What - No Parks?: Walt Disney World Outside the Theme Parks (Part 2 of 2) - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
WDW Planning Articles
A Treat for the Senses
A Year at Walt Disney World
Arrival Day at Walt Disney World
Baby Steps
Budget Disney World Lodging
Budget Disney World Souvenirs
Budget Disney World Tickets
Budget Disney World Transportation
Budget Your Disney Trip
Counting Down to Disney (Part 1)
Counting Down to Disney (Part 2)
Disney + Disabilities = Magic!
Disney Dreaming
Disney Dreaming With Kids
Disney Tech Primer - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 2
Dreaming of Disney World
Emergencies While at Walt Disney World
Enjoying the Peace at Disney
Finding Answers
Finding Relaxation at Walt Disney World
Five Tips for a Trouble Free Trip
Getting There is Half the Fun
Greener Walt Disney World
Helping Plan A First Trip to Disney
How to Catch a Deal at Disney
Last Minute Planning
Lessons Learned
Making the Most of Walt Disney World
Mickey Mouse as Motivation
Mickey Mouse's Masterpieces
My Disney Mistakes - Part 3
Packing for Winter Weather at Walt Disney World
Planning Makes the Magic Happen
Planning Your First Trip to a New Park
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Pregnant At The Mouse House
Pregnant at Walt Disney World
Preparing Your Child For a Walt Disney World Vacation
Pros and Cons of the Magic Your Way Premium Plan
Safe Disney Travels with Kids
Saving Money for Disney
Season Survival Guide
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking Kids Out of School For a Disney Trip
Taking the Grandkids
Taking Toddlers to Walt Disney World
Taming the Beast
The Art of Packing
The Disney Rumor Round-Up
The FASTPASS System
The Kids Are In Charge
The Magic of Slowing Down
The More, The Mickey-er
The Never Land Club
The Reluctant Mouseketeer
There's an App For That - Part 1
There's an App for That - Part 3
Tips for a Disney 'Newbie'
Tips for Traveling
Toddlers to Teenagers
Using Technology to Plan Your Disney Trips
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors
Walt Disney World With Teens? Absolutely!
What - No Parks?
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

What - No Parks?: Walt Disney World Outside the Theme Parks (Part 2 of 2)

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 06-07-2011
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning  

In this second part of a two part article, veteran Disney visitor Cheryl Pendry takes us through the delights of Walt Disney World outside the main parks.


Having explored the Disney resorts and all they have to offer in the first part of this article, it's probably already clear that there's more than enough happening on Disney property to ensure that you never have to leave during the course of your vacation. But for the adventurous among you who want something other than just parks and resorts, there's a lot more to explore.

Although connected to the resorts, the two spas on property are really entities unto themselves, each set in their own relaxing building. As with spas around the world, the moment you enter, you're in a relaxed atmosphere, one that offers a huge range of spa treatments. Facials, pedicures, massages and body treatments can be booked at either the Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs spas, but each has their own specialty.

At the Grand Floridian its water therapies and soaks, including different types of baths, while Saratoga Springs has a slight twist on the water therapy, offering hydro-massage therapies, which massage you as you bathe. I can personally vouch for the soothing tired legs treatment, stress recovery facial, and head, shoulders and back massage and I fully intend to explore the other options on offer at both spas in future visits!



To find out more about the treatments on offer, check out http://www.relaxedyet.com and if you're an Annual Pass holder or a Disney Vacation Club member, keep an eye out for special offers. Although offers can never be guaranteed, there have been a number over the past year.

The spas do offer couples relaxation packages, but more often than not, it tends to be only women who are seen at the spa. So what can the men do while the women are busy relaxing and indulging themselves? Mini-golf is one option, with four courses available -- two at Fantasia Gardens by the Swan and Dolphin hotels and the other two at Winter Summerland, next door to Blizzard Beach. All courses have superb Disney detail on them, although my personal favorite is at Fantasia Gardens. There's something very fun (and very surreal!) about trying to score a hole in one in amongst dancing hippos! And it's located conveniently close to some excellent restaurants and entertainment along Disney's BoardWalk.

Evoking memories of a bygone coastal town, the BoardWalk boasts restaurants, night-time entertainment in the shape of the ESPN Club and the dueling piano bar Jellyrolls, along with shops and street entertainers, including a fire breather and a cowgirl. On a warm evening, it's a lovely place to stroll round and we've spent many a magical time just browsing in the shops, enjoying the wonderful aromas from the restaurants as we wandered past, and taking in the sights. If you're lucky, you may even catch some of the highest fireworks from Illuminations and Fantasmic! from one of the bridges.

