Walt Disney World is a great place to celebrate Dad. In honor of Father’s Day next week, here are ten relatively low cost ways for the whole family to say, “Thanks, Dad!” at Disney World.
- Show Him the World. What better way to let Dad know he means the world to you than to show him the World, Walt Disney World that is? Board the tethered Characters in Flight balloon (adult: $18, child: $12) at Downtown Disney and float up to 400 feet above ground to enjoy spectacular views of Walt Disney World. For an extra-special experience, take the ride at night.
- Padre Felice’s Day. That’s Happy Father’s Day in French. Visit the Kidcot stations in the eleven countries of Epcot’s World Showcase to have Cast Members write “Happy Father’s Day” in their native languages on your dad’s Father’s Day card. For even more international fun, stop in the bakeries to pick up a sweet treat to go with your card. The School Bread from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in the Norway Pavilion, baklava from Morocco, and the elephant ears from the French bakery, Boulangerie Patisserie, would fill my husband’s box of sweet treats.
- Walk on the Wild Side. Animal Kingdom has been the home to some pretty amazing animal births this past year. Moms and dads have welcomed an elephant, gorilla, white cheek gibbon, and this past year. Take your dad on the Maharajah Jungle Trek or the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to try to catch some animal dads and their kids playing.
- Hot Rod. Be forewarned, a visit to Ridemakerz, a new Downtown Disney location doesn’t come cheap but it is a cool experience if your dad is a car enthusiast. Similar in concept to Build-a-Bear Workshops, guests can build and customize their own free-wheel or remote-control vehicles – you’ll even see how quickly your dad can assemble the car in the pit. With over 649 million ways to customize the cars including body type, sounds, wheels, and more, you’re nearly guaranteed a one-of-a-kind car!
- Fore! To make golfing a family affair, play a round of miniature golf at one of the two miniature golf courses (adult: $12, child: $10) at the Walt Disney World Resort. Let your dad choose from Winter Summerland or Fantasia Gardens. For a little friendly competition, suggest Fantasia Fairways, which is a miniaturized version of a true 18-hole golf course. For a more relaxed experience, head over to Winter Summerland where Santa’s elves built two golf courses at their vacation spot, one for the sun lovers and one to remind them of home.
- Dad Caught a Fish this BIG. Both Port Orleans Riverside and Fort Wilderness offer dockside fishing. Dad will surely cherish spending some relaxed quality time with his loved ones. And you’ll bring home some fish stories about the one that got away.
- Design-A-Tee. Design a t-shirt for Dad that shows how much you love and admire him. The options are endless at the Disney Design-A-Tee store in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Choose your father’s favorite style, color, and Disney characters to personalize the shirt. Finish it off with a few special words to make the shirt uniquely his.
- Fireworks. There’s no better way to end an evening at Walt Disney World than with one of the spectacular nighttime shows. For a prime viewing location and enough desserts to give you a sugar-high, reserve the Wishes Dessert Party at the Magic Kingdom. (adult: $26, child $14) For Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, get there early to grab a table on the water near the Mexico Pavilion. Enjoy people watching with a margarita (for the adults, of course) until the show starts.
- Specialty Cake/ Cupcake Tower. Order Dad a special cake or create your own cupcake tower using some of the unique and decadent options throughout Walt Disney World. Call “The Cake Hotline” (407.827.2253) at least 48 hours in advance to order your custom cake. The hardest part of a cupcake tower will be deciding which ones to choose. Don’t despair. The “You Won’t Believe This!” Snack Series at The Disney Food Blog won’t steer you wrong.
- Start Your Engines. This last experience isn’t exactly low-cost and it’s not something the family can do together but I couldn’t overlook the coolness factor. Dads will love the ride-along experience at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. A high-speed, three lap ride-along will run you about $110.
Happy Father’s Day!
Photo Credit by http://family.go.com
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You call follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DisneyExplorer.