When you think of Disney World you probably think of all of the experiences inside of the park whether it is dropping in to the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror or walking down Main Street USA and seeing Cinderella Castle for the first time. But, there is a whole side of Disney outside of the parks that many people look right over without thinking twice. So today we’re going to give our Top 5 favorite things to do when you aren’t inside one of the 4 theme parks.
Honorable Mention: Spa Day/Golf Day
One great thing to do at Disney World that many don’t even think about is take a day to relax. Guys
head out and play a round of golf at one of the several courses around the resort and get away from it all! Walt Disney World Resort is home to 4 championship golf courses; Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Palm, and Oak Trail. Any of the four would be a great choice for any serious or just recreational player. Ladies head on in for a day of pampering and treat yourself to a spa day at one of the may spas around Disney property. Some of the best spas include Senses at the Grand Floridian and Saratoga Springs, La Vida at Coronado Springs, and maybe the best of all Mandara at the Dolphin just to name a few. Take a Disney day for yourself and experience some of the best spa services or play one of the best golf course in Central Florida.
5) Water Parks
One of the more obvious things to do outside of the theme parks is to head to a Disney Water Park.
The water parks are themed just as well as the theme parks and have some very interesting stories behind them. They are much more than a bunch of concrete and plastic slides! Typhoon Lagoon is themed after a typhoon ravaged a former tropical paradise. A shrimp boat named “Miss Tilly” has been impaled by 50 feet high “Mount Mayday” and serves as the parks icon. So head over to the most visited water park in the world, Typhoon Lagoon and wade in one of the largest wave pools in the world or swim with the sharks. Disney World is also home to Blizzard Beach and the story behind it is rather interesting. A freak snow storm blew over Florida and Ice Gator (the parks’ mascot) thought he would build a ski resort in Central Florida. After the storm passed through all of the snow melted but the ski lodge remained and that is what you see at Blizzard Beach. A Ski Lift will take up the mountain where you can break off and slide down several of the best water slides around. The headliner is Summit Plummet and it is the second highest and fastest free fall slide in the world at 120 feet and 60 mph! Blizzard Beach is the second most visited water park in the world only behind Typhoon Lagoon. So head over to a Water Park and experience a different side of the Disney World Resort.
4) Downtown Disney
Another one of the more obvious things to do on a day off from the parks is Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney is a must do for anyone going to Disney World, especially if you haven’t been before or in a long time. It is filled with great restaurants, shops, food trucks, and you can even get in a few games of bowling, catch a movie, enjoy an interactive theme park called Disney Quest, or take a hot air balloon into the sky and see some breathtaking views of Disney and Orlando as a whole.
3) Take a Stroll on the Boardwalk
My favorite resort area in Walt Disney World is the Epcot resorts and for me a trip can’t be complete without walking
down Disney’s Boardwalk. Stroll down the Boardwalk and win a stuffed animal for your loved one by winning a few carnival style games, watch a magic show, head in to the arcade, catch the big game at ESPN Club, or eat at some of the best restaurants on property Flying Fish, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Bluzoo, or Shula’s and that is only a few of the many restaurants around this area. One great way to enjoy the Boardwalk is by renting a Surrey Bike and riding around Crescent Lake or rent a boat from the Yacht Club and motor your way between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Head over to Disney’s Boardwalk during your down time grab a bench and just enjoy the view and atmosphere!
2) Play a Round of Mini Golf
Disney World is home to 72 amazing holes of Mini Golf at Fantasia Gardens and Winter
Summerland. Winter Summerland is themed amazingly to where Santa’s elves come to vacation and it is right next to Blizzard Beach, which only adds to the Winter Summer theme. Half of the elves wanted to feel like they were at home in the North Pole in the snow and the other half wanted to feel like they were on the hot beach. So we have a winter and summer course that are very similar but themed opposite of each other. For instance you may putt through a sand castle on the summer side and then on the winter side putt through a snow castle. Fantasia Gardens is located near the Swan and is very different beast of a course. The Fantasia Gardens side of the course is a whimsical fun course for the kids to listen to the music of Fantasia and avoid being splashed with water by brooms. But our favorite course of all is the Fairways course. The Fairways at Fantasia Gardens is meant to be a real golf course shrunk down to miniature size so watch out for those sand traps and good luck finding the hole this course is tough!
1) Resort Hop on the Monorail
When you think of Disney I’m sure one of the first things you think of is riding the Monorail and
seeing Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle. Well the number 1 best thing to do outside of the parks is to do that but instead of getting off at the Magic Kingdom get off at all of the resorts and just explore. Have lunch at the Polynesian and walk around the resort, maybe even take a stroll on the beach but just soak in that Hawaiian feel. Then get back on the monorail and head over to the Grand Floridian for a whole different feel. Maybe head in to Basin White and make a candle or sit in the lobby and listen to the Grand Floridian Orchestra. Head out to the lake and rent yourself a little Sea Raycer and tour Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Once you get back in to the Marina get back on the monorail and head to the Contemporary for your night-cap, go up to California Grill grab a bite to eat and a drink and watch Wishes from the top of the Contemporary Resort! Now how about that for a day outside of the parks?!
Thanks for reading, be sure to share your favorite things to do outside of the parks or your experience with some of the above!
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