Friday, June 24, 2022

Things To Do In Disney World Besides The Parks

Wild Florida Airboats Gator Park & Drive


At Wild Florida, travel deep into 4,200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. On your journey, youll get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants that can be found in the areas beautiful wetlands. Whats more, airboat tickets include complimentary admission to the wildlife park and a hands-on gator demonstration. And now, you can drive a car through their Safari Park for a self-guided tour with more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife, just 45 minutes south of I-Drive!

Save on discount tickets: Wild Florida

End Your Night With Free Disney World Fireworks

Disneys nighttime spectaculars are a popular way to wrap up a day in the theme parks, but you dont need a park ticket to end your day with a bang. Some of the Disney World fireworks shows, like Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom and the forthcoming HarmoniUS at Epcot, can be easily seen outside the parks too. And really, who doesnt like doing free things at Disney World? Snack on a sundae from Beaches & Cream as you watch the Epcot fireworks from Disneys BoardWalk or the rest of the Epcot Resort Area. Or, take in the show with your toes in the sand at Disneys Polynesian Village Resort, where the music for the Magic Kingdom fireworks gets played from the beach.

Check Out Disney Attractions On Property

Sports fanatics looking for hands-on fun should head to the new NBA Experience at Disney Springs. Intended for guests of all ages, the new interactive sports attraction lets budding basketball stars run drills, play games, and take their shot literally all under one roof. From feeling the highs of draft day to walking through a mock locker room, its enough for all young basketball fans to feel like theyve truly made it to the top. This experience costs $34 per adult and $29 per child.

Afterwards, head to The VOID, a virtual reality experience that allows guests to step inside the worlds of their favorite Disney and Star Wars films. The VOID costs $35 per person, and online booking is recommended.

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Horse Around At The Disney Tri

Many Disney movies wouldnt be complete without an equine sidekick. So, it should come as no surprise that the Walt Disney World Resort also has a herd of its own. Although the Disney World horses pass the day away trotting up Main Street U.S.A., its the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at the Fort Wilderness Campground that they call home. Stop on in to check out the 7 unique breeds that live there and to catch a glimpse of the horse-powered Dragon Calliope that was once a part of Disneylands Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade during the 1950s.

Dig A Little Deeper With Free Disney Resort Tours

15 Things to Do in Disney World Besides the Parks

As youre out exploring the resorts, take advantage of free Disney resort tours. While you wont usually find these bits of backstage magic on the My Disney Experience app or Disney Worlds website, these under-the-radar activities are a great way to get some extra Disney magic on the cheap. Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge offers both culinary and cultural tours led by the resorts cultural representatives and other cast members which give a glimpse into how the rich cultures and traditions of the African continent were infused into the resorts cuisine and design. Meanwhile, the Wilderness Lodge offers the Wonders of the Wilderness Lodge, an art and architectural tour of the resort guided by a Wilderness Lodge ranger.

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Star In Your Own Personal Photo Shoot

Are you always looking for the ideal backdrop for your next social media photo? Then Disney World is your stage. Theres no denying that The Place Where Dreams Come True is more than just a little bit Instagrammable, but dont let Magic Kingdoms purple wall have all the fun! Disney resorts have just as much eye candy design and immersive details as the rest of Disney World, making them the perfect setting for your next vacation photo.

For larger-than-life themes, we like the Art of Animation, Pop Century, and All-Star Resorts. Or for something more subtle, go for the island vibes of the Polynesian or Caribbean Beach, the Spanish-inspired squares of Coronado Springs, the charming streets and sprawling estates of Port Orleans, the rustic Wilderness Lodge, or so much more.

Peddle Your Way To Fun With A Disney World Bike Rental

Youll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for 1, 2, and even 4 people. Grab a traditional set of wheels including childrens bikes with training wheels from the Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, Port Orleans, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness resorts. Or, for some human-powered fun the whole family can enjoy together, opt for a Disney surrey bike so you can really ride around in style. Bike rentals are $20 while surrey bikes are $25 per person.

Read Also: Restaurants At Animal Kingdom Disney World

Free Concerts At Epcot

Free outdoor activities can be some of the best free things to do at Disney World when the weather is nice. The America Gardens Theater has free concerts throughout the year. Special concerts often coincide with seasonal festivals or a holiday season, but it is likely that there will be at least one free concert at Epcot during your Disney World stay.

