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Visiting Walt Disney World with Adventurous Boys

May 22, 2014

Walt Disney World is truly magical. It’s a beautiful place where you can wish upon a star and your dreams really can come true. But too often our boys (and their dads, if we’re being totally honest) can imagine WDW is filled with fairies and princesses skipping around talking to woodland creatures and smelling flowers.

Being a mom of 2 elementary-aged boys, I’m often asked, “If my family visits Disney World, what will my boys do?” My answer: your boys (and their dads, and grandpas, and uncles) will find adventure around every turn at Walt Disney World, especially if you know where to look.

The Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom Park

The Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom Park

Character Dining

Chef Mickey – your boys will love Mickey-shaped waffles on the breakfast, brunch, or lunch buffet with all the classic Disney friends. Also, the monorail runs right through this restaurant, which is pretty cool. (Disney’s Contemporary Resort, reservations needed)

Be Our Guest – this new restaurant offers gourmet food inside the Beast’s mysterious castle. The Beast himself hosts your meal, but there’s no singing silverware so it’s OK. (Magic Kingdom, make reservations 180 days in advance)

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney’s Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland


Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial – a fun and lively show where Captain Jack Sparrow (seriously, could it be Johnny Depp?) teaches kids the ways of piracy. At the end, all kids can to join Captain Jack’s crew. (Magic Kingdom, near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride)

Main Street Electrical Parade – this classic Disney parade brings out the child in even your toughest boys. Seeing my 9yo wave at Peter Pan and smile when he waved back: priceless. (Magic Kingdom, select your spot to watch the parade early)

JAMMitors – a band, dressed as janitors, using their cleaning tools as instruments. Especially fun for boys interested in percussion, or hitting things with sticks. (Epcot, near Mission Space)

Jedi Training Academy – kids learn lightsaber skills from a Jedi master and face the Dark Side. When else can your son actually fight villains from the Clone Wars? (Hollywood Studios, check in early to reserve your spot)

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios Park

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – fast cars doing cool tricks and stuff blowing up. What more could a boy ask for? (Hollywood Studios)

Festival of the Lion King – although there’s lots of singing and dancing, the acrobatics, fire breather, and percussionists are so good that your boys will be captivated. (Animal Kingdom, indoors so good if it rains)


Boys seeking adventure and thrills will love rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Mission Space, Soarin’, Test Track, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, DINOSAUR, and Expedition Everest. But there are also hidden gems for adventure throughout Disney World:

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – in this interactive game, use collector cards and follow clues to go from one portal to another and unravel the Disney villains’ evil plans. Takes a couple minutes to figure out, but it’s worth it! (Magic Kingdom, start at the Firehouse on Main Street)

Tom Sawyer Island – even if your son isn’t familiar with the classic novel, this island has paths, caves, swinging bridges, and forts to explore. Just a low-tech good time. (Magic Kingdom, set a time limit so you aren’t there all day)

Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – borrow an interactive F.O.N.E. from Disney to help Agent P thwart Dr. Doofenshmirtz in different missions throughout World Showcase. A great way to keep boys entertained while parents enjoy the culture of the different lands. (Epcot, start at a recruitment center)

Toy Story Midway Mania – this ride is like a giant video game where your opponents ride in the other side of your car. Plus the décor is really cool. (Hollywood Studios, use FastPass+)

Kilimanjaro Safari - Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Kilimanjaro Safari – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Kilimanjaro Safari – hop into a safari jeep and ride around amongst the animals, using a pictorial guide to ID the animals you see. Your clever boys will probably figure out how Disney contains the animals to keep everyone safe, but that’s OK. (Animal Kingdom, go early in the day while animals are active)

These are just a few of the hundreds of things boys can experience at Disney. What else have your boys loved at Walt Disney World?

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