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There's a lot to do at Walt Disney World. With four theme parks, two waterparks, and Disney Springs, not to mention dozens of beautifully themed resorts, it's easy to visit and feel like there are still limitless things left to experience, even after a day packed full of non-stop fun. This feeling tends to plague me while at my second home, mostly because I don't want to miss anything awesome just because I didn't know about; and trust me, there is always something new to discover! Here are some of the incredible WDW experiences I've found that often go overlooked:
1. The Hall of Presidents
I think there are a lot of reasons why this attraction is often overlooked. Because it's indoors and it blends so well into the theming of Liberty Square, it can be easy to miss. It's also probably not your first choice if you have little ones in tow. But if you need a cool, air conditioned break from the Florida heat and want to experience an attraction that will give you chills, make sure you check this one out.
2. Hollywood Studio Backlot
Thanks to an overall lack of attractions in this part of Hollywood Studios, most people simple pass through here on their way to wait in a 75 minute line for Toy Story Midway Mania (which is totally worth it, I might add). If you stop and check out the surroundings, though, you'll find some awesome theming and may stumble upon little treasures like the Singing in the Rain umbrella.
3. 50s Prime Time Cafe
Thanks to the Fantasmic! dinner packages at Hollywood and Vine, The Hollywood Brown Derby, and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, this place isn't always people's first dining choice at Hollywood Studios. But it should be. This well-themed diner is fully 50s decorated, and the wait staff treats you like you're part of the family. Literally. We watched one server put together a string of straws, then use it to poke the girl at the table next to us through the fake window on the wall behind her. Another woman was fed her green beans by her server via the airplane method because she didn't clear her plate. Hilarious. It truly is so much fun here, and the food is delicious too! Check out the menu here.
4. Once Upon a Time Castle Projection Show
Image from the previous version of the show, Celebrate the Magic
A lot of people stake out spots early for the fireworks, and this leads to all sorts of strategic moves like eating dinner while squatting in the middle of main street and sending squealing toddlers with a willing adult to get restroom duties out of the way before the main event starts. I'm all for multi-tasking, but if you aren't prepared for it, or if you are like us and you just grab a spot for Wishes wherever you're currently standing when it starts, you may miss what I consider the greatest show Walt Disney World has to offer: The castle projection show. The most recent previous version was called Celebrate the Magic, and it was seriously the coolest thing I have ever seen. I cried every time. The show was updated at the end of 2016 and is now called the Once Upon a Time Project Show, which includes Mrs. Potts reading bedtime stories to Chip that are magically displayed on Cinderella Castle. The show is only projected on the front of the castle, so if you want to see it, make sure you're on Main Street, as a side view doesn't really do it justice. Unlike with the fireworks, having a closer position to the castle is definitely a plus for this show. We were once back by the train station, and it was a little too far back to really see everything.
5. Spaceship Earth
Many don't realize there's a ride to be found inside the "Epcot ball," but there are many parts of it that are worthwhile. Namely, the part where your floating head ends up transposed on little futuristic bodies on your ride vehicle's screen and you get put into some sweet underwater scenes and such. This ride's main purpose may simply be to generate nostalgia and get you a good hit of that musky dark ride smell, but it's more than worth it.
6.World Showcase Stage Shows
If you're focused on seeing as much as possible on your Walt Disney World trip, you may miss seeing these awesome shows at various countries in World Showcase. There are a variety of them, and I've only seen a few, but they are totally worth taking a moment to pause and enjoy while making your trek around the world. I highly recommend Serveur Amusant in the France Pavilion. Check out the the other shows and their show times here.
7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Night
This ride is not exactly overlooked, but what many people don't know is that it is so much better at night. The views are incredible and it feels much faster, somehow. As a bonus, if you can ride it during Wishes, fireworks exploding all around you is even better. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train works just as well, too!
8. L'Artisian Des Glaces
This place is a bit hidden back in the France pavilion at Epcot, but what they're making is worth getting a little off the beaten path. They have delicious ice cream flavors, plus macaroons and ice cream martinis. Yes, people. Ice cream martinis. I haven't tried one yet; it's still on my list. I can verify that the macaroon ice cream sandwiches are fabulous, though.
9. Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
If you're a Walt Disney fan, you have to check this exhibit out at Hollywood Studios. There's plenty of history, a beautiful little film, and artifacts like Walt's first miniature model. And most people are too busy screaming on Tower of Terror to notice this little gem.
10. Main Street at Night
I'll concede that the majority of visitors of the Magic Kingdom technically see this one, but most people don't really experience it. Don't rush to the buses. You'll be waiting in line anyways. Instead, walk slowly. Take it in. Pose for some pictures. Talk to the cast members. There is something truly special about Main Street when it is all lit up. Don't let the draw of your comfortable bed make you rush out. This kind of magic can't be found anywhere else.