Disney Adventure Ideas | 2016

I love lists. Recently, I’ve been working on a Disney Adventure List. You could say it is a modified bucket list with a pinch more pixie dust.

While I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom over two dozen times since January 1, there is still plenty of Disney adventure yet to be uncovered in 2016.

Some of the specific activities on my 2016 Disney Adventure List include:

Become a Wilderness Explorer

I started collecting Wilderness Explorer badges in 2013 on my Disney College Program. This year, I want to finish collecting all 30 badges in my Wilderness Explorer field guide. Bonus points if I can finish up the similar new experience called “The Lion Guard Adventure” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom before late March.

Go canoeing at Fort Wilderness

I’ve been boating at the Polynesian before, but in 2016 I want to rent a canoe at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. There isn’t really much rhyme or reason other than I used to go canoeing at summer camp and it was a good time.

Take a speedboat for an adventure on Bay Lake

Similar to canoeing at Fort Wilderness, I am craving water adventures this year. I love the pontoon boats at the Polynesian, but they don’t go very fast. I can’t wait to take the two-seater speedboats out for a spin!

Go to a luau

I’ve heard great things about Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I’ve been to the Polynesian countless times, but I haven’t made it to the luau yet. I look forward to lots of delicious food and hula dancing.

Enjoy Sunday brunch at the California Grill

New this year, aptly named “Brunch at the Top” offers sweet and savory brunch options at one of Disney’s signature restaurants. Not only do I want to try Cali Grill for the diverse (and delicious- looking) menu, but I haven’t been to Cali Grill since the 2013 refurbishment. I’m dying to see the Mary Blair-inspired (my favorite artist) carpet.

Set sail on a Disney Cruise

After hearing rave reviews from my friends about Disney cruising, I really want to give it a go. I’ve never been on a cruise before, but I think any cruise with Mickey waffles and fireworks at sea is a cruise I would enjoy.

Visit the River Roost at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Described as “evening boogie-woogie piano entertainment by Yehaa Bob Jackson on most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,” the River Roost is most definitely on my adventure list for the year. I met Yehaa Bob once when I was VoluntEARing with friends at Give Kids the World Village. His upbeat, sing-a-long entertainment style really resonated with the kids and their families. I look forward to making a trip to Port Orleans Riverside to check out Yehaa Bob in his element.

Rent a Surrey bike

How many times have I seen families peddling and laughing Surrey bikes around Disney property? More than I can count, especially at the Boardwalk. After a little research, I found out Surrey bikes are available at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Caribbean Beach Resort, Old Key West Resort, Port Orleans Resort – Riverside as well as Wilderness Lodge. The 2-, 4- and 6-person bikes are so silly looking that they really intrigue me.

Conquer the Walt Disney World Fireworks Trifecta

Walt Disney World is home to three nighttime spectaculars that combine music and fireworks for an unforgettable experience. At Magic Kingdom park, Wishes nighttime spectacular offers a mash-up of iconic Disney songs with a gigantic fireworks display. Fantasmic! entertains Guests nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Rounding out the trifecta, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth lights up the sky above Epcot every night at 9pm. Ending a Disney day with one of the nighttime spectaculars is always a perfect evening. Conquering all three in one night is an adventure waiting to happen.

Be sure you are following me (@kmdenta on Twitter and Instagram) to keep up as I tackle my 2016 Disney Adventure List!

I’d love to hear what is on your 2016 Disney Adventure List! Tell me in the comments (or share tips if you’ve experienced any of the adventures on my list).

 

10 Inexpensive Things to Do at Walt Disney World

I’m a Disney Professional Intern. I absolutely LOVE working for Disney. I’ve literally dreamed of being a Cast Member for my entire life (or at least since the 6th grade).

As a Disney intern, I have a Main Gate that gets me access to all 43 square miles of fun here at Walt Disney World. While it would be easy to go to work, go to a park, buy dinner (and dessert) and go shopping everyday, it isn’t budget-conscious. Since I love spending free time at the parks and at the resorts, I’ve found a few ways to have fun and be mindful of my budget. For my fellow Disney interns, I present:

10 Inexpensive Things to Do at Walt Disney World: A Professional Intern’s Guide

10) Get crafty with colorful theme park maps

I’m a big fan of crafting and I can’t bear to throw away a perfectly good park map.

I’ve made faux flowers out of maps and even wrapped gifts with them.

You can find PLENTY of map craft inspiration on Pinterest.

Total cost = ~$10 if you buy a pair of scissors and some tape for your craft kit.

9) Satisfy your sweet tooth with gelato from Vivoli il Gelato at Disney Springs

La Nouba and gelato. The perfect Wednesday evening.

A photo posted by Katie Denta (@kmdenta) on

“Keep in mind  that ltalian ice cream has about twice the sugar of American ice cream.” Miss Ungermeyer (from the 2003 classic The Lizzie McGuire Movie) was right. Gelato is twice as sugary and twice as yummy. I recently tried Vivoli il Gelato (located across from The Boathouse) and loved it. The Disney Twitterverse was buzzing about the rice-flavored gelato. I gave it a try and would highly recommend it! Total cost = ~$6

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My first time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Christmas came early for me this year. We started celebrating in November by decorating our apartment and wearing lots of festive Christmas gear. The highlight of our pre-Christmas celebration came on November 19th when we attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

The Christmas party is hard ticket event, which means day Guests to the parks must buy a ticket to attend. I think the hard ticket events are a great value if you stay for the entire party. Around 10:30pm the wait times for rides generally thin out and Magic Kingdom becomes easier to navigate.

In true Florida fashion, it rained during our Christmas Party–but that didn’t stop us from celebrating.

Megan and I claimed prime parade-watching spots on Main Street, U.S.A. facing the castle, underneath the larger-than-life Christmas tree. The parade was a little delayed because of the rain, but it was still beautiful.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Minnie and Mickey Mouse float down Main Street, U.S.A. at Walt Disney World resort's Magic Kingdom theme park. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, 2015.

Mickey and Minnie kick-off Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade on Main Street, U.S.A. during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Cinderella Castle sparkled in the background as Guests braved the rain for a glimpse at the parade.

While I didn’t love getting rained on in the moment, I do love the way Cinderella Castle reflects on the damp pavement.

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