Off the beaten path things to do


We will be in the World Easter weekend through the next Sunday and we want to do a few things we have not done before. We are trying to make a must do list and need suggestions. What things have you done that you were very suprised and enjoyed? Yes this is very broad but please help.


Its not necissarily off the beaten path, but the Cirque du Soleil is a fantastic experience that was different than the usual WDW fare.


That is so AWESOME . . . you’d :heart: it!

SOMEONE ELSE POSTED THIS, (sorry I can’t remember who :blush:) so I can’t take credit . . . but there are a lot of REALLY fun things to do! (I copied and pasted it to save it!)

Hidden Treasures & Magical Surprises Guide

A Hidden Treasure is a physical fixture that is either interactive or otherwise enhances the Magic of the park. Usually, a near-by friendly Cast Member can help you if you are having trouble finding one of these treasures. Do note that due to the “hidden” nature of these elements Disney may modify, relocate or remove them with out any notice. Also note that some water related “treasures” may not be operating in times of draught.

A Magical Surprise is an entertainment offering or an event that you won’t find listed in the Times & Events guide—it’s a surprise. There are two types of Magical Surprises; often and sometimes. An Often Surprise is one that typically happens multiple times a day and is offered on a mostly consistent basis. A Sometimes Surprise is one that may only happen once a day and/or it may not happen on a consistent basis. Keep in mind that due to the nature of these Magical Surprises, it is not guaranteed that they will be available during your trip. If there are specific offerings you are interested in, it is suggested you check with Guest Services at the park the day of and see if they can help you locate the “surprise” for that day.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Welcome
The Magic Kingdom welcomes guest with a cavalcade of Disney characters. This park opening ceremony is typically held daily, 12 minutes prior to park opening for that day. A randomly selected honoree family, Mickey & friends, and the Citizens of Main Street arrive on the Magic Kingdom railroad. From the Main Street railroad station, Mickey and his gang open the park with a burst of confetti and Pixie Dust.

Main Street Trolley Parade
This mini-parade makes its way down Main Street with a singing & dancing troupe of turn-of the century performers. The trolley makes momentary stops along the way as the performers mingle with the guests. This parade typically runs four times each morning between normal park open and noon.

Windows of Main Street
The windows on the upper floors of Main Street pay homage to those who contributed to the Magic Kingdom park or the Disney Company. Two of the more notable windows are those for Walt Disney and Roy Disney. Walt’s window is above the Ice Cream Parlor facing Cinderella Castle and Roy’s window is above the Main Street Confectionary facing Town Hall.

Main Street Citizens
The golden days of small town America are brought to life by this streetmosphere presentation. The cast of characters includes Mayor Weaver, Beatrice Starr, Chief Smokey Miller, Dewey Cheatem, Hildegard Olivia Harding, Mrs. Penelope Prose, Constance Purchase, Mabel Mae Benaught, Victoria Trumpetto, Noah Lotte, Emily Postit and Scoop Sanderson. A varying selection of the citizens typically appear quarter till the hour until quarter after the hour from 9:45 am – 2:15 pm, Monday – Saturday.

Paw Prints of Love
Just outside of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant the pavement holds a special homage to the Lady &the Tramp. Imprinted in the cement are the paw prints of both Lady and the Tramp. This is a nice photo spot for Disney dog lovers.

Dapper Dans
This colorful barbershop quartet fills Main Street with their sweet melodies. These musical merry men can be found along various locations along Main Street typically appearing nine times daily between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm for 20 minute sets.

Mickey’s Toontown Tuners
This saxophone quartet may look like mechanics, but they can wail on a sax with the best of them. This jazzy foursome can be found along various locations along Main Street. They typically appear four times daily between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday – Thursday and twice between 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on Sunday for 20 minute sets.

Main Street Party line
Stop in the Market House on Main Street and look for a turn of the century phone mounted on the wall near a set of cash registers. If you pick up the receiver you’ll listen in on an old fashion party line between a mother and her daughter.

Sounds of Center Street
Turn right onto Center Street as you are walking down Main Street towards the Castle and you’ll stumble upon some eavesdropable entertainment. Rest a spell under the windows marked “Singing Lessons” and “School of Dance” and you’ll likely hear singing lessons or a ballet class being conducted.

Main Street Philharmonic
This 12-piece brass and percussion ensemble play popular turn-of the-century tunes. The band is typically part of the pre-entertainment to the afternoon parade on weekdays. They also typically conduct a 20 minute performance during weekday afternoons at Town Hall on Main Street.

