Walt Disney World is a destination most people make happen at least at some point in their lifetime. If you’ve had the great and magical pleasure of vacationing here, you’ve probably checked all the typical and more common Disney experiences off your list. Snap a photo with Mickey Mouse? Check. Dine at a beloved Disney restaurant? Check. Eat a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar? Check. While these are certainly great memories, there are adventures and sensational experiences awaiting you around the corner that you might not have even known Disney offered. Journey with us as we open your eyes to nine extraordinary experiences you probably haven’t had yet that will GUARANTEE a trip of a lifetime!
Discover your inner Merida or Robin Hood with this unique activity made available at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds. Guests age 7 and older will be learn how to hold and fire a compound bow during a short training session, and then off you go to target practice! The fee is $39 and you’ve got 90-minutes to display your marksmanship along with nine other guests. Steady your nerves, focus on the target, pull back the bow and release…BULLSEYE! You’ve just hit the mark on a perfect Disney experience!
7. Fireworks Dessert Party
Available at The Tomorrowland Terrance Restaurant, for $25/adult and $13/child you get a nearly unobstructed view (without having to swap arm sweat with that stranger jammed up next to you) of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks show and can stuff your face with sweet treats and beverages until your hearts content. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth like me then one look at the dessert line-up will have you booking your reservation faster than you can say, “Holy Cannoli!” And speaking of cannoli’s, they offer endless trays of them along with other tempting treats like tiramisu, tarts, various pastries, cookies, ice cream and—my personal favorite—chocolate covered strawberries. The special nightly event allows guests a prime viewing spot without having to jockey for a location with the masses, which might be worth the ticket price even without the dessert. But lucky for us, dessert’s included, and is a sweet addition to the most extravagant fireworks show you’ve ever witnessed! Please note, advanced reservations are highly recommended!
6. Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Disney World offers three unique opportunities where you can pull on your wetsuit, strap on your breathing gear and swim with the varied sea life on Disney property. Epcot DiveQuest is a three-hour program where, for $175, you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures (including sharks, turtles, eagle rays and dolphins) in the gargantuan Living Seas aquarium. You must be SCUBA-certified to participate in this experience. The remaining two experiences, Epcot Seas Aqua Tour and Shark Reef Snorkeling (Typhoon Lagoon) do not require dive-certification.
During the Epcot Seas Aqua Tour you will be given the opportunity to explore the same Living Seas waters using scuba-assisted snorkels. For $140 per adult, you will receive a tour prior to your snorkeling adventure, refreshments, a T-shirt and a group photo—all during a 2.5 hour block of time.
The third diving experience comes at no additional cost outside of your Typhoon Lagoon admission fee. You can swim for as long as you’d like in Shark Reef, or as long as you can brave bracing the chilly 68-degree water temperature. And speaking of braving things, there are sharks everywhere your swimming-masked eyes will roam. But there is nothing to truly fear here—these sharks are of the tamer and calmer species.
5. Guided Fishing Excursion
Available at nine different Disney Resort marinas, you and up to 5 guests can take a private bass fishing excursion with an experienced guide. Strictly catch and release only, you don’t have to be a professional angler to have fun on this gorgeous pontoon boat stocked with all the items you’ll need like your rod and reel, tackle, artificial and/or live bait, and beverages. Both 2-hour and 4-hour outings are offered and prices range anywhere from $170 to $455, depending on the number of individuals, the time of day and the length of your excursion.
4. Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
This swashbuckling adventure begins at The Contemporary Resort, where your crew will be presented with a spread of yummy snacks and drinks, followed by a meet and greet with the infamous Captain Hook and Smee. Soon after, you’ll join the rest of your seafaring party to voyage out on a “pirate ship” in pursuit of one of the greatest Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks viewing spots. Your roguish pirate guide will entertain you with Disney trivia and have you singing along with his pirate song, certain to make every buccaneer in your party smile with glee. After the fireworks show is over and the anchor is pulled back in, you’ll head back to the dock to be met with a special surprise guest. A clue: There are no codfish here! Prices are $34/child and $59/adult.
3. Water Sports
Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre is located at The Contemporary Resort and offers various pulse-pumping activities such as tubing, water skiing, and wake-boarding. If you’re looking for a thrill with a view, let a parasailing adventure take you soaring sky-high to sights of The Magic Kingdom. Also available are personal watercrafts for your zooming pleasure. There is a little something for everyone here, so don’t miss out on these unique Disney recreational experiences, sure to bring a little water-sprayed and sun-soaked fun to your vacation!
2. Unique Tours
Have you ever dreamt of getting an inside look at how the magic is made at Walt Disney World? With over a dozen tours offered, there is practically a tour for every interest. For a few hours, you can engage in a tour that will take you behind the art and architecture of Epcot’s World Showcase, or cruise along Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and learn all about the classic era of Atlantic City from where the resort’s inspiration came from. You can choose a tour that will take you behind the scenes in The Land Pavilion, exploring the future of agriculture and getting an up-close look at the plant, animal and insect life that resides here. These educational and insightful tours are indescribably fun and will astound you with the intricately woven details that surround the Disney operations. For more information on specific tours and pricing, visit The Walt Disney Word’s official website.
1. Private Dining Experience
Nothing cements a memory like a perfect meal and great company. At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, you can choose one of two private dining experiences, sure to infuse the magic into your Disney vacation! At Victoria & Albert’s you can dine like royalty in the heart of the kitchen—at the Chef’s Table! Here, the chef will craft you a tailored 10-course dinner with a five-star cuisine meant to be savored carefully. This might just be the finest dining experience you’ve ever, and will ever, have in your life! You’ll get one-on-one attention with the chef during your 3-hour dining experience and can expect to pay upwards of $250 (more if you drink wine) per guest.
Looking for a more intimate setting than a chef’s kitchen? How about dining on the terrace of The Grand Floridian with views of Cinderella’s Castle and the fireworks, being served a delicious, tailored menu by your own private butler? For around $350 for two people, you can make this romantic and once-in-a-lifetime experience happen. Advanced booking is required.
Another incredible dining experience Disney offers is a private lunch or dinner with a Disney Imagineer. Yes, you can sit with a Disney Imagineer (they’re celebrities for us Fanatics!) and pepper them with questions surrounding the magic that goes into Disney as you enjoy a fabulous lunch or dinner at The Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. These creative minds will give you firsthand insight and share stories during your fascinating discussions, giving you a clearer picture of the work and planning that goes into their job. Expect to pay upwards of $85 per person for this unique opportunity.
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