Theme parks, water parks, shopping districts, resorts, water activities, nightlife, sports and exercise…it’s all available at Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney is packed with countless options of things to do at Walt Disney World without a theme park ticket. These offerings have so much to give and can be great for filling in time on your arrival / departure days so you don’t have to utilize a full day ticket.
Our goal is to provide you with a list of inspiration for what do the next time you are at Disney and need to explore things outside of the theme parks!
Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba (Closing December 31st, 2017)
Cirque Du Soleil shows have never disappointed me and La Nouba is no exception. For those of you who have never experienced a Cirque show back in your hometown or at one of their other locations around the world, it is a show of breathtaking acrobatics and stunning characters. Did you also know that they recently revamped this show to include new acts? If you have already been to La Nouba it might be worth it to check it out again to the new acts they have to offer! Check it out before the show is gone!
Disney Mini Golf
Disney has two locations for mini golf, each location offering two different courses and unique themes. Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf courses are based on the Disney animated classic Fantasia. The Fantasia course is the most popular here so expect to wait. The course features real grass and sand traps just like a true golf course, a great course to play if you have a golfing fan in the family. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is the perfect spot to play for all the fans of the Christmas. At the two courses here you will listen to holiday classics while either playing the “Summer” or “Winter” course. Costs are $14 for adults and $12 for children.
Eat in Movie Theatre
AMC offers a Fork and Screen option at their Disney Springs location. This allows you to sit in extra comfy seats and eat while watching a movie of your choice. I highly recommend this option if you are visiting during the summer months. A movie is a perfect way to escape the intense afternoon sun for a few hours. Also, the Fork and Screen offers up a fun treat that isn’t offered in very many locations.
The newly reopened Disney Springs has so much to offer for everyone in the family. The Town Center section has so many neat boutiques mixed in with stores you already known and love to shop at. Take your kids over to the Lego imagination center where they can build legos to their heart’s content? If there is a little princess in the family you have to check out the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where she can be transformed into her own storybook fantasy. Not to mention Disney Springs is home to several other items that made our list. For a complete listing of stores and restaurants check out Disney Springs official website.
Fireworks at the Polynesian
I sometimes enjoy watching the fireworks at the Polynesian more than I do inside the Magic Kingdom. The resort dims the lights around the waterfront and plays the music to go along with the fireworks so you don’t miss a thing. If you are hanging out ahead of the show you will also get to see the Electrical Water pageant which is a timeless treat.
Movies at the Resort
How does a night time Disney movie on the beach sound? Most Walt Disney World resorts offer what they call “Movies Under the Stars” as a resort perk. If you would like to find out what shows are happening at your resort check at the front desk or consult your activities calendar which you should have received at check-in.
Take a Ride in an Amphicar
If you are looking to make a splash during your next Disney vacation then why not in an amphicar? These vintage inspired boats will take you for a twenty minute spin around the waterfront of Disney Springs. Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m, just call ahead or book in person.
Characters in Flight Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you have a fear of your typical hot air balloons like I do then Characters in Flight might be your solution to your fears. This unique hot air balloon keeps you safely tethered to the ground at all times while still letting you travel up to 400 feet above the ground. The stunning 360 view gives you a glimpse most people never experience. Rides last between 8 – 10 minutes and costs $18.00 for adults and $12.00 for children. For more information visit their websites here.
Electrical Water Pageant
Enjoy a night-time water pageant before viewing Wishes! The show travels to all of the Magic Kingdom Resorts before the Magic Kingdom fireworks start giving you ample of viewing options.
Rent Surrey Bikes
Ever been witness to a family zooming past on a bike, ringing a bell and most likely yelling at someone to start peddling? Well, that could be you! Select Disney resorts offer the option for 2 people, 4 people or 6 people surrey bikes. The Disney resorts include Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort,Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
Boardwalk Street Performers
Various street preforms can be found nightly on Disney’s Boardwalk. Acts include magicians, juggling and more! If dancing is more your style you can head down to the Atlantic City Dance Hall or Jellyrolls, a dueling piano bar. Maybe you don’t want to miss your team’s big game while away? Then the Boardwalk offers you the ESPN Club.
Ride Horses at Tri-Circle-D Ranch
Did you know you can go horseback riding at Walt Disney World? The first time I ever rode a horse was here at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. If all your guests are 9 years and older than you too can learn to horseback ride. $46 will get you a 45-minute trail ride through a wooded trail of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. If horseback riding just isn’t your speed they also offer wagon and carriage rides.
Take a Pool Day
Each of the Disney resort pool’s offers up various fun activities for your family each day. If you want to know more about what your resort has to offer just ask the hotel concierge or request the schedule at your check in time.
ESPN: Wide World of Sports
ESPN Wide World of Sports is home to countless kids athletic competitions throughout the entire year. During the spring it becomes home to the Braves spring training games. Ticket can be purchased in advanced on Disney’s website. The Wide World of Sports is also the center for all RunDisney events. This is the location to pick up your running gear before the race!
Chip and Dale Campfire
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
The Hoop-Dee-Doop musical revue is a dinner show over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The show entertains the whole family with two hours of singing, dancing, and comedy. The food features an all you can eat barbecue feast. For the adults in your party, they can enjoy unlimited draft beer, wine, and sangria. If you would like to try this experience on your next trip be sure to book a reservation in advance.
Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
Transport yourself to a tropical island and learn how to Luau. The show features spellbinding dancers, drummers, and a show-stopping fire-knife performer. An island infused feast is provided along with the show. This is another experience that books up fast so we recommend reserving your spots at the 180-day mark if possible.
Take a Safari at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you have been to the Animal Kingdom before I am guessing you have experienced their safari but have you experienced a safari out on the savannah of the Animal Kingdom Lodge? This 90-minute excursion is an intimate affair that is limited to just 12 guests. Get up and close with the various animals on the safari while learning all sorts of facts from your tour guide. Once your safari has concluded enjoy a feast at Jiko. Reservations are required for this experience.
Yeehaa Bob Jackson
This comedian is well loved and performs at the Port Orleans Riverside resort for over nineteen years now! You can find him on select evenings in the River Roost Lounge. Yee Haw Bob rocks the lounge audience with his wacky piano and entertaining comedy.
Splitsville offers 50,000 square feet of bowling space over three stories. Splitsville isn’t just about bowling they also offer food and live entertainment all packed into one location at Disney Springs. Reservations are not required and can be made online.
What have you found that you like to do on days you don’t use a theme park ticket? Let us know below in the comment section.
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