Waking-up Tinkerbell
If you are among the first to enter Tinkerbell’s Treasures shop (to your left as you pass through Cinderella Castle), your kid(s) may be in for a special treat. Ask the Cast Member if you can wake-up Tinkerbell. The kid(s) are given a sword (for boys) or a wand (for girls) and are instructed to tap on a small chest three times and say “wake-up Tinkerbell”. Sure enough Tinkerbell wakes-up and flies around the room in a dazzling display of lights and sounds. The helpers are usually given a certificate that proclaims that they helped wake-up Tinkerbell. If you miss this morning ceremony, Tink typically flies around the shop intermittently through out the day.

Cinderella’s Stallion
Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel is more than just a merry-go-round; it is an actual depiction of Cinderella’s royal cavalcade. Cinderella’s own horse is here and is distinguishable by one very unique feature—it is the only one to have a gold ribbon on its tail. Cinderella’s horse is white, wears a red bridle, and is second rank in from the outside. Taking a ride on Cinderella’s white royal stallion makes a neat treat for any princess in training.

Fantasyland Woodwind Society
This quartet brings Disney classic songs to life with a saxophone twist. This whimsical foursome can be found along various locations around Fantasyland. They typically appear three times daily between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday – Thursday and once between 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Sunday for 20 minute sets.

Tomorrowland Countdown
This 12 piece band rocks out in Tommorowland with R&B and Soul classics with a futuristic twist. They can typically be found grooving out 4 times between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm for 20 minute sets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday.

Tommorowland Phone Co.
Located in Rocket Tower Plaza (beneath the Tommorowland Transit Authority station and the Astro Orbiter) is a phone with a several buttons. Pick up the phone and each button will connect you with the likes of Sonny Eclipses’ Agent or other Tommorowland residents.

PUSH: The Talking Trashcan
That trashcan roving around Mickey’s Star Traders and the Speedway in Tommorowland isn’t the trash collection of tomorrow, it’s PUSH. PUSH the trashcan can hold garbage, roam around and carry on conversations with guests in real-time. PUSH can typically be found out and about for seven 20 minute intervals between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sunday-Thursday.

Surprising Spouts
Adventureland provides a few areas where unsuspecting visitors may get a bit of a surprise spritz. Near the Flying Carpets of Aladdin, the large camel facing away from the attraction tends to have a nasty spitting habit. Near the entrance to Jungle Cruise there are a number of large Tiki Idols. Be careful when approaching them, if you step in spots that anger these Polynesian gods they may shower you with displeasure–-literally.".

Gracey’s Grounds
The exit walkway of the Haunted Mansion ends with two large brick columns; imbedded here in the cement is what appears to be a wedding ring. According to Haunted Mansion lore, Master Gracey’s distraught bride-to-be threw her wedding ring out one of the Mansion’s upper story windows and it landed embedding itself in the ground outside. Also as you exit, you will find an often overlooked Pet Cemetery to your left. In this plot many of the Gracey families’ pets have found their final resting place. Finding these occult artifacts is sure to be a treat for ghostly loving guests.

The Notorious Banjo Brothers & Bob
These comedic cowboys ride into Frontierland with instruments firing. Through a pair of banjos and a tuba, classics from the ole west are brought to life along with a sprinkling of classic Disney tunes. This troupe can typically be found on the streets of Frontierland for several 20 minute sets between 11:30 am – 5:30 pm.

Aunt Polly’s Paintbrushes
Aunt Polly asked Tom and Huck to paint a few things on Tom Sawyer Island, but the mischievous adventurers rather went exploring and happened to leave the paintbrushes as the went along. If you should come across one of Aunt Polly’s paintbrushes pick it up and return it to one of the raft pilots (or other Cast Member in the area) and they will reward you with a front of the line pass to Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Frontierland Hoedown
Join in on this root ‘n toot’n good time with the Country Bears and a number of Frontierland cowboys and cowgirls. Guests are invited to line dance and square dance in the main Frontierland strip outside of the Country Bear Jamboree, Prairie Outpost & Supply and Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn & Café. The Hoedown is typically held Fridays and Saturdays at 4:50 pm and 5:50 pm.

Kiss Goodnight
Cinderella Castle sends off guests with an array of colors and lights after a long day in the Magic Kingdom. The display typically is conducted at normal park close or 30 minutes prior to and at the end of Extra Magic Hours.


The Fountain of Nations
An amazing display of aquatic acrobatics rises from the large fountain behind SpaceShip Earth in Future World. The fountains shoot water in a dazzling display choreographed to seven different musical scores. The shows typically start every quarter hour and vary in length.