The 6 Animal Kingdom Lands

Things To Do Besides The Rides At The Parks (Non Rides) Disney World

Here are the different areas in Animal Kingdom:

  • The Oasis the main welcome center in the park, offering quiet solitude and natural habitats where you can view animals
  • Discovery Island where the stunning Tree of Life can be viewed
  • Pandora, The World of Avatar a realistic journey into the fictional world of Avatar
  • Africa a place to embark on an animal safari
  • Asia a land filled with adventure rides and authentic food
  • Dinoland USA which houses all things dinosaurs

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Rent Swan Paddle Boats At The Swan And Dolphin

If motorized boats arent your thing try an eco-friendly swan paddle boat! Be sure to wear sunscreen as theres no protection or breezy winds to relieve you from the Florida sun as you leisurely paddle on their little manmade lake.

Book a stay at the Swan or Dolphin resort, or the new Swan Reserve hotel

Electrical Water Pageant At The Deluxe Magic Kingdom Hotels

Every evening between 9:00pm to 10:35pm, depending on where you view it, theres a little electrical parade that floats by the docks of Magic Kingdom resorts.

While its not particularly impressive its really nostalgic and sweet! It feels a bit like homemade holiday lights passing by, choreographed to old time music but like I said: nostalgic and sweet. And if youre craving a light show outside the parks this will at least give you a taste of it and make you smile.

Note the Electrical Water Pageant can be canceled on any given evening if the weather is unfavorable.

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Take The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

The Winter Park scenic boat tour is one of the most popular things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. Its a one-hour cruise through the narrow canals and lakes of Winter Park, one of Orlandos beautiful suburbs.

On these tours youll get to see cool birds and beautiful landscapes from a small-group private boat. My favorite part though is winding through the jungle-y canals.

Free And Cheap Stuff To Do At Walt Disney World

75 Things to do in Disney World Besides the Parks


Heres a list of fun things you can do at Walt Disney World that dont require park admission. All of them can be accomplished for about $12 per person or less and many of them are FREE! This list of FREE stuff to do at Disney World is ideal if youre arriving late in the day or leaving mid-day and dont want to use up a whole day on your tickets.

Be sure to check the Walt Disney World Special Events page as well. It lists seasonal experiences you may want to consider. Some do not require park admission, and some are also FREE.

Jump to:

Disneys BoardWalk

Disneys BoardWalk is built around a lake and is beautifully themed to be reminiscent of Cape May or Coney Island in the 1940s. Its fun just walking around and enjoying the atmosphere! If you are staying on Disney property, you can use Disney transportation to get to the BoardWalk. If you drive to the BoardWalk, you can get a FREE 3-hour parking permit from the lot attendant. While some of the restaurants are open at lunchtime, the best time to visit the BoardWalk is after sunset. Its beautifully lit up.

Some of the FREE and inexpensive things you can do at Disneys BoardWalk:

Disney Springs

Some of the FREE and inexpensive things you can do at Disney Springs:

Disneys Resort Hotels


The Disney Wilderness Preserve

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Things To Do In Disney World Besides The Parks

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Please click my disclosure policy to learn more.

Disney World is famous for its theme parks, and for good reason. The parks contain amazing theming, great rides, and awesome food. You could spend almost every day of your trip inside the parks and probably never run out of things to do. But did you know that there are fun things to do in Disney World besides the parks?

We have even taken trips to Disney World without stepping into the parks at all. There are so many things to do around the Disney World resort without having to go into the parks.

All of these Disney activities are also perfect for any rest days you take during your Disney vacation. If your trip is longer than 4 days, I highly recommend you take at least one non-park day to explore the offerings around Disney Springs and the resorts.

Even better some of the activities on these lists are free things to do near Disney World!

Things For Adults To Do At Walt Disney World Resort

by Jacqueline Logan, Public Relations Manager

From celebrating one of lifes many milestones with friends to spontaneously spending a romantic weekend away with your partner, there are so many reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort for an adults-only vacation at your #HappyPlace. And there is no better time to visit than during The Worlds Most Magical Celebration, which honors the resorts 50th anniversary. Its a chance to embrace your nostalgic side and experience Disney as an adult! Heres a list of must-do things now that youre a grown-up!

1. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration began on Oct. 1, marking an unforgettable moment in Disney history. Nothing could be more magical than visiting your happy place during the 18-month celebration, which is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to encounter the shimmering EARidescent atmosphere and take part in new experiences across all four theme parks and beyond.

2. Re-create a Childhood Photo

A lot can change over the years and thememories made on a Disney vacation last a lifetime. Re-creating a childhood phototaken at Walt Disney World Resort is a fun way to reminisce on the past,reflect on growing up and celebrate the present.

3. Embrace Some Holiday Magic

4. Have Fun at an EPCOT Festival

5. Experience Your Favorite Attractions

6. See the Parks from a New Perspective with runDisney

7. Indulge in Delicious Treats

8. Meet Up with Friends at Disney Springs

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See The Geyser At Disneys Wilderness Lodge

Disneys Wilderness Lodge Resort is a beautiful resort to explore. Guests can take the boat or drive to visit this gorgeous property. Eat at Geyser Bar & Grill and watch the Fire Rock Geyser eruption. This resorts nature trails and relax atmosphere make it a great place to visit on a non-park day at Disney.

