This may come as a shock to some, but there are actually a TON of activities you and your family can take part in at Walt Disney World WITHOUT a park ticket.
There’s a whole world of fun to be had at Disney outside of the parks, and we’re here to shed some light on opportunities you may want to add to your next Disney vacation!
Surprisingly enough, there is a laundry list of activities guests can participate in around the Disney parks without a park ticket! We have 8 of our favorites listed below.
Did you know that you can actually see the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, Happily Ever After, without entering a park? You can catch the show from a few Disney World Resort locations including Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You may even be able to sneak a peek of Happily Ever After while dining at ‘Ohana at The Polynesian or Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian. If you’re dining near showtime, be sure to ask for a table near a window for a good view! The restaurants even dim the lights and play the fireworks soundtrack so you can listen along as well!
One of the restaurants with the best views of the show is California Grill at the Contemporary Resort. Sitting at the top of the Contemporary, the restaurant is lined with floor to ceiling windows AND has a huge adjacent balcony that guests who dine at the restaurant any time that evening can view the fireworks from (if you ate earlier in the night, just return with your receipt!).
If you are not dining at one of these spots but still want to watch Happily Ever After, you can still see the magic and hear the music on the beach at The Polynesian.
This may be a good option for little ones who may be a bit scared to be right in front of the loud fireworks!
Looking to stay on top of your golf game on vacay? Disney World actually has four golf courses to choose from: Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Course, Disney’s Palm Golf Course, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. You can schedule a tee-time by clicking here.
For a kid-friendly option, Disney World also has two miniature golf courses to try out. Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course has a “Fantasia” theme and Disney’s Winter Summerland features seasonal themes. Both miniature courses have two 18-hole adventures.
These cost $14 for adults (10+ yrs) and $12 for children (3-9 yrs). Although these courses aren’t totally free options, they can still help you instill some Disney magic in a day away from the parks!
3. Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant is a 15 minutes show that takes place in Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon starting right before Happily Ever After. This light parade takes place nightly and you can catch a green serpent, octopus, seahorses, American Flags, and more, along with a catchy synthetic soundtrack, as it plays in the water in front of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and outside the entrance to Magic Kingdom park.
You can find out what time to expect the parade here based on where you are viewing from.
4. Horseback Riding
Feeling adventurous? Why not go horseback riding in Tri-Circle-D-Ranch at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
Guests must be 9 years of age and pricing starts at $55 per person for 45 minutes.
5. Go on a Safari
Trot on over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge if you’re up for a WILD time. Disney is currently offering a Starlight Safari for ages 8 to adult for $74.17. Guests are given a night-vision device to help them spot the 30+ species that freely roam at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
This hour-long in a safari vehicle is fun and educational at the same time. tour For reservations and more information call (407) 939-7529.
6. Meet the Characters
You can also meet a large number of Disney characters without a park ticket. Yup, you read that right! There are multiple character dining options within the Disney resorts. For example, if you’d like to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy, you can visit Chef Mickey’s located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You can also meet Disney characters while dining at Storybook Dining at Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge. Here, you can meet Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and the Evil Queen.
You’ve gotta eat, so getting a meal AND a chance to meet a selection of characters is a great way to make good use of your time at Disney!
7. Carriage Rides
Another unique and fun activity you can do without a park ticket is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride. You can find this activity offered at the Riverside Levee Marina at Port Orleans – Riverside. Each 25-minute horse-drawn carriage ride fits 4 adults (or 2 adults and 3 small children) for $55.
Need an excuse for a Disney shopping spree? Head to Disney Springs to find awesome Disney merchandise, restaurants, and experiences — all without going into the parks! There are so many things to see and do, you could easily spend a day exploring around.
Disney World is NOT limited to just theme parks. If you go looking, there’s SO MUCH more to do. Want even more ideas? Check out our video below for more fun things you can do at Disney!
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What is your favorite activity Disney activity that you can do without a park ticket? Let us know in the comments below!