If you’ve been to Orlando more than once, you may be ready to find some unique and unusual things to do at Disney World theme parks besides going on rides. How does searching for pirate booty, catching the bad guy, and exploring the wilderness sound?
It’s all in a days work at Walt Disney World Resort!
Disney is known for its attention to detail, but sometimes it’s hard to stop long enough to truly appreciate them. These unusual things to do at Disney World will help you slow down a bit and take in some of those amazing details that Disney is known for. Some of these adventures require an extra fee, but a lot of them are absolutely free, and all of them are totally fun.
So, are you ready to get out of the ride line and go on an adventure during your Disney World vacation? Let’s go!
A PIRATE’S ADVENTURE – MAGIC KINGDOM
A Pirate’s Adventure is a fun and interactive scavenger hunt that takes place in the Adventureland area of the Magic Kindgdom. The best part? It’s FREE! (Well…free with your park ticket purchase, of course!)
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. Once you’ve gathered all 5 treasure cards, you’ll earn the 6th and final card, which has been signed by Captain Jack Sparrow himself!
The recruitment headquarters is a small building across from Peco’s Bill’s restaurant and outside the Pirates of the Caribbean shop, called The Crow’s Nest. Afterwards, you can keep the cards as a souvenir.
Each of the 5 missions take about 20 minutes to complete — but there is no time limit. You can start at park opening, take breaks, and finish before the fireworks!
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 – 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 and you can play it using the Disney Play app when you’re in Epcot.
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.
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 – 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 Disney’s 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 ABOUT WILDERNESS EXPLORERS
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.
KIDCOT FUN STOPS – EPCOT
At World Showcase in Epcot, children can create their own souvenirs at the park’s Kidcot Fun Stops 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, and they can collect activity cards at each country along the way. This is a free experience!
There’s also a Disney Kidcot Puzzle Hunt available on the Disney Play app.
COLLECTING STICKERS – 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. The stickers are free!
It was a fun way to interact with cast members, and it was a fun memento for my kids to keep!
HARMONY BARBER SHOP – MAGIC KINGDOM
Is there anything cooler than getting your hair cut on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom? We say no.
Harmony Barber Shop is where you can get your hair cut and a dose of Disney magic while you’re at it. This old-fashioned themed shop is full of nostalgia and fun. It’s the perfect place to get a haircut so you look especially spiffy for all those pics with Mickey Mouse and his pals!
If you decide to get your little one’s first haircut here — it’s super special. They’ll get their own Mickey ears hat, a keepsake lock of hair, and an official milestone certificate.
Prices range from $8 (beard trim) to $28 (first haircut) and advanced reservations are recommended.
BUILD YOUR OWN LIGHTSABER – HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Savi’s Workshop is the most immersive lightsaber-building experience in the Disney Parks. You can find it in Disney’s Star Wars-themed land in Hollywood Studios – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – though, you’ll have to know where you’re going!
The land is designed to make you feel as if you’ve stepped onto the planet of Batuu (a Star Wars planet created exclusively for the Disney Parks), and Savi’s Workshop is hidden among the Black Spire Outpost shops so that the First Order cannot find it.
The lightsaber building experience does require a reservation, so you’ll want to arrive on time and check in with the “Gatherers” (a.k.a. the Cast Members that work at Savi’s Workshop).
Not only do you get a really cool lightsaber, but the experience is really immersive and super fun. This experience requires an extra fee of $249.99 plus tax.
DISNEY WORLD TOURS
One of the coolest ways to learn more about the parks is by signing up and taking a tour. There are so many amazing tours offered at Walt Disney World Resort — from behind the scenes of the park, to learning more about the animals at the Animal Kingdom, there’s sure to be a tour you and your crew will enjoy.
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour is probably the most popular tour among fans. It takes place in the Magic Kingdom and includes one of the most exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at the Disney Park operations. You even get to see parts of the park that usually on the cast members get to see!
Over in EPCOT, Behind The Seeds tour is one of the fan-favorite tours that you’ll hear about. Why? Well, you get backstage access to one of the most interesting attractions in the park — Living with the Land!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is home to several guided tours, with the most adventurous being the Wild Africa Trek tour. Not only does this tour take you behind the scenes to learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts, but you’ll be doing it all up close with animals on the open savanna!
