ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Sports and Recreation»
  • Theme Parks & Roller Coasters

Walt Disney World 101: Beyond the Parks

Updated on January 11, 2016

No Park Day

It doesn't matter why you aren't doing the parks. Maybe you are just taking a day to catch your breath. Maybe you don't want to spend the money on tickets, and lets be honest tickets ain't cheap. Or, maybe you don't have the time to devote to a theme park but still want a Disney experience. Like I said it really doesn't matter. The point is there is plenty to do.

No matter age, interest, or actively level there is something for you to do outside of the parks. You just need to know where to look and how to book. It is as easy as that. Truly. To make things even easier I will break up this article into different categories.

Walt Disney World

The Fitness Fanatic

If you or someone in your group is big into physical fitness or sports Disney has got you covered. The Wide World of Sports complex is just what it sounds. I giant gymnasium. As many of you may know ESPN is a branch of Disney. At the Wide World of Sports Complex guests are able to watch professional athletes train, compete, and even get a little training in themselves. This is truly a must do for any sports fan. To complete the day why not grab a bite to eat at the ESPN Cafe? As you eat you can watch coverage of sports and sports news from around the world. Not to mention there is so much sports memorabilia.

So, gyms aren't your thing? That's cool. Disney has four award winning golf courses. There are even competitions held here each year. That's right you can play on the same course as some of the biggest names in golf. Just remember you are in central Florida, make sure to keep an eye out for alligators.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I love the value resorts. They have larger than life decorations that are fun to walk around and enjoy.One of Cinderella's ponies
I love the value resorts. They have larger than life decorations that are fun to walk around and enjoy.
I love the value resorts. They have larger than life decorations that are fun to walk around and enjoy.
One of Cinderella's ponies
One of Cinderella's ponies

Relaxation

So, you are looking for a little rest and relaxation on your day off from the parks. Disney has got you covered. There are two full spas on the Disney property. The first is located at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The second is found at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. Full body massages, pedicures, manicures, facials, wraps, and so much more. Its are to believe you are at the happiest place on Earth. Craving a massage but you don't want to stray too far from the comfort of your resort? That's alright. Many of the resorts, including the Contemporary, Boardwalk, and Swan and Dolphin, have fitness centers where you can book a massage.

I've only ever had the pleasure of visiting the Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian. It was so relaxing. My mother and grandmother got massages and then we all met up and got pedicures and manicures together. Its nice to treat yourself every now and then. And Disney does not disappoint. We were checked in and escorted to the changing rooms. We each got our own giant fluffy white robe and were able to relax in some of the most comfortable chairs I've ever had the pleasure of sitting on until it was our turn. There was even a private hot tub for our use if we so chose. Overall it was a very relaxing day, which was just what we needed.

Bikes

There are so many places where you can rent a bike, or even a tandem bike, and enjoy a leisurely ride around the property. One of my favorite places is at the Boardwalk. It is just so beautiful and it really feels like you are at the Eastern shorn of the North Atlantic.

Boats and Water Excursions

If the water is calling you have no fear. There are plenty of locations where you can rent boats. You can get little speed boats all the way up to big pontoon boats. You can take the boats out for an hour or more and just have fun out on the lakes. Ever wanted to try parasailing? Why not try it at Disney? Does tubing, water skiing, or wake boarding sound more like your speed? You're in luck! Head on over to the Contemporary Resort and you are all set.

If fishing is your idea of a good time, go for it! There are several locations on the Disney property where you can book a reservation to have a guide take them out to the best places for catching fish. If you would rather go solo that's fine. At Port Orleans and Fort Wilderness you can fish right off the dock. Just keep in mind, no matter where you go fishing it is all catch and release at Walt Disney World.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Some of the local wildlife One of the many different pools on the Disney property
Some of the local wildlife
Some of the local wildlife
One of the many different pools on the Disney property
One of the many different pools on the Disney property

What is your favorite way to relax?

See results

Horses

If you have ever wanted to try horseback riding now is your time. Actually, you can do more than just beginner riding lessons. You can go on trail rides. Take a carriage ride through the woods. They even offer holiday sleigh rides during the winter months. If riding isn't your style you can head over to the barn and take a look. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of Cinderella's ponies!

Electronic Entertainment

If you have a member of your group that loves classic arcade games, on-line gaming, or electronic games in general there is so much for them to do. Nearly every resort has some sort of arcade. Not enough? Alright. Why not give Disney Quest a try? It is a five story interactive theme park. There are entire floors filled with classic arcade games. What's even better is it is all included with Disney Quest admission. That means you don't have to carry around a bunch of quarters or coins! One of my favorite attractions there is the 3-D Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Not only is the game in 3-D, but the ship moves. It is intense. I've never not had fun when I've played. And that is saying something since

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The BoardwalkDowntown DisenyThe famous Lego SotreMany of the resorts have beautiful nature trails
The Boardwalk
The Boardwalk
Downtown Diseny
Downtown Diseny
The famous Lego Sotre
The famous Lego Sotre
Many of the resorts have beautiful nature trails
Many of the resorts have beautiful nature trails

Everything Else

So, nothing I've already talked about seems your style? How about this? You can watch all the latest movies at Downtown Disney. I'm not just talking about Disney movies. The movie theatre is just like every other movie theatre, but you can get a real meal with your movie if popcorn isn't your thing. Bowling more of your style? There is now a bowling alley at Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is home to more than just disney items. This is some of the best shopping around. Sure you can buy all the Mickey t-shirts you want, but you can also buy designer sunglasses and handbags. You can also partake in various fine dining restaurants and comedy clubs.

Most of the Disney property resorts have nightly movies. These movies are most often classic Disney movies and are a great way to enjoy an evening at the resort. If you are a DVC member you can partake in pool-hopping. That means you can go to the different disney resorts and enjoy the pool. Though, it is important to note that there are some resorts that are restricted during the busy seasons. The Disney resorts also have a dvd rental program, free to DVC members. You can rent a movie at the gift shop at the resort and play it on the DVD player in your room. Perfect for a rainy day in.

Enjoy the Resorts

Check with the front desk to see what your resort offers. Sometimes they have movies at night, or a craft activity for children during the day. A lot of the resorts have dvds or video games for rent.

Try resort hopping, to see what each is like. This could even be helpful when planning your next Disney vacation and trying to decide where you want to stay.

In Short

Basically, the point is there is so much more to Disney than just the parks. Sure the parks are great fun and the main reason most people make the pilgrimage to Walt Disney World. But, sometimes you just need to take a break and slow things down. Or make the most of a day with bad weather. Some attractions book up quickly so it is best to make a reservation when you book your vacation. But, for the most part you can enjoy the non-park attractions at your leisure on your vacation. After all, isn' that the entire point of a vacation: to have fun and relax.

Have fun, and enjoy!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)