Staying at WDW and NOT going to parks-what was your experience?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by tmbacon, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. tmbacon

    tmbacon Mouseketeer

    Sep 3, 2009
    Curious if anyone here has stayed at WDW resorts for vacation but NOT gone to the parks, or spent very minimal time there? Thinking of heading down again Spring Break 2014 (we've been to WDW during Spring Break three other times so we know what we're in for :) ), would stay for 5-6 nights but only go to the parks 1 or 2 times (or maybe not at all??). This would be our 11th trip to WDW, so we have some experience here.

    If you did this, did you regret not spending more time at the parks? Were you and your family "bored"? I think if we tried this approach we'd probably splurge on deluxe hotel/villa, like Beach Club, or something like that. Thanks for providing your experiences with this type of situation. :thumbsup2
  2. Elleshoodat

    Elleshoodat DIS Veteran

    Nov 27, 2010
    We do resort-only trips quite often. We live about two hours from the World and sometimes just want a short "escape" from our everyday lives. Those stays are only for a couple of nights, not five or six, and we typically stay deluxe so we can take advantage of the amenities (pools, sit-down restaurants, the opportunity to visit nearby resorts).

    We don't get bored at all, but we're also not looking to go, go, go on those trips and find them much more relaxing and recharging than our "big" trips. I know many people can't fathom going onto Disney property and not hitting the parks, but to each his own. :goodvibes
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. KerryCM

    KerryCM DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 1999
    My husband and I do this often, and are doing it again in May. We go often and even take our kids and grandchildren once a year. We stay in the BW area and enjoy relaxing by the pool, walking around the BW and will take a walk through Epcot. We have 2 meals planned for Epcot next month and will stroll through to look at the Flower and Garden things. Our kids tease us because we are retired and don't do much anyway, just travel, so the laugh when we say we are going to relax. We are never bored because there are things to do without going to the parks.

    Now when we go with our grandchildren it is a different story, so I look forward to our alone trips!!
  5. madelyn

    madelyn DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2000
    In the summers we like to spend around 10 to 11 nights in the Orlando area. Of those we have spent up to 7 on-site and we might go to the parks every other day or so. On the off-days we have spent time shopping (downtown Disney or outlet malls). Or we'll go to a resort character breakfast or meal and spend time at the resort pool. One time we slept in and had a few hours before seeing the Hoop De Doo show. Ended up spending some time looking around Fort Wilderness. We'll spend time in a water park. But I don't think that we have not gone to all four parks within that week. I think the minimum days we have spent in the main parks during a week might be 3. I did take a 3 night trip over a weekend with my sisters and mom when my daughter was a toddler. We went to the Christmas party and the next day spend about 4 hours at Hollywood Studios. But she was young and didn't have much say in what we did. Trying to see if a last minute "budget" trip this summer is possible. We would not buy additional park tickets and would just use up some non-expiring tickets we already have. I THINK my sons and I only have 2 park hopper days left on our tickets. My kids were OK with skipping Animal Kingdom. The good thing about visiting many times before is that you know what your favorite attractions are and you can re-visit those and whatever new things there are.
  6. LSchrow

    LSchrow life without the BWVs is <null>

    May 11, 2000
    we do just that 2-3x a year :)
    we usually stay at the BWVs, where there are more non-park options than many other resorts.
    our days include: mini-golf (a short walk to fantasia gardens), dining at BW/BC/S&D restaurants, offsite eateries/outlet shopping, strolling the BW :cloud9:, pools, community hall, jellyrolls/belle vue lounge, nighttime performers & carny games.
    tennis is on our next to-do list.

    sometimes we will go into a park (we have PAPs), but it is all whim based, and we stay just to do/see what we feel like.

    we always come home feeling rested and relaxed - many people don't realize how rejuvenating a WDW vacation can be!
  7. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

    Sep 22, 2005
    We have done that before, stayed in a deluxe and went to the parks just for a meal. It was very nice
  8. EpcotBill

    EpcotBill DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2001
    We did it for 1 night pre-cruise. It drove me nuts being there and not going into a park. We rode the entire monorail system; Resort, Express and Epcot. My anxiety was reduced a little when the monorail went into Epcot but that didn't last long.

    I'll never do that again. On subsequent cruises out of PCV we stayed at a hotel near the port.
  9. magicbob

    magicbob DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2008
    We used to spend every waking minute in the parks, but these days, we enjoy what might be considered "minimal" park time. Out of seven days, we might spend two days at parks (maybe three), which are really more like half days, because we leave after lunch to swim, etc. at the resort. Maybe a half day at a water park and the rest of the time is enjoying the resort, and doing lots of activities outside the parks.
  10. buzz1fan

    buzz1fan I Can't wait to be back!

