Walt Disney World Vacation Surprises First Timers Will Love

Walt Disney World die-hard fans are known to visit repeatedly. Some are Disney adults that have loved The Most Magical Place on Earth since childhood. Others discovered the magic as adults and never miss a chance to visit a Disney Park. Repeat visitors are fans of what some call the “Disney difference”. The Disney difference is the things that Walt Disney World does to exceed expectations and make a more signifigant impact on Guests. Going above and beyond the rhythmn of other theme parks.

Family with Cell phone at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Cast Members at Walt Disney World do all they can to make a Disney vacation a magical experience for families. These little extras may come as a welcome surprise for new Guests. From extras at your Disney Resort Hotel to magic at Disney Springs, and in the Parks, you may be shocked by the customer service and magic on a Disney vacation.

Themed Resort Hotels

On a typical vacation, a hotel room is just a place to crash at night.On a Disney World vacation, a Disney Resort Hotel is part of the magic.

Resort rooms and design take the Disney magic to a whole new level. Disney World Resort themes range from character-inspired rooms straight out of Disney movies at spots like Art of Animation Resort to lavish adult-friendly resorts with Victorian, nautical, and wilderness themes.

Lobby, wilderness lodge, walt disney world

Credit: Disney Dining

Selecting a fun hotel for your family is a vital part of a fantastic Walt Disney World vacation. Kick back on an observation deck to view breathtaking animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or join the beachy fun at  Caribbean Beach Resort. Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort allows Guests to immerse themselves in the magic for the entirety of their trip.

Guests often do not truly understand how significant the Disney difference is until they experience a Walt Disney World Resort. Regardless of the spot you choose, Disney World newbies are surprised in the best way possible by Disney Resorts.

Inclusive Disney Transportation

If you have ever fought your way through traffic to a nearby beach, theme park, or historical sight on a family trip, you know the headache of vacation transportation. Disney transportation alone is worth booking a Walt Disney World Resort. The luxury of hopping on a bus, Skyliner, boat, or monorail at the end of a busy Park day is priceless. Loading a travel party on Disney transportation is much easier and faster than driving and parking on the Disney Property.

Disney Skyliner

Credit: Disney

Disney newbies experiencing Disney transportation for the first time are often in awe of how reliable, quick, and easy the system is. Not to mention, getting there is half the fun. You’ll see new parts of the Disney Property and even have the chance to check out alternate Resorts as you plan for your next vacation.

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Disney Dining Magic

Disney dining is a great experience. Disney newbies often expect regular theme Park fare in the food department and are pleasantly surprised at Walt Disney World. From character dining and delicious buffets to fun dinner shows and sumptuous steak and seafood, Disney dining is an incredible experience. Disney World goes to great lengths to make dining a memorable, fun, and tasty experience.

Topolino's Terrace

Credit: Disney

Visiting Walt Disney World means you’ll have a chance to dine on themed food around World Showcase countries in EPCOT. If you see during the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival or the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival,, Disney food is amped up even more with a chance to taste small plates and drinks from many countries.


The Blue WoW (Way of Water ?) Video doesn’t do it justice to how much it sparkles in person with glitter and it’s “bioluminescent” lotus flower! Check out this tasty limited time specialty cocktail at Sanaa! Rumored to have been selected and served at the Avatar 2 premier! . . Like and follow for more Disney content! . #waltdisneyworld #disney #disneyworld #animalkingdomlodge #disneydining #disneycocktails #disneydrinks #avatar #avatarwayofwater #avatarcocktail

♬ original sound – DisneyDining.com

Taste culinary creations at Disney Springs restaurants, enjoy desserts from stands and shops and snag tasty and unique cocktails in the Parks. Dining at Disney World is more than just a meal; you’ll have a hard time deciding what to enjoy next!

Awesome Ride Queues

Leave it to Disney to make even waiting in line fun. Interactive ride queues allow Guests to play matching games, take a glance at storybook pages or play music on interactive scenes they pass while waiting in line. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh allows young Guests to explore Rabbit’s garden, sorting potatoes and carrots as they wait. The Haunted Mansion graveyard has Guests play spooky tunes on an organ, and Slinky Dog Dash gives Guests a glimpse into Andy’s backyard as they wait to board the ride.

