In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the most popular theme park on earth, there are special experiences that even a park veteran may miss. Here are ten to put on your “to-do” list:
10. Co-Captain the Riverboat
As you board the Liberty Square Riverboat, ask if you may join the captain in the wheelhouse! Unless someone else has asked first, you should be granted this privilege, and in return will receive a small souvenir.
9. Chat Up the Characters
All of the human characters will remain in-character as you have conversations with them, so go ahead and ask them a question or two as they sign your autograph book. (Remember to be courteous to others in line.) For instance, ask Mary Poppins what Bert is up to or if she can say “supercalifragilisticexpialidotious” backwards. The fuzzy characters can’t talk, of course, but it’s rumored that they will do certain things to stay in-character too. Note: Disney Etiquette– Don’t try to make them “break” character. Stick to their character’s story!
8. Start Early
Don’t sleep in on your Magic Kingdom day! Each day in Magic Kingdom guests are welcomed into the park before the official opening time. Make your way to the Castle Stage where Mickey and friends will offer you a welcome to the day!
7. Barber Shop Coloring
Go to the Main Street Harmony Barber Shop and ask for a complimentary coloring. The barber sprinkle you with confetti and “pixie dust”. Sounds like a fun way to glam up your park day to me! (Castle Couture- Fantasyland also has “pixie dust”!)
6. Tom Sawyer Treasures
If you’re on Tom Sawyer’s Island early enough in the day, you may be lucky enough to find one of the paint brushes he left behind. If you are, turn it in to the raft attendant and receive a useful surprise! (Update: Summer 2018, Some of the Island is closed for refurbishment)
5. Tomorrowland Trees
Did you know that the metal palm trees in Tomorrowland are actually soaking up solar power throughout the day? If you happen to be around them at dusk, watch as they fold up for the evening, just like a flower. It’s a small, virtually unnoticed experience, but sometimes those are the coolest memories!
4. Sorcerer Game Cards
As you enter the park, it’s easy to get drawn in by the lure of Cinderella Castle. But if you’re into scavenger hunts, pause for a few minutes and head to the Magic Shop on the left. You can get a pack of Sorcerer’s Cards that will send you on missions and activate videos in remote locations. It’s really cool, and can add a new element of fun, especially for older kids who may think they’ve “seen it all” at the Magic Kingdom.
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3. Backside of Fireworks
Try watching the fireworks from behind the castle next time. You will avoid the masses and the view is still spectacular. Grab a cinnamon roll from Gaston’s, find a comfy bench with someone you love, and enjoy a relaxed ending to a fabulous day!
2. Electric Water Parade
Many people miss the Electric Water Parade on the Seven Seas Lagoon because of the other spectacular nighttime experiences. The oldest parade in Walt Disney World was originally started on Dedication Day in 1971! Since then, these glowing boats have had several transformations. For a sweet, low-key experience, it’s worth a watch!
1. Kiss Goodnight
Spend a few moments lingering as you exit the park at closing. At the very last minute, the castle will begin to “sparkle” as When You Wish Upon a Star begins to play over the Main Street’s audio. Not long after, a goodnight greeting comes over the audio. Disney-goers say this is the best way to end a magical park day–a kiss goodnight from the happiest place on earth!
Note: This experience does not happen every night nor does it seem to be on a set schedule. If you miss it one night, hopefully you can try to catch it another time!
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Photo courtesy of Silver Pin Studios