California · Florida · Travel · United States

Undiscovered Disney Parks on TLC: What you may not know about Disney

World of Disney

Sometimes I find myself getting wrapped up in TV shows about travel. I’m sure none of you are surprised and find yourself in the same boat that I was in on the other weekend.

I turned on TLC after waking up and was sucked into the world of Disney. I just returned from Orlando the night before from a business trip, but had a taste of Disney Parks while I was there. I curled up in bed and took in all the information this TV special had to offer.

Here is what I learned about Disneyland (California) and Disney World (Orlando):

1. Downtown Disney is home to an indoor amusement park, DisneyQuest. Here you’ll find arcade games and motion simulators, but there is one thing attraction here that stood out to me. You can build your own roller coaster and test it in an F-16 simulator. It’s called CyberSpace Mountain. Talk about cool.

2. Be a NASCAR driver at Richard Petty Driving Experience. I feel like this one is a nice little get away for the adults on the trip. Get your adrenaline pumping by getting behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car. Suit up and hit the track — after a few must-know lessons from the professionals.

3. Take in the sights parasailing. Disney’s Contemporary Hotel sits right outside Magic Kingdom. The lagoon has boat rentals and you can also go parasailing. Who wouldn’t want to look down on the majestic sights of Magic Kingdom from 100 feet above the Contemporary Hotel?

4. Take a surf lesson, or show off your skills, at Typhoon Lagoon. You can rent out wave pool before or after park hours to have a Private Surf Party with 25 of your closest friends. Not a surfer but want to learn? Typhoon Lagoon offers lessons, too. With 12 people in the class and the perfect waves being made, you will be standing up on the board in no time.

5. Be in the “in-crowd” at Club 33. Walt Disney himself opened Club 33 at New Orleans Square in Disneyland in May of 1967. It was the only place in Disneyland he could break from the crowds to park-goers. It takes a lot to get into this club, so you have to be patient. It’s so secret I don’t think there’s a webpage for it. Note: This is the only place in the park that serves alcohol.

6. Get VIP treatment with Disney World tours. If you want a peek into the behind-the-scenes of Disney, sign up for the Keys to the Kingdom tour. You’ll get to see the preproduction center and explore some of the tunnels located under the park. Would you rather have someone be your personal guide? Sign up for the VIP tour. Your guide will show you how to navigate the park, help you gather fast passes and get you to your shows on time. Essentially, you will get to relax and enjoy the day a little bit more.

7. Transform into a princess at Bippity Boppity Boutique. I think this is every girls dream when visiting Disney World. A Fairy Godmother will help turn you (or your child) into a little princess. Full costume, make up, hair and nails are part of the package. You can do this at Cinderella’s Castle or at Downtown Disney.

8. Experience the seasons at Disney World and Disneyland. 

  • Spring: Disney’s California Adventure Food and Wine Festival offers 600 cooking classes and different foods and wines from around the world. Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival is a sight to be seen because of all the intricate characters and structures made out of flowers. Also, learn tips and secrets from Disney’s horticulturists.
  • Fall: Epcot has its Food and Wine festival in the fall. Halloween at Magic Kingdom won’t be intimidating for the kids. The Not-So-Scary Halloween Party makes Halloween fun. There is a specialty parade even featuring the Headless Horseman.
  • Winter: Christmas is in full swing at Disneyland and Disney World. The decorations are overpowering. You can even expect some fake snow to set the mood.

9. Personalized fine dining experience at the Grand Floridian. Want to really impress your loved ones? Visit Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian and book the Chef’s Table. Chef Scott Hunnel invites you into the kitchen and customizes the dinner menu for you. Want to remember what you eat? No problem. You get to take home the menu with you.

10. Disney Vacation Club resorts offer you more. Staying onsite at a Disney hotel gives you added perks. You can utilize Disney transportation and experience the Extra Magic Hours at theme parks. Want a unique experience? Stay at the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs. If you like camping, you’ll love glamping.

11. Don’t forget about Disney After Dark. There is a nightly fireworks display at parks that will keep your mesmerized. At Magic Kingdom, hang out to see SpectroMagic. There are more than a million lights in this parade. The whole parade is set to a musical score, keeping you entertained the entire time.

A big thank you to TLC for airing Undiscovered Disney Parks and sharing all this awesome information. For all my Disney lovers out there, I know they appreciate it, too.

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