Some of these attractions might not sound cool, but trust us, they’re worth considering next time you go to Disney World!
While we’re the first ones that will tell you about the hottest new show or attraction at Disney World, we also want to make sure you aren’t quick to write anything off! Some of our favorite rides and experiences are those under-the-radar offerings that, on paper, might sound a little boring! Trust us — you might find yourself falling in love with some of these next time you visit!
Rides and Attractions
Not every ride in Disney World is going to be as flashy as Rise of the Resistance! These rides and attractions are just as cool, despite the fact that they may sound a little drab.
Living With the Land
Living With the Land is a slow-moving boat ride in The Land Pavilion in Epcot. Guests are brought through several working greenhouses where you learn about how Disney is developing innovative agricultural methods that yield higher amounts of produce!
We know, that might not sound like the most thrilling experience you’ll have while at Disney World, but lots of folks SWEAR by this ride. It’s arguably one of the most relaxing twenty minutes you’ll have on vacation (is it just us or is that first scene where you’re floating through the thunderstorm SO zen?).
The catchy old “Listen to the Land” song may not play anymore (in our HEARTS it does!), but this ride is actually really entertaining and offers a chance to see some unique plants you may have never seen! You can even head to neighboring Sunshine Seasons or Garden Grill and eat the food that is grown in those greenhouses!
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Next time you visit Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, look up! You may notice some very happy and relaxed guests floating by on Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, or simply The PeopleMover.
This attraction is often SKIPPED because folks don’t realize that it’s a total gem! We know, it kind of looks and sounds like a glorified escalator (or perhaps those moving walkways you see at airports), but Disney fans know that this is one of the coolest rides in the park!
The PeopleMover is a great opportunity to give your feet a break while enjoying a bit of a breeze from up above Tomorrowland. You even get some unique views inside popular Tomorrowland attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin AND a chance to see Walt Disney’s original model of what would become EPCOT — Progress City. Now, if only The PeopleMover came with a snack stand…we may never leave.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Another “cult classic” attraction at Magic Kingdom that often gets a bad rep’ is Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Many see this as only a great spot to take a nap. We aren’t saying they are WRONG, but we strongly encourage you to fight the urge to catch some zzz’s and instead bask in all of its glory! There is so much more to this ride than air conditioning!
To truly appreciate just how cool this attraction is, we have to go way back to the 1964 World’s Fair. That’s when this show first premiered (audio-animatronics and all!), after Walt Disney himself first came up with the concept for Disneyland. Despite the original concept being shelved for Anaheim, it was brought to Florida and it has run continuously at Magic Kingdom since 1975.
While it may seem outdated to some, there’s a certain charm to this all-American family as they traverse through the technological progress of the 20th century! And as Disney prepares for its own 50th Anniversary in 2021, the Carousel of Progress hit its own milestone this year — its 45th anniversary!
Pandora — The World of Avatar
Pandora is one of the coolest places in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a few reasons. Flight of Passage is a technological wonder, and even its less popular, “calmer” counterpart, Na’vi River Journey, features a jaw-dropping audio-animatronic.
Combine those two rides with one of the best counter service locations (Satu’li Canteen) in Animal Kingdom and you’ve got a recipe for a COOL land.
But if folks don’t know this, they may only associate Pandora with the film Avatar. Believe it or not, this movie came out eleven years ago. And while there are sequels in the works, the franchise’s relevance over the years has declined.
But there’s a reason both of Pandora’s attractions are Tier One FastPasses. Beyond the rides, the land itself is an Imagineering feat, and it completely transforms from day to night! Even if you weren’t a big fan of the movie, you might fall in love with Pandora – The World of Avatar just like we have over the years!
A great way to spend a few hours in the parks is to take a walking tour! Some of these tours can run you a few hundred dollars and take up half of your day, while other tours are much shorter and are pretty affordable!
Behind the Seeds Tour
Since we just convinced you that Living With the Land is a really cool ride, let’s talk about the walking tour that takes you “behind the SEEDS!” Have you ever been on Living With the Land and spotted a bunch of other guests walking around the greenhouse? They’re on the Behind the Seeds Tour!
This super fun, super informative tour departs multiple times throughout the day and brings guests into the greenhouses where you get an even MORE in-depth look at the innovative agricultural methods Disney is developing.
