by Disney Magic Diva
Like most Disney fans, we have a Disney Bucket List. You probably have one too. Some dreams are seemingly unattainable (a stay in Cinderella Castle, visit every Disney Park worldwide) and some are more within reach (stay at every Disney resort, dine at Victoria and Albert’s). We finally had a chance to check off one of our long-standing Bucket List items, and you may be surprised at how “simple” it really is. We played miniature golf at Walt Disney World Resort!
There really wasn’t a reason we hadn’t played miniature golf before. It, like visiting the water parks (yup…that one is STILL on our Bucket List), had just never been a priority. I mean, we can play mini golf at home – why spend precious Disney-time doing that? And that’s a good point. If you are on a once-in-a-lifetime trip and have every single day allocated for parks, don’t worry about finding time for miniature golf! There’s much more exciting magic to be found in the parks! But if you are a frequent visitor to the parks, or if you have a non-park day in your plans, miniature golf is a great family-friendly and affordable activity!
Walt Disney World Resort actually offers two locations for miniature golf. Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is adjacent to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. Passholder Diva tells you all about her experience here. We played at the other location – Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf – which is near Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.
One of the reasons we chose Fantasia Gardens and Fairways is because it’s easy to get to! We had a free evening while the grandkids enjoyed some kid-only fun at Pixar Play Zone. (Read all about that, here.) Although we considered a nice adults-only signature dinner, we opted instead to finally cross miniature golf off our Disney Bucket List.
Since we had about 5 hours to kill, we grabbed a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the grandkids were less than thrilled with that new attraction), and jumped on a bus to Hollywood Studios. (Soarin’ Diva has tips on how to tackle Toy Story Land in an HOUR! Read it here. And Tiki Diva shares her impressions of Toy Story Land here.) When we were finished in Toy Story Land, we walked (YES, walked! – read how, here) over to Beach Club where we enjoyed some ice cream from Beaches & Cream Soda Shop.
Diva Tip: If you want to eat at this quaint restaurant (for, say, a Kitchen Sink) be sure to make reservations. It’s extremely small and has very limited seating. But if you just want some “take-out,” (I highly recommend the No Way Jose sundae) you can use the walk-up window and find a bench or rocking chair near Beach Club.
After our sweet treat, we strolled over to Fantasia Gardens and Fairways. We knew it wasn’t far from the Swan and Dolphin but weren’t exactly sure of the way. So, we pulled up the My Disney Experience app and used the “Get Directions” feature. It worked so well! If you can use Google Maps or the GPS feature of your phone, you can do this. So simple! In less than 10 minutes we were at the golf course.
It was a Wednesday evening, and there was about a 15-minute wait for the Gardens course, and about a 10-minute wait for the Fairways course. The Gardens course is a little “easier” and plays faster, while the Fairways course is more difficult, and thus takes longer to play. Since we wanted to be sure to allow time to travel back to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to pick up the kids, we decided to play the Gardens course, even though it had a slightly longer wait time.
The course was so intriguing and fun! It had a truly unique design, and each hole was interesting and different from any other miniature golf course we have played. Given its name, it’s not surprising that the course is themed after Fantasia, complete with musical instruments and dancing hippos. There were a few water hazards, lots of hills, tunnels and ramps. We were playing behind a family with young children (probably about 3 and 5 years old) and they were having a fabulous time. It undoubtedly is an activity the entire family can enjoy together.
It took us about 45 minutes to complete the course, with a few stops now and then waiting for the family ahead of us. Since it was evening, the blazing sun wasn’t really an issue, but there were lots of trees around which would provide shade, and of course benches to rest. There is a small parking lot right in front of Fantasia Gardens and Fairways, so if you have your own car it would be easy to access.
Diva Tip: Minnie Vans will pick you up and drop you off here. We asked the cast members at the cashier’s desk, and they weren’t sure, but we tried anyway and had no problem getting a Minnie Van within minutes. The pick-up location is just out in the parking lot, directly in front of Fantasia Gardens and Fairways. (For more info on Minnie Vans, you can watch Pixie Dusted Diva’s video tip or read my article.)
Fantasia’s Gardens course is open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm daily, and the Fairways course is open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (remember, it’s a little more difficult so takes longer to play.) Admission is $14 for adults and $12 for children 3-9 years old. There is an Annual Passholder discount of 15% for the Passholder and up to 3 guests.
Diva Tip: Don’t forget – if you purchased a Magic Your Way room and ticket package from the Walt Disney World Travel Company, you can play FREE before 4:00 pm with your Magical Extras card! (Read my article about the 2018 changes to Extra Magic Rewards.)
Are you ready to cross another item off your Disney Bucket List? Contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel to make all the arrangements! She can answer all your questions and book as much or as little as you need. And her services are FREE!
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