Thrifty Thursday: What Can I do Outside the Disney Parks?

DSCN0233No matter how many time I try to explain to people who have not visited Walt Disney World – they still think of it as an amusement park! WDW is so much more than rides: it is shows, entertainment, shops, ambiance, fun, magic and a trip from reality! You don’t have to just ride from hotel to park and then back again. Try spending 1 day doing things outside of your hotel or park to see what all Disney has to offer!

Downtown Disney / Disney Springs: Here you will find all types of shopping and restaurants. You can catch a movie at AMC Movies, build your own roller coaster at Disney Quest, bowl a few games at Splitsville Luxury Lanes or ride a car into the lagoon at the new Boathouse. Kids will especially love visiting The Lego store and building their own creations. For adults there are an abundance of restaurants that have bars – stop in for a cocktail and an appetizer! The House of Blues has a Sunday brunch with Mimosas and local Gospel singing groups – reservations are highly recommended for the brunch. The House of Blues also has the Front Porch Bar and The Smokehouse. Friday and Saturday the Blues Kitchen has national and regional blues bands.

Water Parks: check out Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach! Spend the day basking up the Florida sun, but be sure and use plenty of sunscreen. Florida sun is much more intense than most of us are used to.

ESPN Wide World of Sports: Check out the Atlanta Braves training camp or check the schedule for any special events happening during your stay.

Hotels: So you have explored your hotel and need more to do. Try checking out the different restaurants and entertainment spots at some of the moderate or deluxe hotels. Swimming at the different hotels is prohibited, but you can still enjoy the sun, the pool bars at several different hotels, the piano player on the boardwalk, the ESPN Club at Boardwalk, Victoria Falls Lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge, The River Roost at Riverside. Just because you are staying at one hotel, doesn’t mean you can’t catch a bus to a different hotel any time you leave a park. Be sure and check the buses, you may need to then catch a bus from that hotel to downtown Disney and then back to your hotel. Just don’t be in a hurry – enjoy! Some of my favorite trips have been when I just jumped on a bus to see where I end up, or a boat or the monorail. Word of advice – allow plenty of time and familiarize yourself with WDW layout.

If none of those are your thing, you can also find arcades, basketball courts, boat rental, fishing excursions, carriage rides, golf course for even the pickiest of golfers, miniature golf for those who just want to have fun, archery, horseback riding, exercise rooms and running trails and tennis. This is just a small sample of things throughout Walt Disney World. Check in with guest services for ideas, reservations and plans on how to get there!

Find out how the FREE services of a Disney World travel agent can make planning your Disney vacation simple and STRESS FREE!

Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.

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