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By Beauty & the Beast Diva

Why you should NOT need a vacation from your vacation—ways to avoid the park and ENJOY Disney.

We have all done it, even Divas like myself; I’ve gotten on that plane home and passed out from sheer exhaustion, woke up back in my home state and you asked yourself “What happened this past week?!”.  DO NOT LET THIS BE YOU.  Disney is exciting, and the second you get there, you want to hit your favorite park and go non-stop until you physically cannot do anything else. But don’t.  Here are some of my favorite ways to stay out of the parks, enjoy your vacation and still experience all of that Disney Magic!beach club

Pools:  Have you seen your hotel’s pool?!  Odds are good that it is AMAZING.  Every hotel has a theme and the pool is right there along with the theme.  Have you seen the Yacht and Beach Club’s sand bottom pool, or the Boardwalk’s circus/carnival theme?  How about the Art of Animation’s pool… you can go under water and it’s interactive, INTERACTIVE!  Each pool has something truly amazing to go along with it. Take a morning, throw on your swimsuit and get in that pool!  Swimming around or lounging will surely feel good on your aching feet and legs.  If you get there early enough you can grab a table and a few lounge chairs for the day.  I’ve seen families with coolers filled with beverages of your choice, lunches, and snacks, They look so peaceful, and everyone is actually HAPPY and SMIILING because they aren’t running around 4 parks like wild animals.  Also, make sure you check out the pool schedules. There are fun activities happening in your pool area and the lifeguards lead dance parties, fun for all ages.

around boardwalk Hotels  Speaking of hotels, have you hung around yours and noticed all of the activities they have to offer?  Depending on the location of your hotel, you can rent surries, mouse boats, paddle boats, bikes, explore walking and hiking trails, and experience movies under the stars, campfires, arcades, playgrounds and so much more!  Yes, I know your legs are tired, but if you’re taking a day off, you might as well get a little exercise!  Not to mention, when you actually take time to relax around your hotel, you notice all the little details Disney puts in that normally you would just pass by as you’re rushing to get to your bus to be at park opening.  Disney hotels are gorgeous and have so much to offer, slow down and take a look!surrie bike

Mini Golf:  Disney offers 2 mini golf courses.  Fantasia Gardens and Fairways and Winter Summerland Mini Golf are the two courses located on property.  Both fun and exciting themes!  You are sure to get some really cool pictures for your Christmas card at Winter Summerland!  Take a couple hours mid-morning (maybe after sleeping in) and go miniature golfing!  Disney Diva Tip:  Be sure to look for a coupon with your travel package after booking!

disney golfGolf:  I, myself am NOT a golfer, but my father and husband are avid golfers and both frequently golf when we are down in Disney.  They both claim that these are some of the most beautiful and well-cared for courses they have ever had the pleasure of golfing on.  There are 4 golf courses on property: Magnolia, Palm, Lake Buena Vista, and Oak Trial (only 9 holes)- all stunning.  They offer complimentary transportation for guests staying on property, rental equipment, and special rates for annual pass and DVC members.  So head out to the links and enjoy your day!

Day Spas:  There are several spas located on Disney property. What a fantastic way to take a day off… get a massage, a well-deserved pedicure to ease your tired feet, or a facial after spending a few days in the Florida sun.  Most of the spas are located at the deluxe hotels- Contemporary, Animal Kingdom, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club, just to name a few.  If your husband wants to golf one day, you should probably bargain in an afternoon at one of the many spas for yourself.  You will not regret it!

Fishing: “Reel” in some fun!  There are guided fishing excursions and dockside fishing (all catch and release) in the well-stocked waters of Walt Disney World.  Call 407-WDW-BASS for reservations before you go!

downtown 1Shopping: Not for Mickey ears or cheesy Disney shirts- I’m talking real, hardcore shopping.  Most of the deluxe hotels offer high end shopping, such as Lilly Pulitzer, Tommy Bahama, and Ray Band, just to name a few.  You can also hit up Downtown Disney for shopping in more than 40 retail stores.goofy candy

Downtown Disney:   Soon to be renamed “Disney Springs”, DTD offers not only great shopping but some AMAZING restaurants by some very well-known chefs. There is also Characters in Flight, which is a HUGE hot air balloon that suspends you over Disney- which I have never been brave enough to experience.  Also, La Nouba by Cirque Du Soleil is a show not to be missed.  You can also check out the AMC  Dine- In Theaters, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, and The House of Blues just to name a few.downtown 2

That is only scratching the surface of all Disney has to offer you other than the 4 theme parks.  There is truly something for everyone.   Be sure to plan yourself some down time and check out all of the amenities Disney has to offer you!  You will NOT regret taking some time for yourself on your trip.