Walt Disney World Beyond the Rides

What do you imagine when you hear the words “Walt Disney World”? Mickey Mouse, Cinderella’s Castle, rides, parades, restaurants, shopping… Yes, these are the major elements of Walt Disney World, but there are other adventures available for you and your family.


Have you ever wondered what it is like backstage at the Magic Kingdom? Are there really tunnels beneath Main Street? The Keys to the Kingdom Tour takes guests (ages 16 and up) on a backstage adventure where you will get to walk those tunnels (utilidors). You will learn how the magic is created and maintained, and hear the story of Walt Disney’s vision that led to the creation of the Magic Kingdom.

If you are interested in trains then The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour might interest you. This tour begins before the Magic Kingdom opens and allows guests (ages 10 and up) to visit the roundhouse, see the trains, learn what is involved in keeping them running, and watch as the engineers ready the trains for another day of service.

Elephant Walk
Would you like to go on a VIP guided expedition through the wilds of the Animal Kingdom? The Wild Africa Trek takes guests (ages 8 and up) on a 3 hour safari through the Safi River Valley where you will see animals of many varieties in an uninhibited, natural environment. This adventure requires that participants be able to hike on rugged ground and not have motion sickness or fear of heights.

What about being able to talk to one of the people responsible for the creation of everything Disney? Dining with an Imagineer offers such an opportunity (suggested ages 12 and up). You can learn some of the background and secrets behind rides, hotels, etc. while enjoying a 4 course meal in the exclusive Bamboo Room of The Brown Derby Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Sea Creature
Perhaps you prefer the creatures found in the sea. The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion at Epcot has 3 experiences available for guests. Disney’s Dolphins in Depth allows guests (ages 13 and up) to interact with bottle-nosed dolphins in waist deep waters and learn more about these intelligent creatures from the trainers who work with them every day. Epcot Seas Aqua Tour is a snorkeling adventure that allows guests (ages 8 and up) to explore the Caribbean Coral Reef where they will see over 65 species of marine life. If you are SCUBA certified you might enjoy Epcot DiveQuest where guests (ages 10 and up) get to swim in the Caribbean Coral Reef.

Do you feel the need for speed? Check out the Walt Disney World Speedway. The Richard Petty Driving Experience provides adults with the opportunity to be NASCAR drivers on a mile-long tri-oval racetrack. You get to choose from various levels of experiences from the Rookie (8 laps) to the Racing (50 laps). You can also pick to Ride Along (ages 14 and up). For children ages 6 – 13 there is a Junior Ride Along experience with vehicles from the world of Disney’s Cars.

At the Walt Disney World Speedway you will also find the Exotic Driving Experience where adults can choose the supercar they wish to drive – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Nissan or Porsche. The Exotics Course is a mile-long hybrid design that utilizes the backstretch and turn two of the tri-oval, then adds an interior section which includes a series of fast right and left hand turns. This experience also has a Ride Along option (ages 14 and up).

These are only a few of the extra experiences available at Walt Disney World. For the complete list of possibilities visit Special Events &Tours on the Walt Disney World website.

Melissa H.


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