Things to do outside the Parks: Touring the Resorts

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When people visit Walt Disney World, the first thing they might do is make a plan for touring the parks. The parks are wonderful and filled with attractions, shows, restaurants, and so much more, but there is a lot to see outside of the parks. The resorts on Walt Disney World property are attractions in themselves and can provide endless hours of entertainment and activities. The resorts are also a great escape from the parks!

With so many places to start, you might be overwhelmed. While there are only four parks to choose from when you’re park hopping, there are over twenty different resorts to visit! Here are a few of my recommendations of where to start.


The Epcot Resorts

The Boardwalk Resort, Beach and Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin resorts all surround Crescent Lake. When visiting Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, why not take an afternoon break and check them out? You can walk on over or take a relaxing boat ride on the Friendship Boats. Once in the area, you can easily walk from resort to resort. They each have gorgeous lobbies, sparkling pools, and their own distinct themes. Is your stomach growling? Not a problem! There are a bunch of options ranging from Signature Dining at the Yachtsman Steakhouse to cookies and cupcakes at The Boardwalk Bakery.

The Magic Kingdom (or “Monorail”) Resorts

One of my favorite ways to escape a crowded Magic Kingdom for a few hours is hopping on the monorail and touring the resorts. This is a great idea — especially around meal times! The Magic Kingdom only has a handful of table service restaurants, so if you’re looking for something a little different, try one of the resorts surrounding the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian are just a short ride away, and these resorts have some of the best dining on all of Disney Property. Looking for a romantic meal with views you’ve never seen? Visit the California Grill at the Contemporary! Or maybe a luau, without the trip to Hawaii? Visit the Polynesian! The possibilities are endless.

Jaw-dropping Lobbies and Unique Views

Two resorts on property that are known for their jaw-dropping lobbies are the Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Wilderness Lodge. These resorts are simply breathtaking! They exude warmth, coziness, and comfort. The Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers something that no other resort has — a view of the Savannah! Stop by and get an up close and personal look with some of the animals you’ve seen at Animal Kingdom.

These are just a few of the amazing things you can expect from visiting different resorts around Walt Disney World. If you’ve got a couple of hours to burn on the start or end of a trip, or you want to take a break from the parks, visiting resorts is a great way to keep yourself busy. And don’t forget — it’s free!


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