No matter how carefully you plan your trip to Disney World, there will inevitably come a moment when you have some idle time on your hands.
Whether you’re waiting for your next FastPass+ or you’ve done everything you wanted to do and now you’re just wasting time until your dinner reservation, there will be periods of standing around looking for something to keep the kids occupied.
Well, today I’ll let you in on a little secret (not really a secret if you’ve been a few times) o how to pass some idle time and still have a good time and keep the kids occupied.
All of them are free, included in your park admission. I’ll just go park-by-park (no particular order).
Animal Kingdom — Wilderness Explorers
If you’re a fan of the movie UP!, you will certainly enjoy this experience. You will follow in Russell’s footsteps and work on earning your Wilderness Explorers badges from various lands in Animal Kingdom.
To start your adventure, you just need to stop at the Wilderness Explorers outpost on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island. Or you can visit any Wilderness Explorer location to get started.
Your kid(s) will get their very own Wilderness Explorers field guide and have to recite the Wilderness Explorers oath before heading out on their adventure.
The good thing about this activity is that it can easily be done while you’re doing your normal park touring. It’s really fun to do, and it kind of forces you and your kids to stop and take note of all the details. You’ll earn your badges as you go in the form of stickers you place in your field guide.
My kids loved doing it, and couldn’t wait to get to the next area to earn their next badge. We’ll have to grab a new guide in June because Pandora will have areas to explore as well.
Hollywood Studios — Citizens of Hollywood
Unlike the other parks, the Studios doesn’t offer a game-type distraction.
Instead, it offers good, old-fashioned comedy.
If you’re looking to kill some time in Studios and you’ve seen all the shows, wander up and down Sunset Blvd. or Hollywood Blvd. and you’re bound to catch the Citizens of Hollywood doing their thing.
You may walk on to a “live” set featuring director Oscar Meyer Weiner (his films are like hot dogs, you’ll like them better if you don’t know how he makes them). You may get picked to participate.
I think the best is when the Citizens of Hollywood gather to determine the funniest citizen of Hollywood, taking turns telling jokes based on cues from the crowd.
Whatever way they decide to entertain, if you have the time, stop for a few minutes and check out their show. And be sure to participate because it makes it even better.
EPCOT — Agent P’s Adventure
One of our favorite things to do in EPCOT’s World Showcase is the Agent P’s Adventure.
If your kids are familiar with the old show Phineas and Ferb, they will love this.
And the best part about Agent P’s Adventure is that the adults can actually explore the various country pavilions without the kids getting aggravated.
You can start the missions by visiting an Agent P kiosk and signing up as a secret agent. You can do it either through your own smartphone or through a phone that Disney provides for the experience.
You choose which country you want to investigate first, and then follow all the clues until you complete the mission. There are some cool special effects that you will only see if you’re playing the game (or watching someone play).
It takes about 30 minutes per country, so keep that in mind if you have dining reservations or FastPass reservations.
Magic Kingdom — Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
One of the most popular attractions at Disney is the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card game.
To get started, you stop at the Firehouse on Main Street USA to sign up. You will be given a Sorcerer Key Card, a map, spell cards and training on how to unlock the portals and defeat the enemies.
From there, you will use the clues on the map to locate the portals located throughout Disney World. There are places to play in Adeventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Main Street, USA.
When you arrive at the portal of your choosing, you place the Sorcerers Key card on the portal and begin the quest. When it’s time to take on the enemies, you use one of your spell cards to defeat them.
It’s become so popular that people sell the cards on eBay, as regular visitors try to complete the set. I would recommend everyone in your party get their starter pack of cards so you’ll all have a good variety of cards.
And if you’re making two or three trips to Magic Kingdom during your trip, be sure to go back daily and get a new pack of cards.
You can play at your own pace, or you can zip through all the missions in one afternoon if you’d like. We typically let the kids finish up a couple of areas, then move on to something else.
Just be forewarned, it’s a lot of zig-zagging through one area of the park, so if your preference is to rest, and you have older kids, just find a comfortable bench and let them explore. The missions will not take them out of that one area until they’ve defeated the final boss, and then they will be asked what area they want to take on next.
Also I should note that, like Agent P’s Adventure, it can become really popular in the afternoon so make sure your kids understand they may have to wait for someone in front of them to finish their mission before they do theirs. Nothing worse than waiting for your turn and having some impatient kid (or adult, sadly) try to jump in front of you in line because they don’t think they have to wait.
NOTE: If you don’t want to do Sorcerers, but still looking for something to pass the time, there’s a Pirate’s Adventures game in Adventureland. Similar to Sorcerers, but a little different and is exclusive to Adventureland. You sign up for this mission right by Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop. We were lucky enough a few years ago to actually test this before it went live and the kids really enjoyed it.
So there you have it, my Tuesday tip for dealing with idle time in the park. All four of them are fun and unique experiences.
What’s your favorite thing to do during your downtime at Disney? Do you prefer to sit on a park bench and people watch? Do you find a quiet spot in the shade and just chill? Do you grab a snack?
Let me know in the comments. And be sure to share this blog with your Disney friends!
Thank you all and remember to always let your conscience be your guide.