Mid-October to November is one of the best times to visit Florida. The weather is still warm and all the major theme parks have shorter queues. So, once you’ve hurtled down Big Thunder Mountain 10 times and spun yourself dizzy on the teacups, you’ll have plenty of time to venture into unexplored areas of the park and try out some hidden attractions. Best of all, most of them are free…
Head to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and look out for the little paw prints of Lady and the Tramp – this is where they shared their first spaghetti. Mention your find to the cast members at the check-in counter, and you’ll get your very own free pawtograph from the pair.
Why go for your usual cut at Mr Toppers when you can get a magical makeover with an added sprinkling of fairy dust? Whether you’re after a buzz-lightyear-cut or a trim trim cher-ee, the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street will style you to success. Expect plenty of entertainment, songs and glitter while you wait.
Fancy a free character meet-and-greet? At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you can join Chip ‘n’ Dale in a 40-minute sing-a-long around the campfire. Grab a special s’mores kit from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar and get toasting while you sing.
They’re a sociable pair of chipmunks, so don’t expect Chip ‘n’ Dale to let you leave mid-marshmallow. After the campfire sing-a-long, you can cosy up for a Disney movie under the stars, so remember to bring a blanket.
Top tip: Chip has a brown nose and Dale has a red nose – so you can tell them apart.
Remember those dancing desserts from Beauty and the Beast? At the Be Our Guest restaurant you can try the ‘delicious grey stuff’ for yourself, as per Lumiere’s recommendations. It used to be a top-secret addition to the menu that you could only request via hushed whispers, but now it’s on the actual menu for everyone to try.
At the Animation Academy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can learn how to draw your favourite Disney character. The 40-minute classes are taken by a Disney animator who will show you all the easy tips and tricks for creating your own souvenir. If you want to draw every single character, you can take as many classes as you like.
When you get on the boat, ask a cast member if you can ‘visit the captain’s room’ accompanied by a knowing wink. If they’re feeling generous, they’ll take you to the wheel house and let you have a go at driving the boat. You’ll even get to toot the horn and ring all the bells like a true captain.
At Future World in Epcot, you can cool off from the heat and sample 8 crazy Coca Cola flavours from across the globe. Greece has pineapple, Thailand has melon, and Peru has bubblegum – try all the complimentary samples to find your favourite.
Yes there is an actual magical hotel suite inside Cinderella’s castle – but the bad news is, you can’t book your stay. Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, only a few lucky competition winners are allowed to spend the night there every year. Keep an eye out for official Disney competitions or try turning up to the castle in your ballgown and hope that your fairy godmother will help you out.
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Author: Selina Akhtar
Published: October 6, 2015
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