Dreaming Into Reality

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Beyond the Mouse January 20, 2013

Filed under: travel — jolchowy25 @ 10:07 pm
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If you have ever been to Disney, you know you will need a vacation from your vacation once you return home. If you read my last post, you got some tips on planning a trip to Disney. This post is going to explain some things I have found to enjoy beyond the Mouse and the rides. My next post will talk about my top ride picks, so you know what you have to look forward to.

Downtown Disney

If you are looking for something cheap to do, head over to Downtown Disney, home to many shops, restaurants, and entertainment centers. Parking is free and you don’t have to spend money if you don’t want to.

Downtown Disney (DD) is home to one of my favorite places, Ghirardelli Chocolate. There is nothing better than stopping in and getting a nice ice cream sundae after a day in the parks. Another favorite is Wide World of Disney. This is basically your one stop shop for all of your souvenirs. Just remember, if you stay on Disney property, you can have packages delivered to your resort so you don’t have to carry them around. Packages are usually at your resort the next afternoon, so if you are leaving the next day, I would not recommend this.

You will also find the new Splitsville bowling alley at DD. If seeing a show is more your thing, catch La Nouba or a concert at House of Blues. For a rainy day, why not head over to DisneyQuest Indoor interactive Theme Park, or catch the newest Hollywood blockbuster at AMC 24.

Pin Trading

I started Disney pin trading/collecting back in 2000, and yes, there is where most of my money goes. While I am a fan of buying and collecting the pins, I am not a fan of trading. Personally speaking, I buy pins that have meaning to me. If I wanted to trade, then I would buy whatever.

I have heard stories of people trading with someone and then maintaining a friendship with that person. So, if you don’t have any sentimental value to a pin, start asking others you seeing with pins to trade. Also know that if you ask any Disney cast member to trade, they have to. This can come in handy since they may have limited edition or special pins.

Relax at the pool or beach

Every hotel on Disney property has at least one pool. If you want to relax, spend a few hours or the day relaxing with a drink in hand. Most hotels in the non-value category have themed pools, which is great for the younger ones. If you are lucky, maybe you are staying at a resort with a beach. While you can not actually swim in the lakes, why not spend the afternoon relaxing in a hammock.

Enjoy the fireworks

Fireworks above Magic Kingdom

Fireworks above Magic Kingdom

Who says you have to be in one of the parks to see the fireworks? Head over to one the the resorts in the Magic Kingdom area and relax on one of the beaches and look up. I have heard there are great spots at the Polynesian to view the fireworks.

If you are lucky enough to be staying at one of these resorts, just walk outside or sit on your balcony. That’s what this Disney family did when we stayed at the Contemporary.


Play Ball!

Florida is home to the Grapefruit League. If you visit in February or March, try to catch a MLB Spring Training game. The Atlanta Braves train at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex and the Houston Astros are just down the road as well.

I’m a Philadelphia fan, so the past few years when we went down in March, we made the trip to Clearwater to see the Phillies play.

Phillies Spring Training

Phillies Spring Training







Orlando Attractions

Want to stay in Orlando, why not visit Universal Studios? Home to Nickelodeon and Isle of Adventures, there is something for everyone. Since I am no longer a child or teenager, I prefer Isle of Adventures, mainly for the roller coasters. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this is where you can find Hogwarts and butter beer. Fan of Marvel, ride the Hulk and take a trip with Spiderman.

Also while in Orlando, stop by and visit Shamu at SeaWorld. Although I have not visited SeaWorld in a few years, you can never go wrong with this park.

If anyone else has any tips on different things to do while in Disney that is not visiting with the mouse himself or riding the rides, let me know your thoughts. I would love to hear your comments.




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