22. Wendy's bed, nursery queue, Peter Pans Flight, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney Dining

Even ride queues that are not interactive do a great job of bringing Guests into the ride’s story. No boring barricades and chain link dividers here. You’ll feel like you are winding into a pirate cave (Pirates of the Caribbean), under the circus big top (Dumbo the Flying Elephant), or blasting into space (Space Mountain) when you wait for Disney rides.

Out of This World Snacks

Traveling to a theme park always means indulging in tasty treats like ice cream, corndogs, funnel cakes, and popcorn. Snacking at Walt Disney World reaches a new level of excellent with Disney-themed snacks. Caramel apples become mouse-shaped, waffles at breakfast are a smiling Mickey Mouse face, and even food at Disney buffets is themed as Minnie’s Mini Corndogs and Mickey’s Mac & Cheese. Character-themed food makes snacking so much more fun!


Credit: Disney Dining

Newbies have to try some iconic Disney snack foods on vacation. A Mickey Premium Bar, Mickey Pretzel, Churro, Dole whip, or Turkey Leg are must-try snacks that are super popular for Disney World trips.

Hack Your Wait Time

Satisfied Disney Guests strategize their Park day. Park day planning is one of my top Disney World tips. While there is no way to avoid wait times entirely, you can use the time of year you visit, attraction time planning, and Disney Genie to reduce wait times. Walt Disney World tickets don’t come cheap, so newbies should hack their Disney Park day by taking advantage of extra magic hours and Disney Genie to save time.

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane on App

Credit: disneyparknerds.com

Disney Resort Guests can utilize extra magic hours to arrive before Parks open and after they close, to ride more when fewer people are in the Park. Depending on the time of year you visit, you might be surprised to learn that wait times are less than half what they are during regular Park hours. Purchasing Disney Genie before your trip will give you quicker access to attractions.

lightning lane rides

Credit: Disney Parks

Study Disney Park maps before your trip to get a basic understanding of the layout and attraction locations. This will ensure you cover the Park in the most strategic way, eliminating excess walking and seeing as many attractions as possible.

Related: Can You Tell Where in the (Disney) World This Photo Was Taken?

Disney Resort Activity Counselors and Childcare

Several Resorts have children’s activity centers that watch younger Guests while adults enjoy a night at Disney Springs or evening activities in a Park. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Lilo’s Playhouse) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Simba’s Cubhouse) are childcare options for an additional cost. It’s nice to have the option for a parents night out or a relaxing kid-free afternoon pool trip.

Lilo's Playhouse signage, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World

Credit: Disney Dining

Disney Resorts has activity counselors near the pool coordinating karaoke, volleyball, and kid’s activities. Sandcastle-building contests at the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the Bayou Boogie Dance Party at Port Orleans Riverside, and a game of sharks and minnows in the Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation are all fun extras that help Guests make Disney memories outside the Parks.

Lifeguards and Free Life Jackets

Port Orleans French Quarter Pool Entrance Alligator with Umbrella

Credit: Disney Dining

Enjoy poolside peace of mind. Free lifejackets are available on the pool deck of Disney pools, and great lifeguards are on duty during open pool hours. This seemingly small detail can prove to be a huge relief for parents hoping to relax and enjoy their vacation. Knowing safety is covered, and no mishaps will occur, parents can feel secure watching children play from a safe distance without spending every moment in the water by their child’s side.

Related: Disney World Issues New Warning to ANYONE Planning to Visit the Parks

Adult Friendly Activities

The Grand Floridian Spa

Credit: Disney

Disney rookies may be surprised to learn just how many adult activities there are at Walt Disney World. Disney has a reputation for being a kids vacation spot, but there is plenty of fun must-do’s for adults. Walt Disney World Resort offers a fair share of thrill rides, luxury dining, golfing, shopping, spa options, and other experiences for adults. Adults can also enjoy taking in traditional Park attractions at a laid-back pace that allows you to relax on vacation.

Related: Adults Only! Let’s Plan a Trip to Disney World

Cast Members Are The Magic

Disney World Cast Members

Credit: Disney

Cast Members are more than just shopkeepers on Main Street, U.S.A, cooks at a Fantasyland restaurant, or ride operators. The quality customer service and demeanor of Cast Members truly bring Guests into this magic world and leave them satisfied with their experience. From the lifeguards and Resort staff, to ride operators and transportation engineers, you will be amazed at the kindness and customer service of Disney Cast Members.


These are just a few surprises you can look forward to as a first-time Disney World visitor!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.