PlanningThe ParksTips

How to Have a Magical Day In Disney Without Going On a Ride

As we plan our trips to Walt Disney World, we often focus on all the rides we will experience. Which trills will we have? How many times can we share our favorite ride? Rides are a massive part of the Walt Disney World experience. It brings us into the stories and creates magic.

But can you still have a magical time at Walt Disney World without riding any rides? You can and are here to share exactly how. There are magical experiences in each Disney Parks that don’t include rides, and we want to share those with you to show that Disney is so much more than rides.

Festival of the Lion King
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We will start with Disney Park; we think of so much to offer beyond the rides. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an immersive Park that allows Guests to connect with nature and its beauty.


When visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, make sure that you take time to enjoy the entertainment. There are two fantastic Broadway-like shows performed daily. Festival of the Lion Kingdom and Finding Nemo- the Big, Blue, and Beyond bring these two storylines to the stage in a massive way.

Both shows feature amazing vocals and excellent visuals and are breathtaking performances.

Throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find performances that are not only entertaining but truly stunning experiences. Enjoy these throughout the Park as you enjoy your day without rides.

Credit: Disney Tips
Tree of Life

A considerable part of what makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom so unique is the Tree of Life. This beautiful tree is the center of the Park and is designed with detailed animal sculptures. Take time to walk around the tree and discover all the fantastic animals and details that create this beautiful piece of art.


Another significant part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the trails. Three main trails are offered that allow Guests to get a better look at some of the animals that make Disney’s Animal Kingdom home.

Discovery Trail is a great way to get close to the Tree of Life. It takes you up and around the tree, giving detailed views of the different animals.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail focuses on the gorillas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They are so entertaining, and it is always adorable to see the new additions. The Maharajah Jungle Trek features the tigers that live at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This trail is full of hidden gems and animals that you might be surprised to find.

Nomad Lounge inside Tiffin's Restaurant
credit: Disney
Nomad Lounge

Our final suggestion for enjoying a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom without rides is to relax at Nomad Lounge. This lounge is found on the way to Pandora and provides a quiet, relaxing vibe that is perfect for downtime in Disney.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is made to be explored and discovered, making it easy to enjoy without riding any rides.

batuu at night DT
batuu at night DT

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Known for Star Wars, Toy Story, and thrills, it might seem like there won’t be much to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios if you skip the rides, but we have some great options.


Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great place to meet characters. Not only can you find Mickey and Minnie here, but Olaf, Darth Vader, Chewie, and BB-8 can also often be found. Disney Junior characters such as Fancy Nancy and Doc McStuffins can also be found waiting to say hello. Use your time to take pictures with some of these unique Disney characters.

We have also enjoyed that some new characters, such as Mr. and Mrs. Incredicale, have also been seen in the Park.

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to a handful of great live performances. You can enjoy seeing Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.

Each performance is unique but brings passion and excitement to the stage. We love the laughs during the Frozen show and the love and beauty found during the Beauty and the Beast show.

You can spend the whole day enjoying these special performances throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story land at Disney's Hollywood Studios


Our final way to spend a day without rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is to explore. With two highly immersive lands, enjoy the details that the Disney Imagineers used to bring these two lands to life. Remember, you can use your phone to interact throughout Batuu, making the land even more exciting for Guests.

Even though Disney’s Hollywood Studios is known for the rides, there is a lot to see and do that doesn’t include thrills.

magic kingdom
magic kingdom

Magic Kingdom

The iconic Disney Park is full of rides for everyone to enjoy. But is there still enough magic to enjoy without all the rides? We think so.

festival of fantasy
Credit: Disney

Start by taking time to enjoy the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the cavalcades that bring magic and beloved characters to the streets of Magic Kingdom. Guests are able to see a lot of their believe favorite characters dance and celebrate magic throughout Magic Kingdom.

There are also a handful shows that you can enjoy throughout Magic Kingdom. These icnoic shows such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, and Country Bear Jamboree all are great shows that bring laughs and fun to Guests.

Even though Magic Kingdom is a park focused on rides, there is a lot of other ways to enjoy the magic.

Family at EPCOT in front of Spaceship Earth
Family at Epcot


There is so much to enjoy at EPCOT when looking for things to do besides rides.The World Showcase offers so much to explore and that is just a start.

World Showcase

Start you day in EPCOT by focusing on all that World Showcase has to offer. Enjoy some of the free shows such as the Jamminators, Voices of Liberty, and others that can be found throughout the countries.

There are also films to enjoy throughout the countries. These bring the uniqueness of these countries to Guests in a beautiful way. Different displays also help bring these countries to Guests in a special way. Take time to explore and navigate the countries and all they have to offer. From great food, drinks, and special experiences there is so much to enjoy in the World Showcase.

EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
Credit: Disney

Another way to enjoy EPCOT without riding any rides is to enjoy the festivals that take place throughout the year. These festivals bring food, drinks, and entertainment to EPCOT in a special way.

The festivals that take place throughout the year at EPCOT are a fantastic way to spend the day. Enjoy the beauty that comes to EPCOT during these special events. From beautiful flowers to artistic designs, these outstanding festivals are part of what makes EPCOT so special.

You can easily spend the whole day at EPCOT enjoying the special offerings at the World Showcase.

When looking at how to spend your days at the Disney Parks without doing any rides, there is so much magic to still enjoy. From outstanding shows and entertainment, the Walt Disney World Parks are full of magic around every corner. We hope this helps you know where to find it.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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