Disney World is immense! There are 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and nearly 30 hotels! Not to mention the shopping districts! The amount of fun you can find is overwhelming! Where’s a girl, or guy, to start?! Well that’s why I created this Disney World Vacation Planning Series, all about how to plan your trip from when to go, to what to see, and everything in between. If you’ve missed any of the posts be sure to check them out HERE as they’re filled with great info and a few freebies!
One thing that I don’t see nearly enough people doing on their vacations is taking a no-park day to explore the rest of the property. Maybe it’s your arrival day, or your departure day, or just some day in the middle of your trip! If you haven’t visited a Disney park before, be warned that you’ll be walking upwards of 5 MILES PER DAY! I don’t know about you but after a few days of that, I need a bit of a break. Not to mention a chance to get away from crowds and lines. So here’s my go-to list for things to do on Non-Park days.
Check Out Your Resort
This is an especially great option on your arrival date. Learning where everything is in your hotel will make your stay much more comfortable. Each hotel has a convenience store with some basic essentials and souvenirs, a few dining options or cafeteria, and some spectacular theming! Not to mention all of the resort activities, like movies by the pool, campfires, and more! Find your room, unpack, and get to know your temporary home for the week.
Hang Out by the Pool
Disney does a lot of things well, but boy! Do they know how to do pools! The deluxe resorts have the most impressive options, but even the value resorts have themed decorations and relaxing waters. Is there any better way to spend a day of vacation then sitting poolside? Isn’t that the definition of vacation? And if you have kiddos, look out for fun group activities in the pool area like dance contests and pool diving games!
After you’ve explored your own hotel and pool you’ll start to see how amazing every aspect of Disney World really is! What’s great is that these details are carried over into every resort, and each has a unique theme! If you’re interest in seeing more, you can resort hop. That just means visiting the other resorts and checking out what they have to offer. Unfortunately, buses don’t run resort to resort but you can take a quick ride to Disney Springs and hop on a bus to anywhere!
Explore Disney Springs
Speaking of Disney Springs, you might as well do a little looking around while you’re there. This is the newly renovated and re-imagined Downtown Disney, and is home to a large collection of shops, entertainment and restaurants. You can have a meal from a world renown chef, or do some shopping at one of your favorite stores. Strolling the springs is a great way to spend an afternoon. My top pick in the area is the soda flight at the Cocoa Cola store!
Or the Boardwalk
If strolling around is your kind of thing, be sure to check out the Boardwalk Inn. You can resort hop and checkout all there is to offer in the Epcot resort area – and there’s a lot. An actual boardwalk was built around one of the properties many lakes and is home to some great restaurants, ice cream shops, and lounges. There’s also outdoor entertainment and bike rentals. It’s almost like having a day at the beach!
Ride the Monorail
Did you know the monorail is free? Yup! You can hop on at the Transportation and Ticket station and ride around most of the Disney bubble, including through Epcot! It’s almost liking getting into the park for free, well at least getting to see the park for free. There are also stops at 3 Disney resorts, making it a great transportation tool for resort hopping.
Eat All the Things
One of my favorite activities at Disney World is eating. True story. There are so many dining locations and unique options that you’re not going to find anywhere else. Well at least not as close to each other. As your checking out resorts around the property, pop your head into a few restaurants or lounges. Some of my favorite spots are Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian, Beaches and Cream and the Beach Club, Boma a the Animal Kingdom Lodge, California Grill at the Contemporary, and Wolf Gangpuck in Disney Springs
Play Mini Golf
Another fun option on a non-park day is playing a round of put-put at one of Disney’s two mini golf courses. Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland are the available options. And if you receive a discount or coupon book when you check into your resort, they often include a free round of golf for up to 4 people. So make sure to hang on to that!
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What’s your favorite thing to do on a non-park day at Disney World?