by Tiki Diva
Many travelers find themselves leaving Walt Disney World at the end of their vacation, realizing that they never made the time to fully explore the vast entertainment options available at WDW’s many resorts. Yet, it is nearly always less expensive and more relaxing to take a day away from the theme parks and poke around the hotel you booked for your trip. Thanks to the numerous transportation options available around the property, you can also take part in hotel happenings at all of Walt Disney World’s fabulous resorts—even if you aren’t staying there! Read on to discover one of my favorite touring plans, full of exciting and inexpensive places to explore on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
A Taste of the American South
What do Coca-Cola, lazy rivers, delicious beignets, and a hidden fishing hole have in common? They are all classics from the American South! Start your tour at Disney Springs with a bit of fizzy pop. Visit the tasting room on the top floor of the Coca-Cola store, one of only two in the country. (The other is in Coca-Cola’s hometown, Atlanta, GA.) See that large Coke cup? I’m not normally a soda drinker, but I had to get 32 ounces of my favorite drink, Guarana Kuat. We can’t get Kuat in my hometown, so drinking it at Disney World is such a treat! My kids love to take on the challenge of sampling all sorts of worldly sodas on the international tray and then topping them off with the eight sweet concoctions on the float tray. The servers do provide enough spoons, straws, and napkins for
your entire family, so feel free to share!
When you’re ready to float away, hop aboard the boat transport to Disney’s Port Orleans- French Quarter Resort. While there, visit Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for a taste of New Orleans. My husband’s favorite is the jambalaya, but you can also get a freshly prepared burger if you please. Be sure to try the delicious, powdery beignets for dessert!
A Bicycle Built for Four
Once you’re through indulging, it is time to work off some of those sweets. Stop in to toss a coin in the lobby fountain and then take a long, relaxing stroll on the beautiful paths that surround the main building or meander your way down to the French Quarter’s sister resort, Port Orleans- Riverside. Once there, go bananas on a surrey bike built for four—or more! Bike rentals are available by the hour at the rental shack just outside the main building. They will comfortably seat two to four adults and have additional seats for young children to ride in the front basket or alongside parents on the main seat. My nine year old daughter chose to ride in the basket and fit well enough, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone older than she is. The ride is pleasant and smooth and kids get a kick out of ringing the bell at passersby. There is one hilly bridge to watch out for—get a good head start and you’ll be fine.
Catch of the Day
If fishing is more your speed, be sure to stop by the Fishin’ Hole on Ol’ Man Island to rent a cane pole or two. Fishing at the WDW resorts is catch and release, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun showing your kids the way it used to be done! Alternatively, check into the guided bass excursions offered at the Riverside Levee Marina.
If you time your afternoon just right, you may also catch a show by YeHaa Bob Jackson at the River Roost Lounge. Or, end your day by returning to Disney Springs to enjoy one of their many new dining establishments and a bit of shopping. Don’t stay out too late, though! The best part about a Disney Resort Day is the sweet relaxation, especially for an introvert like me.
Some additional tips before you go:
- Stop in to meet the Coca-Cola bear on your way up to the Rooftop Bar at the Coke store.
- Take lots of pictures! It is great fun to look back at even the littlest things you saw and did.
- If you have extra time to spend at Port Orleans- Riverside, there is a large arcade near the bike rental shack. If the big kids want to play and you don’t want to hear the racket, take advantage of the rocking chairs on the porch or the window seat just outside the arcade entrance.
- Surrey Bikes may not be rented if there is thunder in the area.
- You can likely walk from French Quarter to Riverside more quickly than taking the boat, which is what I recommend here. However, if your feet are dog-tired or mobility is an issue, the boat from Disney Springs does travel further down the river to Riverside.
Finally, Go with the flow. This isn’t the sort of day that you have to “rope drop,” so slow down and have fun with it. No matter what you see or do, have a lovely trip!
Should you need help planning your Walt Disney World trip, contact Patricia at All-4-Dreams Travel here for a free quote!