If you're feeling energetic, you could grab some help from your fellow travelers and take a ride round past the Yacht and Beach Club on one of the surrey bikes available for hire. They are a popular choice, but be aware -- those hills up to the bridges around Crescent Lake are steeper than they look and have been the undoing of many families. Be very sure that you've got enough pedal power to get up them!

But if it's nightlife you're really after, you'd best be heading for Downtown Disney, where everything is on your doorstep -- albeit a rather large doorstep! With three intertwined areas - the West Side, Pleasure Island and the Marketplace - you can see one of the most unique shows in the world in Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba, take a trip into a virtual reality world in DisneyQuest, dance the night away at one of the clubs or shop until you drop at a range of stores.

Our personal favorites at Downtown Disney include La Nouba, which we rate as "not to be missed" -- a show that's almost impossible to describe and is certainly unforgettable. And now, having discovered the unique Adventurers Club on Pleasure Island, a trip wouldn't be the same without an exploration of the Mask Room and the Library and a meeting with the Club President and the French Maid! Like La Nouba, this is another show that's impossible to describe. The best way is to experience it for yourself!

Something that many people somehow manage to overlook is the massive 24 screen cinema at Downtown Disney. It may sound like an unusual idea to take time out of your precious Disney vacation to watch a movie, but if the latest blockbuster opens while you're away, as happened to us one year when the new James Bond movie came out, then it's an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours, especially if the weather is less than perfect.

But for many, an even more enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours is dropping dollars at the many shops at the Marketplace. World of Disney is the starting point for most -- and for some, that's where the shopping ends as well. That's fair enough, as it is the world's largest Disney Store, but our other favorites include Disney's Days of Christmas, especially magical in the holiday season, but worth a visit at any time of the year, particularly if you've always fancied having your own Disney-inspired Christmas tree. The Wonderful World of Memories is paradise for scrapbookers like myself and Pooh Corner is always somewhere we have to go into, just to see the latest Eeyore merchandise!

And away from the Marketplace, if you want a CD or DVD, the chances are it's in stock at the Virgin Megastore on the West Side. Although we can never afford to buy any of the collectibles in Starabilias, it's great fun browsing around the shop and dreaming of what a lottery win could buy you. More affordable is Magnetron, home to the biggest selection of refrigerator magnets I've ever seen -- a number of which now adorn our fridge, helping to keep various Disney postcards in place! With so many places to choose from, it's easy to see how you could spend a whole day (and a lot of money!) simply shopping at Downtown Disney!

For our final Disney stop outside of the parks, it's time to head off property to a little slice of Walt's dream just along the 417. Although the town of Celebration has been in existence for a little over a decade, as you drive into it you can't help but think that this is exactly the sort of turn of the century close-knit community that Walt wanted to create. It's obviously a town that's been carefully created, with plenty of landscaping and some lovely designs to the houses.

It's a treat to drive round and see, what was to us, a dream place to live. But beware -- there are no traffic lights on many of the crossroads and there are low speed limits, mainly to try and give priority to pedestrians. You can easily spend a couple of hours in Celebration, browsing the variety of shops in Market Street and enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafés to be found there. If you happen to be at Disney in the run-up to Christmas, don't forget that magic comes to Celebration as well, with snow on the hour every hour between 6:00 and 9:00 in the evening.

As you can see, magic can be found everywhere on Disney property -- and even off property. It doesn't just exist at the theme parks. There's a lot more to explore at Walt Disney World and for us, a vacation there simply isn't complete without some time enjoying the resorts, the recreation and relaxation that's also on offer.





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!

Related Links:
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009




Reader Comments:


     PassPorter News on June 24, 2005 @ 7:22 am
View all 1 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 06-07-2011 - Article #685 



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 1999-2014
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 - 13,14,15,16,17,18
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.


Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am
Disneystore.com is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Terrific Disney Stickers At Target
by Her Dotness
14 Nov 2014 at 2:00pm
I'm lazy when it comes to making Mousekeeper envelopes and just buy a bunch of Disney stickers to decorate them. Target has some really nice...
(click title above to view replies)

Key West to Disney World
by Moms Money
8 Nov 2014 at 10:54pm
First timers to Disney but we are flying in to Key West and then we want to make it to Disney World, I understand the drive is 6 hours but wonder...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 3795

TING!
You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 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.