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Off The Beaten Path: 5 Family-Friendly, Hidden Treasures At Disney

Photo: Rene Syler

Disney World is full of fun activities for the whole family. There’s Main Street, USA at Magic Kingdom, all the great stuff  at Epcot and so much more. But there are also a number of hidden gems throughout, things you might not be aware of unless you ask someone in the know. So I checked in with my girlfriend Jackie Gailey, of Jackie’s Magical Moments, to give me an idea of some of the must-see things that aren’t so obvious at Disney.

1. Jellyrolls: If you’re looking for a fabulous evening of fun without the little ones, Jellyrolls on Disney’s Boardwalk is definitely my top pick! It’s a non-smoking, dueling piano bar, set up in a warehouse-type atmosphere! They can get pretty rowdy in there too, so get ready to move! You can write your song requests on napkins and hop up on stage to put them on the pianos…it’s really a whole lot of fun! The bar is open from 7PM-2AM nightly and there is a $10 cover.

2. Harmony Barber Shop: If you haven’t ever been to the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, you may want to give it a try on your next trip. Not only is it a simply magical experience for your child’s first haircut, they also provide Pixie Dust for all age ranges, including the young at heart! The way it works in the tiny little barber shop is on a first-come, first-served basis…the honor system if you will. There are no ‘take a number’ machines or lists to put your name on. You just have to go in and ask who’s last in line and remember. You can also make appointments now by calling 407.WDW.DINE.

3. Horse-Drawn Carriage at Port Orleans Riverside Resort: Coolest thing EVER…well, if you go in August, it won’t be so cool, but, anyway, you’ll love it! The carriage itself will hold four adults, or two adults with three small children, and it’s about a 25-minute ride through the most beautiful scenery around property. Reservations can be made by either calling 407.WDW.PLAY or by stopping by and purchasing tickets directly from the carriage drivers. Rides operate nightly from 6PM-9:30PM, weather permitting.

4. The Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom: Now here’s a hidden gem! My absolute FAVORITE time to eat there is at night when it’s almost time for Wishes Fireworks. Try to get a reservation (yes, you’ll need them here) for about an hour before the fireworks and request a window table. You will have the most gorgeous view looking out over the Castle with the beautiful reflections of the Victorian lamps in the windows. It’s a table service restaurant and reasonably priced.

5. Miyuki, the Japanese Candy Artist at the Japan Pavilion: There are only fifteen Candy Artists in Japan, and she is the only woman! She works with a very soft rice dough and magically transforms it before your eyes with a quick work of her talented hands and tiny scissors! She’ll pick only a lucky few to receive this special treat during each showing, so make sure you’re on your best behavior! Be sure to pick up a Times Guide on your way into the park for show times.

Yo! Nice to meet you! You can find out more about me on my blog, Good Enough Mother.

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Other posts by Rene:

10 Lessons I Learned From Being Fired And What You Can Learn Too

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; How a Marriage Works

See Hair’s The Thing: Why I Stopped Straightening My Curly, African American Hair

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