Cool swimming pools and sangria faculty: 12 issues non-Disney folks can do at Disney World

I put on my love for Disney with satisfaction. I go to Disney World a number of occasions per 12 months, know a number of the park’s best-kept secrets and techniques and have made it my job to assist folks take advantage of their time at Disney. However I have never been so blinded by Tinkerbell’s pixie mud to lose sight of the truth that not everybody feels the identical means I do about Disney World holidays.

I additionally know that non-Disney followers generally reluctantly discover themselves at Disney World with well-meaning buddies or household hoping to transform them into Disney followers. However I am not right here to transform you. Moderately, I am right here to give you 12 actions that may make your time at Disney extra pleasant … no Mickey ears or theme park tickets required.

Go to a pool or water park

Whereas the remainder of your loved ones battles the crowds, traces and blazing solar on the theme parks, you’ll be able to keep cool by the pool. All on-site Disney resorts have swimming pools (and equally necessary, poolside bars), however the obtainable facilities differ per resort tier.

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Disney’s worth resorts have swimming pools, however the theming is minimal in comparison with the higher-tier resorts. Average and deluxe resorts have much more immersive theming, scorching tubs and waterslides. If you’re planning on spending numerous time by the pool, Stormalong Bay (shared by Disney’s Yacht Membership and Seashore Membership resorts) is basically a mini water park. The three-acre pool advanced has a lazy river, sandy seashore, a 230-foot waterslide, children slide and play space and swirling whirlpools.


You possibly can additionally go to considered one of Disney’s two precise water parks, Blizzard Seashore and Hurricane Lagoon. Blizzard Seashore’s 3,000-foot-long Cross Nation Creek takes about half-hour to traverse and is likely one of the longest lazy rivers within the U.S. If it is thrills you are after, Hurricane Lagoon has a 300-foot-long water coaster known as Crush ‘n’ Gusher and a fast raft experience known as Miss Journey Falls that is as properly themed as any experience contained in the parks.

The water parks do require a separate admission except you buy a ticket kind that features water park entry.

Go on a ‘bars and bites’ Monorail crawl

The Walt Disney World Monorail has three traces. The Categorical Monorail and the Epcot Monorail transport visitors parking at Disney’s Transportation and Ticket Middle to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, respectively, and the Resort Monorail shuttles visitors staying at Disney’s Up to date Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to the Magic Kingdom (the place they will additionally catch a connection to Epcot).

If you’re avoiding the parks, you may as well make the most of the Resort Monorail to “hop” between the resorts for a drink, a chunk to eat … or each. If you’re ranging from the TTC, your first cease can be Disney’s Up to date Resort.


My advice right here can be Steakhouse 71 Lounge for the loaded macaroni and cheese or bacon and eggs and a Citrus Grove cocktail or a glass of beer from an area brewery. From there, you will head to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the place you’ll be able to attempt to snag a spot on the bar in Dealer Sam’s Grog Grotto. This tiki lounge is on the small facet, however you will get the identical unique cocktails and island-inspired bites exterior at Dealer Sam’s Tiki Terrace. My favourite menu gadgets are the rooster lettuce cups and the spikey pineapple (order it “additional spikey” for a further splash of rum). Your final cease is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, the place you’ll be able to seize house-made truffle fries or a charcuterie board and considered one of many variations on a basic martini on the Enchanted Rose lounge.


You possibly can do the same (and extra budget-friendly) Skyliner gondola crawl. The Disney Skyliner connects Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Seashore Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Artwork of Animation Resort with Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You may hit up the pool bars or quick-service eating places and pattern varied dishes and drinks at every location whereas exploring the totally different resorts.

Be taught to color or make sangria

All Disney on-site resorts supply actions like complimentary nighttime film screenings, scavenger hunts and pool video games, however some take it a step additional with alternatives to flex your inventive muscle tissues or brush up in your bartending expertise.


At Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, you’ll be able to paint your personal Disney-inspired masterpiece, create a Spanish mosaic memento or learn to craft the right glass of sangria at Sangria College (you’ll be able to attend even in case you aren’t a visitor of the resort). Different resorts supply comparable arts and crafts actions like ceramic fort portray at Disney’s Up to date Resort or customized wine glass adorning at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Not all of those are listed on-line and you’ll request an actions schedule if you test in to your resort.

Go horseback using at Tri-Circle-D Ranch

Whereas folks do not typically take Disney at a leisurely tempo, there’s a quiet, secluded spot the place you are able to do simply that. Even higher, you are able to do it on horseback. Tri-Circle-D Ranch, residence to the horses who reside at Disney World, affords horseback path rides via the wooded areas surrounding Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.


Advance reservations are inspired. If you’re extra comfy by yourself two toes than atop a horse, you may as well stroll via the ranch and go to with the horses.

E book a spa day

There is definitely one thing to be mentioned for a rejuvenating foot therapeutic massage after a day spent logging miles round Disney, however you do not have to partake within the parks to get pleasure from Disney’s full slate of stress-free spa remedies and pampering salon companies.


