Best Competitive Attractions and Activities at Disney
Do you have kids who like to go head to head in a driveway basketball game? Do your nieces always try to out-do each other when they play their favorite video games? Do you try to out-wit your husband when you play Jeopardy? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are ready for a throwdown of epic proportions!
It’s important to get along, of course, but your (friendly) inter-family rivalries don’t have to take a reprieve when you vacation, especially not at Walt Disney World Resort! You can challenge your friends and family members to games of accuracy, strategy, and skill both in the parks and around the Resort hotels. The picturesque happy family with matching shirts, huge smiles, and a perfectly modest home doesn’t exist, and I would bet that your family too, has its fair share of competition and friendly faceoffs that keep the family dynamic interesting! So step right up and test your skills against your favorite opponent at Walt Disney World!
Running from attraction to attraction and trying to hit every one can easily overtake your entire vacation if you’re not careful; and speaking from experience, that is a recipe for cranky kids and short-tempered adults. Change it up and consider making Fastpass+ reservations for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom! In this attraction, you and your party are thrust into the heart of the same Space Ranger training Buzz Lightyear himself completed before becoming a Galactic Hero. You’ll shoot at moving targets and eventually face off against Emperor Zurg in the final scene. As you move through the ride, you will shoot at targets and earn points towards out-doing your opponent sitting across from you!
TIP: Keep shooting when you’re in the tunnel for bonus points!
Toy Story Midway Mania is one of the most popular attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It might be because of the drastic lack of competition in the paired-down park, but the attraction really is lots of fun- and the perfect place for a friendly face-off! In this variation of an accuracy game, you’ll pull a string attached to your ‘gun’ and shoot at targets on 3D screens. If you aren’t adept at breaking plates with the Green Army Men, don’t worry, the 8-minute long attraction gives you plenty of different games to play and chances to rack up points.
Fun for Everyone
The competitive attractions aren’t the only options for friendly family rivalries. Head over to the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade and play like them rowdy ol’ cowpoke from the westward expansion. The old school rifles and adorably classic targets are a fun way to take a 5-minute shade break on a hot Magic Kingdom afternoon.
If you’re exploring the Resorts on an off-day or have a little downtime in Epcot, take the International Gateway exit and walk under 5 minutes to Disney’s Boardwalk. This Resort is themed after the Coney Island and the Atlantic City Boardwalks in their heydays. Coming from someone who spent summers vacationing up and down the Jersey Shore, the theming of this Resort would not be complete without Boardwalk-style games…and Disney does not disappoint! You can challenge your friends to games like basketball shooting to see who walks away with a prize.
Pools and Recreation
When I think of pools, my first thought is not competition, but a giant inflatable floatie that I can float around on. While the adults are relaxing (and maybe enjoying a cocktail or two from the poolside bar) the kids can play versions of oversized table games like Connect 4 on the pool decks! Not every Resort has the same games- I’ve played Connect 4 at Caribbean Beach, ring toss at Grand Floridian, and hoola-hooped at the Boardwalk! Hey grown-ups, these games aren’t kid-exclusive and are really fun to play at the end of a relaxing pool day.
If you’re craving a more physical challenge while you’re on vacation, there are plenty of spots for that! At many of the Resort hotels, complimentary amenities like basketball courts, tennis courts, running trails, and even big sprawling lawns make the perfect setting for a pick-up game of your choice! Simply go to the rec center of your resort, and you can sign out equipment for use on the facilities. This is also a perfect chance to try out a sport you’ve never played before! If you’re used to challenging your friend at basketball, borrow a few tennis racquets and test your skills at a new game! Bring a Frisbee or soccer ball along and make use of the big lawns at Resorts like Disney’s Boardwalk and Art of Animation. There are so many ways to stay in the game while you’re at Walt Disney World Resort- who will you challenge?
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!