PlanningThe ParksTips

Not To Miss Hidden Experiences in Walt Disney World

When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, most Guests are aware of the big must-dos. Guests know to make sure they visit Magic Kingdom, ride Peter Pan’s Flight, see Mickey Mouse and watch the fireworks.  Although those experiences are important and magical, there are some hidden experiences you won’t want to miss out on either when at Walt Disney World.

wilderness explorers
Credit: Disney

Free Activities

In EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are free activities that Guests can enjoy.  Although they are focused on kids, even big Disney kids are able to enjoy themselves.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests can work to be Wilderness Explorers.  Just like Russel in Pixar’s UP!, Guests can work to earn badges (stickers) throughout the Disney Park as they learn about different animals.

Stop at headquarters located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island to get your packet and take the Wilderness pledge.  Once you have done this, you can then visit different stations throughout Animal Kingdom to learn about the animals and receive your badges.  It is a self-paced exploration that keeps kids engaged and provides them with a nice souvenir as well.  Earn all the badges and receive a price!

In EPCOT, Guests can find Kid Cot Stations throughout the World Showcase.  These are free activities that help kids learn about what makes the different countries represented in the World Showcase special and unique.

It is a great way for kids to learn, and be creative and it also gives grown-ups time to relax and even enjoy a snack or beverage of choice.

Credit: Disney Tips

Do the Trails in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It is easy to get distracted in Disney’s Animal Kingdom by the thrilling rides such as Avatar: Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest, but Guests won’t want to miss out on the outstanding trails throughout the Disney Park as well.

One of our favorite trails is hidden around the Tree of Life.  This trail, called Discovery Island Trail) takes Guests up close to the amazing Tree of Life.  We love seeing the beauty and details up close that you can’t really enjoy from far away.

The two other trails we highly recommend are the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek.  These two trails are an amazing way to see both the gorillas and the tigers that live in Animal Kingdom.  Both of these trails are tucked back and away making it easy to skip past, but seek them out and enjoy your time exploring and learning about these magnificent animals.

China World Showcase

World Showcase

We know we mentioned the Kid Cot Stations throughout the World Showcase, but we also think that many Guests miss out on the amazing exhibits and films found throughout the World Showcase.  When festivals are going on in EPCOT, it is easy to jump from booth to booth and not really enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of each country.

These countries are truly masterpieces.  The architecture, food, drinks, art, and displays all represent the country and what makes it special.  Take time to explore and visit the exhibits and films.

Some of our favorites are the gardens over in Canada, Japan, and the UK.  We love the exhibits in China, Norway, and Mexico.  For an air conditioning break, we enjoy the films in France, Canada, and China.  We also take time to explore the American Pavilion with the Voices of Liberty.

These displays are truly amazing and shouldn’t be skipped out on when in EPCOT.

Credit: Disney

Disney Resorts

Most Guests heading to Walt Disney World focus on the four Theme Parks which we completely understand; however, we think that you are missing a big part of the magic if you aren’t taking time to experience the Disney Resorts.

Disney’s magic surpasses the parks and finds its way to the resorts as well.  Enjoy the fun afternoon activities at the pool.  Kids can compete in trivia, races and so much more.  Often this is a highlight for many kids!  Make sure to pick up an entertainment guide for your Resort as well.

You will be surprised at all the activities that happen throughout the day.  From crafts and movies under the stars, many of these fun events happen daily.  We are often so busy rushing to and from the parks that we aren’t aware of the fun and excitement happening right at our Resort.

Even if you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, take time to visit them.  Have a meal or just walk around the shops.  They are truly part of the magic that is Walt Disney World.

Credit: Disney


When visiting Walt Disney World, we highly recommend taking time to enjoy some of the free transportation.  Even though it might not always be magical, there is something special about riding on Disney transportation.

The two modes of transportation that we are going to highly recommend that Guests take time to experience during their vacation are the Disney Skyliner and the Disney Monorail.  These two unique modes of transportation are so fun and exciting.  They are like a ride all on their own.

We also recommend trying out a ride on a Disney boat.  This might be the big ferry that takes Guests from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Magic Kingdom or it could be a smaller Friendship Boat over at Beach Club taking you to EPCOT.  Seeing Walt Disney World from the water is special.

Finally, if you want to feel like a VIP, check out the Minnie Vans.  These are a ride share services driven by Disney Cast Members.  They can take Guests around the Walt Disney World properties in style.

These are some of the top hidden experiences at Walt Disney World that we don’t think you should miss.  What will you be adding to your next Disney vacation?

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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