When people think of Disney World, some of the first things that come to their mind are characters, rides, and snacks. While I love going to the parks, riding rides, meeting characters, and eating premium mickey bars and dole whips; there is so much more to Disney World than that. There is so much to do on property that most people aren’t even aware of some of the unique things you can do at Disney World. Without further ado, here is my list of 15 things you may not have known you could do at Disney World.
1. Swim with dolphins
You don’t have to go on a Disney Cruise to Castaway Cay to swim with dolphins, you can do it right in EPCOT. Disney offers a unique experience called Dolphins in Depth where you can spend 3 hours learning all about dolphins and includes an interactive experience where you can get in the water with the dolphins. This experience is limited to 8 guests per day, so if this is something you are interested in call asap to book. Dolphins in depth costs $199 per person and is for ages 13 and up.
2. Play golf (miniature or the real thing)
If you want to plan a day outside of the parks during your Walt Disney World Vacation, think about spending the day playing golf. Disney has three 18-hole golf courses on property along with one 9-hole golf course that is more family friendly. Each golf course offers equipment rental and lessons. But, if you’re golf skills are more like mine then mini-golf may be more your speed. Disney has two miniature-golf locations on property, both with two 18-hole courses. This is a great, inexpensive activity for a non-park day.
3. Go horseback riding
At Fort Wilderness Resort you can spend the day horseback riding while taking in the scenic views of the resort. Each trail ride is 45 minutes at $55 per person. Riders must be 9 year old, over 48 inches tall, and weight under 250 lbs.
4. Make s’mores around a campfire
Almost every moderate and deluxe resort offers nightly campfire activities that include roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Afterwards, you can stay for a movie under the stars. My favorite campfire on property is at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort. You can bring your own sticks and marshmallows, or buy kits at the resort and as you roast marshmallows you can sing along to some campfire tunes and hang out with Chip and Dale!
5. Go canoeing and kayaking
Again at Fort Wilderness, you can rent canoes and kayaks. For only $13.00/hour you can spend the day enjoying the scenic waterways of Fort Wilderness. Rentals are available on a first-come first-serve basis at the Bike Barn in the Meadow Recreation Area.
6. Run a 5k
Almost everyone is familiar with RunDisney’s marathon weekends where you can run 5ks, 10ks, half and full marathons throughout property, but not everyone knows that multiple resorts offer weekly fun runs. Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs, Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club are just a few of the resorts that offer fun runs. These are open to ages 3 and up and have a $15 entry fee. Registration for these usually begin about 30-60 minutes prior to the start of the event. If you’re feeling like you’ve had one too many Mickey pretzels during your trip, this is a great pre-park activity.
7. Go fishing
You can fish at the dock at Port Orleans Riverside or go on a guided fishing excursion at numerous Disney marinas. The guided excursions are offered in 2 or 4 hour increments and include a guide, rod and reel, tackle, bait, and non-alcoholic beverages. This can be a great activity for a day of relaxation.
8. Rent a boat
If fishing isn’t your thing, but you still want to enjoy a day out on the water you can rent a boat at any of Disney’s marinas. Mini-speed boats, 6-seater, and 10-seater boats are available for rental on a first-come first-serve basis.
9. Go scuba diving or snorkeling
In EPCOT’s 5.7 million-gallon salt-water aquarium you can swim with over 6,000 sea creatures. EPCOT Seas Adventures DiveQuest last 3 hours where you learn about the backstage infrastructure and go on a dive in the aquarium. This tour requires a SCUBA certification, but for those who aren’t, Disney also offers EPCOT Seas Adventures Aqua Tour. In this tour you can snorkel inside the aquarium and learn about the creatures of the Carribean coral reef. Participants must be 8+ to snorkel and 10+ to go scuba diving.
10. Get your haircut
Did you know that you can get your haircut, right in the middle of main street?! Many people bring their children for their first haircut, but adults can get a trim too. Advance reservations are recommended, but walk-ups are available on a first-come first-serve basis every day.
11. Ride in a helium-filled balloon
At Disney Springs, you can take a ride on the Aerophile, a helium-filled balloon that takes you 400 ft. into the air. On clear days, you can see up to 10 miles away. Tickets are first-come first-serve and $20 for adults and $15 for children 9 and under. This is a fun activity to add to your day at Disney Springs.
12. Take an animation class
Animation is central to the history of the Walt Disney Company, so why not learn to draw some the beloved characters. There are two places on property where you can take an animation class. The first is in Animal Kingdom at The Animation Experience at Conservation Station. FastPasses are available for this experience, but from my experience, not necessary. If you’re looking for something to do on a non-park day, classes are also offered at Art of Animation Resort. Every day at 11:00am, 2:00pm, and 5:00pm there are instructor-led animation classes offered in the lobby.
13. Drive on water
I bet you didn’t think this was something you could do anywhere, let alone Walt Disney World. At Disney Springs you can take a tour in a 1960’s amphicar and view all of the Disney Springs landmarks. This experience can be a bit pricey at $125 for a 20-minute tour for 3-4 people. But if you have a group of four people and are splitting the cost, it comes to a little over $31 a person.
14. Experience virtual reality
Virtual reality experiences are all the rage lately, and where better to try it out than Disney World. At The Void in Disney Springs you can experience two different virtual reality experiences right now: Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR. In each of these experiences you can step into the story and explore using the VR headset. You can purchase tickets in advance at thevoid.com/locations/disney-springs-orlando/ for $39.95.
There’s a never-ending list of things to do at Disney World. Have you done any of these before? What are some of your favorite lesser-known activities on property? Let me know in the comments below.