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Disney World has a lot going on inside the parks. Uniquely, you would be surprised to learn that there is a lot happening outside of the theme parks, as well. Are you looking for more discreet things to do while on your Disney vacation? You have come to the right place. From bowling to miniature golf and everything in between, there's lots of hidden gems right within Disney's walls. Here are our favorite secret things to do at Disney World without a park ticket.
If your crew are feeling competitive, hop over to Disney Springs to play a game or two of bowling. Splitsville has two stories and thirty lanes, making it a great place for the family, date, or larger event. Likewise, their in-house bar and restaurant make it a great spot to eat, drink, and relax.
Movies Under The Stars
It's no surprise that Disney hotels are, in many ways, theme parks in themselves. One of the offerings at several Disney World hotels are movies under the stars where you and yours can sit under the stars and watch one of many Disney classic movies by the pool or on the lawn. Whether you've just flown in from out of town are are relaxing your feet after a long day in the parks, it is one of the best ways to wind down after a long day.
Did you know that you can rent bikes, boats, and canoes at Walt Disney World? You can rent both single and multi-seater bicycles to ride down The Boardwalk or through Saratoga Springs resort. If you'd prefer to be on the water, you can rent canoes at Fort Wilderness, a pontoon boat to watch the fireworks on Seven Seas Lagoon, or even a car boat on Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs.
We couldn't leave resort pools off the list as we're speaking of the many ways you can stay entertained at the Disney World hotels. Not only do the resorts offer a place to swim and tan, but many pools at Disney hotels offer a variety of poolside activities. From water slides to games hosted by recreation leaders, you can spend a full day – even a full trip – at the pool if you'd like. With trained and certified lifeguards at every pool, you can rest easy.
One of the most unique experiences on property can be found in the barns just outside Magic Kingdom. At Fort Wilderness campsite, a horseback riding expedition is perfect for riders of all experience levels. Likewise, those looking to experience the great outdoors while in the middle of Orlando, Florida.
There are many locations at the Walt Disney Resort where you can enjoy live music, comedy, and magic shows. From Boardwalk Resort to Disney Springs, there seems to be something to keep you busy around every corner. If you're a music fan, Disney Springs even has a concert hall at House of Blues. If theatre is more your speed, Cirque de Soleil is right next door. The newly opened Cirque de Soleil's Drawn To Life is a great addition to anyone's Disney vacation.
One of the newest additions to the Walt Disney Resort, Disney Springs, has made it where you can find your new favorite outfit without ever leaving the property. With a range of well-known shops and boutiques, you could spend your day rifling through clothing racks as you explore all that Disney Springs has to offer. From one of the largest Disney World merchandise locations on property to international retail brands like Zara, Disney Springs is a must visit for anyone hoping to shop while on vacation. Be sure to budget your money accordingly, as it is easy to spend a lot of money at Disney Springs.
A game of putt-putt is a great opportunity to stay active and have fun at the same time. With three miniature golf courses on property, you have plenty of fun, themed ways for you and your family to practice your putting game. If you have younger members of your group, we recommend Winter Summerland, Disney's putt-putt course located just outside Blizzard Beach.
For the more experienced golfers in the family, Disney World has four golf courses to choose from. Would you like to check the course out but aren't sure of your abilities? Walt Disney World now offers FootGolf as an alternative to swinging a club. If you have younger members of your party that are interested in learning golf or simply improving their game, Disney offers junior programs.
As previously mentioned, Fort Wilderness campgrounds offer a unique experience for those looking for a more relaxed experience that somehow manages to feel so removed from the hustle and bustle of the Disney theme parks. From archery to canoeing to stories around the fire, winding down at the Fort Wilderness campgrounds is the perfect balance for those that prefer a more leisurely pace.
Hot Air Balloon
Do you have an adrenaline addict in your group? There's usually one thrill seeker in every family and while the parks have several rides to get your heart pumping, Disney Springs has the opportunity to soar to new heights. The hot air balloon experience gives you a 360 view of Walt Disney World and doesn't require a park ticket!
While you may associate fireworks with being an in park experience, there are several places you can escape to see the fireworks without stepping through the gates.
From the beaches of the Polynesian Resort to the dining room of the California Grille at Contemporary Resort, there are multiple opportunities to experience one of the most magical elements of Disney World without even entering the parks.
It can be difficult to plan a Disney vacation when there is so much to do. However, as you plan your next trip to Disney World, if you're trying to avoid large crowds or save money on park tickets, check out one – or all – of our secret things to do at Disney World!