Experience Disney Without the Parks

Blasphemy! you might say, but my family truly enjoys a Disney vacation without stepping foot in one of the theme parks. I’m not talking about a cruise or a stay at Vero Beach – don’t get me wrong, we enjoy those too – but a stay at Walt Disney World Resorts.


Disney resorts have some of the best pools. My kids will spend all day floating around the lazy river at the Beach Club/Yacht Club pool or splashing about at Coronado Springs. Myself, I prefer finding a lounge chair in the perfect locations while enjoying a frosty drink. The kids are entertained, I am relaxed, and life just doesn’t get much better than that.


One of my most treasured memories involved the bikes at The Boardwalk. My parents, my husband, and I attempting to peddle a bicycle built for four up the small grade onto the bridge. My youngest was seated in a basket on the front of the bike. My mother and I were laughing so hard that we couldn’t peddle and everyone had to get off and walk. I love meandering through the shops and getting a sweet treat at the bakery. The Boardwalk is like a quaint little shore-side town in the center of it all!


Don’t forget to check your resort’s outdoor movie schedule! The entire family will enjoy watching a movie under the stars. There are often pool- side activities and children’s activities throughout the day. Just check the calendar of events. The Beach Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Polynesian also have a Children’s Activity Center that provides child care for a fee so that you can enjoy some adult time.


If you have children, it isn’t a trip to ‘the happiest place on earth’ if you don’t see your favorite character, and there are plenty to see outside of the parks. Whether it is at Cape May, ‘Ohana, or Chef Mickey’s you can see your favorites and have plenty of photo ops.


Disney Springs has something for all ages! Shopping, dining, entertainment. You can enjoy some of your favorite Disney activities such as pin trading and rides with the carousel and Characters in Flight. Visit Splitsville for some friendly competition amongst your family. My kids never want to leave – and I keep going back for the sushi!


Of course, there are the waterparks – Blizzard Beach and Typhon Lagoon – mini golf, and the ESPN Sports Center

but you can’t talk about a non-theme park Disney vacation without mentioning Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. This camping themed resort has so much to offer. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, archery, carriage and wagon rides, boating, fishing, and campfires … there is enough to keep your family entertained for days!


The best thing about a Disney resort vacation is that you still experience the magic that is Disney customer service. Disney cast members have a way of always making you feel like you are there priority, always greeting you with a smile. When you are on vacation you want to be treated like the prince or princess that you are and Disney gets it right!


Walt Disney said, “There is no Magic in Magic, it is all in the details.” If you would like someone to take care of the details and help make your family vacation magical, Heather@HiHoVacations.com

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