If you’d prefer not to purchase a Disney theme park ticket but still want to experience something outside of what every guest can do at Disney World, check out the Starlight Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Much like Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom Lodge also has its own African savanna filled with roaming wildlife, and this tour gives you a closer look at some of the animals that live there.
The prices of the tours vary, depending on which you choose. These tours we mentioned just scratch the surface of the tours offered at Disney World. We’ve got a complete post of all the best Disney tours here!
UNIQUE OFFERINGS AT DISNEY SPRINGS
Disney Springs is home to a couple of unique offerings you can’t find anywhere else!
The Aerophile has the distinction of being the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon. Take an 8-minute tethered balloon ride high above Disney Springs and see panoramic vistas up to 10 miles away on a clear day!
The basket holds 29 guests, plus the pilot, and is a really cool and unique thing to do on your Disney World vacation. You can buy your tickets on site, and they’re $20 for kids 3-9 and $25 for adults and kids 10 and up.
One of the absolute coolest things to do anywhere on the property is by taking a “ride” in a Vintage Amphicar. Take a 20-minute guided tour in a retro-looking car…that can not only drive on land, but can float on the water! Your tour will include exploring Lake Buena Vista, and will guarantee you get a lot of looks.
This fun adventure is $125 per car, and it can seat 3-4 people. You can schedule a tour in advance, or walk-up reservations are taken at the Boathouse Boatique!
CHRISTMAS TREE STROLL
If you’re looking for a fun and FREE thing to do in Disney Springs, the Christmas Tree Stroll scavenger hunt is a must-do during the holiday season.
Pick up a free map at any of the map locations throughout Disney Springs, and try to find all of the themed-Christmas trees throughout the district. You’ll collect a sticker at each tree for your map, and once completed, you’ll earn a free button!
UNIQUE & UNUSUAL 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!
ELECTRICAL WATER PAGEANT – MULTIPLE RESORTS
The Electrical Water Pageant is a small little parade of sea creatures that are lit up and travel through the Seven Seas Lagoon each night to the tune of patriotic music. It’s short, sweet, and totally cute — and the best part is that you can see this fun little show from several Disney Resorts.
You can watch the pageant from the shores of these resorts: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including from Narcoossee’s restaurant), Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
CHIP ‘N’ DALE’S CAMPFIRE SING-A-LONG – FORT WILDERNESS CAMPGROUNDS
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long is seriously one of the best FREE things to do at the Disney World Resorts. Located at Fort Wilderness Resort, this nightly event is an absolute must-do if you’re in the area or staying here.
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long includes making s’mores by the campfire (bring your own ingredients or buy a kit from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar), singing campfire songs with a cowboy, and then relaxing and watching a classic Disney movie under the stars.
The best part? Chip and Dale make an appearance! They’ll meet you and your kids, pose for pics, and sign autographs!
This nightly event is really fun and cool, and I can’t say enough good things about it. This is an outdoor event, and is weather-dependent.
YEHAA BOB – PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE
Looking for a toe-tapping great time? Head over to the River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and listen and sing along with local legend, Yehaa Bob!
Yehaa Bob is known for his musical stylings and comedic performances. You’ll hear Disney standards, songbook classics, and plenty of kid-friendly songs.
OTHER UNIQUE THINGS TO DO AT DISNEY RESORTS
Looking for more unusual things to do at the Disney resorts? Try one of these!
- Visit the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and enjoy pony rides, carriage rides, and trail rides. While you’re there, visit Cinderella’s ponies and the horses that take part in the Magic Kingdom parades!
- Enjoy Dockside Fishing at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. You can also enjoy fishing excursions out on a boat at 9 other Disney resorts.
- Channel your inner artist as you explore a master-led painting class at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Colors of Coronado is a 2-hour class with local artists that allow you to paint your masterpiece and bring it home.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE DISNEY PARKS
- YOUR THEME PARK VACATION
- PIN TRADING: 21 REVEALING DISNEY PIN TRADING TRICKS FOR YOUR NEXT FAIRYDUST ADVENTURE
- DRINKING AROUND THE WORLD EPCOT STYLE: 19+ BEST DRINKS TO TRY
- MINI GOLF: THE ULTIMATE DISNEY MINI GOLF GUIDE
- DISNEY FOR ADULTS: 17+ FUN THINGS YOU’LL LOVE
WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD
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