    Feb 6, 2008
    We do this often and we have 2 young kids. We spend a lot of time at the resorts and DTD. Most times we hit a park only one day. We go on our way to the Beach. This June we are staying at YC for two nights and going to MK one day. Last June we did this at BLT.
    We love it because we get a disney and beach fix!!
  11. buzz1fan

    buzz1fan I Can't wait to be back!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Last Xmas we just want to cbr no parks.
  12. woodkins

    woodkins DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2009
    Did this at the beach club for 4th of July week last year. Spent every day at the pool, went to DTD, walked the boardwalk, but mainly relaxed at the resort. It was great!
  13. darkwing818

    darkwing818 DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    Agree 100%, we've also done this several times but usually we try to stay at BCV, we love the pool & BWV is just across the lagoon. :thumbsup2
  14. puertorican00676

    puertorican00676 Earning My Ears

    Mar 10, 2012
    We went last year to CSR for a weekend and had a great time without going to the parks, we only spent one day at typhoon lagoon. we did not miss the parks we spent our days at downtown disney and also went to boardwalk and had a great romantic dinner at Citricos. It was awesome and we never felt bored or out of place.
  15. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2009
    I couldn't do it. if i was going and not planning on parks, I'd stay elsewhere, maybe the LBV Hilton, just outside Disney. Or a Beach resort. You can get a pretty nice resort outside of WDW for half the price of a WDW deluxe resort.
  16. chasgoose

    chasgoose Mouseketeer

    Mar 21, 2007
    I can't imagine paying the hefty premium for on-site WDW hotels if I wasn't going to the parks. The hotels simply aren't nice enough for the price you are paying. I love the WDW resorts and they are definitely part of the experience, but I always feel a teeny bit ripped off when I think about the quality of hotel I could get for the same price elsewhere. My family usually stays in very nice hotels when we travel, think Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton level (unless its a super expensive city like NYC) and our last trip to WDW 10 years ago at the YC (granted during the peak season and CL) would still be ranked with the highest we have ever paid for a hotel room.
  17. amym2

    amym2 DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2009
    Yes, we did it last October! We joined the DVC, so we did a split stay, 2 nights at OKW and 4 nights in a THV at SSR. We did Typhoon Lagoon and Legoland but otherwise did things at the resort or in the local area. I never thought in a million years I could go to WDW and not go to the theme parks, but it was wonderful! Our kids (DS11 and DD9) didn't complain at all about not doing the parks. We did things we never have time for on park trips. We especially loved the poolside activities (esp the ice cream drop and treasure hunt at OKW), mini golf at WinterSummerland, riding surrey bikes at POR, and dining at Cali Grill and watching fireworks from there. We were never bored and would definitely do it again!
  18. texasgirl73

    texasgirl73 Obsessive Trip Planner

    Apr 6, 2008
    Last year I decided to stay at the Art of Animation one night pre-cruise. I had originally booked cheaper hotels to save money but I ultimately decided that the Disney hotels are just so much more fun and festive, so it was like our 7 night cruise was extended to 8. I am doing something similar this year by staying at the Wilderness Lodge before going on a 4 night cruise on the Dream. I had looked at other hotels but I find it impossible to stay at a non-Disney hotel while in Orlando. I don't miss the parks at all, just love the atmsophere and theming at the hotels.
  19. Liltx

    Liltx DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2001
    I think it would be very hard to take small children and not go to the parks. Mine would drive me crazy. If it was just dh and I then we have many other favorite places to go.
    Personally, we love to cruise at spring break. It is a great, relaxing, family vacation. And if you don't choose dcl then it can be a very affordable time to go.
  20. bcrook

    bcrook DIS Veteran

    Jun 26, 2008
    I agree about the quality of the hotel versus the price. I have DVC though, so a trip to Kidani or the boardwalk area makes sense ... We have already paid for our rooms for the next 50 years! :)
  21. Bob NC

    Bob NC DIS Veteran<br><font color="red">I am a trained pr

    Mar 3, 2000
    I can think of many, many much more deluxe resorts in scenic areas at half the cost of Disney Deluxe resorts.

    For us, we would not go to Disney unless we were going to the parks.

    We put up with their poor excuse for the word deluxe and their mediocre food BECAUSE of the parks.

    You could stay at the Four Seasons Palm Beach with an ocean view room for less money than a Disney Deluxe, no comparison in my book if you aren't visiting the parks.

Share This Page