10. Resort Hop
While you can’t use certain amenities at resorts that you’re not staying at, like the pools for instance, you are welcome to walk around the different lobbies and enjoy the shops and restaurants. Some resorts are really easy to walk around too if you’re not staying there, like the Epcot area resorts and the monorail resorts. It’s also fun to resort hop during certain times of the year to see different decorations, like during Christmas, or Easter when the Grand Floridian is decorated with detailed and uniquely themed Easter eggs.
9. Water Parks
Disney’s two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, can be great ways to spend some time away from the theme parks, especially if your vacation falls in the hot summer months. The water parks are an excellent alternative to staying at your resort pool, and they’re a great way to cool off during the day in the hot Florida sun. The other great thing about the water parks is that visiting them does not take up your whole day as they close around 5:00 PM, so you’ll have plenty of time to get dinner, go to the theme parks, or to Disney Springs later on in the same day.
8. Afternoon Tea
One of my favorite non-park things to do at Walt Disney World is to enjoy afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian. If you’re a fan of afternoon tea, the Grand Floridian is probably the best place to have it. Along with unique teas that are blended specifically for this resort, afternoon tea here includes finger sandwiches, scones, varieties of dessert, and the option to have champagne with your tea.
7. The VOID
We are thrilled The VOID has joined the scene at Disney Springs. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR are fantastic Virtual Reality entertainment options. Perfect for tweens, teens, and adults, The VOID is an ultimate virtual reality experience. Team up (or be teamed up) with four guests and go on your mission in either of these two experiences. The multi-sensory environment makes virtual reality feel like reality!
6. Aerophile—The World Leader in Balloon Flight
Aerophile—The World Leader in Balloon Flight (formerly known as Characters in Flight) is the hot air balloon located at Disney Springs. This is the perfect way to try a hot air balloon experience for the first time as it does not ever completely leave the ground. The balloon is tied to the ground so that it can go up and down but never actually fly off. While this experience is kind of pricey, it is well worth it for those looking to experience a hot air balloon without actually taking off the ground, this would be a great option.
5. Miniature Golf
A lot of Disney fans do not even know that Walt Disney World actually has two miniature golf courses—Winter Summerland, and Fantasia Gardens. The courses are accessible by Disney buses, and are great ways to have some quick fun outside of the parks.
Jellyrolls is the dueling piano bar located at the Boardwalk Inn. This bar is great for the 21+ members of your family. Not only is the entertainment here top notch, but there are nightly drink specials that are on the more reasonably priced side of the amount of alcohol included, especially considering that it’s being served at the world’s largest tourist destination. The cover fee at Jellyrolls can be a little bit expensive, but the experience as a whole is well worth it.
Splitsville, located at Disney Springs, is a luxury bowling experience that is unlike any other night out bowling you’ve tried before. In addition to luxury bowling lanes, Splitsville offers fine dining, a couple of bars, a gift shop, and live entertainment.
For any Disney fan, shopping while at Walt Disney World is a must, and thankfully some of the best shopping opportunities exist outside of the parks. World of Disney, at Disney Springs, is the largest Disney store in the world, and is therefore the perfect one stop destination for anything Disney you’re looking to buy before you return home from the parks. In addition, Disney Springs features a wide variety of other shopping opportunities, from jewelry, fashion, cigars, shoes, and kitchen accessories just to name a few. The Disney resorts can also be fun places to shop if you’re looking to spend a day without a park ticket as well.
1. Dinner shows
One of the best things to do outside of the parks is to enjoy a dinner show at one of the Disney resorts, like the Spirit of Aloha luau show at the Polynesian or the Hoop de Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. These experiences are great because they allow you to combine dinner with the first class entertainment you’d expect from Disney, all without stepping foot in any of the theme parks.