Wandering Around WDW
There is plenty to see and do in Disney World without ever entering the park. My Instagram post yesterday about that really got me thinking and I bet a lot of folks think they need a park ticket to see and do everything Disney has to offer. Well I’m here to tell you that’s not true.
We usually buy a Park Hopper for 1 day fewer than we’re actually in Disney. While we always get the latest flight home we possibly can, our last day still isn’t a full day, so we spend it at Disney Springs. Due to some unforeseen changes to our upcoming trip, we now have a completely full day in addition to our last day, so this post is all about what we plan to do on those days (aside from visiting Disney Springs) and what we’ve done in the past when we’ve had time to just wander.
One piece or our plan to go where the wind blows us is to take a bus to Magic Kingdom and catch the monorail. There are 3 resorts on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop: the Polynesian, the Contemporary, and the Grand Floridian. We’re only ever checked out the decorations at the Grand Floridian at Christmas, so we’re looking forward to taking those in again, as well as seeing what’s in store at the other two. I hear there’s a gingerbread house in The Contemporary!
All 3 of these resorts feature restaurants and gift shops, so we will have plenty to see and do to keep busy! My husband and I love to people watch, and so many different places with so many different things to see is the perfect form of entertainment for us.
The giant gingerbread house inside the Grand Floridian is indescribable and magical. It is absolutely enormous and so incredibly detailed. It’s even a shop where you can buy gingerbread cookies and the cash register is inside the gingerbread house!
With all the construction going on in Hollywood Studios, we find ourselves spending a lot less time in the park than we used to. On both of our previous trips, my husband and I left the park midday and hopped on the boat to Epcot. It stops at the Swan & Dolphin, Yacht & Beach Clubs, and the Boardwalk before arriving at the International Gateway at Epcot. Sometimes, we just ride the boat all the way to Epcot and back again, just for the time to be sitting and take in the sights.
On our first trip together, which was at Christmas time, we got off at the Yacht Club and wandered through both Yacht and Beach, to take a look at all their Christmas decorations.
On our day of wandering without a park ticket, one thing I want to do is take the bus over to Hollywood Studios to catch the boat again. You can’t bus from one resort to another, so in order to visit another resort, you’d need to take a bus to Disney Springs or to any of the parks. Because you catch the boat outside of the entrance to Hollywood Studios, we figure that’s more scenic and exciting than another bus ride from Disney Springs. And since the boat launch at Epcot is outside the World Showcase, there’s no other way to access it without going through Epcot.
We’ll take a look at all the decorations in all the Epcot area resorts, wander into the Swan & Dolphin, sit and people watch, and check out the shops and restaurants on the Boardwalk. This day is going to be so relaxing and I can’t wait! Every hotel has a gift shop so it’ll give us the opportunity to see unique merchandise we won’t find in the gift shop at Animal Kingdom Lodge (where we’re staying).
The beach area outside the Beach Club is a great place to just sit, relax, and take it all in. The views of the other resorts, the water, and the boats going by gives me such a sense of peace and contentedness.
Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite non-park activities in Disney World?