In the summer of 2015, we went to Disney World and didn’t do the parks. There is so much to do at Walt Disney World, other than the parks. I found my boys always asking to go fishing, rent a little boat, watch the movie on the beach, roast marshmallows, play ping-pong, swim a little longer, or hang out in the activity center. This was the trip I could say, “Yes!” to any of those requests. We didn’t have fastpasses, or dining reservations to get to. This was the relax and enjoy the resort trip.
More than the parks: Fishing Trips
Disney offers guided fishing trips that are amazing! We went one morning. The boys had a blast. Our captain met us at the Contemporary marina. He had life jackets, bait, rods and reels, all the needed fishing gear, beverages – everything you could need. Once we were on the water (Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon), he put bait on the hooks for us. When we caught a fish, he took the fish off the hook. If the fish were not biting where we were, he would start the boat, and find better spot. We caught enough fish to keep my boys entertained and busy reeling them in! Whether you are an expert fisher-person, or have never been fishing this is the way to go. The boat ride was relaxing, and the views enjoyable.
More than the parks: Boat Rentals
Did you know you can rent boats at Walt Disney World? They offer a two person, six person, and ten person option. The last time I checked, prices started at $32.00 for half an hour. You can also rent kayaks and canoes. You can boat all around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. We rented the two person boats, so each boy got to drive. There are Disney Cast Members who monitor the speeds boaters are going.
More than the parks: Golf
There are two miniature golf courses and four full championship size, 18 hole golf courses. You can play miniature golf at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf located on EPCOT Resorts Boulevard, and at Winter Summerland next to Blizzard Beach Water Park. If you really love golf, and want more than 18 holes of miniature putting check out one of the following:
- Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
- Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course
- Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
- Disney’s Palm Golf Course
More than the parks: The POOLS
The Walt Disney World resorts have some of the most magnificent pools. Whether you are at a value, moderate, or deluxe resort the pool areas are not to be missed. All Disney pools are heated during the winter months, so you can swim anytime of the year. The pools at value resorts tend to be larger in size, have a nearby playground, and stay true to the theme of the resort. The moderate resort pools have playgrounds nearby, often there will be more than one pool at each moderate property. At least one of the pools will have a water slide. The deluxe resort pools have a splash pad area for younger children keeping with the theme of the resort. The water slide is HUGE! And, there is always more than one pool at each property. Some deluxe resort pool areas have pool side dining with wait staff; a recreation area with activities such as table tennis, bike rentals, corn hole games, and eight-ball pool. Generally, near one of the pools is where you will find the fire pit for making s’mores, and it’s where they have the Movies Under the Stars.
More than the parks: Everything else
As you can see, there is a ton of stuff to do at Walt Disney World without going to a park. Some other activities include horseback riding, carriage rides through Disney properties, parasailing, tennis courts, running trails, and fitness centers. And, don’t forget the spas!
Some resorts offer cooking demonstrations, and beverage tastings. At the Grand Floridian, you can have a drink at Mizner’s Lounge and listen to live piano music every afternoon.
No matter when you go, I highly recommend taking a day to enjoy just some of the activities offered at the resorts.