Have you ever had this conversation:
“You’re going to Disney World again?” (funny look on persons face)
“Yes, I am so excited.”
“You just went. How many times have you been this year?”
I think back and count and then try to justify my visit to the person who “just doesn’t get it” by saying, “You know there is so much to do there. You could never step foot in the parks and have a fabulous trip.”
More eye rolls. “Have a nice time.”
I figure that if you read this website and the blog posts, you are a Disney fan and can probably relate to that conversation.
Before my last trip in June, I literlly decided to go just days earlier. I contacted Len to see if he needed me to do any research. The only thing he needed at that point was a stay at Bay Lake Towers and since it wouldn’t be open during my short trip, I couldn’t help him out. He didn’t even need wait times, so time was mine to spend — no plans, no Advanced Dining Reservations.
I have said that mantra: “You never have to step in the parks to have a fabulous trip” countless times. I have always thought this, but never actually lived it. I am a “be at the turnstiles 45 minutes before park opening kind of gal.” This time would be different. I would actually live my mantra….
We got to the Contemporary super late. Exhausted from the drive, my son, Trent, 13, slept until 1 p.m. the next day. (We loved the Contemporary room. It was great for sleeping. It was so dark and the beds were really comfortable. We would definitely stay there again. ) We then hopped on the monorail to the Polynesian and had lunch at Kona Cafe. Our lunch was great (other than when the man at the table next to us stood up and screamed at his teenage son over and over again. A Disney first that I never hope to see again.) Because it was so hot and we really didn’t want to stand in line at the parks, we decided to go to Downtown Disney and see “UP.” (Loved it!!) How awesome to see a Disney movie at Disney World. After the movie, the temperature cooled just slightly and because we were staying at the Contemporary, I thought we’re so close to the Magic Kingdom, we have to walk over. We walked through Cinderella’s Castle, to Tomorrowland, down Main Street USA and out again. Did nothing - Just soaked up the atmosphere. We enjoyed dinner in the bar at California Grill, which didn’t seem as busy as times past. Saw Wishes and went to bed.
The next day, we slept in again. We drove to the Boardwalk and had lunch at the Boardwalk Bakery. We ate in the shade at the outside tables in front of Spoodles and just enjoyed being there. We took in the scenery. Watched the people and the boats. The highlight, however, was a mother duck and her tiny ducklings that came over to us and enjoyed lunch with us.
After lunch we headed over to the dock at the Wilderness Lodge (we were staying there the last 2 nights) and rented the SeaRacers. We lathered up with sun screen and headed out for a tour of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. This was also a Disney first and Trent and I both highly recommend it. We got a great peak into the back of Bay Lake Towers. It looks awesome. Even though it was so hot, the breeze kept us pretty comfortable. Do this late in the afternoon or in the morning in the summer. That night we ate at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge.
On our last day, we did get up early, were the first at the turnstils at Blizzard Beach. We rode the attractions over and over again. Had a blast, chatted with the General Manager (always researching) and then headed out by 11:50 a.m. We lounged around the Wilderness Lodge and the had dinner at “Trails End.”
While we did go to Blizzard Beach and take a walk through the Magic Kingdom, I do believe you can have a fabulous time outside of the parks and on a last minute trip. We are living proof. What kinds of things do you do outside of the parks?