Best "free" WDW activities for non-park day? (staying offsite)

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by richsm5, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. richsm5

    richsm5 Earning My Ears

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    We will be there the first week of december with my parents and 2daughters, 2.5 and 4.5 yrs old. We're staying at emerald island and taking one day off from the parks to relax, but I still want to have something fun to in the afternoon/evening
    We decided against MVMCP due to cost and my girls ages, but what's something else we can do? I just make a 6:05 ADR at Boma , thinking we can get there early and walk around, look at animals, etc I also thought of going to the Disney boardwalk, walking around and probably eating somewhere there.
    Are either of those good choices, if so which one and is there something else I didn't think of?
    Dinner isn't a requirement since we'll have the condo but since we'd be out at that time I figured I should plan on it

    Thanks for any help!
     
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  3. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

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    There's not much to see and do at the Boardwalk during the day. The entertainment is pretty much at night.

    A lot of people plan Dec. vacations so they can tour the deluxe resorts to look at all of the Christmas Decorations. In particular GF and WL. It might be fun to spend the afternoon visiting the monorail resorts and WL to do this, sip a little hot chocolate and eat a few Christmas cookies while doing so.

    AKL also has some great Christmas decorations in the lobby- plan on taking some time to look at them on your way to and from Boma.

    Downtown Disney is always a good way to kill a couple of hours. Not sure if Santa will be there for your dates, though.
     
  4. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy We are family.

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    Have you thought about Downtown Disney?

    I say Boma would be nice. Great resort to tour, see animals, artifacts, etc. Some kids activities at times. Boardwalk is dead in the day, a bit better at night. Not as active though as Downtown Disney.
     
  5. parkhopping

    parkhopping DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.disboards.com/s

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    This isn't free, but there are 2 mini golf courses on property. I have friends who have taken young kids to Mickey's Winter Summerland and loved it - it's a very easy course. Riding the monorail and checking out resort decorations is a great idea, and your plan for Boma is a good one too. DTD has plenty to see during the day. Your kids might also enjoy checking out the new AoA resort. Lots of fun character theming.
     
  6. richsm5

    richsm5 Earning My Ears

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  7. DisneyRunner2009

    DisneyRunner2009 DIS Veteran

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    My family does a lot of nothing. MY DH suggested the boat ride from DTD to PO. While at POR, Bob Jackson in the lounge is a very good show. He really involves the audience. His show usually starts around 8-8:30 pm. Also, ask in the gift shop for some beads at POR. The front desk at POFQ has the beads. Viewing the animals at AKL is something my family does. There may be activities (ie dance party, karaoke, scavenger hunt) going on by the pool, before your Boma ADR. You could view the EPCOT fireworks from DHS, near the boat dock. The MK fireworks can be viewed from the Poly beach, including the music. While there, ask for a lei. Also, the Electric Water Pagent starts at 9pm at Poly. I watched it from the boat dock there. In my opinion, the Boardwalk entertainment is not that good.
     
  8. parkhopping

    parkhopping DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.disboards.com/s

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    You can drive to/park at any of them. Now, I have never done this without having a specific reason to give to the guard - i.e. "We're going to X restaurant" or "We're going to watch the fireworks from the beach." However, I imagine you can just tell the guard that you are there to walk around and see the decorations. I'd be surprised if he didn't let you in with that explanation. If you're concerned, though, you could start with a resort where you know you'd like to stop for some refreshments and tell him you're going to that restaurant. (Can anyone else say for sure whether they'd be able to park by just saying they're going to see the decorations?) Once you're in, you can take the resort monorail loop around to the other resorts.

    An alternative would be to park at The Boardwalk or DTD and take a bus to the resort of your choice. However, this would definitely take longer.
     
  9. DisneyRunner2009

    DisneyRunner2009 DIS Veteran

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    [/QUOTE

    Since we're staying off site, how do we access the monorail resorts?[/QUOTE]

    To access the monorail, park your car at the Transportation and Ticketing Center, otherwise know as the TTC. Once there, you can choose between the resort loop, express to MK and the EPCOT monorail. My family, also enjoys riding the monorails, as well as the other modes of transportation (boats). Talking about boats, there is a horse barn just off the boat dock at the Fort Wilderness Campground. Pony rides are offered. A boat from MK can take you there. This will be my last idea, the geyser at Wilderness Lodge. It goes off at the top of the hour. I lied. Looking at my pictures, Art of Animation may be fun to tour. Seeing Nemo, Cars, Lion King and Little Mermaid. On the other hand, your kids may be sad, because you are not staying there.

