It can be easy sometimes to forget just how much there is to do outside of Disney World’s four theme parks and two water parks. With so much contained within the parks, it might not even cross some guests’ minds that you could actually spend a whole Disney World vacation without ever going to the parks. Although I personally wouldn’t suggest skipping the parks entirely, you could do it and still have a great vacation. Maybe it’s the last day of your vacation or maybe you just want to explore the property a little to see what else Disney has to offer. With that in mind, here are just a few of the many things to see and do without ever having to pay for a park admission ticket.
Disney World wouldn’t be much of a resort destination without golf. With three courses (four if you include the onsite Four Seasons course) and one nine-hole walking course, there’s a wide variety of play options for fans of the sport. Even if you think you’re terrible at golf or you’ve never tried before, this is a good place to start. Resort courses are notoriously less punishing than most courses (people don’t need a stroke on vacation) and even if you do play horribly, at least you’re still in Disney so you can’t be that upset. If the full-fledged sport still seems like too much of an undertaking, Disney also offers two thematically different mini golf courses. Fantasia Gardens (located near the Boardwalk) is themed after its namesake film and even features a more traditional putting green course for those who want to just work on their short game. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is located at Blizzard Beach and has two courses themed after winter and summer. For those concerned about having to purchase a water park ticket to play here, no need to worry. The mini golf course may be located at Blizzard Beach but it’s actually outside of the Blizzard Beach entrance.
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Guests looking for a bird’s eye view of paradise should check out the parasailing excursion at Disney’s Castaway Cay. Floating hundreds of feet in the air, you are master of all you survey. Well, at least it seems that way for several minutes.
During the parasailing excursion at Castaway Cay, guests board a speedboat and travel several hundred yards away from land. Then, in singles or pairs, guests stand at the back of the boat and are harnessed to a line-bound parachute that is slowly let out until you and the parachute are 600-1000 feet above the water. Enjoy panoramic views of your ship, Castaway Cay, and beyond.
My daughter and I getting hooked on to the parachute. As you can see, we’re snuggled up pretty close.
Each excursion takes approximately 10 people onto the boat. Your actual parasail event will last about 5-7 minutes. Depending on the number of other guests, the entire experience lasts 45 minutes to one hour. There are no “ride alongs;” every guest on the boat must pay and participate.
The Castaway Cay parasailing excursions are open to guests ages 8 and up. The minimum weight is 90 pounds, and the maximum weight is 375 pounds. Guests under 90 pounds may be able to ride if they fly tandem with another guest. However, the combined tandem weight may not exceed 375 pounds. Determination of single or tandem rides is fully up to the discretion of the staff.
Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied on the excursion by a paying adult age 18 or over. Guests ages 13-17 may go on the excursion unaccompanied, but must be escorted to the Marge’s Barges excursion meeting site by an adult age 18 or over. All guests must sign a safety waiver.
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