Monday, August 19, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Outside the Park Experiences

I've often considered taking a trip to Walt Disney World and not entering the parks... at all.  The tickets are an expensive part of our vacation and sometimes I just want a small Disney fix!  So, here are my top experiences to have outside of the 4 main parks at Walt Disney World- whether you are or aren't actually visiting those parks during your vacation!

  • Typhoon Lagoon and/ or Blizzard Beach.  These water parks are excellent for the entire family.  Both parks have areas for little ones to play, a lazy river and beach for those who like to lounge, speed slides for those who like thrills and wave pools for the entire family.  Each park is home to unique water park experiences: at Typhoon Lagoon you can swim with sharks and at Blizzard Beach you can go down the second fastest and tallest slide in the world!
  • Downtown Disney.  This is where Disney and shopping collide!  You can find almost anything Disney related and in any price range at Downtown Disney.  You need to shop here for those hard to shop for friends, those family members who have everything and everyone in between!  And there are fantastic restaurants and entertainment options here!
  • Monorail Ride and Resorts.  We always take a ride on the Monorail while we are at Walt Disney World and 95% of the time, we get off at the Monorail Resorts and look around.  We visit the resorts lobby, gift shops and restaurants.  We also like to look at the "extras" such as pools, playgrounds, beaches and more!
  • Fort Wilderness.  There is so much to do here!  You can go to a petting zoo, catch a dinner show, eat some home cookin', watch a free Disney movie, sing with Chip and Dale, ride a carriage and the list goes on.   I'd love to rent a camper and actually camp here- especially at Christmas or Halloween when the campers decorate with gusto!
  • Boardwalk.  The Boardwalk is so much more than just a Deluxe resort.  Outside the resort is an actual Boardwalk around Crescent Lake where you can eat, visit an arcade, listen to dueling pianos, dance, see performers, rent bikes, ride boats and enjoy all there is to offer!  
Honorable Mention:
  • Mini Golf.  While it has been a while since I've done this (due to my boys being so young) this is a fun thing to do outside the parks!  Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens are both outstanding mini golf courses.  That's just what they are- mini golf courses complete with sand traps, water hazards, and obstacles just like "real" golf! 
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge.  If you have enough time and have done as much of the things listed above as possible, consider taking a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge just to look around!  The resort is beautiful and during the day you can walk through the Savannah and see animals out and about.  At night, you can watch them through night vision binoculars.  Check with the front desk to see what else you can experience while you visit!

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