Even a seasoned Disney World veteran can get surprised sometimes!
Disney World is a constantly changing place with big news pouring in left and right and little changes to take note of too. Plus, your day might be made a little more magical by a surprising event! Here are eight surprises you WON’T expect to see in Disney World!
1. Big Crowds at Slow Times
First up, we’ve got a not-so-nice surprise with big crowds at slower times of the year. Disney World can get pretty busy even on the slowest of days (those exist?! 😉), so many of us schedule our vacations around times that the parks might be a little more empty. So, how come the supposedly “slow” times of the year can come with big crowds?
You might know to plan your trip as far away from holidays, spring break season, and the summertime as possible, but Disney World has some holidays and events that fly under the radar. It can be a BIG surprise to find a major event going on when you’re expecting low crowds.
Keep an eye out for running events like the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in the otherwise slow time of January and February. You might expect low crowds in the first week of November, but schools in New Jersey take a few days off for fall break at that time (Jersey Week!). And, of course, you’ll want to check schedules for sports and cheer competitions.
2. Custodial Water Art
Now for a more DELIGHTFUL surprise! Sometimes when you’re in the parks, you might spot some surprise characters. And no, we’re not talking about Character Cavalcades or surprise character experiences. We’re actually talking about a fun surprise from Cast Members!
Custodial Cast Members work SO hard to keep the parks looking spic and span, and they still have time to put a smile on guests’ faces! We’ve spotted character water art from many a Cast Member.
Then, of course, there’s Edline in Animal Kingdom who does gorgeous flower art of Mickey Mouse regularly! How beautiful!
These little surprises might not seem like a big deal but they can be an absolute joy to see. Please do remember if you DO happen to catch one of these magical acts in progress, watch your step! We’ve caught many guests not looking where they’re walking and trample right over a work of art in progress!!
3. Clap Box
We’ve got another fun surprise too! Have you ever seen a square of tape on the ground in one of the parks? At the time, you probably walked right by without giving it a second thought. Or maybe you thought, “Hmm…that’s odd.” BUT, if you ever spot a tape square, you might want to make a quick detour INSIDE IT.
You might be in the presence of a clap box! This is a fun pop-up surprise where Cast Members watch for guests to walk through and applaud when a guest enters the clap box. This is a really unique one to spot and SO fun if you do! Most guests just keep walking but Cast Members are watching to see if you pause in the box! And yep, they’ll clap as long as you stand there. So fun!
4. Character Encounters
Even now, you can expect to see characters in Disney World. After all, the Character Cavalcades run most days in all four parks and there are several regular appearances from characters like Mickey, Jack Sparrow, and Stitch.
Plus, the characters even “caravan around the world” to visit the Disney World Resort hotels, so you might see them pop up at your resort!
5. Real Life Celebrities
We’ve been pretty surprised recently when we’ve spotted REAL LIFE celebrities in addition to our famous Disney pals we see all the time! Last month we spotted JoJo Siwa enjoying a Disney day AND John Stamos filming in Magic Kingdom.
In the past, we’ve also seen famous folks at the Candlelight Processional (a little bit less of a surprise!). Basically, celebrities work in Disney World sometimes and they visit just like us, too!
6. Getting Into the Parks Before Open
This can be a happy surprise or an unhappy surprise depending on how you plan your morning. In many cases, Disney has been letting guests into the theme parks well before opening — sometimes 30 minutes prior or more!
If you’ve planned to rope drop and get there early enough, this can mean valuable extra time in the park! If you arrive right at rope drop though, you might have the unpleasant surprise of seeing lines already full by the time you arrive. Maybe this is one surprise you should expect!
7. Unannounced Construction
Another less-pleasant surprise might be unannounced construction! Sure, Disney does give us a heads up about larger construction projects like the refurbishment at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but you might not get a warning for everything.
If a project isn’t large enough to disrupt the guest experience, Disney might not announce it at all. Instead, you’ll be caught off guard when you spot construction in the Morocco Pavilion or on the castle stage. These might not have a major effect on your vacation, but they could come as a surprise — especially if that little construction is at a location near and dear to your heart.
8. Wonky Hours
The final surprise is another one that you don’t want to catch you off guard. Some Disney World offerings might have wonky hours. Make sure you check hour listings for restaurants you want to stop by; at this time, many of them are closing earlier than you might expect. This is especially true in Hollywood Studios where some fast food spots close hours before the park does!
Plus, transportation hours have been VERY wonky. Transportation may open earlier or later than the posted times, and even Cast Members might not have accurate information. Make sure you’re ready to be flexible with your plans in case transportation doesn’t work the way you expect.
Hopefully, this info helps you to be a little less surprised by the negative surprises and MORE delighted by the positive ones. As always, stay tuned to DFB for all the latest Disney information!
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Have you seen any of these surprises in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!