The Secret to Getting the Most Out of Your Disney Resort Stay

Staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel has its benefits. From Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Theme Park hours in Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT, and complimentary transport to each Disney Park, water park, and Disney Springs, it’s worth the extra cost to stay on Disney property. Did you know that Disney hotels provide Guests with more than just accommodation, though?

The Disney Resorts are great for chilling out after visiting a Disney theme park. They offer significant pool areas to cool off and take a rest. But they also provide fun activities for the whole family to enjoy while taking a break from the crowds. Even better, the fun activities aren’t limited to a special event or require using Disney Genie.

What activities are hosted for Disney Guests? We have all the information you need to get the most out of your stay in a Disney hotel.

Activity Calendars

Every Walt Disney World Resort hotel has an activities calendar. Activity calendars are updated every month throughout the year. They are displayed around each Disney Resort in areas where hotel Guests are likely to visit. Generally, your Resort hotel activity calendar is displayed near the pool area or outside a quick-service restaurant. Guests can also check with Front Desk or Concierge to see if a paper copy of the monthly activities calendar is available. Some of the activities available to Guests are complimentary, while others are available at an additional cost.

Credit: V Mills

Free Activities

The majority of activities available to Disney Resort Guests are complimentary. You need to be in the right place to experience and enjoy them at the right time. Most activities are hosted by Cast Members who provide daytime entertainment at the pool area. Their yellow and red t-shirts easily identify them.

Daily entertainment at the Disney Resort pool areas includes parties, games, bingo, and trivia. Younger Guests in your party will have great fun taking part. Meanwhile, older Guests can take a well-deserved rest after spending time in the Disney Parks.

There are two well-known activities that Guests can enjoy as a Guest of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. These are the movies under the stars and campfires. Each Resort has a specific location where the events are hosted throughout the week.

Most Disney Resort hotels show a Movie Under the Stars every night of the week. Checking the Activities Calendar will let you know of the movies showing during the month of your visit, where you can view them, and the time that they are shown. The same films are shown each night of the week throughout each month. This is excellent news if your Disney vacation happens to be longer than a week, as you’ll have more than one opportunity to see your favorite movie!

Credit: V Mills

Campfires generally take place nightly in each of the Disney Resort hotels. Complimentary marshmallows and sticks are provided to Guests who wish to join in the fun. Celebration S’mores kits are available if you’d prefer to upgrade your marshmallow with Graham crackers and chocolate. Keep a look out for the campfire location as you explore your Resort in Walt Disney World.

Other complimentary activities that Disney Guests can enjoy include:

  • Scavenger hunts – stop by the Front Desk and ask how you can participate. These are available at many of the Disney Resort hotels.
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  • Nature walk – available at Disney’s Coronado Springs
  • Bedtime stories – available at Disney’s All-Stars Resorts, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Pop Century, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Games and video games – available at most Deluxe Resorts
  • Pin trading
  • Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
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  • Dance Parties – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Trivia – hosted at a variety of Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts
  • Running Trails
  • Skyliner Rally Scavenger Hunt – available at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Lawn Games – Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Animal Enrichment and Night Vision – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Wonders of the Lodge Art & Architecture Tour – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Activities at an Additional Cost

Some activities at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels come with an additional cost. Generally, these activities involve using equipment or materials. All that you need to enjoy these activities are provided by Cast Members. Check your Disney Resort’s activities calendar to see if pre-registration is required.

Activities available at an additional cost include:

  • Arts and crafts, including Mickey Tie-Dye available in most Disney Resort hotels
  • Mosaic art – available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.
Credit: Disney
  • Arcade Tournament – hosted at Disney’s All-Stars Resorts
  • Painting Classes – enjoy at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Sangria University – exclusive to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Fishing – located at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort
  • Paint Your Own Disney Story – exclusive to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Bike Rentals – available at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Saratoga Springs, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
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Which activities are you looking forward to participating in during your next Disney vacation? Participation will add a little extra magic to your Disney experience, and help you to create more special memories.

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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