float around the lazy river for hours and the Crush n Gusher is my favorite water ride.  Blizzard Beach is great for both thrill enthusiasts and young children.  Young kids LOVE Tike’s Peak water play area.  You could score an annual pass to the water parks for less than the cost of 2 days as well!

3.  Enjoy a Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream

This gastronomic delight involves putting every type of ice cream (we request no coffee ice cream), every type of candy bar and all kinds of calorie increasing, waist line busting goodies into one giant bowl that is shaped like a kitchen sink. You’ll likely need 5 or more people to finish this thing off and don’t even attempt it if you plan to eat a delicious burger and fries.

Sissy’s can order all types of sundaes, malts and shakes as well.

2.  Watch the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review

Pioneer Players from Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue performing on stage
Copyright Disney

Did you know that this is the longest running show at a single location in stage history?  That’s the case because it’s downright fun!  There’s a great, fun show that lends toward the hokey side and a full, all-you-care-to-eat meal with beverages and libations for the adults.  Be sure to leave room for the strawberry shortcake and get involved in the fun!

I do miss the old song though.

1.  Take in a Character Meal

mad hatter facebook

Hey, I wouldn’t be a character-centric blog without telling you to go have some fun with characters, right?  A character meal can save you a lot of time and planning to meet some of your favorite characters and in some cases allow you to visit with characters that don’t appear anywhere else in Walt Disney World.  Have your camera ready and use my app to interact with those characters while they are there!  If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, most meals are only one credit too.

Which attractions have you done?  Which ones would you like to try?




3 COMMENTS

  1. We really enjoyed Behind the Seeds as well. It was our first time trying a Disney Tour & it was great! We also splurged for the Segway tour when it was in Epcot in ’10. That was AWESOME! I saw it’s been moved to a new location. I wish they would have the Star Wars character meals all year long, tho. That would be something I would love to do in September.

  2. As far as challenges go, my 2 daughters and I set out to ride Tower of Terror a lucky 13 times in one day. (This was back when paper fast passes made this possible.) We even made “Tower of Terror Marathon Team” badges and marked a hash mark on them after each ride. The cast members began to recognize us and rooted us on. At the end of our 12th ride, we were surprised to see a cast member meet us at unload, take us back up the employee elevator, and put us straight back on the ride so we could complete the challenge without waiting in line. What an incredible experience that we will never forget!

  3. I would put visiting One Man’s Dream higher up on the list. It is a must do! With all the exciting new things coming to and already at Disney, this is a nice way of learning about/remembering the story behind Disney World, and to remind us of what Walt said “…this all started with a dream and a mouse.”
    Also my friend who is a cast member cried during this. Both times we visited haha!

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