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What you won't find on the Guide Maps!
As you'll see, there is MUCH MUCH more to the WDW resort than simply experiencing the "main attractions" at each park. Here are some fun things to see and do that you may not find in your guide book or park map.
If a separate cost is involved, it is noted. Anything listed under each of the Main Parks requires Park Admission.
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
AROUND THE WORLD
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Editor's Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.
- Wake Up Call! Here's a
great way to start your day (and it's free)! If you're staying on property
use the phone system to get a wake up call. When your phone rings have
a listen to Mickey or Stitch as he welcomes you to the day. What a great way to
- It is the birthday of someone
you are traveling with? Dial 0 on your WDW hotel room phone and
ask for the special Happy Birthday Message!
- All-Star Resorts - oversized
theming (giant sports/music equipment) make for great photo ops.
- Caribbean Beach - Check
out the pirate-inspired pool.
- Take the boat ride from the Contemporary
Resort to Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge across
Bay Lake. If possible, do this at night with your SO. Very romantic.
- On a steamy day (early in the
morning), take a walk through the cool mists of the woods at Fort Wilderness. (B. Zall)
- Enjoy a Hay Ride at
the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds - Take an
old-fashioned, horse-drawn hayride which offers an hour-long scenic tour
around Fort Wilderness Campground. Hayrides depart at
7:00pm and 9:30pm nightly from the front of Pioneer Hall. Hayrides are on a first-come, first-served basis
only (no reservations!) (dwills)
- Go to Fort Wilderness for the campfire/sing-along, nightly at 7pm behind the Meadow Trading Post. Movie begins approximately 7:40pm. A Disney classic movie follows the sing-along. Chip and Dale usually make an appearance. The Fort Wilderness staff will provide a campfire; bring your marshmallows, hot dogs and sticks if you have them. If not, marshmallows and sticks are available for purchase at $2 for 2 sticks and plenty of marshmallows; $5 for a s'more kit. The movie shown is different each night of the week. In the event of inclement weather, a "Porch Jam" sing-a-long will take place at the Ol' Meadow Swimmin' Hole. Movie & Sing-a-Long free of charge. Note: All movies & characters are outside! Campfire Show is held nightly if weather permits.
Note: the campfire/sing-along is located in the middle of the Fort Wilderness campground (about a 15-minute walk from Pioneer Hall). If you do not wish to walk, you will have to catch a bus that is on the internal Fort Wilderness route (you can catch this bus at the Pioneer all bus stops). Get off at the Meadowlands Trading Post stop. If the campground is crowded, the campfire/sing-along may also be crowded. (sz9njm)
- Rent an electric cart at the Bike
Barn at Fort Wilderness . The Bike and Cart Barn opens
at 8:00 am and is located in the Meadow Recreation Area. You can
explore the Tri-Circle Ranch while giving your tired feet a little
rest. There are lots of trails to check out and when you get out of the
cart just plug in your "Electric Pony" at one of the concrete
recharging posts. (cfp219)
- There is a nice, self-guided nature
walk in the woods near Fort Wilderness . The trail begins at the
far east end of the beach on Bay Lake (the end farthest from River
Country ). This trail is normally VERY private and can be nice for
a romantic walk in the woods. Best seen during daytime as there are no
lights and some of the trail passes through swampy areas, making misstepping
off the trail somewhat unpleasant. (rberbaum)
- Grand Floridian has a very
nice white sand beach; you can listen to piano/jazz band in lobby (call
in advance for musician schedule). Tea, miniature sandwiches, trifle,
etc. (served on beautiful china) are served in the afternoon at the Garden
View Lounge from 3 - 6pm daily on a first come first serve basis.
- A nice serene walk along the beach
from the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian resort.
this is best right after sunset. the beach is very still and the moonlight,
combined with the sound of the waves reaching shore, make it a romantic
stroll. (Jeff Davis)
- One of our favorite things to
do is to stay in a lagoon view room at the Polynesian Resort. We
wake up early and sit on the balcony and listen to the ripples of the
lagoon and feed the ducks. It is so peaceful, all you can hear is the
recording of the wolf coming from the Haunted Mansion and an occasional
train whistle. Even after the park opens on a busy day you can sit there
and find it hard to believe you are in the middle of a crowded Magic Kingdom.
It is the ultimate stress reliever...and when night falls, you have a
private showing of the Electric Light Parade on the lagoon. (Susan Heidenrich)
- Take the boat from Port Orleans
Riverside or French Quarter to Pleasure Island on the Sassagoula
If possible, do it on a chilly evening with your significant other (SO).
Very romantic. (suzyd & dbarber)
- Walk the Carriage path from
the French Quarter to Riverside. Do this in the evening
with your SO. (dems)
- Take a Family Bike Trip from
Riverside to the French Quarter (.7 Mile) for a swim in the delightful
pool. The bikes must be back to Riverside prior to closing at 7:00 PM.
