Top 10 Disney World Non-Ride Experiences

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The Boneyard will keep your kids busy!

Although the rides are so fun and unique at Walt Disney World, there are many other magical things to do! Think outside the lines…. the ride lines that is!  Everyone needs a change of pace from waiting in line, and at Disney there is excitement all around you!

Here are 10 non-ride experiences that I enjoy at Disney World:

10. Meeting Characters-  an essential part of a Disney trip is getting a photo and autograph from your favorite characters and Princesses.  Collect autographs on spiral-bound notecards, an official Disney autograph book, a pillowcase, picture matte, or my favorite idea, a white Vinylmation. Check the MyDisneyExperience App to find the characters in each Park. My favorite experience was meeting Merida with my daughter. She let her touch her curly locks and shoot her bow & arrow!

9. Cinderella’s Castle- take some time to explore the iconic Castle up close. You can walk through the tunnel into Fantasyland and see the beautiful silver and gold lined Cinderella mosaic. Take a look into her Wishing Well, watch the ducks swim in the moat, and even eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table where you will meet the Princess and her friends. Photos of the Castle up close are gorgeous at night too!

8. Pin Trade- My family and I are obsessed with Pin Trading! We proudly display our pins on a lanyard and when we someone with pins, we invite them to trade. Grab a lanyard from your resort gift shop, and a starter pack of Disney Pins and you’re all set. Downtown Disney has a great store Disney Pin Traders where the Cast Members trade a wide variety of awesome pins. Try it, you’ll be hooked!

7. Catch a Show-  each Park offers some great shows to sit back and enjoy if you need to rest or get out of the heat. The shows are fabulous at Disney and some of the most memorable experience for children. Finding Nemo – the Musical, Festival of the Lion King, Dream Along with Mickey, Beauty and the Beast Live, and the Frozen Sing-a-long are some of our favorites!

6. Stock up on Souvenirs- picking the perfect souvenir can be tough, but Disney Gift Shops and Downtown Disney offer unique items beside just tshirts. You can pick from hundreds of different Mickey Ears, customize a charm bracelet, build your own Droid or Potato Head, find something spooky at Memento Mori: the Haunted Mansion shop or  my personal favorite, The Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom. They have every Disney character Christmas ornament you can think of!

5. Wine & Dine- although reservations for table service restaurants are recommended 180 days in advance, you could always walk up and ask if there are openings.  My Disney Dining Bucket List has a few good ideas! There are dinner shows too, such as Spirit of Aloha, and Hoop Dee Doo. Watch the belly dancers at Marrakesh, or go underwater with the sharks at the Coral Reef! Even if you just stop in for a glass of wine or a delicious dessert, there is always a new place to try!

4. Resort Hopping

  • Via Monorail:  Checkout the grand lobbies of the Deluxe Resorts and take pictures. They all have signature restaurants and even character dining. Take a ride through the Contemporary Resort, stop for a massage or breakfast with Mary Poppins and Alice at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  The Polynesian Village Resort offers Kona Cafe, a great spot for Sushi, and ‘Ohana, one of my faves.
  • Via ferry from Magic Kingdom: Visit Wilderness Lodge Resort where there’s an Old Faithful replica and a super popular restaurant, Whispering Canyon. Head over to the Fort Wilderness Campground for s’mores at Chip & Dale’s Campfire.
  • The kids can play at one of the Disney Kids Clubs (reservations needed, fees apply) while you dine, or ride the Magic Kingdom Monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center and jump on the EPCOT Monorail  and take a ride around the Park.

3. Play Some Golf- Enjoy 18 holes at one of the award-winning courses such as Oak Trail,  or challenge the family to some Miniature Golf- Disney Style- at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summer Land!

2. Splash and Slide–  There are 2 amazing Disney water parks to choose from: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach! Both are extremely fun and have areas for all ages. Relax on the sandy beaches and catch some sun. Water Park Fun & More option can be added to your ticket package which allows you to visit both water parks and DisneyQuest the Interactive Indoor Theme Park in Downtown Disney.

1. Let loose! –  Kids need space to run and play, and Disney knows that!  Tom Sawyer’s Island in Magic Kingdom has plenty of trails, caves, tunnels, and bridges to explore and climb.  Casey Jr. Splash Zone in Magic Kingdom is a water play area where the kids can cool off, splash, and run through sprinklers. Honey I Shrunk the Kids! Play Yard makes you feel smaller than ants while you and climb through nets and go down slides of giant blades of grass in Hollywood Studios. The Bone Yard is a cool archaeological playground that features dinosaur fossils, caves, rope nets, and slides in Animal Kingdom. The Resorts also have playgrounds.

It was hard to choose only 10 fun experiences at Disney outside the rides, as there are SO many great ones! What is YOUR favorite non-ride thing to do in the World?

As a Disney Vacation Planner,  I can help you fit all of these fun experiences into your next Disney World Trip! You can email me at for a free Disney price quote, tips on travelling within your budget, or coordinating large group travel! 


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