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Image: Disney

The hunt is on!

In the midst of an unprecedented season of change at Disney parks, guests are more than ever looking for ways to add magic to their vacations without emptying their wallets. The cutting of perks and arrivals of new upcharges like Genie+ has put a severe strain on trip budgets.

We’ve said it before—with some creativity, you don’t necessarily need an upcharge to upgrade your vacation. While there are many ways to do this, one of our favorites is to put together your own Walt Disney World scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are fun on the best of days, but Disney parks are a truly special place to take one on. Disney is well aware of this—they’ve offered a number of their own over the years, both as ongoing offerings in the parks (like Kidcot booths, Wilderness Explorers, and most of the activities in the Star Wars Datapad game) and as part of special events like the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Whether you’re a veteran parkgoer or are looking to add a fresh element of fun for your family to enjoy on your vacation, putting together a scavenger hunt can make for some incredible memories. Party members can compete against one another (you can even introduce prizes into the mix if you like), you can co-op a hunt together, or take one on solo (a real treat for photographers).

We’ve offered some ideas for a Disney parks scavenger hunt before, and while all of the challenges from that list still hold (some will show up again here), we wanted to offer some new ideas considering ongoing changes at the Most Magical Place on Earth. Take whichever ones you think will be fun for your family, then come up with a few of your own!

All Around the World

Happy couple near Big Thunder; the woman has Minnie Ears
Image: Disney

Plans for your particular Disney visit will play an important role in setting up your Walt Disney World scavenger hunt. Passholders who frequent the parks may have flexibility to plan an elaborate list of challenges while families visiting from abroad may want to keep things light, integrating the scavenger hunt into their pre-existing touring plans.

Most of the challenge ideas we are going to suggest will require entry into specific Walt Disney World parks—feel free to pick and choose ideas that match your plans and incorporate them into your hunt. We did want to suggest a few, however, that you can try in any Walt Disney World park:

  • Get a free sticker from a cast member

  • Get yourself an “I’m Celebrating” button but make the celebration something ridiculous. Bonus points if you wear the button in the parks!

  • Get dance videos in all four parks that can be spliced together (they can even be to the same song!)
  • Choose a specific silly pose and get characters to pose with you in this way in all four parks (this is harder with character distancing but still possible!)
  • Get mid-air jump photos in all four parks

  • See who can find the most Hidden Mickeys

  • Take a photo in all four parks with a non-character cast member—remember to learn their name and thank them!

  • Pose like a statue with a statue

  • Get a photo of some sort of animal mischief or cuteness (I’m looking at you, seagulls! As a reminder, please don’t harass the local animals to get your photo)

  • Try Disneybounding! Wear an outfit loosely inspired by a Disney character to the parks and get pictures

Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle at an angle with 50th Anniversary decorations
Image: Disney

Magic Kingdom is Disney’s most popular park, as well as its most attraction-heavy one. You could easy get very, very creative with a scavenger hunt here, but keep in mind that the high number of rides you may want to visit will limit time to dedicate to your hunt. Creativity is encouraged! Here’s a few ideas:

  • Find Tom Sawyer Island’s two resident “angry birds”

  • Get photos in the same silly pose in all of the Magic Kingdom lands (including Main Street!)

  • Find Magic Kingdom’s “bottomless pit” and get a photo with it—bonus points if you do it without crumpling into a ball of quivering fear on the way

  • See who can get the best “shadow puppet” silhouette photo in the tunnels on the PeopleMover (while staying seated—safety first, folks)

  • See who can find the most Pascals in Fantasyland

  • Get a picture that looks like you’re climbing the castle (via illlluuusssion—don’t actually try to climb it, Goofington. Can you tell I work with teenagers?)

  • Try to out-flex Gaston… or out push-up Gaston… or out-anything Gaston

  • See who can learn the best joke in Adventureland

  • See who can get a photo of the castle from the highest vantage

  • See who can get the highest score on Buzz Lightyear

Epcot

Friends take selfie at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Image: Disney

Epcot is a particularly nice park for a scavenger hunt—it’s already designed for wandering exploration, and it is full of unusual experiences and hidden corners perfect for those who want a challenge. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Find the hidden drawbridge (Bonus points if you catch a picture while it’s up!)

  • Meet a World Showcase cast member who is from the country they are working in—learn something about their country! These are a little harder to find these days, but they are still there! (No American Adventure—that one’s too easy)

  • See who can get the best photo of the leaping fountains (bonus if it results in you getting wet!)

  • Get photos with characters from all World Showcase countries

  • See who can find the most fantastic hat in World Showcase and get a picture

  • Get a photo that looks like you are eating, carrying, or otherwise accosting Spaceship Earth

  • See who can make the most preposterous Test Track car (and/or get the highest score!)

  • See who can get the best pose with a passing dolphin or manatee inside The Seas

  • See who can get the best “adventure game” style photo (e.g. Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, etc.) in the streets of the Morocco pavilion.

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