8 Reason To Take A Disney Vacation Without A Disney Park Ticket

When visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, you probably automatically consider spending time in each Disney theme park. It’s unsurprising, given all the fun to be had in them, including rides, shows, Disney snacks, characters, parades, nighttime spectaculars, and more. However, it’s possible to take a Disney vacation without entering a Disney Park. You may ask, ‘Why would you do that?’ However, we’ve taken two Disney vacations that involved no time in a Disney theme park, and we LOVED it!

Whether you need some persuasion or are intrigued to know what we did, here are eight reasons to take a Disney vacation without a Disney Park ticket.

8. Free Activities

Outside of the Disney Parks, there are plenty of free activities around the Walt Disney World Resort. You may often miss out on them when you’re in and out of the Disney theme parks. However, without a Disney ticket, you can enjoy everything available for free. Watch a movie under the stars at a Disney hotel, participate in the poolside entertainment throughout the day, see the Disney characters during their surprise visits to the Disney Resorts, complete a scavenger hunt, and more. 

Hidden Mickey Hunt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Credit: V Mills

7. Experience the Disney Transportation

Having time to explore the Walt Disney World Resort beyond the Disney Parks means you can also experience all modes of Disney transport. Create your own adventures by planning your route and the places the modes of transportation will take you. Make sure you include them all:

  • Disney Monorail to Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT
  • Seven Seas Lagoon watercraft and Magic Kingdom Ferry Boat
  • Sassagoula River Boat to and from Disney Springs
  • Disney Skyliner and Friend Ship Boats between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT
Disney Skyliner, FriendShip Boats, Magic Kingdom Ferryboat
Credit: V Mills

6. See Things from a New Perspective

Without a Disney Park ticket, you see things in a new way. Watch the Disney fireworks from a Disney Resort instead of among the crowds in Magic Kingdom Park or EPCOT. See your Walt Disney World Resort hotel as your home for your Disney vacation rather than a base to sleep and shower. Spending time in it allows you to appreciate all it has to offer. Appreciate your time on Disney transport and the things you can see from it, rather than simply allowing you to travel between a Disney theme park and your Disney hotel.

Grand Floridian Marina
Credit: V Mills

5. Spend time at Disney Springs

You’re guaranteed a different experience at Disney Springs when visiting at other times of the day. During a typical Disney trip, you may only visit the shopping and dining district once. However, you have more time to visit without a Disney Park ticket.

We visit Disney Springs in the morning when we want to browse the stores. Fewer guests are around, so you can take your time to look at the Disney merchandise. We grab lunch in a restaurant during a visit in the afternoon and then visit Gideon’s Bakehouse or Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Fountain for dessert. When visiting Disney Springs in the evening, we like to get dinner before enjoying a beverage by the waterfront or finding a spot to sit and experience the live entertainment.

Disney Springs Marketplace
Credit: V Mills

4. Try Something New

Plenty of activities are offered around the Walt Disney World Resort that most guests don’t know about. You have time to experience new things when you aren’t wanting to spend all of your time in a Disney Park. Consider trying the following things during your non-Disney-Park vacation:

Painting on the Riviera, Disney's Riviera Resort
Credit: D23

3. Explore the Resorts

Some of the most beautiful places in the Walt Disney World Resort are in the Disney hotels. Without a Disney Park ticket, you’ll have time to visit and explore as many Disney Resort hotels as you wish. You may even decide to stay in one while you aren’t concerned about getting to a specific Disney Park for Early Theme Park Entry. When visiting a Disney hotel, we always check out the lobby, shop, external areas, and dining location. Why don’t you tie in your visit with a meal or stop for a beverage between exploring?

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby
Credit: V Mills

2. Dining

When your Disney trip involves time in the Disney theme parks, you probably eat at restaurants inside them. Doing so means you miss out on many excellent Disney restaurants in a Disney Resort hotel and Disney Springs. Without a Disney Park Hopper Pass, you have more time to eat in the Disney restaurants you’d otherwise miss. During your Disney vacation without a Disney park ticket, consider these excellent restaurants:

  • Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Boma – Flavors of Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Kona Cafe in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Ale & Compass in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Grand Floridian Cafe in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Brioche French Toast & Ale & Compass, Walt Disney World
Credit: V Mills/Trip Advisor

1. Relaxation

How often do you leave a Disney vacation feeling more exhausted than when you arrived? To truly experience everything in the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s a feeling that you must accept. However, you must remember why you’re taking a vacation. Making memories is one reason, but time away from your regular schedule is also why. 

If you frequently visit the Walt Disney World Resort, you would benefit from taking at least one Disney vacation without a Disney Park ticket. Doing so will allow you time to lie in, relax by the pool, and even have an early night if you wish. You can leave Lake Buena Vista refreshed and ready to face reality again.

Crescent Lake, Disney's Beach Club Resort
Credit: V Mills

Have you been persuaded? Will your future include a Disney vacation without a Disney Park ticket? You’re guaranteed a magical Disney experience in Lake Buena Vista if you do.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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