What makes up Walt Disney World? Most would agree that the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are the core elements that make the Orlando icon the beacon of magic that it’s become. They would also be missing over half the equation.
Walt Disney World dwarfs its Californian counterpart tremendously, and not just in terms of size. As well as being home to some of the most iconic theme parks on the planet, Disney World is also home to luxurious resorts and tons of different experiences outside of the Parks that even experienced Park-Hoppers have been ignoring for decades.
A recent post asked Disney fans how to go “Beyond the Parks” on a Disney vacation, and most responses barely even scratched the surface. Disney offers far more than rollercoasters and rides themed around Mickey and his friends, and some Guests are too dazzled by the glamor of the Magic Kingdom to notice. There’s plenty to see, do, and experience without even stepping foot onto Park property.
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Suppose you’ve had your fill of schlepping through the Parks, you’ve rode all the rides you care to ride and eaten enough popcorn, Dole Whip, and Mickey pretzels to choke Winnie the Pooh. So where do you go from here? Taking a breather in your hotel room is always an option, but what if you really want to see what else Disney has to offer?
A consensus of fans has highly recommended Resort Hopping, visiting some of Disney’s most iconic resort hotels for their restaurants, shops, and other amenities. The Grand Floridian is known for its spas, the Polynesian is home to tiki bars and Hawaiian shirts, Fort Wilderness has it’s outdoor recreations, and Disney’s Boardwalk has enough restaurants and nightlife to rival Disney Springs. The best part, you typically only have to stay there to visit the pools, everything else is fair game.
Although the previously mentioned Boardwalk definitely deserves a little extra recognition, Disney Springs is still the place to go for fun outside the Parks. While the nightlife might have been toned down since the days of Pleasure Island, there are still plenty of places to check out, especially for an adult audience. Guests can enjoy cocktails and a floorshow at the Edison, incredible desserts from Gideon’s Bakehouse, and a wide variety of live music and performances at various venues throughout the property.
Places like the Magic Kingdom will always be the reason to book a trip to the Parks in the first place, but Guests are wrong if they think that’s the only thing there is to do. Walt Disney World is magical place that’s far more than a selection of theme parks. Come for the Parks, but stay for all the wonders the resorts offer as well.
Have you been missing out on the rest of Disney World? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!