Disney is known across the globe for their state-of-the-art theme parks and attractions. Doing a park everyday can be tons of fun, but it can also be exhausting. My family always votes to spend at least one day outside the parks to sleep in and recharge ourselves for our next adventure. But a day off from the parks is by no means boring. There are plenty of activities for the whole family that don’t involve taking up a day on your Magic Your Way ticket and without leaving property. Here are my top ten:
1. Mini Golf, Blizzard Beach or the Swan Hotel: Walt Disney World has two amazing mini-golf courses, Winter Summerland at Blizzard Beach and Fantasia Gardens at The Swan Resort. Orlando is notorious for endless amounts of mini-putt, but Disney’s courses surpass them all in quality and magic. Each location offers two different circuits of 18-holes, so you can spend a good chunk of time, there! The courses are very affordable, and a few steps away from Blizzard Beach or the Swan where you can explore afterwards!
2. Splitsville, Disney Springs: I had my reservations about Splitsville at first because it replaced my favourite store at Downtown Disney, the Virgin Megastore. My friends wanted to go, and I’m so glad I went with them because we had a blast! The food was delicious, and we loved being able to eat our dinner while competing in the ultimate bowl-off. You pay for 1 hour of bowling, and can order drinks and food to your lane. Once your hour is done, you can head to the bar or the restaurant area for a whole night of entertainment.
3. Jellyrolls, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort: To me, Jellyrolls is Disney’s best-kept secret. This 21+ nighttime establishment is the most magical duelling pianos bar I have ever been to. Seriously, the piano players are beyond talented! The drinks at Jellyrolls are a little pricy but delicious, so just enjoy in moderation! There is also free popcorn to keep your bellies full while listening to this great entertainment!
4. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort: What can be better than dinner and a show? This rip-roaring musical feast for the senses is fun for the whole family. With all-you-can-eat fried chicken, ribs, salad, corn, and SANGRIA, you’ll leave the venue stuffed to the gills and singing the songs all night long! Definitely make an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) for this one, it fills up fast!
5. Wagon Rides, Fort Wilderness or Port Orleans Resorts: To me, there’s nothing more relaxing than exploring the beautiful Disney property in a horse-drawn wagon (and nothing more romantic, either!). Carriage rides are 25-minutes long and can be taken at either Port Orleans-Riverside or the Fort Wilderness Resort; both locations are perfect for quiet and serene relaxation. For holiday themed magic, take a carriage ride at Christmastime for a Sleigh Ride!
6. Dine-In Movie, AMC Disney Springs: I know that you can see a movie in the movie theatres when you’re not at Disney World, but the Dine-In Movies at AMC Disney Springs are a special treat, especially on a rainy day. Sitting in giant puffy chairs and having cast members deliver your dinner and popcorn directly to your seat is something I could get used to. They play all major Hollywood blockbusters, but we always try to see the newest Disney film!
7. Pin Trading at Disney Springs: I have been pin trading since I was ten years old and have built up quite a collection. I love Disney Springs because there are so many merchandise locations with pin trading Cast Members! My family will bring a bag of 10 traders to Disney Springs and our rule is: if you ask a Cast Member to see their pins, you HAVE to trade! Whoever gets the best 10 pins at the end of the day gets the prize of a brand new pin from the Pin store! We also try to linger around the pin store for when they open their MASSIVE pin board!
8. Movie Under the Stars, Disney Resorts: Everybody loves free things, especially at Disney World! Included with your resort stay are Disney movies under the stars! With a different classic playing every night, bring the whole family down to sit on pool chairs and munch on some complimentary popcorn. From Tangled to Lilo and Stitch, ask the recreation department or the front desk for the screening schedule!
9. Day at the Pool, Disney Resorts: This may seem simple, but just spending a day relaxing at the pool can be just what you need to recharge your batteries before heading back to the parks. Sleep in a bit and head down in the late morning to grab some Mickey waffles and fill your mug with lemonade and claim your seats by the pool. The pools are so wonderfully themed at the resorts that it kind of feels like you’re at a water park!
10. Characters in Flight, Disney Springs: There is something magical about seeing Disney from the air. This hot air balloon in Disney Springs allows guests to soar high above property, giving them the best views of the most magical place on earth. End your magic carpet, er, balloon ride with a dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants nearby. Just make sure to check the weather before you head to Disney Springs, Characters in Flight can’t operate if it’s too windy!