by Wishes Diva
There is so much to do when you visit Walt Disney World, and it can be easy to forget about all the activities that are offered without even being in the parks! Between all four parks plus the two water parks it is easy for the focus of your trip to be drawn that direction, but often times my family likes to participate in activities that happen outside the parks as well! This list is my Top 10 things to do without even stepping foot in a park!
- Character Dining at Resorts– There are so many options for dining with the characters at Disney. Many of these options are outside of the parks and open to anyone who wishes to go! Many character dining options are at resorts and are accessible through various transportation means while on property. One of our favorites is visiting Mickey and his pals at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary hotel!
- Movies Under the Stars– Another great options to experience at the resorts. Many places offer these nightly or at least a couple of times a week typically near the pools. You can ask at the front desk when you check-in or pick up an Events Guide as well for the week you are visiting. You can never go wrong winding down watching a Disney movie before bed!
- Monorail Crawl or Skyliner Ride– These two great transportation options can be a fun way to get from place to place. The monorail can be taken from Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary resorts. The other monorail takes you between EPCOT and Magic Kingdom and can offer a nice relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the parks on any day! The new Skyliner option can also be a fun new way to get around. This connects the Art of Animation Resort and POP Century Resort and runs through to the Caribbean Beach Resort (a Disney Moderate Resort) to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It also services Riviera Resort and finally to Epcot Theme park. It can be a fantastic alternative to buses and can also provide you a bird’s eye view of a good portion of Disney property!
- Watch fireworks from Polynesian– This is a favorite of my family! We have done this often on the night we arrive on property. We don’t usually plan on a park on arrival day just to give us time to settle in and unpack. So rather than trying to squeeze in a park (or spending money to only be in a park a few hours), we head over to the Polynesian to catch the evening fireworks. On the beach, by the resort, they will even pipe in the music from Magic Kingdom so you get the full effect! This is also a great tip for busy days at the Magic Kingdom. My family did this a few years ago on the Fourth of July to avoid the crazy crowds but still experience the patriotic spectacular!
- Book at the Senses Day Spa at the Grand Floridian Resort– This is a special way to treat yourself while on your vacation! Often Disney vacations can be busy and hectic so this can be a nice way to slow down and relax during your trip. They offer packages for haircuts, massages, facials, and manicures!
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Grand Floridian or Disney Springs– People often forget that there are places outside of the parks that you can get the Princess treatment! There are two locations of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that you can visit without setting foot in a park. They offer several different packages to treat your princess!
- Golf– Across property, there are 3 golf courses and 2 miniature golf courses to enjoy with the family. This can be a great way to get your competitive juices flowing or just simply enjoy each other’s company!
- Boardwalk– Disney’s Boardwalk, located adjacent to EPCOT, has many restaurants and shops to enjoy. It is often an overlooked shopping area on property but I think it is definitely worth a visit!
- Resort hopping– There are so many great resorts across Disney property and some great themes too. One way to spend a day at Disney is to visit other resorts! I mentioned earlier about the resorts that are tied into the monorail system or the Skyliner; these resorts are easy to get to for sure! Other resorts can be a little trickier and often require a bus change, however, it is worth it!
- Disney Springs– Another fun shopping area located on Disney property, this area is much more well-known than the Boardwalk area. There are so many shops, restaurants, and experiences to explore in Disney Springs that it often takes us just as much time as a park would. My family always plans at least one day at Disney Springs to get in all the shopping we want!
- (BONUS!) Hidden Mickey’s– One of my absolute all-time favorite things to do while on Disney Property is to find Hidden Mickeys. These Mickeys are small hidden pictures that the Imagineers who create all the rides and theming at Disney have snuck into pictures all across property.
This list by no means is the entire list of things to do without a parking ticket, but I hope that it will get you thinking outside the park on your next Disney trip!