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Other Recreational Choices at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World offers many different sporting/recreational activities to keep you busy. They now have several choices ranging from watching Indy Racing to fishing in a quite canal. Most people think of WDW as just theme parks but there are several other options ranging from fishing to golfing to canoeing. Many of these activities will only add to your overall vacation experience. It is really nice to break up your day and try other things so your senses don't overload at the theme parks. It is great to just get away for a while. Take a boat and sit out a far corner of the lake by yourself.

All these activities cost a lot of money. If you are serious about trying the recreational activities in addition to everything else I would recommend a Walt Disney World Vacation Plan. We have gone on several and you can read about our experiences and tips in the planning section of disneygeek.com. We think they are the best way to do these activities. On the plans you are pretty much free to do as much or as little as you want.

 

Spectator Sports at WDW

Throughout the year at WDW there are many different tournaments and competitions happening ranging from PGA & LPGA Golf tournaments to the new Indy Racing League. There is also always something happening at the Walt Disney World Sports Complex (these events range from Spring training baseball to Harlem Globetrotters basketball). You have to check with guest services to find out what will be going on while you are there and if you can get into the event.


Tennis at WDW

At Walt Disney World there are a lot of Tennis facilities to choose from. Most of the major resorts have some courts. There are both clay courts and concrete. There are also lessons available. I know you can also rent equipment at some of the resorts. The only thing to remember is that it can get really hot and humid in Florida so running around playing tennis may not be the wisest thing to plan a lot of.


Horseback Riding

You can go horseback riding out at Fort Wilderness. These are guided experiences on really tame horses through the trails of the campground. There are also hayrides depending on the season.


Boating

There are several boating options available to you at Walt Disney World. Disney's "navy" is rather large. You can choose from two person paddle boats and water sprites up to the luxurious Grand I yacht. For current pricing and restrictions you should check with guest services or the marina of your choice. You can rent boats from virtually any place at Walt Disney World that is next to a lake. Most of the resorts have boats available along with the Disney Marketplace. The best boating is on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake (there is a water bridge that connects these two large bodies of water the surround the Magic Kingdom area). There's nothing like leaving the rush, crowds, and humid Florida air of the Magic Kingdom behind and heading out on the lake… yes the hot air is still there, but it feels so much cooler while cruising the lake.

You can also go Watersking on Bay Lake out of Fort Wilderness or the Contemporay.

Fireworks Cruises

There are three fireworks cruising options at Walt Disney World. One is the Magic Kingdom cruises that depart from the Magic Kingdom area resorts. All of these cruises are on pontoon boats. You basically leave the resort of your choice and you cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake for a while then you line up in front of the Magic Kingdom and watch the fireworks show. It is really a great view of the show. There are speakers on the islands in the Lagoon so you can hear the soundtrack of the show also. Then after the show you cruise around the lakes some more then head back to where you started. While you are cruising around there are refreshments and snacks for you. This is a great way to relax and see the fireworks without having to deal with the crowds of the park.

The second and third option both leave the Yacht & Beach Club and you travel to see either the fireworks show at EPCOT or the Disney Studios. Both of these cruises use Pontoon boats, or there is sometimes an option to go on the Breathless. This is an all wood speed boat that resides at the Yacht and Beach Club marina. It is really a neat boat. These cruises are extremely limited because the boat is really small. Also there was no food or drink on this cruise.

Notes from May 2009 - After dinner we went on a Fireworks cruise out of the Grand Floridian marina since we had dinner at Narcoossees. The cruise itself was nice and relaxing. For those that have not done one before you pick up your pontoon boat at one of the marinas and then head out to the lake. Most of the time you leave early enough that you can do a circle of the Seven Seas Lagoon and over to Bay Lake before lining up in front of the Magic Kingdom for Wishes. Over the years these cruises have evolved slightly. The base cruise, which is what was included on our plan, no longer includes any snacks or drinks. The other big change is now the boats have speakers/radios on board so you can hear the show. Before there were speakers on the island and then the sound from the Magic Kingdom itself. This is still a very popular event as we noticed over a dozen boats out every night of our trip. Its kind of funny to watch them all jockey for and then hold their position. Everything from the pontoon boats to the Grand I (the yacht) to the larger Pirate Cruises/Party Cruise boats (the old Animal Kingdom boats). Also a nice plus at the end, we were dropped off back at the Contemporary which saved us the monorail trip from the Grand Floridian.

Parasailing

Parasailing departs from the Contemporary Resort and you go up and around Bay Lake. It is really amazing. I am not one for thrill rides (I do not go on any of the mountains or anything like that), but I really enjoyed this experience. We went first thing in the morning one day at around 6 something. It was really fun watching the sun rise over bay lake and then going up and cruising around the lake when half the world(that is Disney World) was still asleep. In May 2009 we tried this again, this time in the late afternoon and again those who went had a great time.