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9 Overlooked Attractions At Walt Disney World

We all know the headliners and make a beeline to ride those as soon as we enter the park. But there are so many wonderful attractions at Walt Disney World that are often overlooked. No matter what time of year you visit I think you should try to see these in addition to the “big” attractions—but if you are traveling at a busy time of year like the Christmas holidays, Spring Break or summer you will want to have these in your back pocket just in case those lines for the popular rides are a little longer than you want to wait.

 

9. Pirate Adventure Game

In Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland there is an interactive game you can play that will lead you on a hunt around Adventureland. There is a small building outside of Pirates of the Caribbean (as you head toward Frontierland) where you need to check in to pick up your map. From there you are own your own to explore. This game is a lot of fun, and has some neat effects—kids love to play and feel like they are solving the hunt.

8. Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

Staying in Adventureland, don’t overlook the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Set to a soundtrack of catchy polka music, the treehouse is a nice walk past wonderfully themed rooms full of props. And you don’t even have to be familiar with the book or movie to appreciate the crafty methods the family invented to survive on their island. You also don’t want to miss some of the great views of the Magic Kingdom from the top.

7. Movies in World Showcase

In China and Canada you can see CircleVision 360 films highlighting the cultural and natural treasures of each country. The technology is pretty neat—you watch the movie all around you while standing in the center (just be aware it can cause motion sickness if you are easily susceptible—like me). And with Martin Short hosting Canada’s version it is pretty amusing too. In France a more traditional movie is shown and this one is my favorite. A beautiful soundtrack of French music is the background to a tour a France.

6. Live Entertainment

Take time to enjoy the live shows that “pop up” throughout the World. The Barbershop Quartet Dapper Dans are a highlight of Main Street USA. In Hollywood Studios the Streetmosphere characters are very entertaining. At Animal Kingdom there is live music and drumming. But my favorite options are found in the World Showcase. Nearly every country has a group that highlights something particular to them: Mariachi in Mexico, acrobats in China (love them), drumming in Japan, and British Rock in the UK.

5. Philharmagic

This show can pack in a crowd at once, so you rarely have to wait more than one show time. I love everything about this one. The story is fun, and it features some of my favorite “classic” Disney films from when I grew up. The 3D effects are outstanding because of the large size of the screen. And the 4D effects make it even more immersive (especially the smells). And I absolutely love the end—look over your shoulder if you haven’t seen it before.

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4. Walt Disney World Railroad

The Railroad is most often seen as a mode of transportation from one area of the park to another, but it is really an attraction in and of itself. This “scenic trip around the Magic Kingdom” has scenes only seen by riders on the railroad (and you get a peek inside Space Mountain), and a fun narration to go with it. Trains were such an integral part of Walt’s early vision for the parks that you should really take a ride just to appreciate it.

3. Tom Sawyer Island

Although this can be a warm place to visit in the summer, it is also relaxing. Once you are over there it is like you are looking at the theme park from the outside. There are lots of caves to explore, a fort where you can shoot at the runaway mine train (aka Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), barrel bridges, and, if you prefer a slower pace, rocking chairs to sit a spell.

2. Animal Trails at Animal Kingdom

Since these attractions are self-guided they really never have a line, and they are extremely well done. The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa gives you some amazing views of African Animals. We have a wonderful zoo at home, but some of the animals here (like the hippos) are not found there. The above and underwater viewing of the hippos, the gorillas, and all of the other animals in an environment themed as an animal refuge is amazing. Over in Asia you will find the Maharajah Jungle Trek, an immersive theme as ancient ruins and incredible animals like Tigers that you don’t normally see. Not to mention the bats that you can see either with nothing blocking you or behind a screen.

1. Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

This is my vote for number 1. The Peoplemover is a sentimental favorite for me. I love that it whisks you away on a tour of Tomorrowland—through Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and past some displays only viewable on this ride (including the early model for Epcot). It is relaxing and even cool since it travels at a pretty good pace.

What attractions do you love that you don’t feel are appreciated enough?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).