There’s no tired like Disney tired.
With everything there is to see and do at the parks and the fan-fueled drive to experience it all, it’s easy to go overboard and feel like you need a vacation from your vacation by the time you leave Walt Disney World.
Experienced guests know to take breaks on park days, whether heading back to resorts midday or simply sitting down for a longer meal or air-conditioned attraction. But there’s an even better way to avoid burn out.
Take a whole rest day.
It may sound extravagant to add an extra day to an already expensive trip, but recharging midway can make the back half of the trip much more enjoyable because you won’t be running on fumes.
And you don’t have to feel like you’re wasting a non-park day. Here are eight fun things you can do on rest days without leaving Disney World.
1. Lounge by the pool or beach
All of Disney World’s resort hotels have pools for registered guests. There’s usually a big themed pool, and some have smaller quiet pools as well. Many resorts also have splash pads. Moderate and deluxe resorts have water slides.
Beach Club and Yacht Club Resort share a whole mini water park, Stormalong Bay, with a 230-foot long water slide, lazy river and sand-bottomed pool, exclusively for their guests.
Several Disney resorts, like Fort Wilderness and Polynesian Village, also have beaches, though swimming at the beaches is not allowed.
2. Visit a water park
Disney World has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Yes parks, but their pace is very different from theme parks.
“If you’re here for thrill, you can do thrill. If you just want to come and sit on the beach and relax, you can do that,” Mark Dukes told USA TODAY when he served as general manager of Disney Water Parks and Mini Golf, before moving on to a new role at Animal Kingdom. “It’s just a great way to check out.”
Typhoon Lagoon boasts the largest surfable wave pool in North America and a water coaster, Crush ‘n’ Gusher. Blizzard Beach has the longest family raft ride in the U.S., Teamboat Springs, and a whole “Frozen” themed area for the youngest guests.
Water park admission starts at $64 for guests age 10 and up and $58 for kids between ages 3 and 9. In recent years, only one has been open at a time.
3. Go fishing
Guests can take guided bass fishing excursions on Bay Lake or Seven Seas Lagoon or try dockside fishing at Port Orleans – Riverside and Fort Wilderness. Both options are catch and release.
Dockside fishing starts at $4 for a 30-minute pole rental.
Private fishing excursions start at $270 for two hours on a boat.
4. Play a round of golf
Disney World has two fully themed miniature golf courses and three 18-hole championship greens. There’s also a 9-hole course, Disney’s Oak Trail, that also offers footgolf, combining soccer and golf.
Mini golf at Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland costs $14 for guests age 10 and up and $12 for kids between ages 3 and 9.
Footgolf costs $25 for up to four players.
Golf rates vary by season, day and time.
5. Enjoy the outdoors
You don’t have to stay at Fort Wilderness to take part in many of its activities, though many involve fees, like archery, fishing, pony and horseback rides, carriage and wagon rides, and bike, canoe and kayak rentals. Rates vary.
Visiting Tri-Circle-D Ranch is free. That’s where you can see Cinderella’s Ponies and the horse-drawn Dragon Calliope instrument Walt Disney bought for a 1950s’ Disneyland parade.
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long is also free, though s’mores kits are available for purchase.
6. Souvenir shop at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is home to the largest Disney merchandise store in the world, World of Disney, and host of other shops, restaurants and entertainment.
It’s a great place to grab a bite and find souvenirs you won’t have to schlep across the parks. There’s even Dole Whip at Swirls on the Water.
7. Resort hop
Many guests like to visit each resort along either the Monorail loop or Skyliner route for the equivalent of a pub or snack crawl. It’s particularly popular during the holidays, when guests like to see how each resort decks its halls. Several resorts also decorate elaborate chocolate eggs around Easter.
Guests can take Disney transportation to Monorail or Skyliner properties from any of the parks or Disney Springs.
Generally, only guests with room or dining reservations may park at resorts. Others can park at Hollywood Studios for the Skyliner or the Transportation and Ticket Center for the Monorail. Standard park parking is free for guests staying on property and $25 for guests staying off property.
8. Watch the Electrical Water Pageant
This nighttime procession of lighted floats along Seven Seas Lagoon has been delighting guests for decades.
The Electrical Water Pageant can be seen from the Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village and Wilderness Lodge. It may be canceled in inclement weather.