When planning a trip to Disney, you may be wondering about all the extra Disney World experiences that are available. There are so many things to do including tea parties, Star Wars experiences, pirate experiences, and among other things, themed parties throughout the year. We were so excited to be able to experience several special events on our first trip to Disney and I’m excited to share them with you.
This is part 3 of 5 of my Disney World Trip Series. This post may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. See our disclosure for more information.
- Disney World Trip Reveal
- Disney World Outfits for the Family
- Disney World Experiences
- Disney World Magic
- Disney World Trip
We took one morning to let the boys have an experience, and let the girls have an experience. My daughter was almost age three at the time, so she did not meet the age minimum for the Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique (for ages three to twelve) nor did she meet the minimum for a Pedicure/Manicure (age four and up) but thankfully the Senses Salon agreed to let us reserve her appointment and we had reservations for the Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea afterwards. For the boys, we sent them to The Pirates League and Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial for the morning. I must say, that it was a wonderful way to spend our time at Disney and the kids were all so happy! Read on for my full review of our Disney World experiences!
PRINCESS PEDICURE AND MAGICAL MANICURE
We actually went to the wrong location, so we were late arriving at the Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, but the staff was so welcoming and showed us grace with our appointment time. We were scheduled for the Princess Pedicure and Magical Manicure, and were soon at ease in the beautiful, relaxing spa room that we had all to ourselves! The spa room is not Disney themed, it is very relaxing much like other similar spas. The technician that gave my daughter her first manicure and pedicure was so patient and friendly. She put my daughter to ease and took her time. My sweet girl, dressed in her Princess Aurora Dress, was mesmerized by the whole process and I loved getting to watch her expressions. This was the moment that this girl-momma had been waiting for, and it was so fun to see her sitting there in her layers of tulle getting pampered. It was a very VIP experience, and the manager walked in with an ornate wooden box and presented a sparkling tiara to my daughter, which was a complete surprise to both of us!
DISNEY’S PERFECTLY PRINCESS TEA
Following the Pedicure and Manicure, we had reservations for the Disney’s Perfectly Princess Tea. This is a Tea Party with Princess Aurora, and her magical host “Rose Petal”. Rose Petal is such a great name to describe the hostess because she sang beautiful songs, she was a talented actress, and her smile was contagious. She handled most of the activities and performance, and Princess Aurora came in towards the end to give a gift of a rose and greet each child and take photos.
The girls were served a lunch of fresh fruit, heart-shaped sandwiches, and apple juice in their teapots. The adults were served a plate of cheese, bread, and tea sandwiches. We all were served a slice of delightful princess cake. I was surprised that they kept bringing little gifts for the girls! It was honestly the perfect tea party and I can’t wait to do it again. Both of these experiences cost more than I would usually spend, but when taking a trip to Disney, I wanted our kids to experience all that we could and this event was absolutely worth every penny! I have so much that I would like to share about this, and so many great photos, that I’ll be a doing a full, detailed review coming soon!
THE PIRATES LEAGUE
My boys were so excited about getting to participate in The Pirates League. For this Disney World experience, they got to choose a pirate name and an artist was on hand to paint their face. They chose between Ghosted Pirate, Zombie, Captain Hook, Blackbeard or Black Eyed Jack. The area was fully decorated with a pirate theme with treasure chests full of goodies for them. They received a certificate with their new name, pirate sword and sheath, eye patch and earring, loot bag, temporary tattoo, pirate necklace, bandana, and a personalized pirate oath.
I made their shirts with a simple stencil and fabric paint, see my Disney World Outfits for the Family for more outfit ideas. The shirts were perfect for this day! My boys looked amazing, and they LOVED the experience. After they came out looking like Pirates, the Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial was just getting started! The Pirates League was a very affordable Disney World experience that we would do again!
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW’S PIRATE TUTORIAL
This free event was such a fun Disney World experience for my pirate-loving boys. The Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial involved two actors, one who looked just like the real Captain Jack Sparrow! The boys enjoyed seeing a tutorial of sword fighting, and of course, they were in full character. They asked all scallywags to join them on stage and get their chance to say the pirate oath. If you have a pirate fan, and you have time between rides or other activities, this is a fun one to make time for!
MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY
Another splurge for our family was to attend the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Christmas is our absolute favorite holiday, and Disney is our favorite place, so I knew we had to go. There are several reasons to be at this party. There is an AMAZING fireworks display. If you have seen the regular fireworks at Epcot, or at the Magic Kingdom, you would think it couldn’t get any better. I promise you, we were astounded by the fireworks at this party.
There is a magical Christmas parade with gingerbread men, toy soldiers, all of our favorite Characters dress in their finest holiday attire, and of course Santa on his sleigh. The park is decorated so beautifully at night with lights, sky-high Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland, and during the party it “snows” on Main Street!! Main Street is bustling with people going in and out of shops, and with the snow falling down it looks like a scene from a movie. They provide hot chocolate and warm sugar cookies, and holiday dressed Characters along with Santa Claus are on hand for photo opportunities. The rides are also open longer and the wait time is less.
My biggest piece of advice for those purchasing tickets to a special event, if you can help it, do not attend the event on your final night in the park. It was pouring rain on the night of our party. It was raining so hard that we missed our opportunity to pick up our wristbands so I had to stand in a very long line of disgruntled people waiting for our bands which meant we missed a large part of the night. We didn’t get to ride rides, we didn’t get to any of the character meet and greets, and because of the rain, it didn’t snow on Main Street.
Thankfully we were leaving the park two nights before right as the party was starting for that night, so we got to experience the snow and a taste of the holiday feels. But our evening did not go as expected, for sure. If we had more time on our trip we potentially could’ve traded in our tickets for another night and experienced the full event without the rain. However, we did get to see the amazing fireworks and the parade, so all was not lost and we finished our trip with smiles, and grateful, happy hearts! I do hope we are able to have a do-over at some point and experience the full party. The following photos were not taken by me. They were included with their PhotoPass Service, and they showcase the Very Merry Christmas Party so well!
Another fun (and free) experience that is not well known is the Character Palooza at Hollywood Studios. You get to meet characters like Gepetto and Mulan that are not available at the publicized meet and greets! VeraVise WOW Travel shares all the details on their Character Palooza post, in fact, check out all their Disney World planning advice!
I hope you enjoyed a snapshot of just a few of the Disney World experiences that are available. Check out part four of my Disney series, Disney World Magic. I would love to hear what you have experienced that you loved, and I hope you’ll pin this for other Disney fans to see!