A Walt Disney World vacation is filled with so much hype and expended energy that one of my top recommendations is to enjoy a few non-park days. This post will fill you in on the best things to do on a Disney non-park day, as well as discuss how to make the most of your time while visiting Orlando.
With so many amazing things to see and do in the area surrounding Disney, adding in a couple of non-park days will allow you to experience all that this exciting area has to offer. Likewise, Disney World non-park days will help you unwind from the bustle and crowds of the Disney parks in order to enjoy some necessary relaxation and downtime (in order to stay sane!).
For those in your family who may not be theme-park fanatics, Disney World non-park days will be a welcome addition to the daily plans. So for these reasons and more, read on to find the best ideas on exactly what to do on a Disney World non-park days or other day trips from Orlando.
Have a stay-cation at your resort on Disney World non-park days
Whether you are staying at a Disney resort, or at an off-site property, chances are that your accommodation has a gigantic swimming pool and is loaded with other fun things to do. Being that all of the hotels in the Orlando area are in competition with one another, most have ample family-friendly amenities in order to attract your business.
Consider spending an entire day at your resort or hotel. Sleep in. Swim. Lounge by the pool. Play poolside games.
Chances are that every day your hotel will have daily scheduled activities, games, and outdoor movies all for your entertainment. Your hotel may even have an actual activity director and a print-off of the day’s activities that you can follow.
My recommendation: During our recent trip to Orlando, we stayed at an off-site property as a means to save money on our Disney World vacation. We were absolutely thrilled with our stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista. We recommend this hotel to you and other families.
The amazing swimming pool and 2 hot tubs, small indoor arcade and movie theater, poolside ping pong table, pool table, and life-size chess game, along with scheduled outdoor games and activities provided hours of fun!
For less than $99 a night (along with the additional savings of having a ‘stay-cation’ non-park day), trust in
Spend a day at the beach instead of going to the Disney parks
No trip to Florida would be complete without adding in a beach day! With so many incredible family-friendly beaches near Disney world, I totally recommend unwinding from the Disney parks and spending a non-park day building
We chose to spend an entire non-park day during our Disney World vacation at Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach is located 73 miles from Disney and takes 1 hour and 15 minutes by car to get there. The family-friendly beach amenities, clean restrooms, kids splash pads, and endless swimming area made Daytona beach the perfect choice.
Read all about where to park, what to do, and what to expect on our related post: How to Spend 1 Day on Daytona Beach With Kids.
Planning tip: There are dozens of free public parking areas along the oceanfront. For
Go miniature golfing on a Disney non-park day
For some reason, kids, vacation, and miniature golfing go hand-in-hand. Miniature golfing in Orlando cannot be compared to just any miniature golfing however, for just like the hotels, they all try to out-do each other. From multi-tiered putting areas, gigantic themed-obstacles, and loads of family fun, miniature golfing is an excellent way to spend a few hours enjoying a non-park day.
My recommendation: We chose to spend our miniature golf excursion at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. It has a very convenient location and was close to our hotel. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is also a brand we’ve come to trust from visiting their locations on other family vacations. 8501 International Drive, Orlando, Florida.
Shop for souvenirs on Disney World non-park days
Another fun activity to add-in on Disney World non-park days is to shop at local souvenir shops. The gigantic warehouse-style souvenir shops that can be found on most street corners surrounding off-site Disney hotels are filled with thousands of neat and inexpensive souvenirs.
If you are looking for Disney, Florida, or Orlando memorabilia, there is something that everyone will find here! Off-site souvenir shopping is another great way to save money on your Disney World vacation. This is definitely an added bonus.
Explore on-site Disney resorts and amenities
One of the best things to do on a Disney vacation non-park day is to spend time visiting the surrounding Disney resorts. “Disney resort hopping” is fun, exciting, and free way to explore Disney’s beautifully themed on-site resorts. (Exploring other resorts also gives you an idea of where you may want to stay during your next visit.)
We spent time visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge to admire the exotic animals that roam free in the Savannah. We also spent time walking around the Disney Boardwalk to admire the resorts, street performers, and to dine at the ESPN Sports Club.
Spending time within the Disney resort areas kept us immersed in ‘all things Disney’ without physically being in the parks.
Planning tip: If you have dining reservations at a Disney resort, you are allowed to park in the resort parking lot for free. You must provide proof of your reservation via the My Disney App.
Enjoy a Disney dining experience on a Disney World non-park day
Typically I don’t like to make dining reservations during park days in order to maximize my time at the parks. Instead, using a non-park day is a great time to schedule character dining or attend a Disney dining show.
We were fortunate to be able to get reservations for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. The fun-filled dining experience is held at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Once again, though not physically in a theme-park, it added to the overall magic of our family vacation. Minus the crowds and standing in line for rides.
Here you will find everything you need to know about the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue if you are considering it!
Visit Disney Springs instead of visiting a theme park
Disney Springs is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex at the Walt Disney World Resort complex.
There are literally so many things to do at Disney Springs. that hours upon hours of fun can be had here!
The multiple retail shops at Disney Springs have both Disney and non-Disney shopping. There is also a multitude of entertainment options such as boat rides, bowling, and
Last, be sure to visit
Planning tip: Disney Springs includes four distinct areas: Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center, and West Side. Buses and water taxis operated by Disney Transport provide transportation between Disney Springs and other areas of Walt Disney World.
If you like our article on the Best Things to do on a Disney World Non-Park day, click here to check out our Related Posts:
- The 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before our First Disney World Vacation
- Disney Park Bag Checklist: What to Pack in Your Disney Day Bag
- 1-Day at Magic Kingdom Itinerary: The Perfect Touring Plan
- One-Day at Animal Kingdom Itinerary: The Perfect Touring Plan
- 1-Day at Epoct: The Perfect Touring Plan
- How to Book Disney 30-Day FastPasses+
- How to Save Money at Disney World: 15 Ways We Saved Big
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*