The magical experiences around the Walt Disney World Resort aren’t limited to the 4 Theme Parks. Most people don’t realize how many recreational activities there are available in the area. You could take a Disney Vacation and have an amazing time without ever going into the Parks!
So you’re tired of the rides and the crowds? Get a little fresh air and make some magic with your family with these activites that are off the beaten path, but still IN Walt Disney World.
Bass Fishing Excursions
Guided fishing charters are a great way to spend a day outside the Parks. Up to 5 guests can fish off a pontoon boat, or 2 can take a tournament-style Nitro Bass boat out along the WDW Resort waterways. Guided catch-and-release excursions take guests out on the freshwater lakes on Disney property. You can show off your fishing skills by trying to see who can catch the largest bass! Poles, equipment, on-board refreshments and a one-year membership to BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) and 11 issues of Bassmaster Magazine are included! Moderate and Deluxe Resorts typically have boat docks and marinas.
7 a.m.: $270 for two-hour excursion; $455 for four-hour excursion
10 a.m.: $270 for two-hour excursion; $455 for four-hour excursion
1:30 p.m.: $235 (a single guest can take this excursion for only $170)
Disney’s Lake Buena Vista, Disney’s Magnolia and Disney’s Palm Golf Courses are Disney’s award winning 18 hole courses on property. Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course is a 9 hole course which is great for families. Walt Disney World Resort golf courses are equipped with everything you need to experience these professional quality courses. Two golf pro shops feature an impressive selection of merchandise, such as souvenirs, logo shirts, caps, towels. Premium TaylorMade golf clubs for men and women in both right– and left-handed models, as well as Adidas golf shoes, are available for rent. Golf instructional camps and clinics are available for both adults and juniors alike throughout the year, as well as personalized one on one lessons with our PGA qualified Director of Instruction.
Disney World has two great 18 hole mini golf courses: Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. Fantasia Gardens emphasize skill over chance with a variety of sand traps, bunkers and water hazards. With the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in view, guests will love the photo ops during their round as they play through scenes based on Disney’s classic animated film Fantasia.
Guests can also join Santa and his elves year-round on their offseason retreat to the Winter Summerland Miniature Golf courses. The elves helped Santa build two distinctly different 18-hole experiences, a sand course named “Summer” and a snow course named “Winter.” The Summer course sets guests amid surfboards, sandcastles and ornaments hanging from palm trees while the Winter course takes golfers through giant peppermints and hockey sticks on their way to the North Hole.
Price: $12 for kids 3-9 and $14 for people 10+ (also something you can do if you purchase the Water Parks Fun and More park tickets)
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground offers beginner and intermediate riders miles of trails teeming with deer, ducks, armadillos and rabbits. Start your ride at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch and explore the woods of Fort Wilderness at your own pace. Trail rides (offered daily at 8:30 am, 10 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm for riders age 9+), pony rides and carriage rides.* Also available at the ranch: hay rides and wagon rides. *Also at Port Orleans Resort.
Available in October: haunted carriage rides.
Available in December: horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Prices: Trail rides – $46, pony rides – $5.00
Wagon and Carriage Rides
Take a relaxing, old-fashioned wagon or carriage ride through the beautiful and serene woodlands at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground or along the scenic bank of the Sassagoula River at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside carriage rides – $45
Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers one of my favorite vacation activities! Parasailing! Take a parasail ride up to 600 feet off the back of the boat above Bay Lake with a breathtaking view of Cinderella Castle and Magic Kingdom. Guests can also wakeboard, water ski or rent jet skis at Disney’s Contemporary Resort marina. Guests have to be 18 to rent, 16 to drive and any age to ride along. Parasailing has a minimum age of 6.
Price: $80 and up
Professional instructors teach classes that help anyone from novice to an experienced surfer improve during a 2.5-hour session using the world’s largest wave machine, which produces surf every 95 seconds. These take place daily at 7am at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in their wave pool, which is the largest in North America.
Scuba Diving (DiveQuest)
Guests can surround themselves with more than 65 species of marine life in a six million gallon indoor aquarium at The Seas in Epcot. Get within arms reach of tropical fish, beautiful sea turtles, rays, and sharks. Your family and friends can view every dive through any of the 56 giant acrylic windows at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
All Guests must be SCUBA-certified and at least 10 years of age to participate. Guests ages 10 to 12 must be accompanied by a paying, participating parent or guardian.
The experience lasts 3 hours, and guests will spend about 40 minutes underwater in the huge Caribbean Coral Reef aquarium—which until 2005 was the largest saltwater tank in the world. Participants also get to see the massive backstage infrastructure required to filter and maintain a vast manmade ocean.
Get up-close and personal during an in-depth, behind-the-scenes experience with bottlenose dolphins or explore the The Seas with Nemo & Friends marine environment with the help of a Scuba Assisted Snorkel unit. Guests will learn how Disney trainers care for marine life day to day and view the ongoing research in backstage areas at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot.
Available on a first-come, first-served basis, the tennis courts at Walt Disney World Resort are free for use at seven different Disney resorts. Guests can improve their game through professional programs and clinics offered by Orlando Tennis, partake in a friendly match on one of the clay courts at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, or hit balls around on the hard courts spread across Walt Disney World Resort. Courts are found at the following locations:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club
- Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Hotels
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
The tennis courts at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which are operated by Tennis Resorts, offers guests world-class tennis instruction, tournament play, and special camps for juniors and families.
Take a shot at Fort Wilderness Archery Experience at Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground as guides lead you through a short training session on how to hold a compound bow and release an arrow into a range target.
Once you have visited the Walt Disney World Parks so many times like myself, you have to go in search of new and exciting adventures to make your vacation unforgettable! I would love to go Parasailing and see the WDW resort from the sky, or take my kids horseback riding through the tranquil woods of Fort Wilderness.
I can help you add these adventures on to your Disney trip too! Let me handle all the details and reservations for you, it comes complimentary when you book with me! I am an experienced Disney Park Specialist with World of Magic Travel and will help you create unforgettable memories on your next Walt Disney World vacation! Email me at Summer@WorldofMagicTravel.com or follow me on Facebook!