We all know how exciting it is to wonder around any of the Walt Disney World parks, but did you know that there are plenty of opportunities to learn something new? This month, we are taking a look at some of the best activities Disney has to offer. There is something for everyone, so why not challenge yourself to learn something new next time you visit? At the end of the post, be sure to cast your vote in the poll for which activity you want to see Lou Mongello try!
Here is something you might not know about Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon…you can actually learn how to surf right in the park! If you are new to the sport or if the real ocean waves are not for you, then you can take lessons from a pro.
Surfing lessons are offered at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:30am – 9:00am (check times as they may vary). Lessons are provided by Craig Carroll’s Cocoa Beach Surfing School. Each student receives about 30 minutes of land instruction, followed by two hours of practice time in the wave pool. Instructors will help you learn the basics and get you started on your surfing adventure. Class sizes are limited, so you need to call ahead to schedule lessons.
You can learn how to hula dance at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The lobby of the hotel is transformed into a hula school when Auntie Kau’i shows up. She is a legend at the Polynesian! Auntie Kau’i is a hula dancer and instructor with 50 years experience. Complimentary hula classes are offered throughout the week. With leis and grass skirts, guests learn the traditional Hawaiian dance in minutes.
Ride a Segway
Did you ever want to learn how to ride a Segway X2? Well, now you can! These look harder to maneuver than they actually are. You can do it! This is one of the best ways to move around Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground!
An instructor will give a quick lesson on how to ride the Segway. Once you get your “Segway legs,” you can take a tour of a woodland trail or try a paved path. You will have a Cast Member directing your travels through recorded messages on your personal headset. This is a two hour circuit with stops along the way, and plenty of photo opportunities.
Design Your Own Roller Coaster
Our kids had the chance to design their own roller coasters during a recent trip in Epcot‘s Innoventions Pavilion. Visit the “Sum Of All Thrills” station. Your experience starts with a tutorial on the basics of design. We loved this because they sneak in MATH and SCIENCE! (Shhh…don’t tell the kids!) Next, each guest uses a touchscreen computer to design the rollercoaster of their dreams. This was wonderful for us, since some wanted high speed thrills and others did not! Once your ride is designed, you head over to the roller coaster simulator, where you can ride and experience the coaster you just created! You can also try this activity at Disney Quest Interactive Theme Park in Downtown Disney.
Take Up Archery
Be brave and take aim!
Over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, you will have a quick lesson on the basics of archery. Each archery student is given a compound bow and plenty of practice time hitting the targets. The instructors will share tips to help you hit the bull’s-eye and sharpen your skills.
Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Learn about all kinds of exotic animals from across the globe. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there is something for everyone. Get up close and personal with creatures of all kinds. Learn about worldwide conservation efforts at Conservation Station. After a short train ride on the Wildlife Express, you will feel like you are in another world, with plenty of things to do.
You can tour the exhibits which include a veterinary treatment room and see how Disney cares for all of the animals on property.
We loved Grandmother Willow’s “Song of the Rainforest” This is a 3D audio presentation that makes you feel like you are right in the center of the rainforest.
Everyone will enjoy the amphibian, reptile and invertebrate windows. You will see scorpions, tarantulas, lizards and snakes. Learn how scientists are researching and caring for wildlife all over the world.
Learn How To Make Your Own Dessert
Ever want to create your own candy? You can do that at Goofy’s Candy Company in Downtown Disney. Pick up an order form when you walk in.
You have plenty of choices to start with (marshmallows, pretzels, apples, cookies or chocolate bars) and there are a ton of toppings to choose from. Once you have decided exactly what you would like, just hand in your form and watch how your creation is made to order. We love it here! Everyone gets what they want and everyone is happy!
Get Golfing With The Pros
It’s no secret that many Walt Disney World Resort guests look forward to a good game of golf during their trip. Did you know that the golf courses are operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management? At least you know you will be in good hands!
Instructors will give you valuable feedback to enhance your game. Private lessons are available for all ages and abilitiy levels. Learn the basics or sharpen up your skills. *With a private lesson, you will receive video analysis and feedback, plus golf club rental and shoe rental.
Tennis lessons are available for guests of all ages and abilities. You can learn how to improve your game by participating in one of the many clinics. You will learn techniques and tips from expert players.
Group and private lessons are available at the following Walt Disney World Resort hotels:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
- Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
Try a Water Sport
One of our favorite things to do is to head over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for some fun on Bay Lake. Sammy Duvall’s Watersports is located by the main pool and has something for everyone. Did you ever try parasailing? It’s easy to learn and you cannot beat the view! We loved seeing Cinderella Castle from high above the lake. If you prefer to stay on the water, they have water skiing or wake boarding. Beginners are welcome, so no worries here. You can also enjoy the lake on a Sea Racer. (We love this!)
Go on a Guided Fishing Excursion
Take a guided bass fishing tour! Learn all about the art of fishing with an experienced angler. This is open to guests of all ages and families are welcome. Choose from a list of different excursions to fit your vacation. There are 2-hour and 4-hour excursions offered.
- An experienced guide
- Rod and reel
- Artificial and/or live bait
- Non-alcoholic drinks
Drive Like Lightning McQueen
One of the most unique things to do at Walt Disney World Resorts is to learn how to drive like a NASCAR driver. If you ever imagined yourself behind the wheel of a powerful race car, then you might want to look into the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Here, you can tear it up on the track all within the safety of the Speedway.
Professional drivers will teach you how to stay safe. Your day will begin with plenty of training.
When you “graduate” from the safety class, you will be able to test out the track in the car of your choice. There are a number of experiences to choose from, ranging in price. Friends and family are welcome to come and watch or cheer you on. To see Lou Mongello try out the Driving Experience click here.
(Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons – Surfboards-Andy Beal; Song of Rainforest Display, Song of Rainforest Doors-mrkathika; Conservation Station Owl-Loren Javier; Segway-Herbus Maximus; Racing Instructor, Racing Instructor 2 – Ricky Brigante; Conservation Station Lab -armadillo444; Goofy Candy Co. Sign – MediumHero6; Marshmallow-sanctumsolitude; Goofy-Michael Femla; Fort Marina-Scott Smith All other photos ©Disney)
With all of these choices, we hope you have the opportunity to try something new and exciting the next time you are at the parks! Have you tried anything at Walt Disney World that you thought was top notch? Please comment and share, and be sure to vote for which activity Lou should try!
Our names are Maureen Petrone and Pamela Rose. We are moms, avid Disney fans and elementary school teachers from Long Island, New York. When we are not in the “House of Mouse” with our families, we can be found in our classrooms. We call ourselves “TeachEars.” We love the thrill and wonder of the Disney experience. The educational opportunities are endless! Walt Disney was a visionary, who taught us all to think big and dream bigger. It’s a wonderful message for our students. The classroom/Disney connection is a perfect fit! We hope to bring you some interesting blog posts about the Wonderful & Educational World of Disney.