I know that my instinct, as soon as I get to the park, is to head for my favorite ride. A day at a Disney World theme park can speed right by, so watch out that you don’t miss some of the most often disregarded Disney experiences. If your itinerary isn’t already full, you will want to incorporate some of these hidden gems of Walt Disney World.
The best part about this list is that since they are commonly overlooked park attractions you will have little to no wait. They are great filler items when you need to take it easy from running from attraction to attraction cramming in as much as possible.
The Magic Kingdom
Main Street Entertainment
There is always something happening on Main Street, but these entertainers shouldn’t be missed. Everyone knows about the parade, but the streetmosphere shouldn’t be missed. I enjoy the Citizens of Main Street, the Dapper Dans, and the varied musical offerings.
So if you have some time don’t just rush into the park. Be on the lookout for the Dapper Dans pictured above, they are a barbershop quartette the sing in perfect harmony. There is even a trolley that appears with some more singer or lately it’s been filled with your favorite classic Disney characters.
Another area that has entertainers is Fantasyland. All ages will enjoy the Royal Majesty Makers. If you wondering the Royal Majesty Makers engage boys and girls in random acts of “royaldom,” endowing them with the skills to become princes and princesses. These royal consultants, official ambassadors of Cinderella’s court, inspire and delight visiting villagers with magical moments throughout the land.
When the park starts to get busy and you are hot and tired, take time out to ride the People Mover in Tomorrowland. The short trip will give you some interesting facts about Walt’s concepts and get you off your feet. If you are super lucky you may even catch what Space Mountain looks like with the lights on inside.
Plus I love right now you can get a good look at the new Tron Roller Coaster construction. If you didn’t already know this ride will debut as a Tomorrowland expansion behind Space Mountain. It will is a carbon copy of Shanghai Disneyland’s TRON Lightcycle Power Run and it looks like it’s going to be so much fun. It’s been a long time since Magic Kingdom got a new thrill ride!
If you are looking for an inexpensive and unique souvenir from the parks, collect pressed pennies. A little research on Etsy will show you many creative ideas for your pennies. Plus be sure to take advantage of our FREE downloadable guide on Where to Find Pressed Penny Machines in Disney World.
There are over 750 pressed coins across Walt Disney World all with different Disney themed designs. So this adventure will probably take more than one trip to complete! While this souvenir is one of the cheapest if you wanted to collect them all it is going to cost you $462.14 which is pretty steep.
PhotoPass Tangled Lantern
Towards the end of the day, an interesting PhotoPass opportunity is a Tangled Lantern. This can be found near Rapunzel’s Tower. It’s a glowing lantern and it makes for some fantastic one of kind Disney photos. If you are there with a loved one, definitely be sure to get this picture!
If you aren’t in the area for the evening don’t worry there is still so much fun to be had! It’s not just bathrooms over in the Tangled area. This is also where you should also take a look around and see how many Pascals you can find! For more read Hunting for Hidden Pascals!
Once you have ridden Soarin’ and Test Track, it is time to explore the entertainment. You will need the Times Guide, so you know performance times, but many performers are overlooked in the rush to hit the big rides and explore the countries.
The Voices of Liberty perform on the big stage at America Gardens Theatre. This year they have a brand-new showcase of songs, the Disney Songbook. Catch them performing a variety of favorite Disney songs and celebrating the artistry of Disney composers and lyricists.
If drums are more your jam then I recommend heading over to the stage in Canada for the JAMMitors. The cool thing about this group is they use “found” instruments like trash cans, brooms and tin cans, these high-energy drummers. I am sure you catch yourself moving and clapping along with their beat.
Behind the Seeds Tour
Have you ever seen the tourists walking inside the land as you are on the boat ride? They are taking the Behind the Seeds Tour. This is a great option if the park is busy since it gets you out of the long lines and you will get to go to backstage areas. For a full look read, A Review of Epcot’s Behind the Seeds Tour.
Kidcot Fun Spots
Kidcot Fun Spots let your little ones collect stamps and meet ambassadors in 11 different countries. These short breaks to color and learn their name or simple phrases in different languages also give the younger travelers a souvenir to take home with them.
One Man’s Dream
Let’s face it, Hollywood Studios has been getting a major facelift. Most people walk right by One Man’s Dream in their rush to get to Toy Story Midway Mania or Slinky Dog Dash. If you aren’t walking then you are probably in the group running to experience Star Wars Galaxy Edge.
One Man’s Dream an often disregarded Disney experience but it’s one you don’t’ want to miss. It is a walk-through attraction that has memorabilia and history from Walt Disney’s journey. I love getting to take a peek at the various park and attraction models from Disney Parks around the world. In addition, there is a changing movie preview from an upcoming Disney movie!
Citizens of Hollywood
After I have ridden Toy Story at least three or four times (yes, it is my favorite ride of any park) I don’t miss at least one performance of the Citizens of Hollywood. They always entertain with spoofs of popular shows or by harassing the tourists. My favorite show of the day is their Funniest Citizen of Hollywood competition held on Sunset Boulevard.
The Animal Kingdom
As you enter Discovery Island, your gaze is immediately caught by the Tree of Life. Don’t miss the Wilderness Explorers Outpost, to get your free 38 page Wilderness Explorers Handbook and collect all 30 badges through your travels. The Handbook features a map with all the badge locations. Each badge lists the requirements to earn. The Handbook itself makes a wonderful keepsake souvenir.
Take time to walk the Discovery Island Trail for animal encounters and great views of the Tree of Life along the way. See how many of the carved animals you can find, a few that are there might surprise you.
Additional animal encounters at your own pace can be found on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. This is located just as you exit the Safari. On this trail not only will be able to spot an adorable meerkat on a rocky perch or an impressive Grevy’s zebra on the savanna. And just before the journey ends you have a change to come face to face with a gentle troop of western lowland gorillas on a grassy hillside. I love hanging to watch the gorillas who are just as curious to see you as you are to see them!
Over in Asia the Maharajah Jungle Trek is a don’t miss. My favorite is getting to see the Tigers! But outside the Tigers you can also see, Gibbons, Elds deer, Blackbuck, Komodo dragon, Malayan flying fox, Water buffalo, Over 50 species of birds!
Even though the animals are the star of the show at the Animal Kingdom, there are several entertainment options that you should definitely stop and enjoy. I recommend the Viva Gaia Street Band on Discovery Island and Burudika at Harambe.
UP – A Great Bird Adventure
Up – A Great Bird Adventure show is also a must-see. The birds demonstrate natural behaviors and Russell, Doug and friends describe their habitats and challenges.
My personal favorite on days in this park is to find Kevin. He is out roaming the paths that surround the Tree of Life and she is such a fun treat to meet.
Bonus Tip for Often Disregarded Disney Experiences
Don’t forget to look for hidden Mickey’s both the ones that the Imagineers created and naturally occurring ones! Wondering where all the Hidden Mickey’s are at? Don’t worry there, of course, is an app for that, and a book too!
Conclusion on Underrated Disney World
What do you think is overlooked at Walt Disney World? We’d love it if you’d share your thoughts on what you think at Walt Disney World is under or over hyped. This includes attractions, restaurants, hotels, or anything else in Disney World! What do you agree or disagree with on our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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