You’re planning your Disney trip and think you have to go to the parks every day because really what else is there to do, right? Well, there is actually a ton to do on Disney property that doesn’t require a park ticket. Check out some fun things to do that don’t require you to head to a park.
Go to the Pool
Never underestimate how important a pool day is. All of the Disney resorts offer more than one beautiful pool for guests to enjoy, so this isn’t something that costs extra. Always try to find the secondary pool at Disney resorts as this will offer more privacy and relaxation. If you aren’t interested in spending a full day at the pool and do want to add some park time in, one tip is to split your day. I’ve often had breakfast, went to the pool for a few hours and then went to the parks for the afternoon and evening. Whether you decide you want to spend a full day or half day at the pool, this will add some much needed relaxation to your trip.
Another thing that I love to do on days that I don’t go to the parks is to explore the resorts. Just because you aren’t staying at certain resorts, doesn’t mean you can’t visit and enjoy what they have to offer. One fun experience is to take the monorail and stop at each of those resorts: The Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and the Contemporary. Each resort offers different themes, dining and things to do. You can try out some of their restaurants, see what type of merchandise is available for purchase, watch their entertainment and just walk around. One great place to stop for some fun souvenirs is Basin at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. They have the cutest soaps that will make great gifts for everyone on your list. Another destination is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Here you can do some animal watching, for free. Looking for an ocean voyage? Head to Port Orleans Riverside for a ride on the Sassagoula River. Stopping at different resorts offers a wide array of activities for guests to enjoy.
Head to Disney Springs
Ahh Disney Springs. Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is a shopping, dining and entertainment district all its own. Depending on how you split your day, you can definitely spend hours here exploring. There are tons of Disney merchandise stores, retail stores such as Sephora and Coach and restaurants. One destination in itself is the World of Disney store. The largest Disney store in the world was recently renovated and has debuted a new look. Here you can find TONS of Disney souvenirs.
As I mentioned there are lots of different restaurants for all types of palettes at Disney Springs. My favorite is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is awesome.
See A Movie
Besides being a shopping and dining destination, Disney Springs is home to a regular and a Dine-In AMC Theater, which is a great thing to do when you have some spare time. Last time when I visited, we ate dinner and since the weather wasn’t great, we went to the AMC theater to see the new Avengers movie. It was a great way to spend some time and offers lots of different experiences. One tip is if you see the line for tickets is long, you can order them on the AMC site on your phone. Since we had dinner the movie time was quickly approaching and the line was super long. Instead of waiting and potentially missing something, I ordered the tickets on my phone and we walked in front of the line.
Don’t Miss the Fireworks
Even though you aren’t in a park, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Happily Ever After or Illuminations. To get some great views of Happily Ever After, head to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Here you have views of the castle and can watch the fireworks show. Plus, the resort pumps the music in so you can hear exactly what guests in the park can hear.
Since this resort is on Seven Seas Lagoon, it is also home to the Electrical Water Pageant. This light parade on the water can only be seen from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds and the entrance of Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
The same is true of Illuminations. If you head to the Boardwalk area, you can get a great view of the show. Since the Boardwalk area is between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, you may be able to catch a glance at their fireworks show from here too.
Speaking of the Boardwalk, this is another great place to come if you are looking for a unique experience. Disney’s Boardwalk makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Jersey Shore. You can try different restaurants, do some shopping or even just people watch. Plus, there are other resorts within walking distance of the Boardwalk which makes this area a hub of excitement.
Don’t forget to tell me how you love to spend your non-park days in the comments below!
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