If you’ve been to Disney World a time or two (or more) throughout the years, you probably have a solid to-do list filled with places to stay, things to do, and food to eat that you don’t stray from much.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with that (we’ve got our own lists too!), but we’re proposing a bit of a challenge for your next vacation — try something completely different that you wouldn’t necessarily consider doing. Here are a few things you can give a go!
Dine at a New Restaurant
There are over 200 restaurants in Disney World and most Disney-goers tend to gravitate towards their few favorites over and over again. But, if you’re limiting yourself to the same few places, you might be missing out on some great eats and drinks that you wouldn’t normally try!
So, instead of booking The Crystal Palace for the 100,000th time, plan to visit at least one new restaurant during your trip. With all of the restaurants in the parks, resort hotels, and Disney Springs, you’re bound to find something new! A lot of times you can find some hidden gems in the hotels, so maybe even try a restaurant in the resort you’re staying at.
Of course, there are likely some very popular places that you can give a try (you’ll just have to book your reservation well in advance). Or you can try some underrated spots that you may not even know about like Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom or Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Skip the Parks for a Day
If you’re someone who typically packs their vacation with park visits, we’re proposing that you take one day and plan to do things outside of the parks instead! There are a lot of things to do at Disney World that don’t require a park ticket and you’ve likely done very few of them if you’ve been a park-focused Disney-goer in the past.
For example, Disney Springs is a giant shopping and dining district that is home to some great restaurants, both Disney and non-Disney shopping, and, of course, Gideon’s Bakehouse (which serves up HUGE half-pound cookies). Plus, Disney World even has TWO miniature golfing courses if you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the family.
And, if you’ve never taken time to explore the Disney World Resorts (or even the one you’re staying at), that can be a great non-park day activity! You can hop around the resorts (just keep in mind that you may need to book a dining reservation or mobile order from a spot there with current COVID-19 policies), spend some time at the resort’s highly-themed lounges like Enchanted Rose or Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, or you can take advantage of your resort pool.
Plus, nearly every Disney hotel offers resort activities throughout the day like games at the pool, s’mores around the campfire in the evening, and a movie under the stars at night, so you could plan your day around that, too!
When it comes to preparing for a Disney vacation, it’s not uncommon to end up with a minute-by-minute plan of what you’re going to do between all the dining reservations, attractions, and shows. But, overplanning can often ruin many a Disney World vacation, so instead, go into your next trip with the intent to take more breaks throughout the day.
So, rather than running from ride to ride to dining reservation to store, stop and smell the roses (or whatever other smell Disney is pumping through the parks)! Stop for an extra snack, people watch, or sleep in and get to the parks later. You just might find that planning less in your day can actually end up creating more long-lasting memories.
If you feel the need to plan everything in your trip, then “plan for spontaneity”. Give yourself and your travel party an hour or so a day that is intentionally unplanned to revisit a favorite attraction, grab a treat that’s been tempting you, or just take a seat on a bench and people-watch and catch your breath! Since you’ve planned for it, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!
Stay at a Hotel You’ve Never Been To
You can even switch up where you stay during your vacation, too! If you’re someone who has always stayed at a Disney World Resort, try booking a hotel off-property. You can usually save a TON of money by choosing to stay at a hotel just off of Disney World property and depending on where you stay you can get many of the same perks as if you were staying on property (like transportation, Early Theme Park Entry, etc.).
Or, you can even ditch the hotel completely and consider renting a vacation home through services like AirBnb.
And, if you’ve never stayed at a Disney World hotel (or you always stay at the same one) switch it up and stay at a new place on property. You just might end up finding a new go-to resort!
Change Up Your Routine
Now, think about all the little things that have naturally been built into your Disney routine over time — do you always go towards the Mexico pavilion first at EPCOT’s World Showcase? Is there a ride at Magic Kingdom that you always tackle first? Instead of continuing on the tradition, try to change it up a little bit!
Go the opposite way around World Showcase, eat breakfast in the parks instead of the resort, or get to the park at rope drop if you normally sleep in. You just might be surprised by how much your park experience is different (and maybe even better!) based on when you’re there and what you do!
Switch Up How You Get Around
You can even change up how you get around Disney World! If you normally rely on Disney transportation, try renting a car or using an alternate form of transportation to get around the parks. These options can often give you a lot more flexibility throughout your day.
Or, if you normally bring your own car, try relying solely on Disney transportation. It’s often much cheaper than renting a car or even just paying to park your car at the Disney hotel so you may be surprised by how much money you save. And in the spirit of trying something new, try taking the Skyliner or Friendship Cruise between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, just for fun! These can be great ways to connect with your friends and family while still “doing something” plus, we find these to be super relaxing and just the recharge needed to tackle the rest of our park day!
Need more ideas about what new things you can try in Disney World on your next trip to take a risk or two? We’ve got you covered! Check out 23 brand-new things you can do in the parks and resorts right now in our video below!
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Check out our latest video and then comment below: What risk will YOU be taking on your next Disney World trip?