A Day Outside the Disney World Theme Parks

I must confess, I love my Disney vacation planning spreadsheet. In fact, the only thing that makes me as happy as actually being on a Disney vacation is planning my next trip.  I spend countless hours planning dining reservations, Extra Magic Hours, and researching resorts.  However, as I gather more trips under my Mickey belt, I have learned to include one more item that is so important to a successful Disney trip-a day away from the parks.

As much I love to plan our Disney vacations, I always try to remember to leave room for the moments that really matter; the unexpected pixie dust moments. Having a day to slow down a little bit and enjoy each other is usually my family’s favorite day of our vacation.

Enjoy your resort:

  • As magical as a day at the parks can be, it’s also tiring. Having a day to sleep in instead of rushing to rope drop can help everyone be ready to enjoy the next day even more.
  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your resort followed by a walk to enjoy the beautiful landscaping at your resort.   Everyone’s smile will be even more magical when they are rested!
  • Take some time to relax in the sunshine and enjoy splashing in the pool. Also, Disney resorts offer wonderful activities for guests to enjoy. These range from Pop Century’s afternoon hustle lessons to boat rentals and fishing at Port Orleans Riverside.

Away from your resort:

  • A favorite tradition among many guests is to hop on the monorail and spend some time eating delicious snacks and admiring the gorgeous resorts. Added bonus of spending the afternoon getting on and off the monorail? Learning everyone’s favorite Spanish phrase-“Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas.”
  • Miniature golf is also a fun way to spend a few hours together. There are 2 different courses to choose from, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Disney’s Winter Summerland. The Fantasia course is definitely the more challenging of the two although certainly not too tricky for everyone to enjoy. The prices are reasonable and getting to the courses is as simple as hopping on a bus at your resort.
  • A delicious dinner is a wonderful to end your day outside of the parks. O’hana, located at the Polynesian Resort is my family’s personal favorite. We especially love when we have been lucky enough to watch the fireworks from the beach after our great dinner.

Downtown Disney:

There really is something for everyone to enjoy here. Shopping, movies, bowling, wonderful restaurants and so much more are all available at Downtown Disney.

  • World of Disney  is not to be missed during a visit to Downtown Disney! It is the world’s largest Disney character shopping store. 12 amazingly themed rooms, each full of items ranging from toys to household items and everything in between.
  • The Lego store is fun for the entire family. Everyone can enjoy building with the Legos in the interactive section outside the store and getting their pictures taken with the sculptures made out of Legos.
  • Disney Quest is a 5 floor interactive, virtual reality game filled, gamer’s dream come true is also a great way to spend some time. It does require a separate admission ticket though.
  • When you visit Downtown Disney be sure to come hungry! From delicious ribs at House of Blues, ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop to seafood at Fulton’s Crab House, there is something for everyone’s tastes.

What are some things you like to do outside of visiting the parks at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comment box below.

Heather L is an avid Disney fan and has been visiting the parks since she was 4. She is a homeschooling mom and is happiest with a Mickey balloon in one hand and a Mickey bar in the other.

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5 thoughts on “A Day Outside the Disney World Theme Parks

  1. I am very glad that I can help make your trip even more magical! Another fun option is to ask about the movies at your resort when you check-in. There’s nothing quite like watching a movie together under the stars!

  2. I found this extremely helpful! I think a “quiet” day with the kids is exactly what a Disney trip needs to be that much more memorable!

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