10 Fun Family Activities Outside Walt Disney World Theme Parks

People focus so much energy on Walt Disney World’s four theme parks that they forget that Walt Disney World is a world-class resort that has dotted all its “I’s” and crossed all its “T’s” when it’s about entertaining your guests. The parks themselves aren’t the only place you can have family fun at Walt Disney World.

Let us guide you through these 10 fun activities available outside of the theme parks on the Walt Disney World property…

1. Visit the stations

Image: Kimberly Crawford

Disney resorts are in a class of their own. Each has a unique theme with careful attention to detail, making guests feel like they’ve been transported to a magical destination. So it stands to reason that they would be full of many unique opportunities to add more fun to your vacation.

2. Photo Opportunities

The world of Nemo
Image: Kimberly Crawford

That eagle-eyed attention to detail we mentioned is also what makes resorts such a fantastic place to take gorgeous family photos. My family’s favorite is the Art of Animation Resort. Life-size (and some larger-than-life) statues of The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King surround the hotel. Kids love finding all their favorite characters and posing with them.

3. Campfire activities and movies under the stars

Movies under the stars, Disney
Picture: Disney

Most resort hotels offer campfire activities, usually based on the theme of the resort. Some of these campfires even invite Disney characters to join in the fun, like the Chip n’ Dale Campfire Sing-A-Long. Activities around the campfire are immediately followed by a Disney movie under the stars. Like the look of campfire activities or the movie at a different resort than the one you are staying at, no problem. Disney Guests are welcome at all resorts.

4. Themed Arcades

Each complex has a unique themed arcade. It’s a great place for families to let off steam and enjoy a wide variety of Disney-themed arcade games.

5. Electric Water Contest

Electric water competition
Image: Kimberly Crawford

This musical parade of lights on the water takes place every night on the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Electric Water Pageant is just a fun-to-watch experience for families, but a Disney tradition and has been running continuously since the park opened 50 years ago. The show can be viewed from any of the four lagoon hotels: the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort, the Fort Wilderness Resort and the Contemporary Resort.

6. Mini Golf

Fantasia Gardens, Disney
Picture: Disney

Fantasia Gardens is a whimsical golf course that will appeal to all ages. Fantasia fans will love this miniature golf course featuring scenes from the film. The Fairway Golf Course mimics an actual golf course (including sand traps and water hazards) on a miniature scale for those looking to show off their skills.

Most people associate Disney Springs with dining and shopping, but may not realize that there are wonderful places for family fun.

7. Cirque Du Soleil – Drawn to Life (Disney Springs)

Drawn to Life, Cirque du Soleil
Picture: Disney

For more than twenty years, Cirque Du Soleil has been one of Disney’s favorite spring acrobatic shows. Their newest show, Drawn to Life, collaborates with Disney Animation Studios, where beloved Disney animation comes to life in this artistic and colorful acrobatic show.

8. Air balloon ride

Aerophilic Hot Air Balloon Ride, Disney Springs
Picture: Disney

Fly over Disney Springs and enjoy views up to 10 miles away, depending on visibility, which includes many famous Disney landmarks.

9. Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Take bowling and billiards to the next level in this state-of-the-art bowling alley that captures the classic 1950s vibe.

10. AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theater

AMC Theater, Disney Springs
Picture: Disney

You’ll never watch dinner and the movie the same way again after experiencing the AMC Dine-in Theatre. Families can enjoy top-notch cuisine and cocktails while watching the latest feature films.

When planning your next Disney vacation, be sure to add in some of these fun family activities to kickstart your vacation and create lasting memories. Did you enjoy any of these? Do you have any other fun suggestions to add to our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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