6 Cool Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney

Disney:  6 Cool Things You Didn't Know You Could DoDid you know you can “drive” some of the rides? You can! And more than you might think.  These simple tips will make your visit a little more special.  These things cost nothing extra and will help you make the most of your visit. This tip has led to some of our favorite experiences over the years.  Want to make your ride experience even more special? All you have to do is ask! If someone beats you to it, you can always wait for the next ride to come and be first on that one.

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #1: Drive the Mark Twain Riverboat.  This is our absolute favorite and hardly anyone knows about it.  We first found out about it when a cast member offered to let us go up to the Captain’s cabin – just me and my husband, before we even had kids.  So, this one is fun for adults, too. You get a great view of the Rivers of America.  Just ask a Mark Twain cast member as you board, and they will have you wait outside the Captain’s cabin door.  You will have to climb a steep ladder, and this is limited to four people (including babies).  You can steer the steering wheel, and blow the whistle at several points in the journey, as instructed by the cast member.  There is also a guest book you can sign, and once we even got certificates.

Disney Tips

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #2: Drive the Monorail.  This is a pretty well known Disney tip: you can ride in both the front and the back of the monorail.  To ride in the front of the monorail, just ask the Disney cast member nearest the front boarding area. They will have you wait outside the front car until departure time.  The front car is limited to four people (total – including babies).  To ride in the back of the monorail, ask the cast member near the rear boarding area.   They will open the door for you. The back is limited to six people total. The best part about this? These are the only cars with air conditioning. Bonus tip: You can take the monorail round-trip from the Tomorrowland station, so if you’re trying to ride in the front on the way into the park, the car will probably already be occupied.

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #3: Drive the Disneyland Railroad.  Because the Disneyland Railroad is an actual working steam engine, you don’t get to touch anything. But there is a special bench on the tender behind the engineers where two people can sit. To ride behind the engineers on the Disneyland Railroad, you must board and disembark at Main Street Station.  Just ask the cast members there and they will assist you.

Disney Tips

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #4: Drive the Storybook Land Canal Boats.  The Mark Twain Riverboat is my favorite, but the Storybook Land Canal Boats are what my kids prefer to “drive”.  There are two spots at the front of each boat that don’t look like seats, but children can sit there, one in each spot and flat on their bottoms. There’s a rope hold that looks like a steering wheel (to a kid).  The cast members call kids sitting in this spot “whale watchers” but no matter how carefully my kids look, we get swallowed by Monstro every time.

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #5: Ring the Bell on the Fire Engine. The fire engine that goes up and down Main St. has a gold bell at the back of it.  Be the first to board, sit in the back, and let your kids ring the bell to their heart’s content.  They’ll also get Jr. Fire Fighter stickers after the ride.

Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Disney #6: Drive the Horse Trolley.  You don’t get to hold the reins or even pet the horses (off duty horses can be petted at Big Thunder Ranch) but most people don’t know that you can sit in the front bench of the horse trolley on main street, right next to the driver.

Disney Tips

If you have a little one who just wants to pretend to drive (obviously, my three year old loves this!) some other great rides with steering wheels include:

  •  Casey Jr. Circus Train (the caboose!)
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Autopia
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Toon Cars in ToonTown
  • Tuck N Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggy (at Disney California Adventure)

** Note: These rules for “driving” each ride are for Disneyland park and may differ slightly at similar rides at other Disney resorts.

Love Disney? See our Disney Photo Tips and Free Printable Disney Scavenger Hunts.


  1. Tonya says

    When we were at Disney in October, the monorail operator told us they no longer let passengers sit in the pilot’s cabin. They changed the policy after the 2008 monorail collision where the pilot was killed.

    • Susie Chadwick says

      As I mentioned, the details of this post are specifically for Disneyland, where you are still allowed to ride in both the front and back of the monorail. That’s too bad about WDW, though.

  2. Nicole says

    They wot let you drive the monorail anymore. We had an accident here in Florida where two collided and the driver of one was killed. So they no longer let passengers in the front.

  3. Kat says

    Well, look who I have fun into in cyber-space! Hi, Susie! It’s Kat from Oak Creek – my daughter is Kailen. So funny, I saw the pictures and I thought, wow, that really looks like Maggie. Then I put it all together. Nice to see you and great info on Disneyland!

  4. Lynn Garsha says

    Sept. 2012 I went with 3 of my grandchildren( 6,8,10) to Disneyland. All 3 got to “drive” the Mark Twain and ring the bell and blow the steam whistle. They had them sign the log as captains. We got great pictures. I am leaving today for Disneyland and plan to take the grandkids that are going this time up there if possible. Thanks Disney for this awesome treat!!!

  5. Darren says

    Lol…. Sorry but that is a “brake wheel” on the Casey Jr’s caboose, not a steering wheel. Of course it looks like a steering wheely to a 3 y.o.
    Great DL tips!

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