Walt Disney World Anniversary: 50 Favorite Ways to “Plus” Your Trip

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In honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971, we are highlighting the top 50 of some of our favorite things about the most magical place on earth! This week, we take a look at some of the best ways to “plus” your Disney vacation, both inside and outside the parks.

Disney offers so many world-class attractions that they tend to be what most people focus on when planning their trip. But there are tons of other ways beyond experiencing all the attractions that you can really enhance, or “plus”, your visit. And while some are quite expensive, others are low-cost or even free. Here are some of our favorite ways to add that extra pixie dust!

Please Note: Not everything is currently operating due to COVID-19 restrictions.

  1. Meet Mickey – everyone’s favorite mouse 
  2. Get a photo with your favorite character – for a treasured memory and keepsake
  3. Take a tour – go behind the scenes to learn how the resort operates
  4. Hunt for Hidden Mickeys – keep a sharp eye; they could be anywhere and everywhere!
  5. Become a Wilderness Explorer – by earning badges throughout Animal Kingdom 
  6. Create your own scavenger hunt – come up with a list of things to look for to add some extra fun or friendly competition 
  7. Watch a street performance – talented singers, dancers, acrobats, musicians, and more
  8. Learn how to draw – in a Disney animation class
  9. Build a lightsaber – a Jedi essential from Savi’s Workshop 
  10. Assemble a droid – choose the parts for your new companion at Droid Depot
  11. Try Disneybounding – by adding subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints of your favorite character to your outfit 
  12. Schedule a photo session – try a “Capture Your Moment” photo session for amazing family pictures
  13. Attend an after-hours event – such as Disney Very Merriest After Hours, Boo Bash, etc.
  14. See a parade/cavalcade – enjoy the music, floats, and characters
  15. Attend a fireworks dessert party – for prime viewing coupled with tasty treats
  16. Book a fireworks cruise – watch the show from the water in a private boat
  17. See the Electrical Water Pageant – can be viewed along the lagoon at the Magic Kingdom-area resorts
  18. Get a free celebration button – no matter what you’re celebrating! 
  19. Buy some Mickey/Minnie ears – plenty of options to suit every style
  20. Purchase a ride photo – a priceless memory of a first or favorite ride
  21. Buy a Mickey balloon – a cute classic and great photo opp
  22. Try pin trading – buy them, swap them, wear them with pride 
  23. Make some pressed pennies – fun to find and make, plus a cheap souvenir 
  24. Get something personalized – you can add your name to many products like ornaments, glassware, Mickey ears, and more 
  25. Wear matching trip shirts – makes for great photos and an easy way to spot your group 
  26. Dine at a table service restaurant – amazing meals beyond standard theme park fare (and a chance to rest)
  27. Experience a character meal – a fun way to dine with a variety of always friendly, sometimes furry faces
  28. Dine with a view – try California Grill, Topolino’s Terrace, or Toledo
  29. Try a dinner show – check out Spirit of Aloha or the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
  30. Eat/drink around the world – sample amazing cuisines throughout World Showcase
  31. Indulge in some ice cream – so many tasty treats to choose from!
  32. Enjoy a classic snack – like a Dole Whip, churro, turkey leg, Mickey ice cream bar or pretzel
  33. Ride the Skyliner – the newest mode of transportation offers stunning views
  34. Explore Disney Springs – for shopping and dining galore
  35. Visit a water park – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have tons of fun slides, pools, and rivers for a wet and wild day
  36. Stay onsite – if you normally stay off-property, give a Disney resort a try
  37. Stay at a Deluxe resort – if you normally stay Value or Moderate, try upgrading
  38. Decorate your room – bring supplies from home to create an in-room celebration 
  39. Watch a movie under the stars – showing regularly at all Disney resorts 
  40. Make s’mores – the most delicious combination invented, available at most Disney resorts during nightly campfires
  41. Rent a cabana – for the ultimate pool day
  42. Arrange for a Disney Floral & Gifts delivery – a wonderful present delivered straight to your room
  43. Visit a resort you’ve never been to – see the beautiful theming, or try a new restaurant
  44. Enjoy a spa treatment – relax with a massage, facial, or more
  45. Get a makeover – ages 3-103 can feel like royaltyBibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Pixie Dust
  46. Go golfing – tee up at any of 3 world-class courses available onsite (or 2 mini-golf courses)
  47. Participate in a run Disney event – run through the parks and collect awesome medals
  48. Try a new sport – like archery, foot golf, surfing, and more © Sarah Graffam
  49. Rent a boat – and spend a day cruising the Disney waterways 
  50. Enjoy a carriage ride – a scenic ride through Fort Wilderness or Port Orleans Riverside resort

Just like the Imagineers continue to “plus” the parks, there are always fun ways to “plus” your vacation. To take your Walt Disney World trip to the next level, try adding a few of these elements to your next visit.

What are some of your favorite ways to “plus” your Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments!

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Amy Crockett

Amy Crockett is a native Michigander who works at a library by day and dreams of Disney by night. Planning Disney trips is her favorite thing in the entire world to do (apart from the trip itself)! In addition to all things Disney, she loves reading, musical theatre, playing tennis, traveling, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers.

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