If you’ve ever taken a magical trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida, you’re no doubt aware of the many ways in which you and your family can experience all the magic that Disney has to offer. There are heart-pounding rides, interactive attractions, stage shows, parades and more. But what can you do if you’re looking for a few different ways in which to experience the magic—maybe some of those “off the beaten path” ways that you don’t read about in any Disney World guides? We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite outside-the-box things to enjoy at the parks—don’t worry; they won’t land you in jail, and most of these have already been tried out—and they’re great fun! Be sure to put your own twist on them!
10. Get crazy with the purple wall.
You don’t have to be Instagram-savvy to have fun with Magic Kingdom’s Purple Wall. As you enter Tomorrowland, just past the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant, you will notice a purple wall to your right—it’s painted with various hues of purple-colored prisms, triangles, squares and other shapes. Disney World super fans have deemed this wall Instagram worthy, but if you don’t have an Instagram account, all is not lost. The fun is free and it’s so easy! Before your visit to the parks, have everyone in your traveling party purchase the same solid-colored purple shirt (or variations of the shirt). Wear your purple shirts to Magic Kingdom, and once you’re in the parks, grab your pals—friends, family or a combo—and head to the purple wall. You might have to wait a few minutes for a clear shot without another family in it, but once you’ve got that opportunity, have everyone pose for pics—individually and as a group—and don’t forget the selfies. Bonus points if some of you have the Purple Wall cap sold in the parks! If you choose to use your pics on social media, know that the official Disney hashtag is #purplewall.
9. Display some of your best acting skills at Hollywood Studios.
Often when you arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you head down Hollywood Boulevard in a rush toward your first FastPass. But if you have time to slow down (or if you can come back after your FastPass), you’ll come across the Citizens of Hollywood—an improv acting troupe that shows up one to three actors at a time along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. They are really good at what they do, but it’s even more fun when you act along with them while they’re doing their improv thing along the thoroughfare. Because they are so good at improv, they will keep going right along with you. It’s a lot of fun and definitely outside the box!
8. Partake in a cupcake crawl. With a few pals.
A cupcake crawl is one of the most fun outside the box things you can enjoy at the parks, and it’s great because everyone in your group can join in the fun. Decide how many different cupcakes you’d like to try while you’re visiting the parks. Disney World has multiple choices when it comes to cupcakes—and many of them are themed! Buy one cupcake per person or buy one to share with the group! (They’re big enough to do so!) A cupcake crawl is simply trying different cupcakes throughout the parks. There’s no wrong way to do it!
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7. Learn to surf!
Maybe you haven’t had the time to learn. Maybe you live nowhere near the ocean. Whatever the reason, if you’re interested in learning to surf, you can do so at Disney World. At Typhoon Lagoon water park, Guests ages 8 and older can learn to surf at the giant wave pool. Lessons are only offered at certain times. To check times or to reserve a time for your lesson, call (407) WDW-SURF.
6. Catch the latest Disney flick at Disney Springs.
On a day away from the parks, you may want to visit Disney Springs—Disney’s shopping, dining and entertainment district. While there, you can enjoy the latest Disney theatrical release at the AMC Theaters located at Disney Springs. It’s a nice break from the busyness of the parks.
5. Go for a bike ride around Hourglass Lake.
Surrey bikes are available for rental just outside Disney’s Art of Animation Resort near Hourglass Lake. You and your family can climb aboard and pedal together as you enjoy the trees and vistas around Hourglass Lake. Bikes can be rented by the half-hour or by the hour.
4. Get your ears lowered on Main Street U.S.A.
Step into the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street U.S.A. for a haircut. If you decide to visit, please do so with clean hair—no shampooing is available. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Only a few walk-in times are available each day, so don’t miss the fun! Call (407) WDW-PLAY to make your appointment.
3. Have sushi while you watch the fireworks.
If you love the nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom—Happily Ever After—you’ll really love seeing it from the California Grill restaurant inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You can make a dining reservation for a late dinner that will put you inside the restaurant at 9:00 p.m. That way you can enjoy your brick oven-fired pizza, sushi or other menu selection at California Grill as you take in the sights of the fireworks display over Cinderella Castle.
2. Play mini-golf.
Another option for some outside the box fun at Disney World is mini golf. Disney World has two options—Winter Summerland, where Santa and the elves spend their off-season time, and Fantasia Gardens and Fairways near the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, based on Disney’s Fantasia. The cost for adults is $14 and for kids, it’s only $12. For more information, call (407) WDW-PLAY.
1. Trade pins!!
Pin trading at Disney World began almost 20 years ago. It has grown in popularity and participation since then. Official Disney trading pins can be purchased in the parks or at ShopDisney.com before you get to the parks. Choose pins you want to trade. During your time in the parks, you can trade with Cast Members and with other Guests. There is a limit of two trades per each Cast Member, but you’ll see hundreds of Cast Members during your time in the parks, which leaves lots of opportunities for you to trade!