I’ve talked many times over the years about the importance of incorporating a non-park or resort-only day into your Walt Disney World vacation and how much it helped our family when our kids were younger. I know it’s a tough sell sometimes because you’ve spent a lot of money to be at Disney and your kids want to play in the pool – something isn’t adding up here, but let’s talk about it. Today, I thought we’d briefly revisit that and talk about some of the lesser-known activities that take place at some of the Disney resorts that are not always advertised anywhere except physically at the location, so no matter how much prior research you do, you’ll want to keep an eye out at the resort once you arrive.
Our general rule of thumb when we’d fly into Florida for our Disney World vacation was only to do two park days in a row and then take a full-day break from the parks. We’d typically spend that off day at the resort’s pool. The day would start with sleeping in, which everyone loved; then we’d have a late breakfast, sometimes brunch even. Depending on where we were staying, we’d do our own cooking in the kitchen, or we’d make a late-morning dining reservation. As a side note, having groceries delivered with Instacart or Amazon was not a thing when our kids were little, but it sure is a thing now and it’s easier than ever to have all of your must-haves delivered without the need to rent a vehicle. One year, my husband walked from Old Key West to a gas station at Disney Springs to get half and half for coffee. It took a long time, and now with Uber or Lyft, it can be super easy to make your own grocery run too.
The pool was always our go-to, but nowadays, the resorts offer so much more to do. This week at Saratoga Springs, we spotted a cast member canoe decorating contest display where guests could vote on their favorite designs. How fun!
Be sure to stop by the front desk at some point during your check-in day and ask about any additional activities that might be planned during your stay. The Midsummer Jubilee taking place on Saturday night is new this year and sounds like a whole lot of fun for a night in with the family.
If you’ve got kiddos with you who are a little bit older and you don’t mind them wandering off on their own throughout the resort, take a look at this scavenger hunt. Of course, it’s themed for Saratoga Race Week and has you searching for hidden horshoes!
Many Disney resorts offer a Movie Under the Stars where they have an outdoor screen set up near the pool area and guests can pull up a chair and watch some of their favorite films. One of my all-time favorite resort activities is a complimentary tour that’s offered at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge where a cast member takes you around and teaches you about the hotel. They also have a fantastic scavenger hunt – be sure to ask about it!
Over the years, we’ve seen painting classes offered and so much more. What kinds of activities have you seen at the Walt Disney World resort hotels?
Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº