Walt Disney World Outside the Parks

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 432 - Walt Disney World Outside the Parks

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Show run time 0:49:56

On today's show, Mike and Mark talk about what you can do at Walt Disney World without going into the theme parks.

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Feature: Walt Disney World Outside the Parks

Mike and Mark talk about what you can do at Walt Disney World without going into the theme parks

Common features at all resorts are pools, playgrounds (except for Grand Floridian, Yacht Club, and Beach Club), arcades, jogging trails. Many have bike rentals, boat rentals, or fitness centers.

At the Contemporary Resort, Sammy Duvall's Watersports lets you go waterskiing, waterboarding, tubing, and parasailing. A number of resorts have fishing excursions, and some have tennis, volleyball, or basketball facilities.

Fort Wilderness features horseback rides, pony rides, and carriage or wagon rides.

While the Eagle Pines course has been demolished to make way for the Golden Oak/Four Seasons Resort construction, Walt Disney World still features four 18-hole golf courses (Magnolia, Palm, Lake Buena Vista, Osprey Ridge) and a nine-hole course (Oak Trail). Golf of the miniature variety can be found at the Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland complexes. Mark published a photo tour of the Fantasia Gardens course back in 2006.

You'll find spas at the Grand Floridian, Saratoga Springs, and Dolphin resorts.

On selected days, the Grand Floridian Resort features a kids' Pirate Adventure and a Tea Party in Wonderland. In the evenings, six resorts feature kids' clubs: Animal Kingdom Lodge (Simba's Cubhouse), Polynesian (Never Land Club), Wilderness Lodge (Cub's Den), Beach Club (Sandcastle Club), Grand Floridian (Mouseketeer Club), and Dolphin (Camp Dolphin).

The Animal Kingdom Lodge features animal programs during the day and in the evening, including watching animals with night-vision binoculars.

While the Pleasure Island clubs are no longer around, there are still plenty of activities to partake in during the late evening and nighttime hours.

Many resorts feature "Movies Under the Stars," from their original location at Fort Wilderness to new locations at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Saratoga Springs Resort, Old Key West Resort, Polynesian Resort, Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Dolphin Resort, and All Star Music Resort.

Specialty cruises leave from many resorts to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and Illuminations at Epcot.

There are many evening activities that remain at the Boardwalk Resort. Other resorts have their own entertainment, such as the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra at the Grand Floridian and Yehaa Bob Jackson at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

Downtown Disney has less to do with the end of the Pleasure Island clubs, there's still much to do. Aside from shopping and dining, there are occasional performances at the new waterside amphitheater at the Marketplace, the dancers and bands that entertain diners at Raglan Road, the Characters in Flight hot air balloon ride, and Cirque du Soleil La Nouba. There's also the AMC Downtown Disney 24 Theatres that feature several "dine-in theaters." We've discussed DisneyQuest before, and you can spend anywhere from an hour or two to several hours there. House of Blues has three performance venues, the Front Porch stage, the main room, and the Blues Kitchen, and has great food, to boot.

Let us know what you like to do outside the parks!


The MouseAdventure Zone, September 24 & 25 at Disneyland, sold out in a matter of hours a couple of weeks ago. However, registration for MouseAdventure World Explorers III is still open. That game will take place November 12 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Mark will be there to help run that game. Come see how well you know the Studios, and test your wits against our puzzle masters!

Listener Feedback

528toI4 posted two comments in the show notes thread on MousePad. First, 528toI4 submitted an entry into our "longest route from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Magic Kingdom" quest, which measured in at approximately 4 hours, 30 minutes, plus wait time, easily beating Wesley's route, which took an estimated 2 hours, 10 minutes, plus wait time. Can you beat that?

528toI4 also shared their "Three Wishes" for the next major construction at Walt Disney World (actually, four wishes):

  • A Google-sponsored pavilion at Epcot focused on searching and exploration, taking over either the Wonders of Life or Imagination pavilion.
  • A Journey to the Center of the Earth ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
  • Get rid of Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride at Magic Kingdom. Mark talked about this in an article back in 2003.
  • Add a kid ride at Hollywood Studios, maybe Monsters, Inc.: Sully and Mike to the Rescue ride from DCA.

Michael wrote in to ask if we said that the Epcot monorail line was built in 1990 in show 430, but Mark is pretty sure that he said 1980.

Jeffrey Contompasis wrote in with his "Three Wishes":

  • A Greece Pavilion at Epcot to be built where Equatorial Africa was supposed to have been.
  • A new continent at Animal Kingdom: Antarctica.
  • The Mediterranean Resort to be built where either the Venetian or Persian resort was supposed to have been on Bay Lake or thereabouts.

Craig wrote in to say that he would love to see some sort of Doctor Who references in the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot. Mark mentioned a video of Adam Savage (Mythbusters) and Arc Attack performing the Dr. Who theme at Maker Faire, and Mike mentioned a TARDIS cake presented to Wil Wheaton at a W00tstock event.

Joseph Couture wrote in with his "Three Wishes" (actually, he took four, too):

  • Double the number of countries in World Showcase.
  • Take out the permanent displays in Innoventions and change them every year with the newest gadgets and appliances for the home, office and entertainment.
  • Expand the monorail to reach all the Parks.
  • Expand Magic Kingdom to include some of the attractions that have disappeared over the years at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Brian Starkey wrote on MousePlanet's Facebook Wall asking why we didn't include the expansion and update of the monorails.

Paul from NYC wrote in to agree with Mark's third wish, for some sort of return of Pleasure Island.

Vicki from Starksboro called in to confirm that she, Wesley, and their son have indeed taken the circuitous travel route more than once, and sang an improvised version of "it's a large world" (after all).

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