5 Magical Disney Experiences – No Theme Park Admission Required
Are you looking for ways to add even more magic to your Walt Disney World vacation outside of the theme parks? Below are a few of my favorites that would be fun for all ages!
1. Cake decorating at Amorette’s Patisserie
If you have ever been to Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs, you are undoubtedly aware of the decadent and delectable assortment of desserts that entice the passerby looking for a sweet treat. You have also probably noticed the adorable Mickey Character Cake . . . one of the signature desserts of the shop. Well, there is actually an experience where guests can learn how to make these incredible cakes! In this 90-minute session guests will take on the roll of a pastry chef and learn techniques to decorate their very own Mickey Character Cake. Participants will gather in the shop prior to opening for this exclusive activity that is limited to 14 guests. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are included, and guests can take their personal cakes home with them. At the time of this article, the price was $149 plus tax, which covers the cost for 2 guests. Should your travel party include more than 2 guests, you would need to purchase additional reservations. Guests must be at least 10 years of age to participate.
2. Horseback riding at Fort Wilderness
If you are looking for a day away from the theme parks but still want to have a fun, family experience, consider horseback riding at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. These excursions are 45-minute long horseback rides through the woodsy trails of the Fort Wilderness campgrounds. This activity is fun for both beginner and intermediate riders. It is important to note a few restrictions: riders must be over 49 inches tall, at least 9 years of age, and weigh less than 250 pounds. Closed-toe shoes must be worn. At the time of this article, pricing was $55 per guest.
3. Specialty Fireworks Cruises
One of my favorite things to do is take a nighttime fireworks cruise. Most recently, I took an IllumiNations Cruise from the Yacht Club. We were lucky because our captain took us to Hollywood Studios first to catch the fireworks from the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular. Then we made our way back to Epcot via the International Gateway. We parked underneath the bridge between the United Kingdom and France within the World Showcase and viewed the entire Illuminations show up-close and personal (without having to stake out a spot I might add). These fireworks cruises are the perfect way to view either Happily Ever After fireworks or Illuminations: Reflections of Earth in a neat and private way. Chips and similar snacks as well as soft drinks are provided.
If there is a special celebration such as a birthday or anniversary, guests can have the boats decorated with banners, etc. Guests can also elect to the cruise catered via Disney’s private dining menu at an additional cost. Passengers will depart from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort to experience IllumiNations or sail from the following marinas to view Happily Ever After: Contemporary Marina, Polynesian Marina, Grand Floridian Marina, Fort Wilderness Marina, or Wilderness Lodge Marina. Pricing at the time of this article started at $299 plus tax for the 21-foot pontoon (seats 8 guests), $349 for the 25-foot boat (seats 10 guests), and $399 per hours plus tax for the Grand 1 Yacht (seats 18 guests—or 17 if traveling with a butler).
4. Aerophile – The World Leader in Balloon Flight
Have you ever wondered what it would be like get a 360-degree view of the Walt Disney World Resort from 400 feet in the air? Well, you can with this exhilarating experience located in Disney Springs! Guests will ride in a hand-painted tethered helium balloon high in the sky for 8-10 minutes and see Walt Disney World from a breathtaking perspective like no other. The balloon holds up to 29 guests and a pilot. Pricing at the time of this article was $20 for adults (ages 10+) and $15 for children (ages 3-9). Guests over 9 years of age are permitted to ride by themselves. However, children under 9 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18 years of age or older).
5. Dine with an Animal Specialist
Animal enthusiasts can delight in this truly unique experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Guests will be served a 4-course lunch at Sanaa, a restaurant located in the Kidani Village portion of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. As you dine on a feast of eclectic dishes, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to care for all of the animals that reside in the Walt Disney World Resort from an Animal Specialist. This lunch is limited to 12 guests, so diners will have a remarkably personal experience with the specialist. This is a great event to surprise your animal lover or to celebrate a special occasion. Children must be at least 8 years of age to participate.
These experiences are just a sampling of some of the things you can do to extend the magic outside of the theme parks! Contact me today to learn more about these experiences and more!
Kim Hart is a specialized travel agent with MickeyTravels, a Platinum-level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Her services are always 100% FREE! For help planning a magical vacation, contact Kim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 410-529-1324.