When you go to a Disney park, you plan to spend most of your time riding the dozens of rides across the property. But there’s so much more to do than just ride rides. From food to shows to hidden gems, here are a few of my favorite things to do when the ride lines are long, or I want to take a break!
Grab a Snack
You’re probably eating if you’re not riding rides at Disney World. Or that’s just me. The Disney parks have some great snack options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Grab a Dole Whip, a Wookie Cookie, a Mickey Ice Cream Bar, or a Rice Crispy Treat, to name a few! If you’re feeling something salty, try a Mickey Soft Pretzel, some Cheeseburger Spring Rolls, or a refillable bucket of popcorn. There are options unique to each park, which you can get anywhere!
Catch a Show
The shows and entertainment are some of the most underrated activities at the parks. What better way to escape the heat and sit in the AC for a while than to relax and enjoy entertainment! Here are just a few of my favorites!
– Philharmagic (Magic Kingdom)
– Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom)
– For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (Hollywood Studios)
– MuppetVision 3D (Hollywood Studios)
– Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom)
– Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! (Animal Kingdom)
– The American Adventure (Epcot)
– Impressions de France (Epcot)
Watch a Parade/Cavalcade
Since the pandemic, Disney has started incorporating shorter parades or cavalcades into their daily routines. Even now, the cavalcades are still a great way to see some of your favorite characters without stopping for an entire parade. However, Disney parades are second to none. Check out the Festival of Fantasy parade for a fun way to see some great characters and amazingly impressive floats!
This has recently become one of our favorite things at a Disney park. You can purchase a starter set at Disney, order some pins online, and go wild! There are pin trading stations and multiple locations around each park. Pick up to two pins of your liking and replace them with two of your own. It’s a great way to find fun new pins and an easy souvenir!
Visit the Golden Statues
During the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary, Disney put up the “Fab 50” – statues of 50 of Disney’s most beloved characters. Though the anniversary celebration has ended, Disney has stated that the statues won’t disappear soon. If you have a MagicBand+, you can interact with the statues, which will make noise when triggered by your band.
Meet Some Characters
I only used to be one for character meet and greets once I had kids who LOVE characters. I enjoy it as much as they do! I get giddy when I see Mickey Mouse. And watching my kids give him a hug literally makes my day. Sometimes, the lines can be long, but you can often use a Genie+ Lightning Lane to meet them with a fraction of the wait!
A trip to Walt Disney World can be overwhelming. Wait times can get long, and it can take time to decide what to prioritize. If you ever need to step away from rides for a little bit to cool off, relax, or take a bit of a break, these are some fun ways to do it! Some of them you may have never even tried before. Give a couple of these a try the next time you visit the Most Magical Place on Earth! You may find a new activity!
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
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