The Disney Parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach are often the main attraction for Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort. However, the fun is more expansive than in a theme park, water park, or Disney Springs. Miniature Golf is available in Walt Disney World at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland. Additionally, each Walt Disney World Resort hotel offers unique experiences for Guests to enjoy. You’ll be familiar with some experiences, like movies under the stars, evening campfires, and Surrey Bike rentals. However, there are nine activities that most Guests don’t know about. The great news is you don’t need Disney Genie+ or a Lightning Lane reservation to enjoy. Let’s take a look at them!
Spend Time at the Savanna
Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers Guests the chance to see live animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris, along the trails, in shows like Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight and Feathered Friends In Flight, and pet animals at the Affection Section. But Disney’s Animal Kingdom isn’t the only place in Walt Disney World to see live animals.
Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge allows all Guests, including those without a Disney Park Hopper Plus Pass, to spend time at the savanna. It’s your opportunity to see zebra, giraffes, and many more animals up close. Enjoy dinner overlooking the savanna at Sanaa. You may also consider staying in a Savanna View Room at the Disney Resort hotel during your Disney vacation.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon
Aerophile at Disney Springs allows you to enjoy unique views of the Walt Disney World Resort. Open daily, weather permitting, you can fly in a giant helium balloon that ascends 400 feet into the sky. The 8-minute ride offers 360-degree views of Lake Buena Vista and the surrounding areas. Purchase your tickets at West Side in Disney Springs. Will you ride during the day or after the sun sets?
Go Horseback Riding
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is home to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch and the many horses and ponies that work at Walt Disney World. Just a short boat ride from Magic Kingdom Park, Guests can stroll around the stables to see the many types of horses that work around the Walt Disney World Resort. Youngers Guests can also enjoy a pony ride while the adults watch. But there’s still more to enjoy…
You can go horseback trail riding at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests aged nine and up can ride through the idyllic woodland trails of the Disney Resort. Horseback trail rides are 45 minutes long and cost $55 per person. Secure your adventure by making an advanced reservation on the My Disney Experience app.
Visit a Dueling Piano Bar
The Disney experience continues late into the evening after the Disney Parks have closed at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn Resort. The Disney BoardWalk is home to a dueling piano bar called Jellyrolls. Relax with a cocktail or alcoholic beverage while enjoying the live entertainment. Jellyrolls is one of the few adults-only experiences in the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s open from 7 p.m. to 1:45 a.m. nightly. We recommend visiting after spending the evening in EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can get to Jellyrolls by taking a short walk from World Showcase using EPCOT International Gateway. Alternatively, use the Disney Skyliner or the FriendShip Boats from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Enjoy an Art Tour
Are you intrigued by the art and structures you see around the Walt Disney World Resort? You’ll be pleased to know that complimentary art tours are available to Guests in select Disney Resort hotels. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Jambo House Lobby Art Tour occurs daily at 11 a.m. Join your guide at the Lobby entrance a few minutes before the tour starts to join in. Similarly, the Wonders of the Lodge Art & Architecture Tour takes place at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge daily. Meet near the fireplace in the Resort Lobby and enjoy an hour-long tour.
Take a Painting Class
If you like painting or learning new skills, you’ll welcome the opportunity to take a painting class. However, the Walt Disney World Resort may not have been somewhere you would expect to do so. Surprisingly, there are several painting classes that you can participate in around Lake Buena Vista without a Walt Disney World ticket. Disney painting classes welcome Guests aged 12 and up for an additional cost. You can book your experience via the My Disney Experience app. Which Disney Resort hotel will you choose to paint at?
- Colors of Coronado Painting Experience at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Wild About Painting at Jiko – The Cooking Place in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Painting on the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Painting on the Vineyard at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort
The Walt Disney Company has you covered if you’d prefer to paint something other than a canvas. You can enjoy different painting experiences can be enjoyed at the following Disney Resorts:
- Paint Your Disney Story at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Once Upon a Painting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Paint a Pineapple at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Become an Animator
Is there a Disney character you’ve always wanted to be able to draw? Then you’ll want to join a Disney animation class. The Animation Experience at Conservation Station in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one place to do so. However, you can also learn to animate at two Disney Resort hotels. You won’t need a Disney Park ticket to join in the fun!
Artists of Animation is held on Tuesdays at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The experience takes place between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. inside Animation Hall. During your experience, coffee and dessert are served. See a Cast Member at the Disney Resort to reserve your place. Artists of Animation is available for an additional fee.
Meanwhile, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort hosts an Animator’s Class on Wednesdays. Join the fun at 3:30 p.m. in Community Hall for an additional fee. You’ll learn to draw favorite Disney characters and receive an exclusive Disney Trading Pin as part of your experience.
Make a Mosaic
Painting and drawing may not be for you. So, how does making a Mickey Mosaic sound instead? You can create your own mosaic for $25 per person, which will make a unique souvenir to take home from your Disney vacation. Take part in the fun at the following Disney Resort hotels:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village – Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Palace Library
- BoardWalk Inn Resort – available daily in Community Hall
- Coronado Springs Resort – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 1 p.m. in the Barcelona Lounge
Mosaic Class is also held at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort and Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. The experience is $35 at the Disney Resorts, as they also include a dessert and non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort hosts the mosaic class on Sundays, beginning at 1 p.m. in Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Meanwhile, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort hosts the mosaic class on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. in Scat Cat’s Club. Your dessert will be a beignet at the Disney Resort hotel.
Graduate from Sangria University
If you’re partial to a glass of sangria, you’ll want to visit Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Sangria University takes place in the Three Bridges Bar and Grill on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The two-hour experience is led by professionals who tell you the history of sangria and the recipes used to make the Spanish drink. You’ll then be served a flight of 4 sangria offerings and a light appetizer. To finish, you’ll get to make your own glass of sangria. Guests of all ages can join in the experience. However, alcoholic beverages are only served to Guests aged 21 and older. You can participate in Sangria University for $59.
Are there any of these Disney experiences that you have participated in? What are you hoping to do during your next Walt Disney World vacation? Prepare for a magical Disney experience, whichever one you choose!