3 New (to me) Things I Got to Experience on my Last Disney Trip!

Posted:  Dining Parks Recreation

I was so excited about all the new things I got to try on this trip. Even though I have been lucky enough to go on five trips to Walt Disney World, with my last one being in May 2022, there are still so many things I have not yet had the opportunity to try. Whether it’s an attraction that has opened since my last trip or a dining option I have not yet enjoyed, there is still so much to see, eat, and do at Disney World.

Magic Kingdom Railroad Office with large 100th Anniversary sign in front. The large sign sits within a flower bed.


  1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind


Large statue of yellow and gray spaceship outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride.

This is the number one thing I was most excited about on this trip. My last trip was right before Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened, so I was not able to ride this attraction. As other research trips and personal trips have taken place over the last year and a bit, I have heard so many team members talk about how amazing this ride is while in our office. The excitement on their faces when they start talking about the attraction gets me excited about finally being able to ride this ride.

Inside Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy. The lighting is dark blue and purple, the room is very sleek and futuristic, and there is a moving photo of space projected on the ceiling.

Staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, we were lucky enough to have the Extended Evening hours at EPCOT and got to ride Guardians twice! We joined the regular 7 am virtual queue with all other park guests, and then, a third queue opened at 6 pm for all guests staying at a Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa Resort. I got two different songs, Disco Inferno and September, and they were both so much fun!

Snap of a video from the ride. The video is projected on the wall above everyone’s heads. Actor Terry Crews is on a spaceship with the Earth behind him.


  1. Food at EPCOT

Spaceship Earth Ball. Treetops can be seen on either side of the ball.

I’ll admit I was disappointed to hear there would be no festivals happening at EPCOT during this trip. The International Flower & Garden Festival ended on July 5, 2023, and the International Food & Wine Festival wasn’t starting until July 27, 2023. I love trying all the different foods at the Outdoor Kitchens during the festivals, so I was worried there wouldn’t be as much snacking and trying as on previous trips. However, I was surprised at how many quick service options were available for me to try different things.

The first snack we tried was the Plant-based Cookies’ n “Cream” Chocolate Mousse Cup from Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion, and oh my, am I still thinking about this dessert. It was light yet rich, and the cookies were moist and chewy instead of crunchy, which I personally liked more.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse Entrance. The red brick building has a white balcony and white trim around it, and an American Flag draped under the sign.

The second stop we tried was Regal Eagle Smokehouse. I chose the North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter with a side of macaroni & cheese, and it was delicious! The garlic toast was perfectly toasted, the pork butt was wonderfully sauced, and the macaroni and cheese were remarkably creamy. I would highly recommend this option if you enjoy barbecue and the Muppets. Seeing Sam the Eagle and other Muppet details throughout the restaurant was so nice.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse Menu display. The menu is displayed on an ornate white wire stand.

The third and final place we ate at was Connections Eatery. Now I was not overly hungry at this point, as we may have had some popcorn in between meals, so I opted for a Kids’ Meal. I picked the Grilled Chicken Bao with a side of fries and a mandarin. It was the perfect amount of food for me. It was a little bland. However, my brother suggested adding the Zesty Sauce, and it was just the right amount of flavor needed to take it up a notch.

I was surprised that I was very happy there were no festival booths at EPCOT on this trip and was persuaded to try some of the staple food service options. I will definitely be going back to these options in between snacking at the festival booths on my next trip.


  1. Getting Galactic Hero on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Entrance into Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Galatic Hero Mural at the end of the ride. Buzz Lightyear is standing next to the words “Galactic Hero” and surrounded by aliens.

Now this is something I have been wanting to achieve for many years now. However, it is something that I just couldn’t seem to do, no matter how hard I tried. With the power of social media, I was able to find several videos that provided me with tips and tricks to hit the targets that are worth more points. I watched the videos at home and made notes on my phone so I could review them while I waited in line. I discussed a strategy for spinning the ride vehicle with my brother so we could optimize our chances, and with one last quick watch of the video while we waited to board the ride, I was confident that this would be when I became a Galactic Hero.

Taycee’s score of 999,999 shining red on the screen of the ride.

By the time we entered the second room, I had managed to achieve a score of 999,999 and entered the ranks of Galactic Hero. After we got off the ride, I let the Cast Member in the merchandise location after the ride know that I had achieved galactic hero status, and they provided me with a super cool sticker!

Sticker with Buzz Lightyear saluting and the words "Galactic Hero".

Disney World is such a big place with so many things I have yet to experience, and I am excited for those days to come. I know I will be staying at two new resorts in September, but I can’t wait to see what other treats and experiences I will get to try. I love that Disney World is always changing and that no matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to surprise you!



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