There is also a character dining experience called Story Book Dining at Wilderness Point with Snow White and the Evil Queen.

Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

Best Things to do in the Orlando Area Besides Theme Parks | Best Non-Theme Park Places & Activities

Dive deep into an underwater world of wonder at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, part of ICON Park. Soak up incredible views from Orlandos only 360-degree underwater tunnel, where sharks and rays swim overhead, and gaze at breathtaking creatures as you walk through themed habitats. It also features a special play area for younger guests.

Save on discount tickets: SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

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Spend Time At The Resort Pool

My kids love spending time at the resort pool. This is a Disney World activity that takes no planning at all! The moment we arrive at a Disney Resort the kids ask to go in the pool.

Visiting the pool gives the kids an opportunity to get their energy out. They can play freely and this is really important for most kids.

Walt Disney World resorts have some really amazing pools and it is worth making time to visit the pool at your resort.

Get Out On The Water With A Disney World Boat Rental

Rather spend your time paddling or driving instead of babysitting a rod and reel? Then check out a Disney World boat rental. Those with a need for speed can reserve motorized watercraft from resort marinas in a range of sizes including 2-person Sea Raycers, 10-person pontoons, and more. Or, if youre hoping for something extra leisurely, explore the watery highways and byways at Fort Wilderness with a canoe or kayak rental .

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Rock N Roller Coaster

Rock n Roller Coaster is one of the best things to do in Disney World for thrill-seekers.

Its the scariest rollercoaster at Disney with a fun introduction , super-fast launch, and fun inversions.

Theres a single rider queue which saves time, so Simon rides this one again and again. Its one of the best rides at Disney World for adults.

Try A Guided Fishing Excursion Along The Many Waterfronts At Disney World

Things to Do at Walt Disney World Besides the Parks ...

Experienced fishers and newbies of all ages can enjoy fishing at Disney World, both in guided fishing excursions along locations at Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, Village Lake, Crescent Lake, and World Showcase Lagoon or try dockside fishing at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside. You don’t need to bring any equipment just a sense of adventure and sun protection, and you’re good to go.

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There’s More To Orlando Than Theme Parks For Everyone

Once you are done with the theme parks, there are numerous activities while you are in Orlando. Wind down with a picnic near Lake Eola, or party the night away at The Beacham – you will never be bored in Orlando with our list of things to do. You can even book a party house or a hotel with a water park for non-stop fun in the city.

This article was updated by John Gallagher. Check out the rest of his works here.

Enjoy Some Al Fresco Animation During A Disney Movie Under The Stars

Theres no question that Disney movies are beloved throughout the world. Heck, theyre the reason the Disney parks even exist. So, its only right that you should have a chance to watch one or two during your visit. Luckily, Mickey has you covered with Disney Movies Under the Stars. Available at all Disney resorts, these complimentary movie screenings by moonlight are a magical, lowkey way to end a day of theme park adventures. Movie schedules change frequently, so be sure to ask for the most up-to-date calendar at the front desk.

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Relax With A Boat Ride

Dont just stick to Monorail and Skyliner rides to get from Point A to Point B: Take a free Disney boat ride instead! Though not as popular as these other more well-known transportations, boats are actually connected to even more of the Walt Disney World Resort and, best of all, are still completely free. Complimentary boat transportation can be found across Disney property specifically in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs resort areas. While you wont get wherever youre going in a hurry, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the view.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


Head to Floridas east coast, about an hour from our main tourism districts, to explore the past, present and future of space travel without ever leaving earth. Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex nets you the chance to see Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Saturn V moon rocket, plus a wealth of other artifacts, replicas and displays, but the fun doesnt stop there. You can also experience Heroes & Legends, an immersive experience where the stories of NASAs pioneering astronauts come to life, plus other features.

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Watch A Flick Under The Stars

If youre staying in any Disney Resort, youll have access to a truly splendid evening experience at Disney Fort Wilderness.

Once night falls, roast some marshmallows with Chip n Dale during their Campfire Sing-A-Long, which is followed by a movie at the campground cinema. Victoria and Joanne cant recommend this activity enough!

As you gather around the campfire and swap stories, trust youll make friends along the way, or kindle an even deeper connection with your loved ones.

If youre interested in camping at Disney Worlds Fort Wilderness, dont miss these 11 expert tips.

Disney World is gigantic, and if youre not prepared, you might miss out on some pretty incredible things. To experience it to its fullest, we suggest doing your research and making plenty of time for off-the-beaten-path and outside-the-parks experiences!

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