Can I Visit a Walt Disney World Resort Without Staying There?

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Can I visit a Disney resort without staying there

Definitely! In fact, for my family, a visit to Walt Disney World is not complete without taking a “day off” from the parks and exploring the different resorts. While you can’t visit the pools at any resort other than the one you are staying in, you can check out the incredible theming, unique restaurants, activities, gift shops and the gorgeous grounds at these resorts.

There are over 25 resort hotel locations on Walt Disney World property, and the good news is you can visit each one without staying there or without having a park ticket. With so many amazing resorts to choose from, I suggest planning your resort hopping day with only a couple of resorts in mind. You can always choose different resorts to visit on your next trip.

No idea where to start? Here are my picks for some of my favorite resort hotels to visit. Do remember that some activities are complimentary while other activities or reservations have a varied price range, so you can choose what would fit your vacation budget best.

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Situated on shimmering Seven Seas Lagoon with views of the Magic Kingdom Park this resort is in a word…Grand! As you enter the lobby, enjoy Victorian-era elegance and beauty. Take some time to stroll along the perfectly manicured grounds or relax in the lobby as you enjoy live music. If you need a spa day, relax at Senses spa or delight in afternoon tea at the Garden Tea Room. In the afternoon after tea, your own little prince or princess can join Prince Charming and Cinderella for the Princess Promenade as they glide down the grand staircase in the lobby and join the couple for a dance. Don’t miss out on numerous delicious dining options including the award-winning Victoria & Albert’s.

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Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Stepping into the lobby at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is like stepping into one of the majestic national park lodges of the great Northwest. Perfectly located on Bay Lake with breathtaking grounds and a lobby that is not to be missed (especially during the holidays) – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a family favorite. With the new addition of Storybook Dining at Artist Point, you can join Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and the Queen for dinner. After dinner, head lakeside and view the ever-popular Electrical Water Pageant. A must do is a stop by Fire Rock Geyser that erupts every hour. Rent watercraft, try your hand at fishing for a day, or rent a bike and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you.

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Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

There are so many exciting activities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. You can visit the Tri-Circle-D Ranch to see Cinderella’s ponies and horses. Enjoy a Horse-Drawn Carriage or Wagon Ride. Younger children can ride a pony or adults and children 9 and up there is horseback riding. In the evenings don’t miss a foot-stomping good time over at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review for dinner or swing by Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing Along to meet your favorite chipmunks and roast marshmallows, then stay for the Movies Under the Stars following the sing-along.

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Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Sitting on picturesque Crescent Lake, Disney’s Beach Club Resort in the Epcot resort area is a favorite place to take a break. Enjoy a frozen treat at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. The little swashbucklers (4 to 12 years old) in your group you can explore in a 2-hour treasure hunt as you set sail around the lake in the Pirate Adventure Cruises. Boat rentals, fishing or even specialty cruises are available. For a very special treat reserve an Illuminations Fireworks Cruise to have VIP viewing of the fireworks from your private pontoon boat.

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside/French Quarter

Take a charming visit to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Stroll over to French Quarter for some beignets then head over to River Roost at Riverside to enjoy entertainment from the ever popular Yehaa Bob. You can rent a Surrey bike, regular bike or horse-drawn carriage to check out the beautiful property.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Escape to the topical South Pacific with a visit to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The lobby and grounds are so lush and beauty is always blossoming. Visit the ever-entertaining Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto for tropical beverages and fun surprises! Attend the family luau at Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show or enjoy the always delicious ‘Ohana for dinner. Afterward, make sure to stay for the fireworks viewing.

Wondering about the logistics of traveling to different resorts? Disney transportation has you covered. There are several resorts that are accessible via the monorail (the monorail loop resorts). Water transportation from the parks is available for some resorts. All resorts are available by bus from Disney Springs or the parks. To arrive in style, use the Minnie Van service. If you are driving, just let the security guard at the resort gate know that you want to visit the resort (you may be required to show photo ID).

As you can see the resort hopping possibilities are endless when visiting Walt Disney World. On your next Walt Disney World vacation take time to explore and experience everything Walt Disney World resorts have to offer!

Photo Source: Disney Parks Blog

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Renee Burton
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