This was a hard list to come up with. We could name 1,000 things that we miss about Walt Disney World, and the list still would not be complete. That said, we tried to cover a little bit of everything here. What would you add to the list? Feel free to add what you are missing the most in the comment section on Facebook. Here’s hoping that we will not be missing these things all that much longer.
10. H2O Products
There is something special about that aroma! Some people have a stash from when Disney used to leave the small bottles in the rooms, but for many that supply is dwindling. You can buy the H2O products and use them at home, but it still isn’t the same. The best way to enjoy the shampoo and other H2O products is while staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. The first whiff of the shampoo is an experience that is hard to reproduce elsewhere.
The magic that you get from MagicBands can’t be recreated at home. With a simple touch your purchases and meals are paid for, your door will open, and you get to skip a good portion of a line. With your MagicBand, you don’t have to carry a keycard or keep pulling out your wallet. MagicBands are fun to collect, and can really help to show off your personality. Even the solid color MagicBands make your vacation easier. At home, MagicBands are just a decoration at most. At Walt Disney World, MagicBands truly are magical.
8. Live Entertainment
Walt Disney World has more live entertainment than most people realize. You will find performers in the theme parks, at Disney Springs, and even at some of the resorts. Much of the entertainment is free, and for some of it you do not even need a theme park ticket! Many of the entertainers are not official Cast Members, they are instead independent contractors. Here’s hoping that once Walt Disney World opens again that the entertainers will all be brought back. Without the live entertainment, something would truly be missing.
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7. Mickey Shaped Foods
It is not all that difficult to enjoy Mickey shaped foods when you are away from Walt Disney World. You can purchase Mickey Ice Cream Bars, and Mickey waffle makers are not that difficult to find. That said, the Mickey Ice Cream Bars at Walt Disney World taste better, and Mickey Waffles are more delicious when you know that you have a full day of theme park fun ahead of you. You can have a pretzel at home, but they aren’t as special as Mickey Pretzels with cheese sauce to dip them in. There are also Mickey shaped items that you can’t recreate at home, such as cucumbers. If you’ve ever wondered how they grow them, take the Behind the Seeds Tour at EPCOT once the parks are open once again. It’s packed full of information, but won’t take a huge chunk of time out of your day.
Speaking of EPCOT, we really got gypped this year. The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival had barely started when the parks closed, and it is doubtful that they will reopen before the festival’s end date. All four annual festivals are special, with extra food booths, entertainment, decorations, and experiences. Even if the parks open this summer, there won’t be another festival until the end of the season. This year’s Garden Rocks Concert Series was supposed to be great, and it’s sad that most of the artists will not be here this spring.
5. Unique Transportation
A year ago this would have just been listed as the Monorail, because that is sorely missed. The Monorail isn’t the only unique way to get to the parks since the Disney Skyliner started to transport guests! These are both unforgettable ways to travel, and they offer views of Walt Disney World that you won’t have by car or bus. Both the Monorail and the Skyliner are more than transportation, they are rides themselves! It will be nice when they start to carry guests once again.
4. The Stories of the Rides
Walt Disney World rides are unlike your local theme park rides in part because of the stories and the themes. You aren’t riding a roller coaster, you’re riding on the back of Slinky Dog. It’s easy to suspend disbelief and truly fly on the back of a banshee. The moment that you step out of the captured transport and see the First Order, officer you’ll realize that you are living your “Star Wars” adventure. Other theme parks have rides, at Walt Disney World you’ll ride through a story. That is probably why so many people are recreating rides such as Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean at home. They miss the stories just as much as they miss the rides.
Where else but at a Disney Park can you talk to a princess, hug a Wookie, and meet the mouse that changed the world, all in the same day? Characters are a big part of the whole Walt Disney World experience. Whether you head to the meet and greets, book a character meal, or watch a parade, the characters add to the overall experience. When talking with Snow White, you are really talking to Snow White. The characters are probably bored right now, walking around Walt Disney World with no guests there. They must miss us too.
2. Cast Members
Cast Members are the ones who are responsible for making each Walt Disney World vacation or daytrip special. They are an extraordinary group of people who work harder than guests realize. While it’s true that there are occasionally bad apples, most Cast Members go above and beyond daily. Many of them will soon be furloughed, but they will have their jobs waiting for them once the current crisis is over. The next time you’re at Walt Disney World, make sure that you thank the Cast Members for making the magic. That will create magic for them as well.
1. Seeing Cinderella Castle
There is nothing quite like walking onto Main Street, U.S.A. and seeing Cinderella Castle in the distance. There is a reason why its the structure that most people think of when Walt Disney World is mentioned. It will be a glorious moment when guests can stand there and just stare once again.