There is More to Disney Than Rides: Enjoying Disney Without the Attractions - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


There is More to Disney Than Rides: Enjoying Disney Without the Attractions

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 11-22-2012
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Whenever you go to Disney, you go for the rides, right?


Well, not necessarily. It may sound like an alien idea to you, but it's perfectly do-able to go to Disney and not ride an attraction!

We ended up doing exactly that by pure accident on one of our trips. The first couple of days we didn't get as far as any attractions because we spent all our time just exploring the parks and spending time with our friends. It was about day three before we even realized that we hadn't been near any of Disney's many amazing rides. Since then, it's happened to us a number of times like that, and actually it's no bad thing. So how on earth do you manage to avoid almost everything a Disney park has to offer?

First off, let's just step back a moment, and look at that statement. "Almost everything a Disney park has to offer," is one way of describing the rides that make up the park, but is it fair? I'd personally argue not. Of course, Soarin', Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest, and the Tower of Terror are major pulls whenever you head to Walt Disney World, but in all honesty, they’re no longer the main reasons we head to Orlando.

If you're a first-time visitor, then they will doubtless be one of your first ports of call of the day, but by the time you've been to Disney a few times, we find that the need to jump on every ride lessens. Sure, there are the old favorites that you just have to go, and see, like the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and It's A Small World. Otherwise, it wouldn't really be a Disney trip, would it?!

Epcot - Friendship on World Showcase lagoon photo
Epcot - Friendship on World Showcase lagoon

A Friendship glides between the United Kingdom and Canada. - photo by chezp

However, outside of those, we're now in the fortunate position of being able to take things a little easier. So what else is there to do? A simple answer is, lots! In fact, to quote a certain Disney movie, there's a "whole new world" to discover out there.

First, have you ever taken the time, and be honest here, just to stop and people-watch in the parks? It’s an absolutely fascinating thing to do. It's also really heart-warming to see the faces of children, and sometimes adults, as their eyes light up with wonder at their surroundings. There are lots of places to just sit and take in the atmosphere, and particularly if you visit during the cooler months, this is a very pleasant thing to do. Since I've had chronic fatigue, I've become very good at spotting seats, and you'll find there are more than you first think.

So where are some of our favorite places to just sit and watch the world go by? Top of our list is Epcot's World Showcase. There are just so many wonderful details to take in in any of the countries around the lagoon. It's always fun to sit out at the back of the United Kingdom, or in the peace and tranquility of Japan. Another place I personally like to sit is on the edges of the raised flowerbeds just in front of the entrance to Impressions de France.

In Magic Kingdom, one of my favorite "sports" is anywhere along Main Street, although on a hotter day, it's just as pleasant to find a spot near Aloha Isle in Adventureland, and enjoy a Dole Whip to help cool you down.

Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard are both great spots to just sit and enjoy the sights. While at Animal Kingdom, where better to kick back and relax than in one of the animal exhibits? On many occasions, I've settled down to just watch the animals (and sometimes people!) along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, or the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

It's not just all about sitting it down and taking it easy. Outside of the attractions, there are parades and shows to enjoy at each of the parks, and I'm not necessarily talking about the Studios' Beauty and the Beast, or Animal Kingdom's Finding Nemo shows, as these are attractions in their own right. What I mean are the afternoon parades, night-time entertainment, such as Wishes and IllumiNations, and the shows and roving entertainers that take place during the day. To me, there's nothing better than stumbling across DiVine in Animal Kingdom, seeing some of the World Showcase performers, or perhaps catching a show on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle. They're all extra elements that just add to your day at Disney.

Another major draw of Disney for us is the dining. There are just so many wonderful places to head for to enjoy a good meal, with all of them having wonderful theming as well. Of course, you can also argue that some of the meals at Disney are attractions in their own right, particularly if they boast characters, although some are so good on the food front, I'd say that they're just as good as any attraction in the parks.

Something else that we love to do outside of the attractions is just to wander through the shops. As well as offering you the chance to empty your purse, sometimes there are wonderful little details to find. We've learned to explore, and to look around. The best bits can even be on the ceilings, as some of the shops at Disney's Hollywood Studios prove. Be sure to take those extra few seconds to look around whenever you're shopping.

And then, of course, there's a multitude of things to see and do outside of Disney's four main theme parks. Just think of Downtown Disney and all the various resorts, and how much they have to offer. But that's probably another article (if not more than one!) all on its own.

Of course, the traditional Disney attractions are always going to be a huge draw for most visitors to the parks, but the next time you're in Disney, think about it, and perhaps you'll find that you have a morning, afternoon, or evening when you don't actually hit any. If that's the case, I'm willing to bet that you'll still have a great time at Disney, regardless of whether you're actually riding something.




Disney's Animal Kingdom - DeVine photo
Disney's Animal Kingdom - DeVine

DeVine, one of the more unusual characters you encounter at Disney's Animal Kingdom. She can usually be found roaming on the path from Asia to Africa. - photo by chezp




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!


Recent Walt Disney World Articles:
Helping Friends Plan Their Disney Vacation - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 06-25-2015
The Health Nut's Guide to Saving Money and Your Waistline at Walt Disney World - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 06-16-2015
Shula's Steak House - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 06-16-2015
Lessons for the Few-Times-In-A-Lifetime Disney Traveler - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 06-11-2015
The Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort - A Walt Disney World Resort Review last updated 06-11-2015

More Related Links:
Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08




Reader Comments:


I recently went to a conference in Orlando without my family & I enjoyed just taking my time & absorbing the atmosphere. It was really hot (in June) but there was no grumbling! Although I enjoyed myself, I did miss my family & promised to never go alone again smiley for :)

     jodistrock on November 24, 2012 @ 8:02 pm
You hit the nail on the head, Cheryl! I agree completely! smiley for :yes:

     cindybelle on November 29, 2012 @ 4:35 pm
View all 2 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 11-22-2012 - Article #874 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.


Basin White Disney soaps--fabulous!
by Her Dotness
16 Jun 2015 at 7:08am
I'm kicking myself that I'd never bought any of their soap until last trip and only thought a month or so ago that I should try one I had to see if I...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 3931


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.