Disney OUTSIDE of the Parks

It’s often said that there are so many options at Disney outside of the parks that I’ve considered doing a Disney trip with that as the goal—staying out of the parks.  While I haven’t done a complete trip, yet, with that mission, I did have the opportunity a couple of times this year to test it out.  In February, we were there a Thursday through a Monday and went to the parks only 1 day.  I was there again in April for 2 days and only did activities outside of the parks on that trip as well.  So what are some options to consider?

  1. Starting with one of the obvious—Disney Springs! Disney Springs has grown into such a shopping and entertainment mecca, that it can take up a good part of your day.  From strolling in and around the shops, visiting one or two of the eateries, stopping to watch live performers in the area, to enjoying the evening at the lounges—there is so much to do!  Some of our favorite stops include Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, the Coca-Cola Store and
    Meeting the Polar Bear at the Coca Cola Store

    Meeting the Polar Bear at the Coca Cola Store

    rooftop beverage bar, Uniqlo, and, of course, the World of Disney.

  2. Visiting other resorts. Some resorts lend themselves well to exploring the grounds and seeing the sites—such as Animal Kingdom Lodge with safari animals roaming the savannas.  Disney’s Polynesian resort takes you away to a tropical paradise—lounging in hammocks, walking along the beach, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.  The resorts also have restaurants that provide that good-ole Disney feel to them.  Sanaa at Animal
    Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Sanaa–Beautiful decor and great food!

    Kingdom Lodge is a new-found favorite for us.  While the menu may seem too eclectic for us picky eaters, the food is amazing—give it a try!  A couple of the resorts have character meals as well—giving you the opportunity to see your pals and princesses outside of the parks.  Some of these include Cape May Café character breakfast at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, ‘Ohana breakfast at the Polynesian, and 1900 Park Fare breakfast or dinner at the Grand Floridian.  Finally, enjoy the longest-runningHoop Dee Doo Revue

    dinner show, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Ft. Wilderness Campground.  We went for the

    Hoop Dee Doo Cast

    Cast of the Hoop Dee Doo Revue

    first time on our April trip and we’ll be returning on future trips for sure!

  3. The BoardWalk area at the BoardWalk Inn. This area offers up quite a bit in the afternoon and evening for people of all ages.  From midway games, to amazing how-do-they-do-that street performers, to restaurants, ice cream shops, bakeries, and shopping—this is the place to be!  One of the places we enjoyed during our trip was Jellyrolls—a dueling piano bar.  This will be a must-do on future trips!  Guests 21 and over sit in amazement over the extremely talented pianists, and join along in all the fun sing-a-longs!
  4. Finally, if you’re staying onsite, enjoy your resort’s pool! Relax for the day—walk around your resort and take in all the Disney details.  Hang out at the pool and enjoy the offerings at the pool-side restaurants and bars.  Strike up a conversation with a cast member and ask about their experiences with Disney.  Most resorts offer night-time movies and activities at the pool as well.

So there you have it—there IS so much to do outside of the parks!  This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it can get you going.  This gives us the opportunity to “do Disney” while saving money on park tickets from time to time.  Whether it’s in the parks our outside of them, let me help you plan a fun Disney vacation for your family, you and your friends, or maybe just a solo trip!  Contact me through email at paige@themagicforless.com, or through Facebook.

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Paige Hall

About Paige Hall

My first trip to Walt Disney World wasn’t until my honeymoon! My love for Disney and the company has grown over the years, as has the number of visits! My family and I love Disney World and try to go as often as possible. I truly enjoy helping others plan their vacations–offering tips and advice, suggesting favorite restaurants, and passing along tidbits on must-dos! Because I’ve made several types of visits to Walt Disney World including solo trips, adults only, family trips, and trips with large gatherings, I’m able to help with a variety of trip formats. I’ve also enjoyed participating in several of the runDisney events over the years–if I’m going to run a marathon, it’s got to be at Disney!Aside from Disney, I enjoy scrapbooking, attending sports events with my family (we’re an avid sports family–participants, coaches, and spectators!), and traveling throughout the country. I want to help you find the perfect vacation for you, your friends, or your family, and am looking forward to helping you plan your Disney vacation!

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