Let's face it, even a very basic trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida can be absolutely amazing! The resort hotels alone offer incredible theming plus lots of fun amenities. Add in the four theme parks and two water parks and you have the makings of an amazing week or more of fun!
If you're coming for the second, third or even more time, or you're staying for 7 to 10 days, there are a lot of things you can add onto your trip to 'plus' the experience, making it even more incredible. Here are some fun examples:
1. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
There are two locations, in Magic Kingdom and in Disney Springs, where little girls and boys, ages 3 to 12, meet their Fairy Godmother-in-training and be transformed into knights and princesses. Princess packages start at $64.95 for a hairstyle, makeup, nail polish and a Princess sash and cinch sak and go all the way up to the ultimate package at $450.00 which includes a special gown and a tiara. The Knight packages are $19.95 for hairstyle with gel plus a mighty sword and shield plus confetti and there is a deluxe package for $79.95 that comes with a Prince Costume as well.
Thanks to Stephanie McNulty, Vacation Specialist for the photos.
2. Pirate's League
Not into fairy tales? No worries. You and your child (ages 3 and older) can be transformed into a mermaid or pirate at this fun makeover experience located in Magic Kingdom near Pirates of the Caribbean.
*Thanks for Lisa Wainwright, Vacation Specialist for the photos.
3. Miniature Golf/movies/bowling
Need a down day at Walt Disney World? There are a lot of options: two miniature golf locations, Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. Or, go to a movie in Disney Springs or take some time to bowl over at Splitsville also in Disney Springs.
4. Special Tours
A lot of visitors probably don't realize how many special tours you can take at Walt Disney World. These range from short experiences like the one hour Caring for Giants at Animal Kingdom, where you learn more about the elephants in their care to longer ones like Keys to the Kingdom that takes you behind the scenes in Magic Kingdom, lasts about five hours and includes lunch. What I love about these is that you get to learn so much more about the parks and how Disney makes the magic happen each day for their guests. I have loved each one that I have done, from Caring for Giants, to Wild Africa Trek, Marceline to Magic Kingdom and a private VIP tour. Each experience was very special and added so much to my trips. I highly recommend adding one of these tours to your next trip!
*Some tours have age restrictions, so check with your Vacation Specialist or on the Disney website.
5. Holiday Parties
Depending on when you visit, Walt Disney World might be holding a special party to celebrate the season. In the Fall, you can experience Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom. Held on select nights, the park closes to regular guests and the fun begins. Special character meets, the "Boo To You" Parade, Hallowishes Fireworks and Trick or Treating throughout the park highlight this popular party. Once Halloween is over, the park transforms into Christmas themed decor and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party begins running on select nights. This party also features a special parade, fireworks show and Cinderella Castle drips with icicle lights, plus there are cookies and hot cocoa throughout the park and exclusive character meets.
If you are a big fan of either holiday, these parties are so much fun. I would recommend them for families who have kids who are able to stay up late so you can make sure you see the parades and fireworks shows.
*Thanks to Stephanie McNulty, Vacation Specialist and Chrissie Lograno-Weinstein, Senior Vacation Specialist for the photos.
6. Fireworks Dessert Parties
Walt Disney World offers spectacular fireworks shows in three parks: Magic Kingdom has "Happily Ever After," EPCOT has "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth," and Hollywood Studios offers "Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular." Each of these has a corresponding dessert party. Guests enjoy special desserts and beverages followed by a premium exclusive viewing location for the show. Pricing varies depending on the location, and starts at $35 for children and around $60 for adults. I recommend these parties for folks who want a protected viewing area for the fireworks. In particular, if you have elderly people with you, I like having a space that is less crowded where you won't get pushed around.
7. Pirates & Pals Dessert Voyage
Join Captain Hook and Smee at The Contemporary Resort for some treats (Mickey ice cream bars, and savory treats too). You can meet the characters and take a photo. Then, you board a boat for some more fun and games out to Bay Lake where you can watch "Happily Ever After." After the show, you will dock back at The Contemporary for one more character meet.
I would recommend this experience if you have already seen the show at least once from inside the park and if you have kids who are big pirate fans.
There you have it, just some of the MANY ways you can add something extra to your next Walt Disney World vacation. Check with your Vacation Specialist for the latest news as things are always changing. Your Vacation Specialist will have all the latest news and can help you make the very best choices for your family.
Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. As an Annual Passholder, she enjoys visiting Walt Disney World several times each year to stay up to date. Her favorite character is Dumbo, favorite ride is Flight of Passage and favorite restaurant is Satu'li Canteen.