Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Walt Disney World

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do at Walt Disney World

Isn’t Disney just the parks? ….. Nope!

When you think about your Disney World vacation plans, I bet your thoughts go immediately to the theme parks.  Did you know that your trip can include much more than waiting in lines and riding attractions?  A vacation to Walt Disney World offers you the opportunity to have experiences outside of the 4 theme parks that can be just as exciting and possibly far more relaxing. 

Photo Credit: DizN with the Donohues

During a recent conversation with friends, I discovered that in their minds, Disney World meant days of waiting in lines, riding rides, and eating cheeseburgers and popcorn every day.  It’s not that they thought that was a bad thing.  However, the question they had for me was, “What else can we do at Disney World?” 

So much…

I’m sharing some of the really cool activities around the resorts and the Disney Springs area for you and your family to enjoy without buying a theme park ticket or waiting in a line. (Note: some of these activities require advanced reservations.  That is done the same as dining- 60 days prior to your arrival or through your favorite travel agent).

Fort Wilderness Resort

The Fort Wilderness Campsite and Cabins area is a gold mine (no pun intended) when it comes to unique fun for the whole family. 

Archery

Try your hand (or hands) at an archery experience!  Guests 7 years old and up can take a 75-minute archery lesson using a compound bow and targets for $45/person.  Family and friends who don’t wish to participate can watch from a viewing area. 

The archery experience is offered twice a day on most days except Sunday and Monday at Fort Wilderness Resort.  Reservations can be made in advance on the My Disney Experience website, and they are encouraged.

Were you aware you can go horseback riding or take a Segway tour on vacation at Disney World? 

Photo Credit: DizN with the Donohues

Horseback Riding

Fort Wilderness Resort has horseback riding available to guest 9 years old and older (there are pony rides for smaller ones).  For a $55/person fee, you can take a 45-minute ride through the natural beauty of the campground and paths of the resort. 

Photo Credit: DizN with the Donohues

Not only will you fine horseback riding options at the Fort but you can also take a horse and carriage ride around the resort as well as visit the museum located in the barn! The museum just so happens to house the famous Dragon Calliope!

For those that don’t know what the Calliope is…… the 1907 Dragon Calliope was purchased by Walt Disney as a horse-drawn musical wagon for Disneyland Park in the 1950s and is incredibly beautiful to see in person!

Photo Credit: DizN with the Donohues

Wilderness Back Trail Adventure

Adults 16 years and older can take an all-terrain segway out for a 2-hour guided circuit tour.  30 minutes of instruction are included incase you haven’t had experience.  For $90/person, you can tour the “paved and woodland trails” per Disney at Fort Wilderness on a Segway with a cast member leading the way.  Tours begin at 8:30am Tuesday through Saturday. 

Advanced reservations are required and can be made through the My Disney Experience webpage.

Coronado Springs Resort

Since the opening of Disney’s Gran Destino Tower at the Coronado Resort, this place has upped it’s game as a primary destination for vacationers.  Today, you can take a sangria class, create your own Spanish style mosaic, or paint a piece of your own artwork with amazing views and a relaxing atmosphere.

Colors of Coronado Painting Experience

Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

Every Friday from 1pm-3pm, you can paint a Disney inspired piece of art to take home at Toledo-Tapas, Steak and Seafood.  While the restaurant is not serving food at the time of this article, for $35/person, guests 12 years and older can enjoy the views from the tower restaurant in a 2-hour class led by local artists. 

Sangria University

On Saturdays and Sundays at Three Bridges Bar and Grill (Coronado Springs Resort) guests 21 years and older can enjoy class creating 4 signature and 1 personalized sangria.  This is an open-air restaurant over the waters of Lago Dorado.  Guests under 21 are welcome to join, however, they will be charged full price, must be accompanied by an adult, and they will create non-alcoholic versions.  The class is 90 minutes for a price of $59/person

Spanish Style Mosaic Art

Lastly, at Coronado Springs resort you can create a Spanish style Disney themed mosaic as a keepsake of your trip.  At Dahlia lounge inside the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Resort, guests 12 years and older (younger guests must be accompanied by an adult) will spend 2 hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays making a beautiful souvenir.  The cost is $25/person.

Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

Advanced reservations are recommended for all 3 activities at this resort and are available on the My Disney Experience website 60 in advance of your stay.

This is just a sample of the extra activities you and your travel party can experience outside of the theme parks at Disney World. 

Other Opportunities:

There are so many options outside of the parks that it’s hard to list everything! Below are a few more “extras” that you can add to your visit year round!

  • Aerophile at Disney Springs- The largest helium filled balloon. Take a ride high above the Springs for 360 degree views of the area
  • Amphicars: Take a 20 minute tour in the back of an amphibious vintage car around the waters of Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs.
  • Several different options here! Pre & Post parties are available as well as a Ferry options from Bay Lake! Epcot offers a great boating experience as well!
  • Golf: Disney World has 4 golf courses on property and includes the chance for smaller guests to play a round of foot golf!
  • Cirque du Soleil: “Drawn to Life” is a Cirque du Soleil show inspired by Disney Animation
  • Private Twilight Safari Tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a standout experience.

and MUCH, MUCH more…

For even more great ideas on activities to do outside of the theme parks (including at Universal Studios Resorts) read: No Theme Park Tickets Required.

I know I have skipped a few but as I mentioned, there are too many to count! What is your favorite “out of park” or “extra” experience at the Walt Disney World Resort?

About the Writer:

Hi! I’m Jessica Yashin. I’m an independent travel planner with DizN Vacations at CS Elements Travel. I specialize in planning trips to Disney destinations and Universal Studios. I’m a wife, a mom of 4, a grandmom and a RunDisney participant. I love travel and sharing my years of accumulated tips and tricks on how to make the most of your vacation. If you would like help planning your next trip, send me an email at Jessica@diznvacations.com

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