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Hidden Gems: Theme Park Activities

Get to know some of Orlando’s secret, underrated theme park gems from a local.

Orlando’s theme parks have plenty of well-known rides and attractions, but you may not yet know about these “secret” adventures and surprises in and around the parks.

Wilderness Back Trail Adventure

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Get a thrill riding a rugged Segway X2 down shady trails at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The tour is limited to only eight-to-10 people, with two tour guides. You get training beforehand, then you’re off over paved roads and dirt paths, with stops along the Seven Seas Lagoon and the horse barn.

Hidden Mickeys

Throughout Walt Disney World
Camouflaged shapes forming the silhouetted head of Mickey Mouse, Hidden Mickeys conceal themselves in every Walt Disney World park — in its landscapes, attractions, shops and restaurants. There are literally hundreds of these secret signatures that Disney Imagineers hide in plain sight, all around you, and it’s fun to see how many you can discover as you enjoy the parks. Disney has tucked some of the best in its iconic rides, such as Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World, Spaceship Earth and Expedition Everest.

Harry Potter Wand Spellcasting

Universal Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
This magical activity is sure to be a favorite of wizards of all ages. If you buy an interactive wand, you can use it to cast spells — and make things happen — throughout both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. An accompanying map marks every spell, the proper wand movement for them and the location of each; visiting them all is like a fun scavenger hunt. And if you have any trouble, a nearby witch or wizard will gladly help out. Diagon Alley even has a few unmarked spell locations. They’re blotted with invisible ink on wand maps; the locations glow under blacklights found in Knockturn Alley.

Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Held often at a small outdoor amphitheater at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long is a charming throwback-style event. It includes a marshmallow roast, 30-minute sing-a-long with the two chipmunks (be sure to sit on the benches down front to meet one up close and personal) and a Disney movie on a huge screen. A snack bar sells s’mores kits, marshmallows and sticks. And best of all, it’s free!

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom
Play this game on video screens hidden throughout Magic Kingdom. Recruited by Merlin the Magician, the wizard of the Arthurian legend, your goal is to stop Hades (from Disney’s 1997 movie “Hercules”) from making the Magic Kingdom his summer home. You achieve this by casting spells on Disney villains, who appear on the screens and react when you hold up an RFID (Radio-frequency identification) -embedded card. Play the game long enough and you’ll send Hades packing. You receive a packet of the quality cards (free) when you sign up.

Trade with Jawas

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At the Star Wars Launch Bay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a pair of Jawas wander the Cantina, a faux bar and casino that channels the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina from Episode 4. The hooded, bright-blue merchants don’t speak; instead they mime actions to get their point across. What makes them so special is that you can actually trade with them — just show them a trinket and if they like it they’ll eagerly offer something in return.

Plan these activities and more for your Orlando vacation

Contact your Personal Concierge today.