PlanningThe ParksTips

Wait? What? A Disney Trip With No Rides?

Most of the time, when you think about a trip to Walt Disney World, you are thinking about the rides you will experience. Although rides make up much of the magic within the four Disney Parks, there is much more to explore and experience than rides.

We will share how you can have a magical time without riding any rides during your Walt Disney World Parks visit.

Mickey and Friends in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom

There is so much magic to experience throughout Magic Kingdom that doesn’t include rides. Let’s look at what you can do in this iconic Disney Park that doesn’t involve being on a ride.


The Magic Kingdom is a fantastic place to visit characters. Start by seeing Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theatre. He is currently dressed to celebrate the 50th-anniversary celebration. Guests can find a handful of princesses throughout Magic Kingdom as well. At Princess Fairytale Hall, princesses such as Rapunzel, Cinderella, Tiana, and Elena all wait to say hello.

Also found throughout Magic Kingdom are beloved characters such as Aladdin in Advdnetureland, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Merida, and Belle throughout Fantasyland. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the stepsisters outside the castle. You never know when they will show up.

festival of fantasy
Credit: Disney
Shows and Entertainment

Magic Kingdom also has a variety of shows that provide fantastic entertainment for Guests. Although some are cheesy, they are a great way to enjoy some Disney magic. Check out shows such as The Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, and The Hall Presidents. Each of these is a well-done show that provides decent performance.

Make sure that you take time to enjoy the cavalcades as well as the Festival of the Fantasy Parade that take palace throughout the Magic Kingdom. These are fantastic ways to see a lot of fun characters, and the floats are fantastic.

The castle stage show, Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire, is another great show that brings fun, excitement, and lots of characters. It happens throughout the day, making it easy to see during a day at Magic Kingdom.


Although we don’t always recommend having a meal at Magic Kingdom, you can enjoy some great snacks. One of our favorite places to grab a quick bite is the Spring Roll cart outside of Adventureland. These are warm and delicious rolls that are cheeseburger flavored. They are perfect for an afternoon snack.

We also love to stop by Sleepy Hollow. Here we enjoy the waffles, the regular Mickey waffle, fruit, or spicy chicken. All three are great options with good flavor.

Gorilla Exploration Trail
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are a lot of experiences that you can enjoy that don’t include rides.


There are three major trails that Guests can enjoy throughout the Park. Discovery Trails is around the Tree of Life. This trail takes Guests up close to the tree, allowing them to see the details that make this tree so unique.

There is also Maharaja Jungle Trek and the Gorilla Trails. The focus of these two trails is to give Guests up-close looks at either the tigers or the gorillas that make Disney’s Animal Kingdom home.

The trails are an excellent way to explore the Park and see some of the many animals that make the Park home.

Festival of the Lion King
Credit: Disney

Two of the best shows in all of Walt Disney World are at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond are Broadway-like performances that bring these two stories to life. The music, storyline, and outstanding Cast Members work together to bring two moving shows to the Park.

Both of these shows shouldn’t be missed out on. They are truly remarkable and moving.



EPCOT, with the World Showcase, has so much for Guests to do outside of rides.

World Showcase

Guests can explore all of the countries located throughout the World Showcase. By examining the food, entertainment, and pavilion, Guests can learn a lot about the countries that have come to the World Showcase. If there is a festival going on, this is also an excellent way to spend the day enjoying new food, entertainment, and drinks.


Also, at EPCOT, Guests can enjoy a variety of cuisine. From the options found throughout the World Showcase and new dining locations such as Space 220 and Connections Eatery, there are many fantastic dining options to enjoy.

When visiting EPCOT, we highly recommend taking in all details throughout World Showcase. It is these details that make EPCOT so unique.

Beauty and the Beast
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Although there are now a handful of rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy Edge, there are still a lot of non-ride shows and experiences to do throughout the Park.


One of the biggest draws of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the shows. The live-action shows bring some of their favorite movies to the stage for Guests to enjoy. Beauty and Beast: Live on Stage, Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along, and Lightning McQueen Racing Academy are all found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Each brings the beloved movie to the stage with a fantastic performance that keeps Guests on the edge of their seats.


There are also a few lounges that Guests can enjoy during their visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In Batuu, Oga’s Cantina continues to be a top Guests experience. Baseline Tap House and Brown Derby Lounge have good lounge bites and drinks. These are great spots for sitting and people-watch.

We are big fans of all the rides the four Disney Parks offer, but we also know that there is so much to experience throughout the four Parks that doesn’t include rides. You can have a magical time in any of the four Disney Parks without even going on a ride. Even if you can’t or don’t want to ride rides while in Disney, don’t discount all the magical experiences that you can still have in the four Disney Parks.

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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