Dec 142011
 

The World without Parks

By: Ann Dunnington

 

When visiting the Walt Disney World resort, you would be remiss if you planned to tour the parks every day of your vacation.  Why?  There are so many (often overlooked) hidden gems around the 47 square miles of the Resort without even stepping foot inside a theme park.  The next time you go to the “World” check these things out.

Yes, that’s my husband and I way up there hanging from the parachute.  Sammy Duvall’s Watersports offers numerous water activities on Bay Lake at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  The staff was fantastic – very professional and friendly.   They offer waterskiing, personal watercraft tours, tubing, and parasailing, with a view that you can’t beat.  I encourage you to check them out.  Though I will never go parasailing again (ha!  I’m not a heights person… the things you do for love!), this was certainly an awesome experience and my husband had a ball!!

I recommend making your table service reservations 180 days in advance for the restaurants you want to visit.  We made it a point to get OUT of the parks and visit the unique table service restaurants at the various Deluxe resorts on property, especially those resorts that were new to us.    We were trying to kill two birds with one stone with dining at resorts we had never visited before, which leads me to my next suggestion…

…eating an ice cream and walking around Disney’s Boardwalk…

…watching “Wishes” from Disney’s Polynesian Resort Beach…

…shopping at Downtown Disney, and picking up a scrumptious gluten-free dessert from Babycakes, NYC while we were there (ok, I’m not gonna lie – we might have come back a few more times during the trip for more goodies)…

… catching some tunes (and some pretty awesome Irish dancers!) at Raglan Road…

… and watching an evening movie (Tangled!) at the pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.

So needless to say, this just scratches the surface of what you can do (some of it FREE!) around the Walt Disney World Resort without even setting foot inside a theme or water park.  Take the time to explore the extras and you might not need a “vacation” from your Walt Disney World vacation!

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  3 Responses to “The World without Parks”

  1. I love these suggestions, and find that this is a great way to add to a wdw vacation!

  2. Our friends were recently turned away from the Contemporary and Old Key West as they did not have a reservation of any sorts so were unable to view the resorts.

    • Oh dear, that’s too bad Karen! Sometimes that happens, especially during busier times of the year. If that happens again, a couple of options would be to drive and park at the TTC, then take the monorail to the Contemporary, or drive and park at Downtown Disney and take the boat to Old Key West…. if they’re resorts you really want to see. But the majority of the time, if you go during a time that isn’t around a holiday, the guard will let you in, no problem. Saying that you want to check out the resort as a potential place to stay during your next trip normally lets you in without a hitch. 🙂

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