It’s no secret that the DFB team LOVES Disney World!
Many of our team members visit Disney World frequently. Some of us visit once or twice a year while others head to the theme parks daily. What can we say? We can’t get enough of Mickey, churros, and rides on Space Mountain! Collectively, we have done practically EVERYTHING at Disney World. However, we polled the team to see what attractions and experiences are often overlooked or we’ve never had the chance to experience. Here are the results!
We may report and write about Disney World, but we’re well past the age demographic for kiddie coasters. We usually don’t pop into the Magic Kingdom for a quick ride on Dumbo! (Although, that sounds pretty awesome now that we’re writing it.) It has been a while since most of us have partaken in the more kid-centric activities unless those of us with kids are there with little ones in tow. Some of us have never done the attractions meant for toddlers!
It can feel a little awkward digging through an active dinosaur dig site that is meant for kids…without a kid. Some of us have children so we’ve visited The Boneyard in DinoLand U.S.A. to do some excavating of “dinosaur bones,” but other members of our team don’t have children. Those of us without kiddos are unlikely to climb around on our hands and knees to look for dinosaur bones. After all the sign DOES say that it is “best enjoyed by children ages 10 and under.”
That said, if you have a little kid in your travel party, you should definitely check this area out and maybe help them dig up a dinosaur bone or two! This is a great spot for kids who aren’t quite ready to tackle Animal Kingdom’s biggest rides.
Character Meet and Greets
This next one definitely got mixed results. Both sides were very adamant about where they stood when it came to meeting Mickey and friends. A few of our team members feel a bit awkward when meeting beloved Disney characters. They love the entertainment value and the magic that the characters bring. But, it can still feel a bit odd when meeting them in-person (especially, once again, without kids to focus the attention on!).
Some of our team loved to get autographs and personalized pictures with their favorite characters. They might have waited in a long line for a hug from Pooh or an action-shot with Chip ‘n’ Dale. Whether you’d rather stand in line for a churro or a picture with Mickey, is totally up to you!
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Some of us love to pop into the Frozen Sing-Along show at Hollywood Studios. There’s something cathartic about singing “Let it Go” 10 times louder than the 4-year-old sitting next to you. 🙂 The sing-along is a great place to sit down in air-conditioning and take in a little entertainment. Also, the improv actors throw in some humor and fun moments to keep the parents entertained.
And yet, there are many of us that would rather avoid an entire audience singing overdone songs. We get it. Disney played “Let it Go” so many times that it will be hard to ever forget the lyrics. They’re burned into our brain.
We love you, EPCOT! We’re sorry you get an entire category to yourself in this article. You just have so much to eat and do that we forget everything else you have to offer sometimes! EPCOT is huge so it’s easy to pass up some smaller attractions or restaurants. Many of us are easily distracted by the FOUR yearly festivals that happen every year. We’re too busy visiting each booth and being serenaded by Mariachi Cobre to remember you have more stuff hidden deep in your pavilions!
American Adventure Pavilion
There’s actually a lot going on inside the American Adventure! If you’ve never visited the building (like a few of our team members admitted), there is a full-size theatre located inside. The theatre is actually really beautiful and houses an audio-animatronic show. The pavilion is also where you might find the renowned Voices of Liberty a capella group.
Some of us haven’t seen the attraction, watched Voices of Liberty, or even stepped inside! It could be because we’d rather discover other countries rather than what’s in our own backyard. Or, we head straight to the Funnel Cake Stand and completely forget there is other stuff here!
A good majority of our team has surprisingly never eaten at this signature steakhouse located in EPCOT. We recently reviewed the restaurant upon reopening and have reviewed it many times before. Don’t get us wrong! Our reviews are usually pretty positive. It’s just that some members of our team would rather grab pastries from Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in France or visit the festival kiosks rather than sit in the dark restaurant for a long meal.
Also, the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival will usually serve a version of the famous Cheddar Cheese Soup and a “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce at the Canada Pavillion kiosk. These are a few of the dishes that Le Cellier is famous for. Some of us figure that since we can have Le Cellier’s best foods for $5-8, we don’t need to visit for a whole meal!
This last EPCOT no-no for many of us shouldn’t come as a surprise to TOO many. Mission: SPACE is a rocket launch simulator that makes guests feel like they’re being catapulted into space. It uses centrifugal force to create g-forces that are similar to what astronauts experience during a launch. Ok. There’s a reason astronauts go through so much training because you gotta have a stomach of steel to experience this thing!
Many guests, including some of our team, experience motion sickness when taking a ride to Mars. Some describe it less as motion sickness but rather just feeling “off” the rest of the day. (Your brain is being smushed into the back of your skull so…understandable). Some of us rode it once and will never do it again. Others don’t dare to step inside just in case things go sour. Disney got the hint because many other guests seemed to feel the same way. Years back they added green (less intense) and orange (full intensity) versions of the ride and allowed guests to choose. Some guests have noted that they have an easier time taking the Green Mission and were less likely to get sick with this version!
EPCOT has a few educational shows that are placed throughout the World Showcase Pavilions. The shows tell a brief history of the country and Disney tries to offer a little entertainment by having them hosted by actors like Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. Some of us like to cool down with some air-conditioning at Canada Far and Wide (formally O’ Canada) or Reflections of China. Other guests would rather skip the shows entirely.
For some guests, sitting and watching an educational movie isn’t their idea of a good time. They would rather take another ride on Soarin’ Around the World or experience the thrills of Test Track. There are other films outside of the World Showcase pavilions, like the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival in World Celebration in EPCOT or Vacation Fun in Hollywood Studios, too. The films tend to be just as unpopular with members of our team when it comes to entertainment.