The Grand Floridian Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort affords head-to-toe remedies together with haircuts, facials, massages, manicures and extra. Earlier than or after your remedy, you’ll be able to unwind within the spa’s leisure lounge.

Go for a motorcycle experience

In case you could not match your personal bike in your carry-on bag, you’ll be able to hire one at Disney World. Lots of Disney’s resorts have bikes obtainable to hire and tranquil paths the place you’ll be able to experience them.


My favourite areas to discover by bike are Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter and Riverside and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. If you wish to share a scenic experience with your folks or household, cruising alongside Disney’s BoardWalk space on a two-, four- or six-person surrey bike will magically transport you again to a full of life turn-of-the-century seashore city.

Take a look at Disney’s nightlife

Nightlife at Disney may be troublesome to seek out, but it surely does exist and most of it has a decidedly un-Disney vibe. When day turns to nighttime at Disney’s BoardWalk, the lights that illuminate the promenade beckon the over-21 crowd towards dancing, drinks and dueling pianos.


You may discover a DJ spinning tunes at Atlantic Dance Corridor, gifted pianists taking your requests at Jellyrolls (be forewarned, they will in all probability play a Disney tune or two) and bartenders slinging curious concoctions just like the Parlor Trick and The Conjurita on the magic-themed AbracadaBar.

Stroll the wildlife trails at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

You do not have to courageous the crowds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to behold the greater than 30 species of African animals who name Disney World residence. The close by Animal Kingdom Lodge has a number of savanna viewing areas the place you’ll be able to spot wildlife (and useful solid members to level you in the correct course in case you are having bother discovering any). You can too choose up a discipline information within the foyer to maintain monitor of which species you see.


If you wish to get a bit nearer to the animals, you’ll be able to guide a Starlight Safari. Throughout this nighttime tour, you will be supplied with an evening imaginative and prescient system to assist see the animals as you tour the savanna in an open-air safari automobile.

You would not have to be a visitor of Animal Kingdom Lodge to go to the savanna viewing areas or participate within the Starlight Safari.

Play a spherical of golf

What’s a world-class theme park with out a world-class golf course (or 4)? Disney has three 18-hole programs and one 9-hole strolling course. Stroll-ups are allowed, however advance reservations are advisable.


If it’s essential to brush up in your golf swing, Disney affords golf classes with PGA professionals or you’ll be able to go for miniature golf or foot golf if you do not know the distinction between a birdie and a bogey.

Hire a ship or go fishing

From the Seven Seas Lagoon close to Magic Kingdom to Crescent Lake close to Disney’s BoardWalk space, there are quite a few waterways you’ll be able to discover by boat at Disney World. If you’re comfy behind the wheel of a ship, you’ll be able to hire a pontoon (no reservations required) from varied Disney resorts or you’ll be able to go the nonmotorized route and hire a canoe or kayak at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

Anglers of all expertise ranges can hire a rod and reel for dockside fishing at Port Orleans and Fort Wildnerness or set out on two- or four-hour guided fishing excursions.

Keep at a Disney resort that does not really feel like a Disney resort

For some, the in-your-face theming at Disney’s on-site resorts is likely one of the perks. For others, it could actually really feel like a continuing reminder that there isn’t any escaping Disney’s world of princesses and larger-than-life mice. One among my favourite resorts that matches the “non-Disney at Disney” invoice gives an escape from the hordes of anthropomorphic animals, however is definitely one of many closest resorts to 2 of Disney’s theme parks.


The Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin and Swan Reserve resorts have fashionable, upscale decor, resort-style swimming pools and vibrant lobbies with full of life lounges. All three resorts take part within the Marriott Bonvoy program so you’ll be able to earn or burn resort factors and since the resorts are technically on Disney property, you’ll be able to make the most of advantages like complimentary theme park transportation and early entry. It is a win-win.

Go to 1 of Disney’s fine-dining eating places

Most Disney visitors are clamoring to dine with Mickey and Minnie or snag a coveted reservation contained in the fort at Cinderella’s Royal Desk, however it’s attainable to seek out character-free high quality eating at Disney World. A few of these eating places are contained in the parks, however my favorites that do not require a park ticket are California Grill at Disney’s Up to date Resort, Jiko — The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Membership Resort.


If finances will not be a priority, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is in a category by itself relating to eating at Disney. This AAA 5 Diamond fine-dining restaurant is a four-hour culinary expertise the place each dish is artfully ready, plated and (optionally) paired with complementary wines.

Backside line

As a lot as I really like Disney, I do know there are individuals who find yourself there who would reasonably trip wherever else, however are good sufficient to play together with their Disney-loving buddies or household. In case you do end up in that scenario, you now have quite a lot of backup plans to maintain you busy when your journey companions ask if you wish to be part of them for a day within the parks.

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