If you’ve spent any time in a Disney resort room, you’ve seen Stacy’s Must-Do list highlighting the top attractions at Walt Disney World. Well, no disrespect to Stacy, but there are some low-key activities that deserve just as much attention.
1. People Watching. Quite simply, a Disney park is a buffet of humanity! On any given day, it seems like people from every walk of life and from all corners of the globe are walking down Main Street. Grab a cold drink and a chair and watch the world go by while everyone else is rushing.
2. Resort hopping: Spend an afternoon or even the entire day checking out how the other half vacations. You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the amenities (minus the pool, of course), shopping, or restaurants. Even when I’m not staying there, I love to sit in the lobby of the Grand Floridian a few minutes and just soak up the atmosphere.
3. Eating in a signature restaurant. Don’t be afraid to try Disney’s signature restaurants, even if you have small children with you. Most, if not all, are appropriate for children. My personal favorite is the Californian Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort, which is the perfect introduction for small children to the better restaurants on site.
4. The walkway from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian. Next time you go to the Magic Kingdom, stop by the Poly and walk to the Grand Floridian. Most guests who aren’t staying at these resorts don’t even know it exists, but it’s one of the prettiest spots in Disney World. The walk itself gives you hints of what’s to come, with glimpses of Space Mountain and Cinderella Castle in the distance.
5. Stay in the Magic Kingdom after closing. No, I’m not suggesting you camp out on Tom Sawyer Island (Note to self: Buy scuba gear and a tent.) But did you know that you can stay in the park for about an hour after closing? Cast members won’t allow you on the rides, but shops stay open a full hour after closing (except after special parties), so you can slowly make your way out of the park and avoid the crowds. I like to find a bench and watch the castle turn colors for a while and then do a bit of last minute shopping. Try to be out within that hour–cast members want to go home too. You’ll get some great pictures of an almost-empty Main Street and you’ll be rewarded with an empty bus back to your resort.
What are your must do’s?