Babbling Water Fountains
If you stop for a quick refreshing sip at several Epcot water fountains you may be in for a bit of a surprise. The water fountains outside MouseGear, near the Innoventions West restrooms and near the play fountain between World Showcase and Future World will sometimes pipe up when guests go to use them. While it may seem strange, these water fountains can really talk-up a storm as well as provide you with a cool drink of water.

Countries with Character
Many of the countries around World Showcase play home to their native characters. Kenai & Koda typically appears in Canada intermittently 3:00pm to 8:00 pm. Winnie the Pooh, Alice or Mary Poppins typically appear in the United Kingdom intermittently 1:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Aurora typically appears in France intermittently 12:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Aladdin, Jasmine, or Genie typically appears in Morocco intermittently 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Pinocchio typically appears in Italy intermittently 12:45pm to 5:45pm. Snow White typically appears in Germany intermittently 12:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Rafiki or Timon typically appear at the Outpost intermittently 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Mulan typically appears in China intermittently 12:30 pm – 6:00 pm.

Honobono Minwa
This Japanese story teller spins tales of classic Japanese lore. You can typically catch one of these tales during five 20 minute sets 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Wednesday – Saturday.

Flat Fireworks
As you exit Epcot at night, you might want to take a look down at the ground as you traipse through Innoventions Plaza. Emended in the cement are a multitude of fiber optics that provides a dazzling display of fireworks and other shapes right underneath your feet.

Disney-Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Citizens
Take a step back into the golden days of tinsel town with this streetmosphere presentation. The cast of characters includes Carlotta Diamond, Otto the director, Alberto Dante, Greta Garbage, Cecily DeMille, The detective, Roman Holiday, Ima Fraudian, Rosie the Cleaning Lady, Rena Nevada, Officer Edmund and many others. Varying selection of the citizens typically appear along Hollywood Blvd. intermittently throughout the day, Monday – Saturday.

Hollywood Public Works
This comical streetmosphere presentation often rolls down Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd in their Public Works Car. This cast of zany electricians and plumbers provide humorous entertainment as they help keep the streets of Hollywood in tiptop shape. A varying selection of workers typically appears intermittently throughout the day, Monday – Saturday.

Archeologist’s Well
In the queue for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, there is a well that appears to be undergoing an excavation. Anchored outside the well is a rope with a sign reading, “do not pull”, go ahead and pull the rope…

The Empire Strikes Back
Just out side of the Star Tours attraction, one of the giant AT - AT Imperial Walkers doesn’t take kindly to passerby’s. Walk in between this walker and the Backstage Express dining location and you’re likely to get shot at with a barrage of water.

Sing’n in the Rain
On the Backlot, near the former Backlot Theater location, there is an open Umbrella precariously perched on the side of a lamppost. If you stand under it and pull on the crook of the handle, you’ll be in for a refreshing surprise right out of the classic movie musical Sing’n in the Rain.

Key to Muppet Labs
When entering Muppetvision 3D (just passed the turnstiles) look for a window to your right. In the window there is a sign that states that the staff is out, but there is a key under the mat. Underneath the window there is an actual door mat, look under the mat and you will actually find the key to Muppet Labs.

New York Citizens
This streetmosphere presentation brings the New York Street section of the Streets of America to life. This cast of loud-mouthed New Yorkers transports you from the set right into some movie magic of a New York Street scene. Varying selection of citizens occasionally appear Monday – Saturday.

Animal Kingdom

The Adventure Begins
The Animal Kingdom welcomes guest with a safari of Disney characters. In addition to such characters as Mickey, Minnie and Rafiki a number of animal handlers give guests a close encounter of the critter kind. This park opening ceremony is typically held daily, 5 minutes prior to park opening for that day.

Wes Palm
When you pass through the Oasis, you may just find yourself actually talking to nature. Wes Palm, the talking potted palm tree, likes to carry on quite the conversation with the passer-by’s. This roving palm tree is typically most chatty every 40 minutes from park open till 11:30 am.

The Adventure Continues
Your up close creature encounters don’t have to stop after the park opening, the Adventure continues on Discovery Island. Animal handlers typically present small creatures on banks of the Discovery River every 50 minutes from 10:00 am through 2:10 pm.

Rhythms of Discovery
Discovery Island comes to life with beats and rhythms of various troupes through out the day. The Beatniks present their up-beat percussions typically six times daily between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The Tropicals present smooth sounds via their Caribbean steel drums typically five times daily between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The Inkas Wasi brings to life the rich music and dance that is native to the Andes region of Peru typically five times daily between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm.

Kiswahili Kitchen
The outdoor seating of the Tusker House dining location may provide more than just a good meal. Guests dining on the back patio can typically hear kitchen noises and other culinary related sounds coming from the traditional African kitchen located on second story of the building.

