Not everyone thinks the idea of a non-stop theme park vacation sounds very appealing. My boyfriend is one of those people. As much as Disney is about the rides, there is still PLENTY to do at Walt Disney World that is not in the thrill ride category. There are a fair amount of rides that are very tame – Jungle Cruise, The Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name a few. Not only that, but there are quite a few things you can do that will still make your visit to Disney enjoyable that don’t involve getting on ANY rides. You can do them with your whole party or on your own while waiting for them to get off Splash Mountain – check out these 7 suggestions below!
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Hang out in the Hub
The “Hub” grass has become an Instagram phenomenon. Quite simply, it’s the area in front of Cinderella Castle, and it’s the absolute PERFECT place to take a quick break or wait for your party while doing some people watching. You’ll be able to see many of the parades from this area (not with a SUPER great view, but it is still relaxing!) and with plenty of shade, you won’t get overheated. One of my FAVORITE Magic Kingdom memories was going to the parks by myself for the first time, grabbing Starbucks on Main Street, and then heading to the Hub to watch the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! celebration from the Hub. BEST. MORNING. EVER.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
This is one of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World, and sadly we don’t know how long this show will be around. With the Studios being in a state of transition lately, be sure you check this out while it’s still there!
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is, basically, a how-we-did-it stunt show staring everyone’s favorite history professor. Trained stunt professionals re-enact many of the classic scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, along with audience participation! This show is weather dependent, so sadly it might get cancelled every once in a while, but if you get a chance to see it I highly recommend it! It’s in a shaded amphitheater area and is just overall a very fun time!
Drinking Around the World at Epcot
If you haven’t heard about “Drinking Around the World” then I am about to blow your mind. World Showcase in Epcot is a must-do for everyone, but if you’re a foodie, then you’re REALLY going to enjoy hopping from country to country and sampling all their food. Not only that, but each country also has speciality drinks inspired by the traditional cuisine of their culture. Many people make it their goal to get a drink at each country – and not many succeed! There ARE 11 countries represented after all! If you’re confident in your drinking abilities, give it a shot – no pun intended.
Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is THE place to go if you’re a shopaholic like myself. From The World of Disney to the new Sprinkles Cupcake shop (with a cupcake ATM!) there is something for literally everyone. Christmas shop? Got it! Toy store? Got that too! Whatever souvenir you’re trying to hunt down, you can guarantee it’ll be at Disney Springs somewhere. Use the shopDisney app to help you locate a particular item and hunt it down in stores! Whether it’s adorable Alex and Ani bracelets like this one here or a new ornament for your Christmas tree, you’ll definitely find something you love here.
In addition to all the fantastic shopping, you can also find gourmet dining (which take the Disney Dining Plan), Splitsville bowling alley, a movie theater, and so much more! You could spend an entire day just shopping and strolling around Disney Springs!
Did you know Disney World has not one, but TWO mini golf courses?! Winter Summerland mini golf course is located at Blizzard Beach and follows the same arctic theme the water park does. Fantasia Gardens and Fairways is located at the Swan hotel, and is themed around the classic Disney movie Fantasia. Golf amongst the dancing ostriches and hippos as you play a relaxing game of mini golf with your family! I consider this one of the hidden gems of Disney, and it’s a great activity to do if you have some down time at night or need to fill a day before heading to the parks.
This may seem like an obvious one, but vacations are all about hanging out by the pool! Even if you don’t want to shell out the money to head to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, the pools at the Disney resorts are still a fantastic place to get some relaxation. Many of the resorts have multiple pools so you’ll be able to find one close to your room, and they’re often very close to a bar or food court so you can grab a snack or something to drink while you’re relaxing.
In addition to an entire “downtown” district at Disney Springs, Disney ALSO has an entire boardwalk district located in between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Here you’ll find plenty of fine dining, shopping, candy shops, and fun boardwalk activities. You can play midway games or rent a tandem bicycle, or simply walk around the boardwalk and enjoy the old fashioned decor of the BoardWalk, Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts (and yes, there IS a beach!) One of the best parts of the BoardWalk is it’s proximity to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can walk to the resorts or take the ferry from either side of the lake!
These are just a few of the things you can do at Walt Disney World without climbing on a roller coaster. Many people think Disney isn’t for people who want to take it easy – but there is still plenty you can do while the rest of your family gets their thrill ride fix.
Headed to DisneyLAND and wondering what you can do instead of rides? Check out this post by Kylee at Green Monorail Destinations highlighting adult activities at the west coast Disney park!
What’s your favorite item on this list? Let me know in the comments below!