Note: be careful as to where you park your bikes; don't leave them any
place close to the French Quarter bike rack or some guest may take it
for a spin. We parked ours next to the door in the courtyard. (cfp2190)
- An evening on Seven Seas Lagoon:
eat at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Wilderness Lodge. If
you time it right (get there for about 7:30 PM to 8:00 PM), you can have
a nice meal and finish dessert just after 9 PM, at which time you can
stroll down to the dock or the beach to watch the Electric Water Pageant
as it passes the Lodge. Then board the next boat toward the MK,
(no earlier than 9:45 PM) and you will be halfway across the lake when
the 10 PM fireworks start over Cinderella Castle. This is a beautiful
way to view the fireworks, and is really romantic as the boat captain
will dim the onboard lights during the show, and may even pause before
docking to allow you to see the show to the end. Sit in the front of the
boat for the best view, it's really beautiful.
- Wilderness Lodge: see Disney's
version of Old Faithful (erupts on the half hour); check out
the Pacific Northwest Indian art at the gift shop. Sit in the rows
of rocking chairs in front of a huge stone fireplace (Chip and Dale may
visit). Ask at the Front Desk for a kid's activity/coloring book.
The bag of goodies also includes a map of the WL , samples of 4
different animal tracks you can find around the lodge, a word-find game,
and a WL Hidden Mickey Clue Sheet where you can search for 10
HMs in the WL. Recommend that you verify the time with the Wilderness
Lodge front desk. (Jack Marshall)
- Take the tour of the Wilderness
Lodge, offered once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. The
guide will point out many interesting things about the construction of
the lodge and its exterior. Be sure to say Hello to Stan from his Friends
on the Internet! (drager)
- French Quarter - try the
beignets, a pastry available at the bakery. Stroll around the New
- We took
a carriage ride at FW last year in September. Linda was our driver
and Scotty was our horse. Our ride was right at twilight time and it was
peaceful and romantic. There were deer and bunnies out along the paths.
The smell of the honeysuckle filled the air. It was just the perfect end
to a quiet evening out. I highly suggest it to anyone. It was a 30 minute
ride and we tipped the driver. From 6:00 to 10:00 PM - carriages
depart from Crockett's Tavern
at Pioneer Hall. Call 407-824-2832 up to 60 days in advance for a reservation. (mickeysaver)
- Riverside - the food court
is an enormous cotton mill with a real water wheel. Also, check out Ol'
Man Island, a combination playground/swimming area. The bakery is highly
- Yacht and Beach Club -
get an ice-cream cone or a giant milkshake from Beaches and Cream stand
(this costs). Also, check out the pool at the Resort. Swimming in the
StormAlong Bay pool is reserved for Yacht and Beach Club Resort guests.
Looking, however, is free.
- Watch the Wishes Fireworks
from the outdoor porch at Narcoossee's. They let you take your
drinks right outside where they have tables and chairs. Right at starting
time they dim the lights and pipe in the Music from The Magic Kingdom.
In my opinion the view is much better than the view from either The Polynesian
Resort or The California Grill. The Castle itself is a lot closer and
the fireworks seem to come right at you!! (Glenn Wojtusiak)
- See the Electrical
Water Pageant. This show can be seen from the Fort Wilderness
Beach , from the Wilderness Lodge boat dock and beach , behind
the Contemporary Resort, from the Polynesian Resort Beach ,
and from the Grand Floridian Beach. The show lasts about ten minutes.
A chain of parade floats will entertain you with lights and music from
the water. Show time varies slightly from resort to resort (anywhere from
9:30 PM to 10:30 PM). Call Guest Services at one of these resorts for
an approximate schedule. (gt3579b)
- A Resort Tour : For the
monorail hotels, try parking at the Wilderness Lodge about 10-15
minutes before the hour, watch the geyser on the half hour, then take
the boat to the Magic Kingdom . Next, take the clockwise monorail
to each hotel in turn - but walk between the Polynesian and the
Grand Floridian . Then monorail back to MK , and boat back
to your car at Wilderness Lodge. It takes a few hours, but is great
fun even in poorer weather, as once you get on the monorail everything
is under cover (if you want it to be).
- Take a ride on the monorail.
After you ride the
full circuit, stop at the Poly. Grab hamburgers and fries from Captain
Cook's and head to the beach. You have a great view of the Water Pageant
and the MK fireworks! (Steve Benson)
- Fishing Excursions - Let
Dad and/or Grandad kick back and try his hand at fishing.
The Florida bass are huge and the week I was there on a hot morning in early May they boated 16. (cfp219)
Visit the Maya Temple Pool area at Coronado Springs ....it's a stunner! ( ESGeD)
- Go to Downtown Disney
Marketplace with your children and ask at one of the (Disney)
store cash registers for the Sticker Hunt booklet. There are 15 different
stickers to collect at each of 15 stores. This was the first time my children
wanted to go to all the stores with us! We even went into several we adults
hadn't been in, like clothing stores. It made browsing around the Marketplace
that much more fun. (Jakkteam)
- Are you a trivia buff? Stop in the Art of Disney store! They run a quiz every day
and give out prizes if you get them all right!
