You may remember the post I wrote a little while back – 10 Free Things To Do At Walt Disney World Without Stepping Foot Into A Theme Park – well this one is similar, except these things incur a charge of some sort. But they are things that we have either a) done, or b) would love to do in the future!
10 Things To Do At Walt Disney World (Without Stepping Foot Into A Theme Park)
1. Play miniature golf
There are two miniature golf courses at Walt Disney World, which both have two different courses to play on.
Fantasia Gardens is based on Disney’s animated classic, Fantasia, and has 18 holes of fun obstacles to putt your way through, as well Fantasia Fairways where par-3 and par-5 holes range in length from 63 to 109 feet long – it’s like a real golf course with sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and sloping greens – but in miniature form! Read about our morning at Fantasia Gardens.
Winter Summerland has a winter course and a summer course. Santa decided to build a vacation destination in Orlando, and decided it needed a golf course. His elves were split into two camps – those that loved the cold of the North Pole, and those that love the heat of Florida, so they built two golf courses: one for winter, and one for summer! We have played the winter course, which I’ll be sharing soon, and you can read here when it’s live! And plan on doing the summer course on our next trip.
The miniature golf courses are open daily from 10am to 11pm, and subject to close if weather is inclement. Prices are $14 (adult 10 years +) and £12 (children 3 – 9 years) plus tax. Always check the Disney website for the current prices: Fantasia Gardens / Winter Summerland
Characters in Flight now called Aerophile
Ascend 400 feet in the air as you hover over Disney Springs in the world’s largest tethered helium balloon. Float high in the sky in a hand-painted helium balloon, covered with classic flying Disney characters, then, for 8 to 10 minutes, experience a breathtaking 360-degree view of Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Maximum capacity is affected by wind speeds. The balloon will not fly if winds exceed 22 mph or if there is a storm. Please note that the balloon is tethered and will not travel beyond 400 feet at any time. Prices are $18 (adult) and $12 (child). Check the Disney website for current prices.
We have tried several times to ride this, but due to the weather, every time we have gone, the balloon has been closed. Safety first!
3. BoardWalk Ballyhoo Guided Tour
The BoardWalk Ballyhoo Guided Tour takes place every week, Wednesday through Saturday. Due to time constraints, this 45-minute tour departs promptly at 9:00 AM. Admission to the tour is free of charge and no sign-up is necessary.
Head out for a turn-of-the-century history lesson on a guided tour of the “Showplace of the Shore.” For 45 minutes, explore the nooks, crannies and everything else in between, and discover where Disney Imagineers found the inspiration for this charming seaside city of old.
Your trip through time begins at the Belle Vue Lounge and the glory days of radio, before moving on to the miniature carousel spinning slowly in the lobby. From there, get ready to stroll along to the Luna Park pool and then on to the boardwalk itself.
Follow your guide as you examine early-20th century artefacts, dissect the distinct period artwork and soak up a quarter-mile of coastal architecture that you aren’t likely to see elsewhere… not in this century, at least! – Walt Disney World
4. Visit the Senses Spa at Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs.
A variety of treatments are available including massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures, plus a variety of spa packages. View the current treatments and price list for the spa at Saratoga Springs here or Grand Floridian here. This is definitely going on my 40th birthday list for next year!
5. Watch La Nouba by Cirque Du Soliel
Located in Disney Springs, the strikingly designed theatre was constructed especially for Cirque du Soleil. Outside it resembles an enormous ivory circus tent. Inside, an elaborate mechanical stage includes movable glass cages, platforms and inventive sets, with world-class sound and lighting systems that create a dreamlike metamorphosis from performance to performance. Witness this international cast as they perform glorious feats of incredible strength and breathtaking beauty. The French phrase “la nouba” literally translates to “the party.” And do these performers ever know how to celebrate! Acrobats, singers, trapeze artists, jugglers and clowns—more than 65 artists representing 15 countries—delight and mystify with daring acts of grace. A riot of color washes over every scene with the imaginative costumes, quixotic makeup and dynamic sets. Current tickets are $59 per person, plus tax – Walt Disney World
I have heard nothing but good things about this show, and I’ve just informed my husband that I would like to see it on my 40th birthday trip!
6. Go bowling at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Located at Disney Springs, this bowling alley is split over 2 floors, with 30 bowling lanes, billiards room, 5 bars, indoor and outdoor dining, 2 sushi bars, live music, and dancing. Open daily, 10:30am – 1:00am. Check the Disney website for up to date information and to book a reservation.
7. Evening carriage ride at Port Orleans or Fort Wilderness.
Take in a beautiful scenic landscape on a timeless journey. Select from 2 routes: Ride through the lush pine and cypress trees of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, or travel along the charming pathways of Port Orleans — Riverside and the banks of the Sassagoula River. Carriages fit up to 4 adults (or 2 adults and 3 small children). Each horse-drawn carriage rides cost $45 and trots along for 25 minutes. During the winter, you can ride a “sleigh”, decorated with lights and gardens at Fort Wilderness. – Walt Disney World
Another one added to the big birthday list! Or we might see if we can fit it in this year!
8. Watch a movie at AMCs 24-theatre complex
Located at Disney Springs, you can watch a movie while eating your dinner! Check the AMC website for current movies and show times.
Enjoy delicious foods and cocktails paired with great movies in an immersive, big-screen theatre. Fork & Screen® offers reserved seating with upgraded seats, a personal call button and seat-side service. Select from an extensive menu of favorites like burgers, sandwiches and pizzettas. There’s something for everyone at surprisingly affordable prices. Guests must be at least 18 years of age or accompanied by a parent or guardian that is 21 years or older. – Walt Disney World
There is also The Marketplace Concessions Stand which includes the Coca-Cola Freestyle which dispenses 100+ drink choices from one sleek touch screen; and there is MacGuffins Bar & Lounge for cocktails.
9. Watch a dinner show
There are three dinner shows on Disney property – Spirit of Aloha, at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort; Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground; and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, also at Fort Wilderness. We have seen the first two of the three, and I’ve written about them more in depth here. Advance Dining Reservations are essential, which you can do 180 days in advance on the Disney website.
10. Enjoy the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues
House of Blues is located at Disney Springs. We went to the Gospel Brunch in 2013 with friends, and had an amazing time. You can read more about it here.
Listen to the joyous music of top gospel groups as you feast on all-you-care-to-eat Southern-style fare. The buffet includes such favorites as chicken jambalaya and BBQ chicken, as well as scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, bread pudding and made-to-order omelets. Join the soulful celebration at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM most Sundays! Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit. – Walt Disney World
There are so many things to do at Walt Disney World that doesn’t involve a visit to a theme park, I could have made this list a lot longer – but will save that for another time!
Thanks for reading Day 92 of 100 Days of Disney 2015! 8 to go! Come back tomorrow for another Disney post!
Posts in the 100 Days of Disney Series:
Disney Crafts | Disney Printables | Disney Dining | Disney Vacation Planning | Around Walt Disney World | Disney Resorts | Disney Photography | Disney Theme Parks | Disney Rides + Attractions | Disney Shows + Parades | Disney Fashion | Disney Merchandise | Disney Movies | Disney Songs
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