If you’ve been to Orlando more than once, you may be ready to find some unique things to do at Disney World beside going on rides. How does vanquishing evil villains, searching for pirate booty, catching the bad guy, and exploring the wilderness sound? It’s all in a days work at Walt Disney World, and it’s all FREE with park admission.
Unique Things to do at Disney World theme Parks that make Awesome Souvenirs
Disney is known for attention to details, but rarely do we stop long enough to truly appreciate them. The following four in-park scavenger hunts are special things to do in Disney World that make you slow down a bit and really enjoy what’s around you. We’ve also added two additional cool things to do in Disney World.
So, are you ready to get out of the ride line and go on an adventure?
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game is one of those special things to do at Disney World that you won’t notice at first.
The game is an interactive adventure through the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, where apprentice sorcerers use spells in the form of cards to defeat Disney Villains.
My 8-year-old thought it was the best part of our recent visit to Disney (and this was the year he discovered Space Mountain!)
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Map and Cards
The map and cards are free with your Magic Kingdom admission. The game starts at one of two ‘recruitment stations.’ The Fire Station at the beginning of Main Street is the first recruitment station, but there is another in Liberty Square with shorter lines, especially in the morning right after park opening.
Once armed with the right tools, (a special map, key and five spell cards), Merlin the Magician, from the Sword and the Stone makes you his apprentice. Then it’s off on the first mission!
Each set of cards sends you on a different adventure that starts in a different location. Use the map provided to find portals throughout the Magic Kingdom. Once you find the portal, use your magic band or a card provided to you to activate the game at that location. Use the spell cards to defeat the villains.
Completing The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Missions
Each mission takes about 20 minutes to complete. Completing the entire game takes about five hours. Once you’ve done that, return to the recruitment station for a new set of cards. Each new set of cards sends you on increasingly harder missions.
The game is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way for return visitors to experience the park in a whole new way. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom debuted in early 2012, so it’s still fairly new. I see so many possibilities for the game. My sons were keen to know if they could continue playing at home – that would be fantastic and from a marketing perspective, a great way to keep kids (especially boys in the difficult to reach tween range) engaged with the brand.
When we first started playing this game, I thought wait times would be an issue, but we’ve been playing for a couple years now on our annual vacation here, we have only had to wait for one, possible two people to finish at a portal, and it’s never long. Since each person takes a separate route, you don’t necessarily see the same thing at the portal either.
A Pirate’s Adventure at the Magic Kingdom
If wandering throughout the entire Magic Kingdom with Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is a bit much for you, then try a Pirate’s Adventure which is another one of those secret things to do at Disney World that is only throughout Adventureland.
Captain Jack Sparrow needs help raiding five treasures throughout Adventureland. A magic talisman starts the game and one of five maps guide you on your quest. The recruitment headquarters is a small building across from Peco’s Bill’s restaurant and outside the Pirates of the Caribbean shop. Afterwards, you can keep the maps as a souvenir.
The Pirate Adventure is a great way to take a break from the rides (and lines) and refresh on the pixie dust.
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure at EPCOT
The scavenger hunt at EPCOT has changed several times. When we first visited it had a Kim Possible theme. Then it changed to Agent P’s Adventure (from Phineas and Ferb.)
The latest incarnation is DuckTales World Showcase Adventure. Join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, Launchpad and Webby in search of priceless treasure. This game uses the Play Disney Parks mobile app, vs. a hand held device you pick up in the park. Guests take a trip around World Showcase discovering exotic destinations, exciting mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.
Explore World Showcase with ScroogeMcDuck
Similar to Agent P’s adventure and Kim Possible, the best part of the ScroogeMcDuck Adventure is discovering hidden areas of World Showcase. It gives you an excuse to truly explore, and find some fun surprises along the way – which is why I think this is such a cool things to do in Disney World.
While most of the guests are busy shopping or choosing their next snack, your team is getting a somewhat secret tour and uncovering hidden in plain site interactive objects.
Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
“A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole.”
Russell, the over achieving kid that stowed away on Carl Fredricksen’s balloon house in the movie UP, is a Wilderness Explorer. And now you can be too. The Wilderness Explorer’s Program at Animal Kingdom is one of several in-park scavenger hunts at Walt Disney World – one of those awesome unusual things to do in Disney World that most folks don’t know about.
The Wilderness Explorer program at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is education disguised as fun.
After taking the Wilderness Explorer pledge, learn the official Caw Caw Roar call from a Disney cast member for the first of 31 different badges on animal behavior, geography, conservation and more. Earn enough badges and become a Senior Wilderness Explorer.
Just like in scouts, the badges have varying degrees of difficulty. The first badge is garnered simply by stating the pledge and learning the Caw Caw Roar call. Simple and fun.
From there, use the map in your Wilderness Explorer’s Handbook to find stations throughout Animal Kingdom. Follow the instructions for the badge, and when you are done, find a troop leader or a badge guide. Show them your findings and secure your badge.
What we thought of the Wilderness Explorer Program
We visited Animal Kingdom on our last day at Walt Disney World and didn’t have a lot of time to complete many tasks, but the good news is that we can keep the Wilderness Explorers handbook and bring it back next time to pick up where we left off.
The book itself is a great keepsake (made from recycled paper of course) and fun to read through. I think next time we go to Animal Kingdom, I’ll use the Wilderness Explorer’s handbook as a guide to getting around the park.
Create Your Own Souvenirs at Kidcot
At World Showcase in Epcot, children can create their own souvenirs at the park’s Kidcot Funstops located in each of the pavilions. Craftsmen teach the budding artisans how to create one-of-a-kind masks or musical instruments using their own magical touch.
It’s a fun and free way to engage kids in World Showcase. Animal Kingdom used to have a similar program called Disney Discovery Kids Club, where kids collect stamps for a bonus prize, but I’m not sure it’s still there. It may have been replaced by the Wilderness Explorers.
Collecting Stickers at the Magic Kingdom
On our most recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, we collected stickers at all the gift shops. This is not as formal a program as the various scavenger hunts. Some stores had stickers, some didn’t. We found a few stickers were available from the ride attendants.
I asked several cast members if there was a system and all said no. There was not set schedule for when they receive stickers and they give them out until they were gone. Some folks kept them behind the counter, others kept a few in their pockets. So basically, you just need to ask. I generally found my stickers from the counter in the shops.
I tried to get stickers at Hollywood Studios too, but had no luck. Many of the shop keepers said they do get stickers, but they were out. Hollywood Studios seemed more random than Magic Kingdom, and eventually I gave up.
All that said, getting the stickers was a fun way to interact with the cast members and gave me an excuse to pop into various shops, much to my son’s dismay.
If you are heading to Disneyland in California instead of Disney World, here are some ideas on freebies you might have overlooked like a tour of the Boudin Bakery, as well as educational experiences you might otherwise miss.
Top 5 Unique things to do at Disney World Resorts
The fun doesn’t stop when you leave the theme parks. There are also unique things to do at Disney World resorts too. Here are some of our favorite freebies.
Animal Kingdom Lodge. Go on a night safari with the animal viewing with night vision goggles.
Grand Floridian. There are tons of places to see fireworks outside the parks. The Gone Mad Fireworks Party at the Grand Floridian is one of the best.
Disney Port Orleans. Stop into the River Roost Lounge and sing-a-long with legend YeeHaw Bob.
Disney All Star Resort. Shake it at the Calypso Dance Extravaganza held three times a week.
Fort Wilderness. One of the best freebies at Walt Disney World is the Chip N Dale Campfire Sing a Long with Smores and a character greeting with the long lines.
There are also unique things to do at Disney World water parks, like guests aged 8 and up can learn to surf in the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon (although this is not free).
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