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10 Experiences You Might Not Have Tried Around Walt Disney World

1) Resort hopping

While you are not able to use the pool at Walt Disney World resorts that you are not staying at, you are able to wander the grounds, and visit the shops and restaurants. Resort hopping can be a fun way to spend some time if you have a day, or at least a couple of hours, that you are not planning to go to the parks for. Each of the resorts have their own unique themes, and it can be really fun to walk around and experience them all. For even more resort-hopping fun, visit Walt Disney World during the holidays, so you can see how all of the resorts decorate.

2) Miniature golf

Did you know there are two mini golf courses on Walt Disney World property? Disney owns and operates the Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens mini golf courses, and they are both easily accessible from any of the resorts at Walt Disney World. I passed on mini golfing at Disney for so long, simply because I figured it was something I could do at home, and while at Disney I would rather be experiencing the parks. But now that I have done the mini golf courses, I would highly suggest them—they have fun layouts, and are probably more interesting than your local mini golf location, making this another fun non-park option.

3) Cupcake crawl

You’ve probably heard of, and maybe even experienced, drinking around the world in Epcot’s World Showcase, but there are other non-alcoholic crawls you can also partake in at Walt Disney World. The cupcake crawl is a fan favorite, as cupcakes are offered in so many different and unique forms across property, that you can easily make a “crawl” out of this delicious sweet.

4) Disney Visa perks

Seasoned Disney Visa cardholders might be surprised to know how many other guests are blissfully unaware of the perks they are able to take advantage of just by showing their card. For instance, special meet and greet locations at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and the cardholder lounge offered during Food and Wine Festival are sometimes overlooked by cardmembers who simply haven’t read over their benefits.

5) The VOID

We are loving The VOID at Disney Springs. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and/or Ralph Breaks VR are two virtual reality experiences not to be missed. Perfect for tweens, teens, and adults, The VOID is an ultimate virtual reality experience. The multi-sensory environment makes virtual reality feel like you’re really apart of the show!

6) Water parks

If you generally do visit the water parks, you might be surprised to learn that a lot of guests actually never end up going to them. For me personally, whether or not I go to the water parks tends to be dependent upon the length of my visit. If I’m only going to be in Orlando for a couple of days, I would prioritize the theme parks over the water parks, however on a longer trip I would definitely not be opposed to spending a day at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. Sometimes guests use the logic of “there is a water park near me at home,” to dissuade them from visiting the parks, however it is definitely worth mentioned that Disney’s water parks are probably way above and beyond your town’s local water park.

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7) Victoria and Alberts

For the most upscale, and gourmet dining experience at Walt Disney World, you’ll want to dine at Victoria and Albert’s, located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. While it is not a restaurant you’ll want to bring the kids to, or with most budgets do every trip, it is a nice special occasion experience during your trip to Walt Disney World.

8) Spas

I would not be surprised if many Disney guests skip over spa experiences, because depending on your party, this isn’t really something the whole family would be able to or be interested in doing. If you’re able to though, I would highly recommend spending a day at the spa while you’re at Walt Disney World. Check out which resorts offer spa treatments, such as Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, or Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, and add a little bit of extra relaxation to your trip.

9) Shopping

I’m sure most guests do at least some shopping while they’re visiting Walt Disney World, but some guests actually dread it. I know it can be frustrating to exit and attraction into a gift shop, especially with kids who want to buy everything in sight, however if you budget some extra money for shopping, Disney actually has some very nice souvenirs, that will last for years to come—you just need to put in some effort to find the things you really like.

10) Character meet and greets

This point particularly applies to child-less adults visiting the parks, because unfortunately many guests have this belief that they shouldn’t bother with meeting characters if they do not have kids with them. I think this is a negative attitude to have, because if you think you’d have fun meeting characters, then you should just go for it! Don’t worry about what other people are thinking about you, you’re on vacation, so go have fun and meet the characters if that’s what you want to do.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.