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Fun Beyond the Parks – Activities to Enjoy at Disney Resorts

While the four Disney Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort are filled with wonderful attractions and experiences, there is also a slew of entertaining and unforgettable things to do outside them. The Disney Resorts found throughout property each feature their own immersive theming as well as a variety of experiences including dining, recreation, entertainment, and even special decorations and designs depending on the time of year.

With so many amazing things to see and do at the Disney Resorts, Guests should definitely plan on spending some time exploring all the unique locations and enjoying some wonderful experiences that can only be found outside the Disney Parks. Here are some great activities to enjoy outside the Disney Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Gingerbread House

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Check Out Holiday Decorations

Throughout the year, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrates several holidays with special decorations and exclusive activities and experiences that Guests can enjoy. No time is as celebrated as the holidays, and each Christmas season the Disney Resorts all receive special decorations that bring the joy of the holiday to life with unique stylistic elements that continue that particular Disney Resort’s theme. From towering Christmas trees and wreaths to an actual building constructed of gingerbread that sells treats at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, there are beautiful holiday decorations throughout property that Guests can enjoy.

RELATED: Where You Can Find Incredible Gingerbread Houses at Walt Disney World

Collage

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In addition to the Christmas season, other special times of the year are also celebrated at the Disney Resorts, including Easter when beautifully decorated Easter eggs with unique Disney themes are on display in the lobbies of several Disney Resorts. Guests who take the time to explore the Disney Resorts are sure to be blown away by the beauty and scale of holiday decorations throughout the year!

RELATED: Photo Tour of Favorite Walt Disney World Resort Easter Egg Displays from Years Past

Dinner Skillet

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Enjoy Unique Dining

The Disney Resorts are also home to some of the most popular and delicious dining locations that serve up unique menus for all meal periods that can’t be missed. Some of the best restaurants that can be found at the Disney Resorts include California Grill and Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

RELATED: The Best Quick Service Restaurants at Disney Resorts

Disney Skyliner

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Take a Ride on the Disney Skyliner

A convenient and scenic way to move around the Walt Disney World Resort is by taking a ride on the Disney Skyliner. This innovative transportation system whisks Guests to the skies in individual cabins that are brightly colored and feature special character additions for smooth rides between several Disney Parks and Disney Resorts. With gentle breezes and beautiful views, Guests can enjoy a scenic ride on the Disney Skyliner and board from stations located at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

RELATED: The Ultimate Foodie Disney Skyliner Crawl

Fireworks

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Watch the Fireworks

One of the most memorable experiences of any vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort is watching a stunning nighttime spectacular with fireworks like Harmonious at EPCOT or Disney Enchantment in the Magic Kingdom. Guests who step outside of the Disney Parks can find some really unique locations to enjoy the fireworks from, including the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, outdoor viewing deck at California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or the outdoor terrace at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Bikes

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Rent Bicycles

A wonderful way to explore the grounds of many Disney Resorts is by renting a bicycle and hitting the paths to enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour. Bicycles can be rented at several locations including Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. With sizes for both adults and children as well as the necessary safety gear, Guests will love riding around the Disney Resorts and checking out the beautiful landscaping, architecture, waterways, and more from their bicycles.

BoardWalk

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Explore the BoardWalk

Just steps from the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT’s World Showcase is Crescent Lake, a beautiful and serene body of water that is home to several Disney Resorts, dining, entertainment, and more. Guests can check out Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s BoardWalk which evokes the nostalgia of the turn of the century Atlantic seaside. Guests can stroll along the actual boardwalk to check out restaurants like Trattoria al Forno, live entertainment at Jellyrolls, specialty cocktails at AbracadaBar, and much more, all with beautiful water views.

YeeHa Bob

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Check Out YeeHa Bob

A completely unique live show that encourages audience participation can be found at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside several nights a week. River Roost Lounge can be found steps from the Disney Resort’s main lobby that features a cozy and elegant Southern setting complete with a stage set up for unforgettable performances by YeeHa Bob Jackson. YeeHa Bob has been performing at the Disney Resort for years and gained a huge following, and Guests are sure to be charmed by his upbeat and wacky performances on a swaying piano that encourages audience participation. River Roost Lounge also serves up specialty cocktails and a limited menu of appetizers with popular Southern flavors for Guests to enjoy throughout each performance.

RELATED: Dining at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

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Hunt for Hidden Mickeys

Searching for Hidden Mickeys is a popular activity that many Guests love to enjoy while exploring the four Disney Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. The hunt also continues at the Disney Resorts where Guests can find more unique hidden images of Mickey and other favorite characters in the décor, architecture, design, and everywhere in between. Searching for Hidden Mickeys is also a great way to slow down and appreciate the small details and quiet areas of Disney Resorts that might have otherwise gone unnoticed!

RELATED: Hidden Mickeys at Disney Resorts

Pathway

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Walk the Seven Seas Lagoon Loop

The Magic Kingdom is located on the northern shores of Seven Seas Lagoon and with the recent completion of a new pathway, Guests can enjoy a leisurely, scenic stroll nearly all the way around the water. Beginning at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Guests can enjoy a walking path that stretches to the main gates of the Magic Kingdom and from there continue on the newest portion of pathway that leads to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. After walking through the Disney Resort’s grounds, another short pathway leads to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, followed by another brief pathway that finally ends at the Transportation and Ticket Center. All in all, the walk takes about a half hour and offers up the chance to really check out the Disney Resorts as well as soak in the beautiful breezes and views from Seven Seas Lagoon.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.