This past April, my husband took a long weekend trip for his birthday to Walt Disney World. And we didn’t ride a single ride or see a single show! Sacrilege, you say? Well, maybe not. Here’s why…
This particular trip was our third trip in less than six months to Walt Disney World and both of the other trips had been six nights long. Also, this was really a rescheduled trip that we were suppose to go on in October with another couple for Epcot Food and Wine. But, my mother passed away unexpectedly three days before the trip and we had postpone. In the chaos of changing everything, I picked the first weekend I could think of – Tom’s birthday.
Because it was Tom’s birthday, I really let him pick what he wanted to do that weekend. He was, at the time, in a bad work situation that has since changed for the better, but then all he wanted to do was relax and not think about work. And relax we did!
We stayed at my favorite moderate resort – Port Orleans French Quarter. Tom had never stayed there, but had seen it when we stopped in for a drink at Scat Cats once. Our corner king room was on the third floor of Building 3 and overlooked my favorite fountain plus we could see the river behind it. The boat to Downtown Disney was great and we used to head over to Wolfgang Puck Express (another first) for lunch one day.
I know you must be wondering what we did at the parks if we didn’t do any rides or shows. We did lots of the things that people walk by on their way to the rides and shows! At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we sat at the Dawa Bar in Africa enjoying a Yuengling beer as we watched Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade go by. We stopped and took lots of pictures and videos of all the animals out on display. We stood and watch DiVine along the trail to Asia. We discovered a beautiful fountain we had never seen before near Yak N Yeti counter service restaurant.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we re-discovered Mama Melrose and really took our time at the Muppets store. We stopped and looked for hidden touches and in-jokes along the Streets of America. We sat at a table by Echo Lake and watched people go by as we had another Yuengling (can you see a theme here?).
On our last full day, we went to Epcot for the Flower and Garden Show. This was another first for Tom and, as fairly new home owners, we love getting ideas and we even bought a Mickey gnome for our garden at home. (Tip: Since we were flying this time, we had it and the Mickey flag we bought shipped home. The $9.95 shipping charge was well worth not having to try to fit in our suitcase or carrying it on the plane.)
We had reservations for Jiko that night (that was Tom’s request for his birthday dinner). But, since we were having so much fun, we canceled them and nibbled our way around World Showcase instead. We finally found Yakitori House in Japan (okay, we never looked hard before) and loved the peacefulness of that area. We finished the night with a drink at one of our favorite resort lounges – the Bellevue Lounge at the Boardwalk.
So, a Walt Disney World without rides or shows is not only possible, it may just become one of your most memorable Disney trip yet! See what you can discover when you have the time to stop and look.