African Vibes
Africa moves and shakes with various tribal performances through out the day. The Karuka Acrobats present their Kenyan acrobatics typically six times daily between 11:00 am and 3:30 pm. Mor Thiam presents classic African drum music typically five times daily between park open and 1:00 pm. The Tam Tam’s Of Congo brings to life the authentic rhythms and dance of West Africa typically five times daily between 10:00 am and 2:30 pm.

Swahili Showers
The village of Harambe can get hot, but don’t worry there’s a quick way to cool off near by. Near the Dawa Bar there are a set of rusty looking showers --too hot?–try the showers, they’re real!

PIPA: The Talking Recycling Can
That recycling can roving around Rafiki’s Planet Watch may seem a bit odd, but that’s PIPA. PIPA the recycling can, can hold recyclables, roam around and carry on conversations with guests in real-time. PIPA can typically be found out and about five times daily between 11:15 am and 3:00 pm.

You’re not seeing things, that ivy in Asia really is moving. It’s nothing to be alarmed about though, it’s just DiVine, your friendly animated foliage. DiVine typically performs 45 minute sets every hour on the hour from 10:00 am through 1:00 pm.

Surprise Squirts
The bridge over the final stretch of Kali River Rapids (in Asia) can often hold an extra surprise for raft riders. Guests on the bridge above can push a button to make elephant busts spray water on the raft riders below.

Smear, Splat, & Dip
These dippy painters like to entertain guests with balancing and juggling skills when they aren’t busy painting Chester & Hester’s Dinorama in Dinoland USA. This zany troupe of many talents typically appears six times between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Wednesday – Sunday.


Whew, that was a read.

I like the trail at Fort Wilderness through the swamp. I also enjoyed the Hidden Mickey hunt at the Wilderness lodge.

Fireworks from the beach at Polynesian.

Rent a surrey at Saratoga Springs.


I have to agree with Michelle. It’s a little $$, but well worth it. It’s an amazing experience for all ages.


renting a boat at one of the WDW resorts


Wow there really are things that we have not done! :ohmy:
We have always wanted to see Cirque but don’t know if DS will sit through it all. He only has two speeds, running and asleep but we might try it.
Micky: Thanks for the repost we will be doing some of them.
Buzz: Good idea. When we were at WL we asked DD if she wanted to do them and she said yes. My DH drives a boat for school sometimes so he would have fun with her.
Thanks again.


What about renting one of the ‘family’ style bicycles at the Boardwalk or the horse drawn carriage at POR.


How old are your kids? If they are 4 or older, I highly recommend a Pirates Cruise for them! DS did it on our two last trips. He loved it so much, that it will be an annual thing!


They are 3 and 1. Madison will be 4 in April so I am thinking about the pirates cruise in May/June for her. I think that she would love that.

We have done a carriage ride at WL one Christmas, but may go do a hay ride or something at Fort Wilderness. I know we have to go ride the ponies.

I would love to Cirque but really do not think that Grayson would sit through it yet.

There are so many things to do that sometimes you just forget about the things outside of the parks. Thanks for all of your suggestions!!


If you go in the building Tony’s is located in and head straight to the back there is an old movie theatre in there that constantly runs a lot of Mickey Mouse classic films. It’s usually empty and I love going and sitting in there watching the old favorites. There are also a lot of movie cut outs in there you and pose and take fun pictures in.
I am not sure how off the beaten track that is but we LOVE doing it!


We tried to go see those in October and did not see them, Bella. They were having some DVC presentation in the movie theater. Are they in there. A CM acted like he did not know what we were talking about when we asked.


Chip and Dale’s campfire might be fun . . . my friends have done it and :heart: it . . . there is a thread I posted :


They used to be! We haven’t been there since October 2006 so maybe they are gone…I hope not though! I love it back there.


I love riding in the front of the monorail with the conductor. You get little monorail licenses when you get off. With the crowds at Easter-type it might be difficult to get the front but it’s really cool to try to do, especially if you get the front between TTC and Epcot.


My kids are 4 and 8 this is what they love to do! :heart:

Facepainting in toontown

Kidscot in World Showcase AND Future world

Innoventions East: Build your own robot and race him . . . then you make a plastic one . . . there are lots of hands on attractions!

There is a brass Goofy outside of Tonys . . . if you go near him he talks to you!

Trade Pins!! (All Time fav . . . DD4 has been doing it since she was 2.5)

If I think of more I’ll post . . . :happy:


Yes, and you can be the conductor on the train as well . . . and yell ALL ABOARD!