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  10. hivemama

    hivemama Mouseketeer

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    Does anyone know if they still do the free hula lessons at the poly in the afternoons? We have a dinner reservation at Ohana and thought we'd go early and let the kids do the hula lessons if they still do them.
     
  11. parkhopping

    parkhopping DIS Veteran<br><a href="http://www.disboards.com/s

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    The only problem with this is that they would have to pay $14 for parking since they are staying offsite :worried: I know I wouldn't want to do that!
     
  12. Emteach

    Emteach DIS Veteran

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    We were at the Poly and dont recall hula lessons by the pool. They had lots of other activities but I dont recall seeing that. Could be wrong though and just missed it - I have googled and it seems to occur but we were there by the pool 3 days out of 7 and didnt see any going on.

    My suggestion would also be to explore the Monorail resorts and grab some small snacks while you are there. Also, Downtown Disney but that would definately not end up being free lol.
     
  13. vicki_c

    vicki_c DIS Veteran

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    Hula lessons are in the lobby, not at the pool. Although I believe it was on,y a few days a week last time we stayed there.
     
  14. AuroraMeansDawn

    AuroraMeansDawn DIS Veteran

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    I think you'd really enjoy dinner at Boma and in addition to looking around and seeing the animals you may check into the activity schedule. There are frequently crafts and such for kids (usually a small fee applies) and there is often a storyteller out by the firepit. You can also borrow night vision goggles for after dinner to see what animals you can spot. It's a great way to get a taste of the resort. Hopefully the Christmas decor will be up too..the lobby of the AKL is breathtaking.
     
  15. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Steve Soares usually has the schedule for the Boardwalk performers up:

    http://wdwent.com/

    We enjoyed the two guys we saw when we were there and your little ones might as well, however I don't know that it's the same people still.

    We park at Wilderness Lodge (which is totally worth touring as well, IMHO) and take the boat over to the Contemporary or to the MK, and get on the monorail there. I have heard that they may limit access to the monorail resorts at busy times of the year; never heard of that happening at the Wilderness Lodge. We just tell them at the gate that we're touring the resorts, and the driver needs to show photo ID. :)

    The Wilderness Lodge has a stream that starts in the lodge and then goes down to the "geyser" -- get a treat and sit on the chairs in the back behind the lobby or on one of the big porches above and maybe the treats will keep your little ones happy long enough for them to see it go off (every hour on the hour, I think it is, but I'm sure if you asked at the front desk they'd tell you). Kids that age often think the boat ride is pretty cool, as well. ;)
     
  16. richsm5

    richsm5 Earning My Ears

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    Wow, these are such great ideas! I'm so glad I asked, now I'm making a list of really cool things to do :)
    Thanks and keep 'em coming!
     
  17. DisneyRunner2009

    DisneyRunner2009 DIS Veteran

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    I forgot about that.
     
  18. bopper

    bopper <font color=green>Which way to the Hundred Acre Wo

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    Go to Downtown Disney and play at the Lego store.
     
  19. MermaidMommy

    MermaidMommy DIS Veteran

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    What about Chip and Dale's Campfire and Sing-Along at Ft. Wilderness? It's free, and my DD loved it when she was four. It usually starts at 7pm, and begins with a 40-ish minute sing-along lead by a Disney CM and a marshmallow roast. (You can bring your own or buy them there -- you can also buy pizza, hot dogs, nachos, etc. there.) Chip and Dale come out to visit and for autographs during this part. Then, they'll show a Disney movie -- there are benches to sit or you can bring a blanket to sit on.
     
  20. ChrisnKim913

    ChrisnKim913 DIS Veteran

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    We live 2 hours from Disney and every year tour the resorts during Christmas. We stop at Downtown Disney and just hop on a bus to either the Poly/GF/CR. Once there you can ride the monorail to visit these 3 resorts. One year we took the WL bus b/c that resort is gorgeous in December. Beautiful decorations and ambiance. Only problem is we took a boat from the WL to the MK... not a very warm ride. If I was smart we could of just jumped on the bus to the MK. Once there you can get on the Monorail. I would also recommend checking out AKL... beautiful resort and lots of animals to look at. Boardwalk is fun at night. You can check out that resort and the boardwalk itself. If you are up to a nice walk, take a walk around the Boardwalk and check out the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Like everyone has said, DTD is a great way to kill time and heres a secret... Ghiradelli hot chocolate is TO DIE FOR!! Have a great time and enjoy
     
  21. cmh314

    cmh314 Mouseketeer

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    :thumbsup2
    This is what I was going to suggest.
     

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