Unexpected Things to do at Walt Disney World

It’s a well-known fact that all Disney World has to offer is the 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and the “mall” called Disney Springs, right?

Wrong. So wrong!

The fact is, there are tons of unique experiences waiting for families who visit Walt Disney World! From private tours to scuba diving to surf lessons, there’s something for everyone, if you know where to look. (And, since you’re reading this, you’re in a really good starting place!)

Below, you will find details for 10 different, totally unique experiences that are available within the Walt Disney World property. Inside of each section is a link to the official Disney page, where you can find more information including details, prices, locations, and anything else you need to know.

Happy reading, my friends!

African Savanna Tour

If you are an animal lover (or have an animal lover in your family), this Animal Kingdom experience is absolutely not to be missed! The guided tour, called Wild Africa Trek, takes you inside of the animal exhibits and allows you to discover animals in “an uninhibited environment that resembles their home turf in Africa.” You’ll get to walk grassland paths, cross a rope bridge, and ride in a safari vehicle in an open savanna, where you may see giraffes, rhinos, hippos, and crocs!

Along with telling you about the animals you’re seeing, your guide will also be able to give you insight into how Animal Kingdom operates, as well as what they do to aid in animal conservation. At the end of your tour, you’ll also receive a commemorative souvenir!

This is a separately-priced tour (not included with general park admission). At the time of writing, the cost for the tour is $189-$249 per person, not including tax. You can find more information and book your tour here.

A bathing hippopotamus raises its head out of the water

Arcade Games

Did you know that most of the resorts on Disney property (including the value resorts) have an arcade in them? Playing the games requires purchasing a Game Card and adding game points with cash or a credit card. For more information, including which resorts have an arcade, you can click right here.

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long

At Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort, you can enjoy this nightly treat! Enjoy s’mores (you can bring your own or purchase a s’mores kit there) and campfire songs with Chip and Dale before snuggling up with a classic Disney movie under the stars!

Not staying at Fort Wilderness? Worry not! This fun experience can be enjoyed by all Disney World guests, not just those staying at Fort Wilderness. You can find more information here.

8 people, from kids to adults, sitting around a campfire roasting marshmellows with Chip 'n Dale

Dine-In Movie at Disney Springs

Need a night off from the heat and stress of the parks? Head over to the AMC Theater in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) to enjoy a meal while watching a feature film! The little ones can enjoy the kid-friendly menu, while adults can take advantage of the more hearty adult options. Grown-ups will also be able to enjoy the wine, beer, and full cocktail menu. You can even order a churro for dessert!

For more information, including menus and prices, click here.

Diving Experience at The Seas

If you’re scuba certified, you can check “swimming with Nemo and Friends” off of your bucket list! At The Seas at Epcot, Disney offers a 3-hour diving experience, called DiveQuest, to certified divers and allows them to explore the 5.7 million gallon saltwater tank while friends and family look on. You can even purchase a video of your experience!

While the actual dive time is only about 40 minutes, you’ll also get to go “backstage” to check out the infrastructure and learn now The Seas is maintained. At the time of writing, this experience costs $179 per person, not including tax. You must be scuba certified to participate. If you’d like more information, click here.

Guests clad in SCUBA diving equipment swim beneath a rock arch in a tropical underwater environment

Get a Haircut

Wanting to make a meaningful, fun memory in the Disney Parks for your little one? The Harmony Barber Shop in Magic Kingdom offers haircuts for all ages, but they specialize in “first haircuts” for kids. With the My First Haircut purchase, you will receive commemorative Mickey ears, a keepsake lock of hair, and a milestone certificate. This package, at the time of writing, costs $25, not including tax.

For a regular kids’ cut, you can expect to pay $18 and up plus tax, while an adult cut currently costs $19 and up plus tax.

Bonus tip – if you ask for “pixie dust” after the haircut, the cast members will put glitter in your child’s hair! How fun!

For more information and booking, click here.

Horseback Riding

Why ride a regular horse when you can ride a magical Disney horse? Well, okay, these horses might not be magical, but you are sure to have a magical time riding through the woodlands at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge!

This relaxinf 45-minute ride allows you to explore the beautiful Fort Winderness Resort and gives you the chance to see deer, ducks, rabbits, and maybe even an armadillo or two!

Reservations can be made in advance, and closed-toed shoes are required to ride. At the time of writing, this experience costs $55 per person. You can find more information here.

Bonus- the Tri-Circle-D Ranch also offers carriage rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, pony rides, and holiday sleigh rides!


On the Disney property, there are two different mini golf options from you to choose from, and each of those has two further choices to help make your family’s experience great!

Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf

Based on Disney’s classic film Fantasia, this option gives you the choice of Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course, a nimi golf course featuring fun obstacles, frountains, and musical surprises; or Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course, which is like a traditional golf course on a miniature scale and features sand traps, water hazards, sloping greens, and bunkers for more of a challenge.

Winter Summerland Golf Course

This super-fun course offers your family the choice of two distinctly different 18-hole golf experiences: a sand course named “Summer” and a snow course named “Winter.” In the “Summer” course, you’ll putt around sand castles and surfboards while trying to avoid waking up Santa as he sleeps in the sand! If you choose the “winter” course, you’ll find obstacles such as giant peppermints and a melting castle!

The last holes of these courses are combined together, and you may recieve a special message from Santa Clause after sinking the 18th hole! At the time of writing, both of these courses cost $14 per adult and $12 per child.

This is one of the few experiences listed that I have had personal experience with, and I’m happy to report that doing the Winter mini golf at the Winter Summerland course is a memory that I still have years and years later! It was so much fun for this Ohio native to be surrounded by winter in the middle of Florida.

For more information, click here (Fantasia Gardens and Fairways) or here (Winter Summerland).

A boy swings his club on the faux snow at Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Did you know that Disney Springs is home to the world’s hargest hand-painted helium balloon? During this 8-minute tethered balloon ride, you’ll be treated to views up to 10 miles on clear days! Guests of all ages can ride, but children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older.

Tickets can be purchased at the attraction, located on the west side of Disney Springs, on a first-come, first-served basis. At the time of writing, the cost is $20 per adult and $15 per child. Find more information here.

Surf Lessons (or sessions)

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park offers surfing lessons to private parties (up to 12 guests per group) in the morning before the water park opens. They also offer surf sessions for more experienced riders.

Surf Lessons

For first-timers to intermediate surfers, Typhoon Lagoon offers lessons taught by professional surfers to help you build your skills and confidence. You will recieve land instruction and then head out on a sift-sided surfboard to catch some waves! The cost for surf lessons is $190 per person, which includes tax and access to a light continental breakfast. This price also includes digital photography, and you’ll have access to the images after your lesson so you can take them home and share them with your friends and family!

Surf Sessions

For experienced riders, Typhoon Lagoon offers private surf sessions of 3 hours, 100 waves, and up to 24 guests (including you, other surfers, and spectators). You can also add-on food packages and professional photography. The price for this experience is not listed on the website.

For more information including age restrictions and further details, click here.

So, there you have it! Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you that there is much more to do at Walt Disney World than simply visiting the parks… although, hey, a trip with only park visits is incredibly fun, too!

Have you ever participated in any of these activities? What did you think about it? Did I miss something? Please let me know below!

If you enjoyed this post, share it with a friend and on social media!

PS- if you’re looking for unexpected shirts to wear on your trip, I’ve got ya covered!

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