Walt Disney World has so many things to do you could visit the parks every year and always find something new. Disney also loves to hide secret easter eggs inside and outside of the parks.
These secret finds can be anything from a nod to an old ride or character, an attraction that isn’t well-known, or fan-made scavenger hunts for hidden symbols.
There are plenty of secret things to do at Disney off the beaten path, including:
- Finding hidden Mickeys
- Watching fireworks shows outside of the parks
- Watch the park-opening welcome show
- Go on a nighttime safari
- Set sail on a pirate voyage
- Get a haircut
- Eat with an Imagineer
- Mail a coconut
- The 13-minute wait at the Tower of Terror
- Ask for a specific seat on rides
- Sneak some extra park time
- Relax in a beautiful garden
12 Best Secret Things to do at Disney World
1. Find Hidden Mickeys
There are over 1000 Mickey Mouse heads incorporated into the rides, decorations, and attractions. They were all put there on purpose as a fun little treasure hunt for guests with a keen eye.
Hunting for hidden Mickey’s is a long-standing tradition at Disney World. There are hundreds of websites and guidebooks to help guests find them and cross them off their lists.
Some Mickeys are pretty easy to spot, while others are very well camouflaged.
The entire Expedition Everest ride is shaped like a big Mickey Mouse head, with the tracks going behind the ears.
While you’re combing the parks for hidden Mickeys. Keep an eye out for the small details like indents in cement, oddly-shaped leaves, or slightly misshapen stickers.
Anything could be a hidden Mickey.
2. Watching Firework Shows From Secret Vantage Points
Disney firework shows are spectacular and massive, but you don’t always have to go into the parks to watch them.
Thanks to their size, the firework shows light up the night sky for visitors that are well away from the parks as well.
If you’re looking for free locations to watch the fireworks, we’ve got you covered.
The boardwalk outside of Epcot, the Wilderness Lodge, and the bridge by the Contemporary resort are all amazing places to watch the fireworks that you don’t need to pay for.
Inside the parks, you can view the fireworks while you’re on rides instead of just standing in the streets.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of the best rides to watch fireworks from, as park attendants will stop the ride at the best viewing spots to let guests soak them in.
3. Watch the Park-Opening Welcome Show
Getting to Magic Kingdom before it opens comes with advantages.
Every day, Main Street sounds with bellowing trumpets and characters coming out for a short opening ceremony.
It’s one of those special, magical Disney moments that most people end up missing out on.
Your best bet to catch this show is to be in line to get in at least 15 minutes before the park opens. Once you’re inside, just hang around Main Street and wait for the festivities to begin.
4. Go on a Nighttime Safari
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a one-hour, nighttime safari that features over twenty exotic African animals.
Guests get to use night vision goggles to peer through the darkness at the animals and the tour is handled by an expert tour guide.
While you can take a safari tour in the park during the day, the nighttime tour takes everything to another level and is a can’t-miss opportunity for animal lovers.
5. Set Sail on a Pirate Voyage
Guests can take a cruise through the Seven Seas Lagoon by hopping on the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Dessert Voyage.
The cruise leaves from the Disney Contemporary Resort and is the perfect place to nurture your sweet tooth.
Cupcakes, ice cream, and cookies are served on board as you sail around the lagoon with some of your favorite Disney Pirates.
The boat trip is also an amazing place to watch the fireworks in Magic Kingdom.
6. Get a Haircut
The little-known Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street in Magic Kingdom isn’t just there as a part of the decoration. Guess can get their hair cut at the shop while they’re inside the park.
You’ll get some fun parting gifts and get a haircut with some of the famous Disney Magic in the shop.
Slots for the day are first-come-first-served and you can’t make reservations.
Wait times usually aren’t insane and you would be giving up a chunk of park time for a haircut, but it’s a fun secret thing to do regardless!
7. Eat With an Imagineer
Disney offers dining experiences that let guests sit down and eat with the creative minds behind the parks.
It’s a great opportunity to pick the brain of an Imagineer and get a look behind the well-crafted Disney veil.
In Animal Kingdom, Disney also extends this experience to their animal experts.
Guests can ask any questions they like about the animals in the park, their care, and whatever else they might be curious about.
8. Mail a Coconut
Sending postcards from your vacation is a great way to let people at home know you’re thinking about them and make them a little jealous at the same time.
Instead of a normal postcard, why not send a customized coconut instead? Disney offers guests the chance to send a colorful coconut in place of a postcard back to family and friends at home.
This is a special offer you can find at Magic Kingdom’s Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar, Boutiki at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Calypso Trading Post at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
9. The 13-Minute Wait at the Tower of Terror
Not everything is always what it seems at Disney World and the park likes to have a little fun with its guests.
If the wait time on the Tower of Terror happens to say 13 minutes, don’t leave.
The ride lists the wait time as 13 minutes when there is no line. If you go on the ride, you can almost always get straight on and enjoy the freefalls.
10. Ask for a Specific Seat on Rides
Quite a few attractions at Disney World allow guests to request specific seats, even though they don’t openly broadcast this fact.
As long as you’re okay with waiting a little longer or letting some people go ahead of you to fill in the ride while you wait, you can get whichever seat you want.
Soarin is one of the best rides to request your desired seat, just make sure to get on the top row.
Since the ride is a hang-glider simulator, if you’re on a lower row you’ll end up with other riders’ feet in your face.
This can break the illusion of the ride a bit and dampen the experience.
It’s also worth a shot to request the front seat on rides like Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain.
11. Sneak Some Extra Park Time
While you should never try to hide in the park after closing time or stay late without special tickets, you can squeeze in a little bit of extra time in the parks.
All the rides at Disney World list individual operating hours. If the ride states that it’s open until the park closes, you’re in luck.
Guests can get in line to get on an attraction as the park closes. Then they can wait in line as long as it takes to get on, even if it’s past closing time.
As long as you beat whoever ropes off the ride entrance, you’ll be able to get on the ride.
For more popular rides, this can be a great way to beat the longest lines of the day or end your day with an amazing experience.
It also makes it possible to squeeze a few extra minutes or even hours into your day at the park.
12. Relax in the Beautiful UK Pavillion Gardens
Walking around the world at EPCOT is an amazing experience and Disney does a great job at nailing down the details of each country and culture represented on the tour.
While every guest will have their favorite area and many people zip through because of how large it is, there are plenty of hidden gems to find.
One of the best spots on the tour is the manicured gardens in the UK Pavillion.
They are a bit off the beaten path and somewhat hidden away down a winding path, but the peaceful area is the perfect place to relax and take a breather.
Disney World is always meticulous when it comes to crafting its guest’s experiences. There’s so much to do and see that it can take weeks to feel like you’ve done it all.
Outside of the main attractions, there are a ton of secret things to do, hidden things to find, and experiences that most people miss out on.
Next time you’re at Disney World, try some of these for yourself.
Table of Contents
- 12 Best Secret Things to do at Disney World
- 1. Find Hidden Mickeys
- 2. Watching Firework Shows From Secret Vantage Points
- 3. Watch the Park-Opening Welcome Show
- 4. Go on a Nighttime Safari
- 5. Set Sail on a Pirate Voyage
- 6. Get a Haircut
- 7. Eat With an Imagineer
- 8. Mail a Coconut
- 9. The 13-Minute Wait at the Tower of Terror
- 10. Ask for a Specific Seat on Rides
- 11. Sneak Some Extra Park Time
- 12. Relax in the Beautiful UK Pavillion Gardens