The tour also includes fun activities, like identifying various spices through smell, feeding fish in their Aquacell, and if you’re lucky, you might even get to taste some of the vegetables grown in the greenhouse for yourself!
As of June 2, 2020, the cost for Behind the Seeds is $29 per guest. The tour is one hour long, and afterward, you’ll likely want to ride Living With the Land all over again!
Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour
Did you laugh when you read the title of this next tour? We get it, steam trains are…not the coolest things in the world to everyone. If you aren’t a train expert, you may wonder why anyone would ever want to spend a couple of hours listening to someone else talk to them about steam trains.
On Disney’s The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour, you get to learn all about the locomotives that call Magic Kingdom home! One of the cool things about this tour is that it starts before the park opens to guests — 7:30AM to be exact. That early morning will be worth it, though! Getting into the parks before they open is a super neat experience that is typically reserved for those with early morning tours or dining reservations.
Because the Magic Kingdom Railroad is currently closed due to the construction of TRON Lightcycle Run, the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour is also currently unavailable. But once things are up and running again, consider booking a tour! The tour costs $54.00 per person and lasts three hours.
Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy
The only thing cooler than checking out all of the beautiful holiday decorations is to learn where they are stored the rest of the year, right?
Alright, so maybe on paper Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy tour doesn’t sound like the most thrilling activity to bring the family on, but Christmas aficionados will totally soak in all of the behind-the-scenes logistics of how Disney World is able to pull off the holidays each and every year. Whoever thought LOGISTICS would be so cool?
The three-hour tour departs from Epcot and brings guests to the Floral Department, as well as Disney Springs where you’re joined by a culinary expert that will help you “whip up” your very own holiday treat!
Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy is offered on select days in November and December. The cost is $149.00 per guest, and everyone receives a special gift at the end of the tour! In the past, these have been super cute trading pins. Keep in mind that guests must be at least 12 years of age to participate.
If you have the time to spare on your Disney World vacation this holiday season, consider filling that time up with this one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes tour!
Activities Outside of the Parks
There’s plenty to see and do outside of the four theme parks. In fact, you’re missing out on some of the best activities Disney has to offer if all you do is go to those main parks. Let’s briefly go over a couple of our favorite things to do when we aren’t standing in line for Slinky Dog Dash or eating the seventh Dole Whip of the day in Adventureland.
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
One of the reasons folks love coming to Disney World is that they get to have experiences that they wouldn’t normally get to have at home. So, when given the opportunity to make s’mores by a campfire, a lot of people may decline and hit up the parks for an extra few hours instead.
And while that’s a totally logical decision, if you find yourself with a free night, you may find that the best vacation memories are made from the simplest of activities! Chip & Dale host a campfire sing-a-long every night at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge.
While the event is FREE (and free is cool!), you do need to purchase s’mores supplies from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar, or you can bring your own ingredients. It’s certainly cheaper than dinner in the parks!
And once it’s dark, cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy a movie under the stars! There are plenty of benches for you to use, or you can bring your own chairs. There are actually TONS of cool activities at Fort Wilderness to do on your “day off” from the parks, like horseback riding, hiking, and more!
The VOID at Disney Springs
Our last activity that is way cooler than it sounds is The VOID. At first glance, it’s really hard to tell exactly what goes on in The VOID. Are you in a void? What do you do in this void?
The VOID is actually one of the coolest activities you and your family can take part in at Disney Springs. This highly interactive virtual reality experience hooks you up for fifteen minutes to these helmet-mounted machines that really make you feel like you are IN the action! And it’s not just any action — you can embark on your very own Star Wars or Wreck it Ralph themed adventure!
Prices range from $35-$40 per guest depending on which experience you choose, and you have to believe us when we say that it is TOTALLY worth the cost! We’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s cooler than Rise of the Resistance. 😉
What’s considered “cool” in Disney World is totally up to you! Some folks agree that the high-speed, thrilling attractions are the coolest things in the parks, while others are totally mesmerized by the special exhibits and behind-the-scenes tours that Disney provides. No matter what your definition of “cool” is, we hope that this gave you some ideas on new things to try next time you visit Disney World!
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What is your favorite thing in Disney World that others might not think is “cool”? Argue why you think it is the coolest thing in Disney World in the comments!