One of the most amazing things about the Walt Disney World Resorts is just how much fun stuff there is to see and do! Yes, there are practical reasons to stay on Disney property, but in my tadpole opinion, the number of FUN activities for kids is THE BIGGEST REASON to stay on property.
Without further ado, here are my favorites. (Be sure to tell me what yours are in comments below!)
Disney’s Pirate Adventure
Most. Fun. Ever! Pirates-in-training (ages 4 to 12) can hit the “high seas” and visit tropical “ports-of-call” (aka Disney’s marinas), listening to pirate tales — perhaps the legend of Jean Lafitte or Gasparilla – and looking for clues to treasures. These kids-only excursions take place 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at a few different resort locations.
Children’s Activity Centers
Tad and I love when our parents have an “adults-only” night out so we can go hang out at one of the Children’s Activity Centers. Our favorite is the Peter Pan-themed Never Land Club at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. We can play all the video games we want, make fun arts & crafts, watch movies and even eat supper. It’s open from 4 p.m. until midnight. The other five activity centers are: Simba’s Clubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Cub’s Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Sandcastle Club at Disney Disney’s Yacht (&|&|and) Beach Club Resorts, Mouseketeer Club at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. (Check out my post for more details about the Child Activity Centers and Sitter Services.)
Head over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to get an up-close look at Cinderella’s ponies and the horses seen in Magic Kingdom® Park. You can take a 45-minute guided trail ride—on horseback or by carriage—through the scenic natural woodlands of Central Florida. If you’d rather have both feet on the ground, just take your time exploring the stables. Me? I want to ride the ponies! It’s called Trots for Tots, and it’s for kids 2 and older and under 45 inches.
Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long
Also at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is another one of my favorite hotel activities, and it’s a perfect way to spend a night away from the parks. The fun starts around the campfire when we roast marshmallows, eat hot dogs, and sing and dance with Chip ‘n Dale. Then everyone gets to watch a classic Disney movie under the stars.
TIPS: 1.) Bring your own blankets and towels. 2.) If you don’t want to purchase ‘Smore supplies, you can bring your own. 3.) Don’t forget your camera and autograph books. 4.)You don’t have to be a guest at Disney’s Fort Wilderness to participate, but you do have to be a Disney resort guest. 5.) The Sing-a-long usually begins around 7:30 p.m.
I’m a huge fan of Character Dining wherever it is, but it’s especially nice at the Disney resorts. Tad and I really love the tropical setting of ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort , where you can meet Lilo and Stitch! Ask your mom or dad to make reservations as far in advance as possible (up to 180 days) and visit on a day when you aren’t going to the theme parks, since character breakfasts will generally mean a later start to the day, and we all know that getting to the theme park before opening is the SECRET to avoiding Disney World CROWDS.
You probably didn’t know that every resort at Walt Disney World has its very own arcade, and at a few of the resorts, you can trade in tickets you’ve won for cool prizes! While I’m still a little too young to fully appreciate the arcades, I do like watching Tad play — especially when he shares his prize with me! Parents can rest easy because the games are appropriate for all ages.
The whole family can take a ride together aboard a surrey bike (that’s a large bicycle that seats 2, 4 and 6 people) or go it solo on regular bikes that are available for rent at a number of resorts. Cruise along the Sassagoula River at Disney’s Port Orleans–Riverside or tour the piney pathways at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
I’m going to end with this one, because it’s my all-time favorite Disney resort activity, in no small part because each of the pools is themed to match the resort. My very favorite pool is Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht (&|&|and) Beach Club Resorts, which is more like its very own water park! While Tad loves floating down the lazy river and zipping down the slide of the life-sized ship that’s been wrecked along the sandy shore, I love the sandy-bottomed section of the pool that’s not too deep for a young tadpole like me!
What’s your favorite Walt Disney World Resort activity?