- Fountain Magic! For the
kids, let them wear swimsuits to the Downtown Disney and play in the fountains
that spray water. Great chance for Mom and Dad to catch a break.
- Visit Downtown Disney.
Check out The World of Disney, the Lego Store, as well as all the new
stores. Remember to ask about a discount with your Disney Rewards VISA
at The World of Disney. (gt3579b)
- Purchase an Autograph Book
from any of the Disney gift shops. Your kids will love to get autographs
from the Disney characters in the parks. When they do, take pictures
of the characters, and leave a page between each autograph to display
each picture. This will make a really special scrapbook. Read all about
the fun you can have and be better prepared for your Character Meets reading
the Character Meet and Greet FAQ!
- Beer - For the beer lover
-- At Epcot's World Showcase: Guinness, Harp, and Bass on tap at the Rose
and Crown in the UK pavilion and Becks and Becks Dark in Germany. Other
countries also have other country-specific brews in bottles: Mexico (Dos
Equis), Japan (Sapporo), Italy and France. At Riverside: Blackened Voodoo
Lager; the Wilderness Lodge has Lodgehouse Ale; Disney's Hollywood Studios: Sierra
Nevada Pale Ale (at most restaurants)
- Coffee - For the coffee
lover: visit the Kona Cafe on the 2nd level of the Polynesian hotel! Just
outside the Kona Cafe is also a coffee bar. Try the little coffee bar
in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge. Stop by and ask what the
current specialty is. Hot chocolate at this bar is also recommended. (gxcw75A)
around the World - Pick something you like to do, and then try
to do it in every country of Epcot. For example, buy a t-shirt, drink
a beer, buy a postcard, or find a water fountain. You should be able to
complete this in one day's visit. If you succeed, try to repeat the task
in every Land of the Magic Kingdom, or in every hotel in WDW. Price: admission
to theme park, plus food/gift items. OK, if you're going to "shop
around the world", this could get a little pricey. But think of the
collection you'll have! You could get a whole new wardrobe this way.
And if you manage to do something in every WDW hotel, you'll have really
accomplished something (like blistered feet). A less expensive alternative:
take a camera and a friend, and have your picture taken in every hotel
in WDW (or every land in Epcot or Magic Kingdom). When you get your pictures
developed, try to convince your friends that you went around the world
in 8 days. (bill)
- See the Hotels decorated for the
December Holidays! From Thanksgiving through New Year's, you'll
find interesting decorations in every hotel lobby. Some have entertainment
and complimentary refreshments scheduled; if you hit the right time of
day. Some free Christmas attractions: pictures with Santa (Swan), cookies
and hot chocolate (Contemporary), gingerbread decorating contests (Port
Orleans, Wilderness Lodge, and Port Orleans Riverside). Price: free to
all WDW resort guests.(bill)
- Santa Claus sits in Downtown Disney (varied hours by week during the season). Unlike mall Santas, the WDW Santa is usually sitting quietly without many kids nearby (at least in the quieter first two weeks of December). He'll (she'll?) give the kids a long "audience" which the younger ones love. (B. Zall)
- Strike up a conversation with
a Cast Member -- you'll be surprised how a little kindness and
interest opens up a whole new world! This is especially true at the restaurants
in Epcot's World Showcase -- these folks have great stories to share about
their homelands. (dwills)
- Get the Bus Drivers talking.
We had one fantastic driver who shared lots of interesting WDW tidbits.
He had people asking all sorts of questions. He mentioned plans of additional
hotels as part of the All Star complex as well as other Disney attractions
that we might be seeing in other parts of the country. (Lisa_Orvis)
- My son starting talking to the
bus driver taking us to the All-Star Music Resort one night and he gave
my son a cute little card that said Assistant Bus driver on it. My 8
year old son was just thrilled to think that he was the Assistant!
- Boat Around the Lagoons -
Rent one of the boats (pontoon, etc.) from any hotel marina (excludes
All Stars and Boardwalk) and cruise the canals. Very relaxing and enjoyable.
Price: varies, depending on which boat you rent. WDW/public transportation
between all the WDW resorts is free to all WDW resort guests. (rlancaster)
- Hidden Mickeys - Look for
the Hidden Mickeys throughout WDW! Be sure to check out Steve Barrett's Hidden
A note on the WDW transportation system : if you are registered as a guest at a WDW resort, you are entitled to unlimited free use of the WDW resort transportation system for the duration of your stay. Cast members may or may not check your resort ID. However, they are checking to see if you are a WDW resort guest, NOT to see which resort you are staying at. A guest at Fort Wilderness may ride the Port Orleans boat, and vice-versa.
Special thanks to Eric Simon for creating, compiling and maintaining this wonderful list of the Overlooked Attractions at WDW (1995-mid-1996). Additional thanks to all the fine people who contribute to this list!