For those planning a Walt Disney World vacation, there will no doubt be a debate about whether or not to stay at a Walt Disney World resort. We talk a lot here at Disney Addicts about all the fantastic benefits guests receive when opting to stay onsite at Disney World (for more information check out this article) In addition, there’s one particular area that we think makes Disney properties extra special and that is the magnificent range of fun experiences and activities you’ll find scattered among the fantastic resorts on property. To give you just a taste of some of the extracurricular activities and options you may want to consider during your next visit, here’s our list of 10 Things You Might Not Have Known You Could Do at a Disney Resort.
1. Surrey Bikes – If there’s one thing that tends to blow away a lot of first-time visitors to a Disney Resort it’s how sprawling the grounds can be. From amazing boardwalks to beaches to walking paths, there’s so much to explore. And what better way to do this than to rent a Surrey Bike and go adventuring with your family. Rentals cost $25 and you’ll find them at the following resorts:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
2. Night Life – You don’t have to head to Disney Springs to have a night on the town Disney-style. Disney’s Boardwalk is brimming with amazing evening haunts from Jellyrolls dueling piano bar to Atlantic Dance Hall and our favorite the Houdini-themed Abracadabar. Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside also hosts YeHaa Bob on select evenings who is sure to entertain or indulge in a tiki cocktail or two at Trader Sam’s Grogs Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
3. Kids Clubs – For parents that want to enjoy a little adult time, Walt Disney World Resort offers four Children’s Activity Centers where your little ones can enjoy fun workshops, games, arts and crafts and even interactions with some of their favorite friends while you enjoy a romantic dinner or a night on the town. Children’s Activity Centers can be found at the following resorts:
- Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Lilo’s Playhouse at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
The centers open late afternoon and run into the evening. The cost is $15 per hour with a two hour minimum or $55 for a session depending on the location. The services are available for kids between the ages of 3-12 provided they are potty trained and visits also include meals. Advanced booking is strongly recommended and can be made by calling (407) 939-3463.
4. Movies Under the Stars – Looking for the perfect ending to your Disney days? Why not kick back and relax on the grounds of your amazing resort while watching one of your favorite Disney films. Each of the resorts on Disney property offers Movies Under the Stars. Some resorts will showcase a Disney film nightly while others maybe just once or twice a week. Pick up a resort activity calendar when checking in at your resort and be sure to set aside some family time to unwind with a movie together.
5. Caricatures – If you’ve been tempted to stop and have your caricature done by one of Disney’s amazing artists but haven’t wanted to take time out of your busy theme park days, be on the lookout at your resort. Many Walt Disney World properties will have artists on the premises offering sittings. I’ve seen artists at the All Stars, Art of Animation, and Wilderness Lodge. Guests can either opt for a traditional sitting or I’ve noticed that more artists give you the option of letting them snap a photo and then you can come back after dinner or a dip in the pool to pick up the finished product!
6. Carriage Rides – Riding in a horse drawn carriage is pretty magical in and of itself. Now image enjoying one on your Disney vacation. Pretty amazing right? Carriage rides are available at Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. For those heading to the Disney for Christmas, Fort Wilderness also offers Holiday Sleigh Rides. The costs start at $55 and reservations can be made in advance at 407.WDW.PLAY.
7. Dinner Shows – Those looking for that extra special family resort experience should definitely consider one of Disney’s three Dinner Shows. The Spirit of Aloha is a delightful combination of Luau and stage show filled with wonderful island cuisine and Polynesian dancing. The shows happen on select nights at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is the home to two amazing dinner show experiences. The first is Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue which is a hootenanny like no other. Guests can feast on some of your favorite picnic foods while tapping your foot and dancing along with Mickey and friends to the in-house band. Finally, there’s the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue where the Pioneer Hall Players put on a fantastic all-singing all-dancing stage show with a country twist. Advanced reservations for these offerings is essential with costs usually over $59 per adult. For those on the dining plan, Dinner Shows take up two meal credits. Reservations can be made online at My Disney Experience or at 407.WDW.DINE.
8. Kids Only Events: If like me, you have kids that enjoy a bit of independence, Disney resorts offer a couple of amazing kids only activities. The first is the Wonderland Tea Party held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This event happens on select afternoons. Kids get to enjoy tea, tasty snacks and join in the fun as they’re led through songs, games and activities with Alice and the Mad Hatter!
The second is the Pirate Adventure Cruise. For these swashbuckling adventures, kids leave their parents behind and set sail on a pontoon boat with a pirate crew in search of buried treasure. Several resorts offer their own unique quests. These are as follows:
- Disney’s Pirate Adventure – Crossing Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, this pirate cruise treats kids to a reading of “The Legend of Gasparilla”—a real Florida pirate. Departs from the Marina at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
- Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise – Buccaneers sail the Ports of the Caribbean waters, as they hear the story of Old Port Royale and its pirate-laden past. Departs from Caribbean Cay, a tropical island located in the middle of Barefoot Bay.
- Albatross Treasure Cruise – Kids hear “The Legend of the Albatross” and search for pirate booty across Crescent Lake and Epcot park’s World Showcase Lagoon. Departs from Bayside Marina at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
The Tea Party can be booked at 407.WDW.DINE and the Cruises at 407.WDW.PLAY.
9. Wine Tastings – Perfect for wine lovers, Jiko- The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort offers wine tastings on Wednesday afternoons where guests get to sample an amazing array of wines from South Africa. The varieties on offer are carefully selected by the sommeliers at Jiko and are expertly paired with a savory selection of cheeses. The cost to attend this event is $25 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made via My Disney Experience or by calling 407.WDW.DINE.
10. Resort Tours – Whether its finding out about the history of the Grand Floridian, being taken on a culinary tour of Animal Kingdom’s amazing eateries, or examining the architecture at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, Disney offers several tours that allow visitors to take a closer look and explore some of these magnificent properties. A few of the tours are FREE, others come at a cost and require advanced booking. For a list of our favorites, check out this article.
This is but a taste of the amazing adventures that await for those staying at a Walt Disney World resort and 10 more reasons why we here at Disney Addicts think staying onsite at Disney World is best.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking your next Disney holiday with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you plot out your perfect holiday, work with you to come up with unique ways to make your holiday truly your own, and make sure that you are always getting the best deals and discounts (even after you’ve booked.) Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at email@example.com or follow along on Facebook.
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