When visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, planning to spend all of your time in the Disney Parks can be easy. While we love all there is to offer in the theme parks, we also enjoy spending time away from them. The Disney Resort hotels have some excellent activities on offer for Guests to enjoy. Taking advantage of what’s on offer outside of the Disney Parks while still on Walt Disney World property also gives you a little time to rest. It’s ok to have a little downtime so you don’t feel as though you need another vacation from a Walt Disney World vacation.
If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve got you covered. When taking a Disney vacation, we always make time for the following four activities.
Sassagoula River Cruise
We love to use the many different types of transport while in the Walt Disney World Resort. The Disney Monorail, Disney Skyliner, and Disney buses probably come to mind when you think of Disney transportation. Typically they are the modes of transport that Guests of the Disney Resort hotels will use to travel to the Disney Parks. You may also think of Disney watercraft, including the Magic Kingdom Ferryboat and the EPCOT FriendShip Boats. But there is a mode of Disney transportation that is still a secret to most Guests of the Walt Disney World Resort.
When looking across the water at Disney Springs, you probably will have seen pretty boats traveling back and forth to the boat landing at the Marketplace. These boats are the Sassagoula River Boats that travel between Disney Springs and several Disney hotels. If you are a Guest of Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resorts, or Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, you will be familiar with the Sassagoula River Cruise. Otherwise, you are missing out on a beautiful experience.
Every Guest is welcome aboard the Sassagoula River Boats. We love to ride to Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort for Mickey Beignets after grabbing lunch or dinner at Disney Springs. If you have yet to have this Disney experience, we recommend making time in your plans for your next Disney vacation.
Surrey Bike Rental
We like to call this the hidden ride of Walt Disney World. When your legs need rest, but your mind still wants to explore Lake Buena Vista, this is the activity you’ve been looking for. Surrey Bikes are available to hire at several Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Available in different sizes, Surrey Bikes can seat between two and four Guests. You can hire a Surrey Bike for as long as you like, although we usually stick to the thirty minutes hire. The cost to hire a Surrey Bike is $25 per half hour.
Visit the following Disney Resort hotels to hire a Surrey Bike:
- Port Orleans Riverside Resort
- Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort
- BoardWalk Inn and Villas
- Old Key West Resort
Each Disney Resort hotel has a designated Surrey Bike route. Wherever you decide to ride, a Cast Member will explain the route, which is also detailed on the maps around the Disney Resort. If you don’t wish to venture too far from a Disney Park, we recommend hiring a Surrey Bike at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The Surrey Bike hire is just a short walk from EPCOT World Showcase. You can enjoy a beautiful cycle around Crescent Lake, passing Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts as you go.
We highly recommend exploring another Disney hotel via Surrey Bike, though. Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside route offers stunning views of the Sassagoula River and picturesque buildings. Meanwhile, cycling at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort will transport you to the heart of New Orleans. You can enjoy pastel-colored buildings and equestrian-theming views at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Disney’s Old Key West Resort will transport you to Key West. You can also enjoy views of the Lake Buena Vista Golf course along the route.
Disney Mini Golf
Many Guests forget about the miniature golf courses that are part of the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests with a Disney Park Hopper ticket can enjoy one round of mini golf daily during their Disney vacation. Disney’s Winter Summerland course is located at the entrance of Blizzard Beach water park. Meanwhile, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens is across the street from the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. Both mini-golf locations have multiple courses to play, offering you a variety of experiences.
We love to play a round of Disney mini golf in the morning before it gets too hot. Alternatively, they are a great way to spend an evening away from the Disney Parks. Time your round of golf at the Fantasia Gardens course, and you may get to play along to the Fantasmic! soundtrack and view the fireworks coming from Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Winter Summerland is a great place to visit after spending time in Disney’s Blizzard Beach. The theme fits in perfectly with the Disney water park.
Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
Every Walt Disney World Resort hotel has its own campfire. However, there is one Disney campfire like no other, and we recommend every Guest experience it sometime. On Wednesday through Sunday evenings, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground hosts Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. Guests can toast marshmallows and make s’mores around the campfire before welcoming Chip, Dale, and a country singer to the Campfire Theatre. Sing along to well-known songs, and participate in fun games with your favorite Disney chipmunks. We recommend getting to the Campfire Theatre around 7:30 p.m. to toast marshmallows and secure a seat before the show at 8 p.m.
The easiest way to get to the Campfire Sing-A-Long is to take the boat from Magic Kingdom Park. Guests of Disney’s Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resorts can travel to Magic Kingdom via the Disney Monorail before boarding the boat to Disney’s Fort Wilderness. If you are a Guest of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can catch the boat directly to Disney’s Fort Wilderness from your Disney hotel. Some buses run between Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge.
Are there any of these activities that you are yet to try? Plan them into your next Disney vacation, and prioritize time for them. We think you’ll love the new Disney experiences you are about to have!