Things to do at Disney World for Boys
I have three boys, all with different personalities.
Although I like to avoid gender stereotypes, one thing my boys have in common (at this stage at least) is that none of them are the slightest bit interested in Disney Princesses.
Before our Disney trip, most of my Disney World impressions came from friends posting their Disney photos on Facebook. I’d see lots of happy smiling photos of various Disney Princess meet and greets, their children beaming with awe and delight.
I am guilty of looking at those photos and thinking, “Well, my boys won’t be interested in any of that, so they are going to miss out on a big part of the Disney magic”. Now that we’ve been to Disney World ourselves, I can 100% say that there are a WHOLE lot of magical moments for children who don’t like Princesses.
We’ve come home full to the brim with happy memories and moments of awe. Here are some of our favourite things to do at Disney World for boys (or children who don’t like princesses).
Disney World Rides and attractions for boys
My two older boys have just started to get very into the playstation at home, so it came as no surprise that the two shooting, ‘video game’ style rides, Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin were firm favourites with my boys. The aim of both rides is to score points by shooting at targets as you move through the ride.
These two rides were our most revisited rides of our whole trip – we rode Toy Story Midway Mania at Hollywood Studios a grand total of six times, and had three goes on Space Ranger Spin at Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom.
Tomorrowland Speedway was another favourite with my boys, where you can drive gas-powered sports cars round a race track.
Thrill seekers will love Thunder Mountain, the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain. (All the mountains!) In fact, when I think about Disney World as a whole, there are FAR more rides that don’t involve princesses in the slightest, than ones that do. Most rides at Disney World really do offer something for the whole family to enjoy.
Our boys are happiest when they can let loose, and Tom Sawyer Island was a great place to head when they needed to take some time out from the rides. There are caves to explore, lots of climbing and adventure to be had – all a very convenient way for your kids to let off some steam.
Disney World parades for boys
Our family of boys loved the Move It Shake It parade. Featuring popular Disney and Pixar characters with an upbeat street party feel, everyone is encouraged to dance along.
The Festival of Fantasy parade is based on the more classic Disney characters, and which I had assumed would be much more Princess based and not to my boys’ taste. I am glad we made time to see it because we unanimously agreed that it was our favourite parade. We thought it was beautiful, emotional, and a real spectacle. There is just something about those Disney classics that gives everyone the feels – whether you like Disney princesses or not.
Disney World character meet and greets for boys
One of my absolute favourite things about our trip to Disney World was how awestruck my boys were at every single character meet and greet we went to. There are so many characters on offer for children who don’t like princesses.
Over at Hollywood Studios, we met Chewbacca, BB8, and Kylo Ren – the kids loved how rude he was in real life ; ) Meeting Woody and Buzz was another family highlight.
At the Magic Kingdom we had the most special character meet of all with the main man himself. The boys grinned all the way through their time with Mickey at Town Square Theater – it’s something I know I’m never going to forget.
We were impressed with the way in which all of the characters made time to make each of our boys feel special – another reason for why the character meet and greets at Disney World were one of our trip highlights.
Hollywood Studios for boys
Hollywood Studios was by far the favourite with my boys, with many rides and attractions appealing to their interests.
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular left a big impression, and they were thrilled to see so many attractions dedicated to their favourite film franchise – Star Wars.
The fun at Hollywood Studios is set to expand even further with the opening of both Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land in the next few years.
Disney World character dining for boys
Before our trip to Disney World, I was aware of the hugely popular Princess dining options such as the Princess Storybook dining over at Epcot, and Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle at the Magic Kingdom. But what about character dining options for boys? (Or children who just aren’t into princesses?)
One of our favourites was Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort – where classic characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy are the chefs cooking your meal. We loved the fun atmosphere at this character dining experience.
With big Disney Jr fans in our house, the Disney Jr character dining at Hollywood and Vine was a HUGE hit. Featuring Jake (of Neverland Pirates fame), Doc McStuffins, and Handy Mannie Princess Sophia is also at this one, so if you have both princess lovers and non-princess lovers in your party, Disney Junior Play and Dine provides a great balance to keep everyone happy.
Don’t rule out the princess stuff
I did make my boys do several ‘princessy’ things during our time at Disney World, because I wanted to do them. We did have to endure a few grumbles when they didn’t want to do the Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot, but they enjoyed it once we were on. I mentioned before about how we all LOVED the Festival of Fantasy parade. My middle boy loved the Frozen sing-a-long show at Hollywood Studios, and my eldest boy was rather fascinated with Cinderella’s castle, wanting to know more about the fairytale characters and their world.
I wasn’t expecting them to take a liking to any of the more typically “girly” attractions at Disney World, but I’m pleased that we didn’t rule out those things – if we had, we wouldn’t have given them a chance to develop a new interest.
Obviously, I’m a girl myself. And so much of my childhood memories of Disney World are tied up in Cinderella’s Castle, wishes, happily ever after, and dreams coming true. What I’ve learnt from taking my boys to Disney World, is that even if you happen to not be very interested in Disney Princesses, those magical messages still leave just as big an impression.
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This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World and Mumsnet. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity and all opinions here are my own.