There is a ton of things to do on Disney World resort properties, so many things you don’t have to leave! I often hear families plan non-stop packed days at the theme parks and they don’t make time to just soak up the resort and it bums me out a bit. The Disney Resorts offer so much more than a themed bed to sleep in! When we visit the resorts we give the property so much of our attention we sometimes don’t leave the resort at all and skip the theme parks altogether. Staying on property is one of my most favorite things about Disney and I’m shocked to hear it surprises people that I can enjoy the resort just as much as the theme parks if not more. Here’s how to make the most of a Disney Resort Day in just a handful of ways.
Parents hear me out! When we stay on property my kids are so exhausted from all the festivities they tend to sleep in more than they do any other time. If you’re not a parent of little ones that rise early then sleep in! The resort beds tend to be on the comfy side (they’re not your bed at home, but they do the job) and deserve to sleep in a few extra hours in the morning. The rooms have shades that darken the room so much I’ve lost track of time before. Sleep in, it’s vacation time!
Enjoy Coffee with a View
This is one of my favorite things about Disney Resorts, coffee with a view! Depending on which property you’re at the views are all very different but even just sipping coffee by the pool bright and early is truly magical. I bring my own coffee mug and refill in the food court area to continue soaking up the magical views.
Resort Fun Run
Some resorts offer fun runs, typically a 1-2 mile fun run around the property. These fun runs do have a fee that ranges from $15-20 and you get a themed pin and freebie afterward too. Check at the resort as you enter to see if they offer a fun run and on what day as the days are specific.
Oh my goodness some of my most favorite meals have been on Disney Resort properties in the specialty restaurants. The Maya Grill at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort might be my favorite.
Quick Service Picnic Style
This is a really fun idea and one I do with my toddlers often. If you know you won’t eat everything in a quick service meal, or more specifically don’t want the kids to waste a lot then I suggest trying a picnic style meal in the food court. We grab 2 different meals and a few different specialty treats and everyone tries a bit of everything picnic style.
I mean, pool time at a Disney World Resort is simply a must! I could spend a few hours each day at the themed pools with Disney’s Art of Animation is one of my favorite fun themes to hang out at. The pools have trivia and games so be sure to find out what time they do their fun events to take part in it! Plus, cocktails poolside is a must on vacation.
I heart room service. Sometimes a bit of downtime is required at Disney and especially during vacation. If we stay at a resort more than a day I make sure to order 1 meal room service. The Disney Resort Rooms offer movies in the room and the Disney channel of course so we order in and watch Disney movies from bed at Disney. That’s truly magical stuff right there!
Nap Time at your Resort
If I’m offered a nap I don’t turn it down. As a parent of toddlers, a nap is required to get us through the day and stay up late. If you’re on an adults-only vacation I still recommend nap time. Naps give an energy boost and help us stay up for the fireworks – so nap it out in that Disney room.
Snacks in Room
Each room has a mini-fridge and all resorts except value resorts offer coffee machines in the room. Bring your own creamers, your own snacks, and cold items like fruit to have snack time in the room. If you’re not interested in nap time and want to spend more time outside of the room I still recommend a quick decompress session in the room with snacks.
Most of the resorts offer a bike or even boat rentals. These rentals are a fun way to see all of the property and pausing to check out things you might not have noticed otherwise. You’ll find rental booths on the property to give you the info.
Family Photo Session
This is one of my most favorite things to do at Disney resorts. I bring my fancy camera and snap photos of my boys in their “Sunday best” and I’ve also hired a photographer to take family images at the resorts. The Disney Boardwalk Resort has one of the best backdrops for Disney photo shoots.
The Disney Resort pools have a bar area at each resort offering libations for the adults to enjoy. Nothing beats a fruity cocktail in the summer heat poolside! You’ll also find drinks the food court and sometimes bars in the fine dining areas to partake in. Is it vacation without happy hour?
One unique thing about Disney Resorts is that many offer playgrounds for kids. When my kids need to get out some extra energy they request the resort playgrounds and arcade area.
During one staycation we went all out and skipped dinner completely and had a dessert party! You’ll find specialty desserts at resorts you won’t find anywhere else at Disney and this must be taken advantage of!
Movie Under The Stars
Each resort offers a night-time movie and it’s usually outside near the pool or in an open grass area. Check with the resort to see when and what will be playing. When you stay during the holidays you can expect to see Disney holiday movies which are so fun to experience under the stars!
Fireworks at a Disney Resort
Last but not least Disney fireworks. You can see fireworks from every resort you just might have to walk away from your room a bit for a view. I love seeing fireworks right outside of the resort rooms, but don’t mind walking a bit to see them either.
Well, there you have it. I’ve given many ways to spend an entire day at a Disney World Resort without having to leave and making the most of your resort stay. My favorite places are Coronado Springs, Art of Animation, Fort Wilderness Cabins, and Fort Wilderness Lodge. I’ve stayed at all of these properties without visiting a theme park once and can’t wait to do it again and again. Happy Disney World resort vacation planning!
You can find me pushing a double stroller through the magic most days.
I’m a toddler boy mom that has a passion for Florida living and all things Disney! As a Florida native and self proclaimed Disney staycation pro, I look forward to guiding you through the magic.