Most people I know do not want to take a break away from the parks while at Disney. Most think of Disney as just the parks. They don't realize that there is more to do at Disney than just that. My family loves to take a down day at Disney. That seems crazy, I know, but it can be more fun than the parks. Here are is a list of our top things to do on a Down Day at Disney.
Explore the resorts
There is so much to do just at the resorts. Exploring is a fun thing to do. You don't even have to explore the Resort you are staying in. You can resort hop to other resorts to explore. Many of the resorts offer some great photo-ops. Right now, you can check out the decorations for Christmas at each Resort. Make sure you check out some of the great places to eat while you are Resort hopping.
My kids love the resort pools. It is usually one thing they ask to do as soon as we get to our room. I think part of the treat is that it is typically cold at home when we are at Disney, and they get to swim while their friends at home are stuck indoors.
Disney World Resorts have some fantastic pools. It is well worth taking the time to visit the pools at your Resort. (at this time, Disney only allows you to use your Resorts pool).
Ride the Monorail
Riding the monorail resort loop is a great way to resort hop. It is a free service, and you ride it as many times as you want. The resort loop goes from the Magic Kingdom, The Contemporary Resort, Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), The Polynesian Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort, and back to the Magic Kingdom.
Character Dining at a Resort
A rest day is a great day to make Dining Reservations to meet some of your favorite characters. This past trip, we made reservations for Cheif Mickey's Dinner. We timed our dinner just right to catch the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom while we were eating dinner. We had a fantastic view from our table of the castle.
We also had breakfast at 'Ohana this day. We enjoyed our breakfast and spent time with Stitch without having to rush to a park. Also, the food was terrific at both restaurants.
Shopping at Disney Springs
There are so many shopping and dining options at Disney Springs. There is a large Disney store with some unique and fun items you wouldn't be able to find in your Resorts gift shop. There is also a Marvel store and a Lego Store. I usually have to drag my family out of the Lego Store. They could spend all day in there if I let them.
One of my favorite things to do on a rest day is to play Mini-golf. Disney World has two Mini-golf courses to choose from. Disney's Fantasia Gardens is located in the Epcot resort area. It is themed to Fantasia.
Disney's Winter Summerland is located near Blizzard Beach Water Park and is themed like Florida's take on winter.
Each Resort has a list of daily activities families can partake in. The activities are unique to that Resort. We stayed at Art of Animation the last trip, and we learned how to draw characters. We even took part in a hula hoop contest by the pool. They also had Disney Trivia, and you could make Tie Dye. Make sure you check out your Resort's Daily Activities board for information on what is going on at certain times.
Movies Under the Stars
Each Resort offers a nightly movie that you can enjoy. Make sure you check out the Activity board for which films will be playing, where, and what time.
Ride the Skyliner
One of my favorite things to do is to Ride the Skyliner. You get a birds-eye view of some of the resorts. The Skyliner travels from Pop Century and Art Of Animation, Rivieria Resort, and Caribbean Beach to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Make sure you check out the Skyliner Scavenger hunt that takes place on certain days.
There are so many other great things to enjoy at Disney besides going to a park. It would take me days to write it all. There is that much fun stuff to do. These are just a take on my family's top things to do on a rest day. Who says it has to be an actual rest day?
Want more information on things to do on a rest day? Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.