Although there are many theme parks in Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, there are also a few parks that are not full parks, but special places in the Disney world area that you can visit. For example, if you are coming down into the Florida heat and humidity, chances are good you will want to cool off in the cool waters of Disney’s two water parks. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon offer that level of relaxation you want and expect.
In addition to this, there is also an area called Downtown Disney. It is an ideal place to go if you want to shop or find a great restaurant to eat at. Many of these stores are Disney themed (and you will find just about anything you could imagine here) but there are others that are not. This area has plenty of fun for the kids as well as great restaurant choices to enjoy.
The Magic of Disney’s Lesser-Known Attractions
While the main Disney parks—Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom—garner most of the attention, the lesser-known parks and attractions offer unique experiences that often go overlooked. These additional areas allow visitors to escape the crowds and explore Disney magic in a more laid-back setting, all while enjoying different kinds of entertainment and dining options.
Take, for instance, Disney’s BoardWalk. It’s a quarter-mile promenade of exquisite dining, unique shops, and exciting nightlife modeled after the coastal cities of the early 20th century. Guests can enjoy street performers, rent a surrey bike, or simply sit by the lake and watch the boats go by. With the vibe of a seaside resort from a bygone era, it’s a serene place to relax after a hectic day at the main parks.
Disney Springs, previously known as Downtown Disney, is another such gem. The area has recently undergone a series of renovations and expansions, elevating its status from a mere shopping area to an entertainment hub in its own right. Live music, world-class cuisine from renowned chefs, and exclusive Disney merchandise make it a must-visit.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, there is the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Don’t let the name fool you; this is not just any campground. It offers everything from archery to horseback riding, fishing, and canoeing, all set in a rustic environment. This is Disney’s nod to the great American frontier, and it offers visitors the opportunity to experience the outdoors without sacrificing the comforts and amenities that Disney is known for.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a haven for sports fans. From baseball and soccer to cheerleading and dance competitions, the complex is a sporting paradise. Not only can you watch games, but you can also participate in sports experiences that are fun for the whole family. During specific times of the year, it also serves as the training ground for professional sports teams, offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite athletes.
Additionally, Disney World Resort offers various seasonal events like EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival, where you can sample dishes from around the world, and the Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, an exclusive holiday event that requires a separate ticket but offers unique parades, shows, and character meet and greets.
While these secondary parks and attractions may not have the same allure or name recognition as Cinderella’s Castle or Space Mountain, they offer unique experiences that cater to a wide range of interests. From the tranquility of the water parks to the bustling atmosphere of Disney Springs, there is something for everyone.
So, the next time you plan your magical Disney vacation, don’t forget these lesser-known wonders. You’ll not only escape the usual crowds but also discover new facets of what makes Disney World the most magical place on Earth.