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Chester County Press

Is Disney World a vacation destination for people who do not enjoy theme parks?

03/04/2019 09:27PM ● By Steven Hoffman
By Tricia Hoadley
I am an avid theme park junky. When I think about taking a vacation, the first place my mind goes is upside down on a roller coaster with my stomach in my throat. The thought of eventually traveling to a secluded island somewhere far away and relaxing is a lovely one, but in reality, I get bored quickly. It wouldn't take long before the need to find something else to do would creep up and take over. I crave stimulation and excitement.
When the opportunity to take a girls-only vacation with one of my sisters came up, I jumped on it! Knowing how much of a Disney World fan I am, she agreed to meet me in Orlando for several nights—just the two of us. 
Right away, thoughts of FastPasses, park hoppers and intense schedules filled my brain. This is how I Disney! When I finally came back to Earth, I realized that although I may be a bit of a control freak and type-A planner, she is quite the opposite. While the thought of riding rides from 8 a.m. until midnight makes me grin from ear to ear, she would probably cringe and vow to never go anywhere with me again.
This is when I finally came around to asking myself the question I admit I was avoiding from the beginning: Is Disney World a vacation destination for people who do not enjoy theme parks? What is there to do in Disney World for someone that does not like amusement park rides? The more research I did, the more I realized the answer to that question is…plenty! There are so many things to do in the area, you can spend an entire week pleasantly occupied without once entering a single park. As I searched site after site, I made a list of all the fun and entertaining things to do outside of the parks, and we narrowed it down. 
Although we did compromise and choose to spend some time in the parks watching shows at Hollywood Studios and eating around the world at Epcot, we also found a couple of more relaxing things to do, such as booking a carriage ride, getting a massage and facial at the Senses Spa, taking a ride on the tethered balloon at Disney Springs, and having dinner while watching live music at Disney Springs. Other things on the list that we will save for another (hopefully) girls' trip include playing mini golf, attending a dinner show, going on a food tour, taking a surrey bike rental, kayaking, canoeing, going on a fireworks cruise, taking an aquacar ride, roasting marshmallows at a campfire and watching movies in the dark, trying the Star Wars virtual reality in Disney Springs, going on a safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or taking a segway tour at Fort Wilderness campground.
During our downtime, we will also be spending time relaxing at our resort. We plan on staying at Disney's Beach Club Resort. If you know anything about the resorts at Disney World, you will know that Stormalong Bay, the pool area shared between Yacht and Beach Club, is by far the best pool area in Disney World. There is something for everyone in just this one area. There are waterslides for all ages, a whirlpool area, a sand bottom pool, a deep lazy river, and three hot tubs. 
I have to admit, as much as I love the rush of being able to snag those coveted FastPasses for the most sought-after rides, the thrill of going 60 miles per hour with the wind in my hair, flying on a banshee, or falling down an elevator shaft, I am also looking forward to seeing a different side of Disney World that I don't usually slow down enough to enjoy.