No matter the season, a family vacation to Walt Disney World offers a little something for everyone. Still, there are some quintessential activities to take part in whether you visit in the winter, spring, summer or fall. Over the next few months, I’m going to share my top ten picks for Disney activities that fit summer, fall, holiday and spring trips. Be sure to leave your picks in the comments!
1. Visit a splash pad
Florida summers are decidedly hot. And humid. Luckily, there are no shortage of places to cool down when the mercury rises. Walt Disney World offers several splash pads where little ones can delight in water that sprays, gushes and whirls. Several resorts have fun and whimsical splash pads, including Disney’s Grand Floridian, Fort Wilderness, and Disney’s Art of Animation. Splash pads can also be found at Downtown Disney, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and within the Magic Kingdom, at the Casey Jr. Splash’n’Soak Station (pictured below).
2. Gather ’round the campfire
Several of Disney’s resorts offer nightly campfires where resort guests can toast marshmallows (for a nominal fee), but when it comes to the granddaddy of Disney campfires, Fort Wilderness takes the cake. At Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long, guests can roast marshmallows and sing songs with Disney’s beloved chipmunks before settling in for a Disney classic under the stars. You needn’t be staying at Fort Wilderness to attend; the event is open to all guests of the Walt Disney World resort.
3. Parasail over magical waters
Did you know that in addition to all of Disney’s other activities, guests can opt to parasail with Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre? It’s true. I’ve experienced it myself! I think parasailing is an ideal way to celebrate warm summer weather, don’t you?
4. Enjoy an ice cream treat
If you’re more the type who prefers to keep two feet on the ground, perhaps indulging in an ice cream sundae is a better idea? You certainly won’t have trouble finding a tasty treat on Disney property. In my (never) humble opinion, Disney’s best sundaes can be had at the following locations: Seashore Sweets at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Inn and Ghirardelli at Downtown Disney.
5. Visit a water park
While splash pads might be ideal for the teensiest tots, Disney’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, offer slippery slides for the bigger kids and kids at heart. Teeny tots are not excluded, though; there are mild play areas for even the littlest ones at both of Disney’s water parks. Each park offers something different in the way of theming and slides, so you’d be remiss not to visit both during your summer trip if it’s feasible. If you must choose one, though, opt for Typhoon Lagoon for a more mild, tropical experience and Blizzard Beach for something more adventurous.
6. See a summer concert
Epcot offers a fun lineup of bands in their Sounds Like Summer concert series. Guests who visit during June and July should make their way to the American Adventure stage for one of three nightly concerts (each by the same band). For the summer 2014, each of the bands scheduled to perform are tribute bands which means that there’s a good chance that you’ll know one or two of the songs word for word.
7. Stroll the Boardwalk
If that’s not quintessential summer then I don’t know what is. Disney’s BoardWalk is a super fun place to visit in the evening. Not only are there carnival games to be played, but so, too, are there street performers to watch and plenty of treats to indulge in. And when you want to burn off a few of those calories, just rent a surrey bike for a few spins around the BoardWalk.
8. Try your hand at archery
Tucked behind the bike barn at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, there is a small space reserved for archery lessons (for guests age 7 and up). The 90-minute activity costs $39 and is available by reservation only. This experience fills up quickly so you’ll want to be sure reserve your spot as soon as possible by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
9. Watch a movie under the stars
Most (if not all) of Disney’s resorts offer guests the chance to take in a movie under the stars. Some resorts host dive-in experiences where a Disney film is shown on a large screen poolside, while others set up screens and chairs on the open grass or a sandy resort beach. Check the posted schedule or inquire with a Cast Member at check-in.
10. Sip a fruity beverage
I saved the best for last, right? If you’re anything like me, you appreciate the opportunity to imbibe a bit while you’re on vacation. Whether you’re looking to sip a mai tai or a margarita, Disney has you covered. Take a peek at my Best Disney Drinks (for the mommies and daddies) post for inspiration.