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29 Ways to have Fun at Walt Disney World Without a Park Ticket

By Diane Schroeder, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with If You Can Dream It Travel


Hooray! You are going to visit the Walt Disney World Resort! How can you have fun there on your non-Theme Park days? Here are a few ideas and many of them are FREE unless you choose to buy a snack or drink.




  1. Book a Character Meal, special meal, or Dinner Show at a Disney Resort Hotel.

  2. Play Disney themed mini golf at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland. (Free passes come with Disney Vacation Packages that include a Disney hotel & tickets)

  3. Visit one of the 2 Disney Water parks, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. You can pre-purchase tickets from me if desired.

  4. Go to Disney Springs (from a Disney Resort Hotel, take the bus). Visit the giant Disney Store and other stores and restaurants that interest you. Catch a musician performing outdoors. Ride the Amphicar at The Boathouse Restaurant ($125, but discounted with a $50+ Boathouse or Boatique purchase).

  5. Recommended Disney Springs dining: Blaze Pizza or Polite Pig (quick service), The Boathouse or T Rex (reservations or walkup).

  6. Ride the free water taxis at Disney Springs that take you down the Sassagoula River past or to these Disney Resorts: Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside.

  7. Get off the water taxi at Port Orleans and visit the Food Court for yummy beignets! Reboard the water taxi to return to Disney Springs.

  8. Get off the water taxi at Port Orleans Riverside to watch the complimentary evening show of YeeHaw Bob Jackson at the River Roost Lounge and have a cocktail (check for show times & dates).

  9. Ride the Monorail in a loop by taking a bus to Magic Kingdom, then walking to the left and going up the ramp to the monorail station. Hop on and ride for as long as you like.

  10. Ride the monorail above Epcot so you can see it! How? Board the Epcot Monorail at the Ticket and Transportation Center. If you are already on the Magic Kingdom monorail, get off and switch trains there. Sit by the window!

  11. Ride the Skyliner by taking a bus to one of these hotels and then walking over to the Skyliner Station: Art of Animation Resort, Riviera Resort, Pop Century Resort, or Beach Club Resort. If you ride a bus to a Resort Hotel, you will need to enter the lobby and walk through to go outside to find the Skyliner Station (ask a Cast Member for directions). You can also ride a bus to Hollywood Studios Park, get off and easily walk over to the Skyliner Station there.

  12. Ride the Friendship Boats at one of these Disney Resort Hotels: Boardwalk, Yacht/Beach Club, Swan/Dolphin. Or for the longest ride, board a Friendship Boat in front of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park after exiting the Skyliner or a bus.

  13. Ride the Ferry Boat that goes from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the front of the Magic Kingdom.

  14. Ride the Magic Kingdom Resort Hotel Boats out in front of the Magic KIngdom just for fun. They go to Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. Get off at any hotel, go inside and look around, maybe get a delicious treat.

  15. Ride the Monorail Hotel Loop and get off at every hotel for a fun experience: Contemporary Resort Hotel, eat at Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Character Dining; Polynesian Resort, get a Dole Whip just outside the back door; Grand Floridian, enjoy the grand piano in the lobby, go upstairs to the shops. For adults, try a Monorail Bar Crawl.

  16. Take a bus over to the Animal KIngdom Lodge, go out the back door and see all of the animals on the “African” savanna. Talk to the Animal Guides who are usually out there.

  17. At Christmas time, visit all of the Deluxe Resort Hotels to see their fantastic decorations, gingerbread houses and carousels, and more.

  18. See Magic Kingdom Fireworks from the Ticket and Transportation Center or the beach at the Polynesian Resort (not allowed on major holidays).

  19. See the sky portion of the “Epcot Forever” show from the boardwalk near the Boardwalk Hotel or from behind the Yacht or Beach Club. Visit the walkup ice cream window at Beaches & Cream at The Beach Club or Pizza walkup window on The Boardwalk for snacks and drinks.

  20. Take advantage of the fun you can have at your own Disney Resort Hotel such as spending time at the pool, watching Movies Under the Stars, scavenger hunts, s’mores, and crafts. Some of the resorts also have bike rentals. Check with your front desk for information.

  21. Pony rides for children, $8 at Fort Wilderness, take a bus to get there. There is horseback riding too at a higher price.

  22. Play golf at one of Disney’s PGA level courses or the 9-hole Walking Course. They all rent clubs.

  23. Ride high in the sky in the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon at Aerophile at Disney Springs ($20+).

  24. Go on a Disney Guided Fishing Excursion–ask me for details.

  25. Enjoy the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Ferry Boat Dessert Party–ask me for details.

  26. Watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks when showing during Sip, Savor and Sparkle, with hors d’oeuvres, libations and fireworks in a magical rooftop setting followed by dessert at Contemporary Resort ($129).

  27. Ask me about Special Evening Ticketed Events at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or the Disney Water Parks, such as Halloween and Christmas parties.

  28. Go to a Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs, advance tickets advised.

  29. Add MyDisneyExperience from the App store so you can see what is happening at Walt Disney World Resort!


Please let me know if you do any of these fun things and what you thought!

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