Walt Disney World For College Students Part 5: Recreation & Sports
What do you normally not do after you go for a swim? Recreation of any kind of course, because we are rational people who don’t want to get sweaty after they just cooled off. Regardless, that’s where we are heading next…
Surprisingly, the Walt Disney World Resort still offers much in terms of recreation and sports, from golf, both professional and mini, tennis, volleyball, etc.
I’m here to give my list of the seven (yeah seven) best recreation and sports offerings at WDW. Even your non-sporty friends will be able to enjoy these, or at least I hope they do.
With that said, let’s get right into the list.
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf: Located just outside Blizzard Beach, Winter Summerland features two 18-hole courses, both uniquely themed to winter and summer, based off a legend that ties the courses in with the water park. The courses are the remains of Winter Summerland, a vacation destination created by Santa for off-duty elves. Two courses, instead of one, were built, when the elves and Santa were divided between Florida and the North Pole, so a summer and winter course were each built as a result. It costs $14 per person to play ($12 per child) which is pricey, but the intricate details and beautiful theming make the experience well worth it.
Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf: Located outside the entrance to the Walt Disney World Swan, Fantasia Gardens offers two 18-hole miniature golf courses based on the classic Disney animated film, Fantasia. While not at outrageously themed as Winter Summerland, Fantasia Gardens is still well-themed, with intricate details throughout each of the holes on both courses. There is also the more challenging Fantasia Fairways course, modeled after a traditional golf course, with sand traps, water hazards, bunkers, and sloping greens. The holes range in length from around 60 to 110 feet long. As someone who has played the fairways course, only play it if everyone in your party can tolerate it because it can be very agitating to play. It’s $14 to play per person ($12 per child) for any of the three courses, but you’re in for a fun time.
In-Resort Recreation (Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball, etc.): Each Disney resort on property has a sport equipment rental tent or window, where resort guests can rent anything from basketballs to tennis rackets to volleyballs or ping pong paddles. The best part: this service is complimentary for all resort guests, so no need to pay extra. Hours of operation might vary by resort, so check your respective resort on what their hours are before leaving for your vacation or when you arrive.
Swimming: All Disney resorts have pools open to resort guests. Resort pools are very popular congregation spots. That doesn’t mean that you can’t go for a swim in the pools offered. Now, these aren’t like Olympic-style pools, with platforms and lanes, but there is plenty of space to get in a great aquatic workout. However, if you want to go for a swim, choose your time wisely. It’s best to go early in the morning, or late at night, when most guests are either asleep or just hanging out in their rooms after a long day at the parks.
Bike and Surrey Rentals: There are multiple locations on property that offer bike and surrey rentals. Bikes are $18 to rent per day and surreys are $25 to rent per day. Bikes and surreys are available at a first-come, first-serve basis, and you can rent them out for as long as you like, so the price her hour or per half hour gets lower the longer you use it. Hours of operation for bike and surrey stations vary, so check before you decide to rent one.
Running and Walking Trails: There are dozens of running/walking trails on property. One of the best paths I like to utilize if I’m ever staying there is the Epcot Resort Area loop. Essentially, you can run from Hollywood Studios to the International Gateway entrance at Epcot, and then turn around and go past the Yacht and Beach Club, and the Swan and Dolphin, which is a good 3-5 miles at least. Resort trails can be lengthy as well depending on where you stay, so look at a map of the resort you are staying at before your trip so you can map out where you want to go.
Fitness Centers: Trying to get those vacation gains, or just want to get swole before or after your day at the parks? Well, most resorts on property have fitness centers open to resort guests. Each is equipped with a selection of weights, benches, treadmills, elliptical machines, and other equipment. Everything is user-friendly, but you should know your limits before you go in because the object is not to hurt yourself. Always have someone come with you if you choose to use any weights or just to be there in case something goes wrong. Also, check your respective resort for hours of operation.
You thought I was finally going to hit the parks? I still have to go through the resorts, water parks, Wide World of Sports, and many other miscellaneous locations, and then, only then, will I get to the parks. I promise, it’s coming…
Next time, I will be discussing my favorite resort dining on property.