…you can do more at Walt Disney World besides go to the parks? Shocking, I know.
As I’ve mentioned before, our last trip to Disney had a theme of “things we don’t normally do.” It was Doug and my first trip there together that did not involve a race or competition, or something that involved an alarm clock. And it was great! I already talked about getting to experience the Star Wars Weekend (you can catch up here) and all the (mostly) amazing ADRs we had, but let’s talk about some other stuff we got to experience that we don’t always have time for and/or have never done before.
Yes, I love mini golf…DON’T YOU JUDGE ME! Walt Disney World has 2 somewhat conveniently located mini golf courses. On this trip we went to Fantasia Gardens which is located across the street from the Swan & Dolphin. This makes it extremely convenient if you’re staying at one of the Epcot resorts, you can just walk on over! Staying on property but not at an Epcot resort? Don’t have a car? No problem! You can take a bus from your resort to
MGM Hollywood Studios and walk there! OK, that’s kind of a long walk, so basically take whatever mode of transportation you want to whatever park (or Downtown Disney) you want and then take the bus to the Swan & Dolphin from there.
Doesn’t sound easy? That’s ok, there is another simpler option! Winter Summerland! This is actually conveniently located in adjacent to the Blizzard Beach parking lot. As long as Blizzard Beach is open, you can hop on a bus from your hotel there and get to mini golf!
As I mentioned, we did Fantasia Gardens this trip. And within Fantasia Gardens there are two options: the Gardens or the Fairways. The Fairways are essentially miniature putting greens. If you want to know what it feels like to putt on a golf course, that’s the one you go with. But if you’re like me, you want to pick the Gardens which is chock full of fun mini golf obstacles and amusements, all set to the theme of the Disney Classic Fantasia! (Duh!)
Fantasia not really your thing? Or it’s too much trouble to get to? Well Winter Summerland also offers 2 different course to choose from, although both are funny mini golf styles! One course is summer themed, but with a winter/Christmas twist and the other course is winter themed but with a summer twist (i.e. sandcastles made out of “snow”). For added fun they play the Beach Boys Christmas Album for that added winter/summer combo feeling…
These pictures are from Wine & Dine weekend 2012 when I still used a real camera (hence having way more pictures). We played the winterland course that day.
So, as I mentioned, on this trip we were trying to do things Doug (and maybe I) had never done before. Clearly hitting the mini golf course, while tons of fun, was not one of them. Then we discovered Sammy Duvall’s located at the Contemporary! Available there is parasailing, wakeboard, water ski and jet skiing, just to name a few. None of which I’ve ever done before at Disney and which Doug had never done period. An added bonus was Doug had never been inside the Contemporary at all (other than through it on the monorail) and we took the “secret” pathway from the Magic Kingdom to get there (again something neither of us had done).
We opted for the jet ski tour (although it’s referred to as a personal watercraft). You could either drive your own, or ride together (2 or 3 people, depending on weight). Doug and I decided to share one, this way I could take pictures…and the cost of paying for 1 vs. 2 definitely helped lol. However based on speeds and my need to hold Doug with both hands, my pictures are limited…Sorry!
We would leave from the Contemporary and get a guided tour of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. They only allow 4 PWC (personal watercrafts) per tour, but we lucked out and it was just us and the guide. Before boarding, we were given a quick safety rundown that included how far behind him we should stay (so we could slow down or stop with ample time if needed given wake zones or other boats crossing). An important rule given: the faster you go, the more stable you are!
We were taken to spots that included the abandoned River Country and Discovery Island. We stopped right in front of Magic Kingdom and jetted over in front of the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. Our guide was awesome and at the stops would give us some Disney trivia (all stops we remained on our PWC, we never got that close to land). Now, I don’t know if it was because it was just us, or if Doug had proven himself to be a competent driver, but our guide would take off with fun turns and figure 8s and donuts, all of which we would follow him for. At the end of the tour, we got kind of a free ride to do whatever we liked in a buoyed off area of Bay Lake (under our guide’s supervision) until our session was over. An hour and a half FLEW by!
Can I just say, this may have been one of the most fun things I have ever experienced in Walt Disney World and would gladly do it again!
If you’re looking for something different to do while visiting the WDW, this is it! At $135, it’s not the cheapest option on property, but it is one of the most unique and one of the most fun!
Don’t forget about my Marine Corp Marathon charity donation and Nuun giveway going on through August 13th! Donate here ANY amount ($25, $10, $5, even $1) and be eligible to win some Nuun swag including 2 fun flavors!