Attractions and Events
Rise of the Resistance
This Hollywood Studios ride is one of the most popular attractions at Disney World right now and is still really difficult to get a chance to experience. Despite the fact that Disney World transitioned out of its Boarding Group process and into a traditional standby queue, guests STILL face average wait times of two to three hours every day if they want to ride.
If you want to skip that mega-long line, an expedited wait in Rise of the Resistance’s “Lightning Lane” is available via Genie+ as an Individual Attraction Selection. For an additional fee, you can reserve a return time to experience Rise of the Resistance — but even THOSE are scooped up pretty quickly each morning, leaving those who were unsuccessful in purchasing a reservation with a choice: wait in a three hour line, or wait until your next Disney World vacation to experience this one-of-a-kind attraction.
So, here’s the thing. Some of us only run when being chased. 😂 The most exercise we get is when we’re rope dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train on Christmas Day. This is our way of saying…not all of us find running to be a fun activity meaning a lot of us haven’t partaken in a runDisney marathon. The marathons are very popular and the least expensive races can fill up quickly.
The races are also fairly costly for someone who doesn’t love to run all the time. They can range between $90 – $500, depending on the race and distance. The event does look super cool though! You get to dress in Disney-inspired athletic costumes and gallivant through empty theme parks in the early morning hours. We might put the runDisney marathons on our to-do list. Don’t hold us to that though. BRB, going to lay on our couch for a sec… .
Exclusive Disney World Experiences
Disney offers activities and experiences at varying price levels and exclusivity. The exclusive experiences aren’t necessarily impossible to partake in, they’re just a lot more difficult to book and they tend to be out of our price range. Some team members have been lucky enough to join The Finer Things Club and indulge in a fancy dining experience or a private tour. Some of us have yet to have the pleasure. But it’s on our bucket lists!
Ah yes, the infamous Club 33. This is Disney’s “Best Kept Secret”…that most people know about. In order to step inside any Club 33 location, you must either become a member or have a member bring you as their guest. (The second option is way easier to accomplish but STILL hard!) You have to apply to become a member and then you’re put on a waitlist while your application is reviewed. The waitlist can be YEARS long to get in. Once you’ve aged 10 years, you’ll have to pay an initial membership fee of $33,000 and a hefty annual fee after that.
While Disneyland’s Club 33 has been in action since the days of Walt Disney, the Disney World locations are relatively new, having only opened in the last few years.
You can see why many of us have yet to ring that exclusive doorbell, be escorted to our exclusive dining room, and scarf down our exclusive dinner. Some of our team have been able to visit Club 33 in Disneyland and a few of the Disney World locations (there’s one in each park). Others are still waiting for their invitation!
Note: Victoria and Albert’s is currently closed.
Victoria and Albert’s is one of the most exclusive dining experiences in Florida. It has a AAA five-diamond rating and won seemingly endless awards. Here, you will dine on personalized menus and be served by two dedicated servers. You also have the option to book a seat at the Chef’s Table where you and 7 other guests will dine alongside the bustling kitchen as chefs prepare your meal with some of the finest ingredients.
To keep things intimate, the restaurant has very limited seated and is very difficult to get a reservation. Those tables disappear within moments every morning. (Victoria & Albert’s isn’t currently open, but when they do, we suggest logging on at 7:00AM EST sharp when your reservation window opens up.)
The stellar service, private setting, and incredible food naturally comes with a hefty price tag. The 8-10 courses start at $235. From there, you might add the wine pairing for $150 and additional enhancements. DFB has reviewed Victoria and Albert’s a number of times, but many of us have yet to splurge on this incredible (and pricey) dining experience.
Cinderella Castle Suite
Another not-so-hidden secret is that there is a full suite located inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. The room was converted into a suite during a Year of Million Dreams Promotion that chose lucky families to stay overnight in the castle each day. Outside of the promotion, only a handful of famous celebrities have had the privilege to stay in the suite. It’s also been up for charity auction in the past. We’ll have to wish upon a star for Disney to bring back another contest!
The suite has been opened for various events and private tours for guests to take a look at the room. A few of our lucky team members have been able to step inside and see the room firsthand. Right now, it’s almost impossible to see the hidden gem. Your best bet is to shell out the $12,000 for a Private VIP Tour. Or, eat inside the castle at Cinderella’s Royal Table and call it a day.
VIP Private Tours
Speaking of private tours! Many of us haven’t had a chance to experience what it’s like to be whisked away by a private guide at Disney World. When available, the VIP Private Tours includes two personal Guest Service Cast Members. The guides take you to the front of ride lines, provide you with fine dining, and give you the all-star treatment.
The starting price begins at $425, but this base cost can fluctuate during the time of year. Disney recently raised the peak price to $850 an hour. (We’re wondering if that comes with your own personal jet pack and a chance to meet Walt Disney cryogenically frozen? We kid, we kid! 😉) Most of the team hasn’t saved enough Disney dollars to have a private tour. Many more of us have partaken in the smaller VIP Tours tours like Keys to the Kingdom or the Starlight Safari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
On top of all this, there are a lot of special events that require you to be in the right place at the right time. Many of our team members haven’t thrown the first pitch at Casey’s Corner, had the Main Street Mayor or Fire Chief choose us as honorary Junior Mayor at the Plaza Restaurant, or pull the sword from the stone in front of the carousel. (Unfortunately, we won’t another chance at that one since Disney cut this experience led by the Royal Majesty Makers.) We also have a few that are highly disappointed they’ve never been chosen as the Rebel Spy on Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. Maybe someday, friends!
But hey, we’re totally not complaining. There’s SO much to do at Disney World and it would take you forever to do it all. Besides, even if you decide to sit and eat popcorn on Main Street for 8 hours that’s totally fine! Disney World is what you make of it!