Searching for Fun Outside the Parks – Exploring the Resorts

By Paul on August 22nd, 2011

Where in Disney World can you find things to do OUTSIDE the parks?

Walt Disney World has dozens of activities and things to do at the resorts, Downtown Disney, and other areas.  On each trip we try to schedule at least a partial day not going to a park.  This is a continuing set of posts about our favorite activities outside the park.

Exploring The Resorts

Costs: Free
Appeals To:  First Time Visitors to Annual Pass Veterans

Whether the resort you are staying in or one you want to stay in, take some time and visit a new resort.  The effort and attention to detail in the theming is amazing. Here are a few our favorite resorts to visit.

All Star Music Resort - Walt Disney World

All Star Music Resort - Walt Disney World

All Star Movies

All Star Movies

A visit to the Wilderness Lodge will transport you to the Pacific Northwest. Inside the vast lobby you’ll find a fresh water spring, Native American artifacts, and the biggest fireplace you’ve ever seen! Then follow the spring’s stream down to a waterfall, the pool, and then watch the geyser blast!

Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge


This is even more so during the Holiday Season!  One of our first recommendations to families traveling to WDW in November or December, is to take a couple of hours to visit the resorts on the Monorail loop–Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary.

Christmas at the Grand Floridian

Christmas at the Grand Floridian


On a recent exploration trip to the Polynesian, we stumbled upon a couple of very interesting activities.  First, we saw a women making Hawaiian Leis.   She was sitting at a desk by herself while other busy guest just buzzed by.  While we were watching her, she invited Brooke to come sit next to her.   She was a native of Hawaii and told Brooke about what she was doing taught her how to string the flowers.

Making Leis At the Polynesian

Making Leis At the Polynesian

As we got up to leave her table, we walked right into a Hula lesson!

Hula Lessons at the Polynesian

Hula Lessons at the Polynesian

All of these activities are free!  You don’t have to be a guest of that resort to enjoy them!

On your next visit, take a morning to walk around a resort you’ve never stayed.  Get a closer look at the huge Pop Culture Icons at Pop Century, take a leisurely walk around the Boardwalk, or watch the animals on the savannah at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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5 Responses to “Searching for Fun Outside the Parks – Exploring the Resorts”

  1. Billy Jackson says:

    Will be there in october the week of the 9th. We are staying at Pop Century for the second time. This will be my 13th trip and we are taking our neice and nephew for the first time.Looking forward to showing them the time of their lives. Thanks for this list of things to do outside the park.

  2. admin says:


    Hope you have a great trip! We’ll be there that week also.

  3. Billy Jackson says:

    We always go on this week to us its the best time to go the weather is great shorter lines and we do Mickeys Not So Scary.

  4. Billy Jackson says:

    We did the food and wine last year and use our snacks off of our quick serve dinning plan to sample the different foods. Plan to do the same this year.

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