Have you ever gone on a park-less Disney Vacation? Many people still don’t realize that there is so much more to Disney World than just what goes on in the parks. Find out some of the things you can do that doesn’t require a Park Ticket.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Fort Wilderness offers guests a great outdoor experience. Whether you want to “rough-it” at the Campsites or you enjoy modern amenities that Villas and Cabins give you, there is PLENTY to do without stepping foot into a Park. You can learn archery, rent a boat or canoe, take a ride on a horse drawn carriage, go on a wagon ride, and children under 48″ can ride a pony. And that’s just some of the activities that goes on. For a more “Disney” experience, Chip and Dale also hosts a Campfire Sing-a-Long with roasted marshmallows.
Fishing is also available in many resorts. Go Dockside Fishing at Port Orleans – Riverside or go on a Guided Fishing Excursion at
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Want a more Luxurious Vacation?
For the ultimate relaxation, get a massage, a facial, manicure, or pedicure. There are so many spas on Disney property. You may not have even realized that some existed. For reservations, you may call 407-939-7727 or 407-WDW-SPAS
- La Vida Health Club – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Mandara Spa – Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness – Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Just because you don’t go into the parks, doesn’t mean you can’t get a good Character Dining reservation. In fact, some of the best Character Dining Restaurants are located outside of the parks. Here are a few favorite Restaurants with the Characters you may meet.
- Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy
- 1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – Mary Poppins, Alice and Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, and Cinderella and Prince Charming
- Cape May Cafe at Disney’s Yacht Club – Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Donald Duck
- O’hana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, Mickey Mouse, Goofy
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale
Make sure you check the Restaurants before making reservations to see if it will be Character Dining or a regular Table Service Meal. Some restaurants only feature characters for certain meals.
If you’re looking for something to do once the sun goes down, Disney Springs and The Boardwalk are great places to find something to do. Watch Shows like Cirque du Soleil or bust a move at Atlantic Dance Hall or Jellyrolls. Disney is NOT just for kids!
Just For Kids
But, if you do have kids…or those who are just big kids at heart… there are things for them outside of the parks, as well.
If your children are like mine, they might like going all over the place looking for Hidden Mickey’s. They can be ANYWHERE!
There are playgrounds all over Disney Property. You could spend a whole day just going to different resorts and checking out all of the playgrounds.
The same goes for pools. The only pool that I have ever seen with a gate that requires a Hotel Reservation is the awesome pool at Art of Animation. It’s the only pool that plays music under the water! However, Disney would like if guests use the pool at their own Resort, rather than pool hop. I’ve never tried to go to a pool outside of the one at my resort, so I can’t say for sure how much this is enforced. So, if you do try to Pool Hop, please be courteous of Cast members if they say something to you.
Want to enjoy fireworks without going into a Park? Hang out on the beach at the Polynesian. It’s close to Magic Kingdom and they stream the music into the resort, so you can still enjoy Happily Ever After without purchasing a Park Ticket.
Riding the Monorail may be a way to get from one place to another for some guests, but for us, it’s a ride. Hop on at one of the stops and ride it full circle. We love the monorail so much, we even turned it into our Disney Countdown.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a fantastic resort. If you want to see over 30 species of animals, you will want to check out The Animal Kingdom Lodge. Hang out and count how many animals you can find roaming around the Resort.
If mom and dad would like a night out, there are Supervised Children’s Activity Centers that will watch your kids while you have a night our sans kids. Simba’s Clubhouse is just one of these Activity Centers that you will find on Disney Property. Your child must be between the ages of 3 and 12 and children must be potty-trained.
Keep in mind that these are just a FEW things to do outside of the Disney Parks. There is still so much more stuff to do! It’s no wonder it’s impossible to “Do it all” in one trip, or two, or one hundred!
What is your favorite Non-Park Activity?