Disney hidden gems: Activities in Walt Disney World that aren’t in the parks

in Disney, Park Secrets, Walt Disney World

Whenever you think of Walt Disney World, we can bet you automatically think of the theme parks and attractions–Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and even Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. But what a lot of people don’t realize is the variety of other activities outside of the theme parks offered throughout Walt Disney World property.

We put together a list of Disney hidden gems that you and your family can enjoy the next time you’re visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Resort Hopping

There are more than 25 Walt Disney World Resorts on property, but each one is unique. Whether you are looking to spend the night in an extravagant lodge or looking for more of a budget friendly resort, Disney has the special place for every family. But just because you aren’t staying in a specific resort, doesn’t mean you cant go and explore. This is what a lot of guests refer to as park hopping.

Disney's Polynesian Resort
Credit: Disney

One of the easiest routes to accomplish is the Magic Kingdom route. The Contemporary, The Polynesian, and The Grand Floridan are all accessible via the monorail. Each resort has its own distinctive atmosphere, glorious gift shops, and speciality restaurants.

The Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness are also part of the Magic Kingdom route, but these are accessible via boat. Fort Wilderness is home of the infamous Hoop de Doo Revue while Wilderness Lodge is home to Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Besides the Magic Kingdom Resorts, you can visit any of the other resorts on property. The All Star Resorts, Caribbean Beach, The Swan and Dolphin, Coronado Springs ,and Animal Kingdom Lodge are just some of the many other options you can explore. (Most of these can be accessible via bus from any Disney Park.)

Horseback Riding

Do you love the great outdoors? Then check out Trail Blaze Corral. This horseback riding experience is perfect for any beginner or intermediate rider who wants to explore the beauty of the wilderness at Fort Wilderness Resort. (Reservations are recommended in advance.)

Horse Drawn Excursion

Relax and unwind–two words you probably don’t associate with Walt Disney World.

Travel scenic routes while onboard a rustic horse-drawn wagon. You can venture through the trails of cypress forest at Fort Wilderness or take in views of the beautiful river at Port Orleans Riverside. Both experiences last approximately 25 minutes and reservations are recommended in advance.

Horse Drawn Excursion
Source: Disney

Miniature Golf

Whether you are looking for a fun day out, or you’re looking for a friendly competition, Walt Disney World offers two unique miniature golf courses.

Come putt your way through scenes of the Disney Classic “Fantasia” at Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf. (Beware of dancing broomsticks!)

Or you can conquer the ultimate duel of the seasons at the Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. At this golf course, you can take on the heat of the summer on The Summer Course or the bitter of winter on The Winter Course. Whichever you choose, you will face challenges and obstacles, but it’ll guarantee a family fun day.

Relax at the Spa

Walt Disney World is known as the family vacation spot, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t have the opportunity to unwind and relax. Leave your stresses at the door because there are a variety of spas and health clubs on Walt Disney property that offer fitness, senses and massages.

Relaxation at Disney's Spa
Source: Disney

And So Much More!

These are just a few of the many hidden gems Walt Disney World has to offer. Search for Hidden Mickeys, enjoy a Dole Whip on the beach at Polynesian, Cctch the Electrical Water Pageant at one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, and explore so much more.

Walt Disney World may be known as an adventure-filled theme park destination, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire vacation in the parks. The next time you visit The Most Magical Place on Earth, take a break from the parks and check out some of these hidden gems. If you need help planning your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel for a free quote and help planning the vacation of your dreams.  

What’s your favorite Disney hidden gem to explore on Walt Disney World property? Let us know in the comments!

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