PlanningThe ParksTips

Surprising Experiences That We Loved In Disney

As we planned our vacation to Walt Disney World, we knew that we would want to ride the top attractions such as Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Avatar Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We knew from past trips that we would love these experiences, but what surprised us this trip were some experiences that we didn’t have planned.

Something that made this trip special and unique were the surprising experiences that we didn’t have planned but that we ended up loving.  We wanted to pass these along so you too could hopefully experience the magic they offer as well.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom

There are so many amazing rides in Magic Kingdom that we enjoy, but this time there were a few experiences that brought a lot of joy and laughter.

Monster Inc Laugh Floor located in Tomorrowland was a huge hit.  This comedy show was such a hit that we went to it around five times during our trip.  The kids love the jokes and the audience participation that makes each show unique.

Typically the wait for this show isn’t long either as you normally only have to wait for the next show to start.  Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor is a great way to get out of the crowds, out of the sun and enjoy some big laughs.

Another experience that we really enjoyed was visiting Tom Sawyer’s Island.  The kids loved exploring the island with all the caves, bridges and hidden gems.  It was a fantastic way to get out of the crowds and allow the kids to run off some energy on their own.

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

For the first time our kids experienced the Carousel of Progress over in Tomorrowland.  This classic attraction that shows how technology improves throughout time was eye opening for our kids.  They were amazed when we rotated to the new scene and found the technology and jokes hilarious.  This was a nice opportunity to relax while still in a Disney Park.

Even though it might not be as surprising as the other experiences in Magic Kingdom, we also greatly enjoyed Mickey’s Philharmagic.  This show brings some of our favorite songs from Disney movies to life in a unique way.  We loved the addition of Coco and appreciated that the classics were still in the show.

Voices of Liberty
Credit: Disney


My kids aren’t a huge fan of EPCOT as after riding Test Track and Soarin’ they are ready to be done.  We had a great time on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure this year; however, we also enjoyed a lot of surprising experiences as well.

First, we liked watching the Pixar Shorts found in the Imagination Pavilion.  These three shorts are just adorable and heart warming.  Since we don’t typically watch Disney shorts at home, it was fun to see them in a Disney Park.

Credit: Disney

This year we were able to stop and see the Voices of Liberty in the American Pavilion which was nothing less than breathtaking.  These amazingly talented Cast Members bring such beauty to the songs that they sing.   We absolutely loved this experience that was moving and beautiful.

We also were able to take time to watch Mariachi Cobre in the Mexican Pavilion.  These talented gentlemen bring such passion and enjoyment to the music they create.  From happy birthday to Remember Me from Coco, their talent was outstanding and so fun to see.

Vacation Short
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This Disney Park kept us busy with the rides, but we did enjoy a few hidden gems that were great surprises.

We loved Vacation Fun- An Original Animated Short with Mickey and Minnie.  This adorable short film featuring Mickey Mouse and friends was adorable and tied into Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway perfectly.  The theater itself was adorable with the Mickey Mouse themed seats and the film was super cute.  It was a great surprise that we weren’t planning on but really enjoyed.

Another surprising experience was walking through the Walt Disney Presents exhibit.  Located back near Toy Story Land, this self guided tour was an amazing tribute to Walt Disney himself as well as the progression of the Disney Parks.  It was so neat to see some of the memorabilia as well as how Walt’s vision has progressed and adjusted overtime.

Gorilla Exploration Trail
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are a lot of surprising experiences hidden throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We had a fun time exploring and enjoying all the experiences it has to offer.

We took time to enjoy all of the walking paths around the Park.  The path around the Tree of Life is so much fun as each time we discover new animals that are carved into the tree.  We also enjoyed seeing gorillas and tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail were nice, relaxing walks that allowed us to enjoy some of the amazing animals that make Disney’s Animal Kingdom home.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

Other Surprising Experiences

This trip we were able to take time to enjoy the Disney Skyliner.  This ride took us high above Disney and allowed us to experience the Disney Park in a new, unique way.  We had a great time taking the skyliner from EPCOT around to Disney’s Riviera and then back again.  We took time to enjoy walking around Disney’s Riviera before getting back on the skyliner.

Throughout the four Disney Parks we had a great time looking for Disney’s Fab 50 Character Collection.  These golden statues are scattered throughout the four Disney Parks and we had so much fun hunting for them.

Even though we love the rides at Walt Disney World, it was a lot of fun to also enjoy these surprising experiences throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  It goes to show that no matter how much you plan for your trip, there will still be hidden, magical experiences that will leave a big impression.

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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