What to Do at Disney When You Aren’t Riding the Rides

Over the years, there have been plenty of times I’ve been the one sitting out of the rides – whether I was pregnant or tending to an infant…or, quite frankly, just not interested in going on the Tower of Terror for the umpteenth time!  This past trip, as my mother-in-law and I were sitting off of a ride with the kids, we got to talking about why she loves Disney so much. It actually had very little to do with the rides!

So, if you’re going on a trip to Disney anytime soon and you’re nervous there won’t be enough for you to do because you (or another member of your party) isn’t able to, or doesn’t want to ride some or any of the rides, I have great news – there is still SO much you can do at Disney!

1. Go to a show – this is probably the most obvious but also worth your trip to any Disney park!  The rides are fun but the shows that are happening around you at any given time whether it be a scheduled show or something impromptu on the streets around you, they have all been well thought out and surely entertaining for all ages.  From theater and comedy to dance parties, there is always something happening.

2. Character meet and greets – They’re in all the parks and if that’s your thing, there are plenty of them out there to meet.  Collecting signatures or taking pictures is fun and can serve as a collection of its own.

3. Look at your surroundings – there isn’t one area in Disney that wasn’t thought out thoroughly by an Imagineer and the details if you stop to look at them, will amaze you.  From what is imprinted in the ground and walls around you, to the noises and smells that are surrounding you at any given time – the magic is there, stop to take it all in.

4. Grab a snack!  People from all over LOVE their snacks at Disney and if you’re sitting out on a ride, it is the perfect time to indulge (and maybe you won’t even have to share)!  You might want some of those Mickey Ice Cream Bars or a Mickey Pretzel – or donut!, or a Dole Whip or maybe just some popcorn – the list goes on and on. Rest assured there is something delicious very close to you no matter where you are!

5. Shop – Disney is a great place to do some unique shopping.  The stores, shopping carts, and kiosks are everywhere. There is no pressure to buy, but go take a look and you’ll be surprised at some of the things you find (and if you’re like my family…eventually start collecting). The stores and their decor have been themed perfectly to match wherever you are. Refer back to number 2 and look at the detail that goes into everything!

6. People watch – There is always a lot to see in terms of people watching…if that’s your thing, then Disney is the place to do it.  There are so many people to watch, some doing and saying things you would never imagine. Yet, there it is happening in front of you.  🙂

7. Engage a Cast Member – This has probably become my favorite thing to do while I’m sitting out of a ride or trying to pass some time at the parks.  The cast members, no matter what their job, know so many things about the parks and the history of Disney. It’s part of being a cast member. If you have a question, ask them.  If you want to say hi and ask about where they are from (printed on their name tag), do it! They are friendly and so knowledgeable, I’ve yet to be disappointed with a conversation I’ve started with one of them.

We say it over and over again, “Disney is for everyone” because it’s true!  But I will admit, Disney can be what you make of it.  Sitting out while others are on rides might take a little more effort on your part but you won’t be disappointed in the magic once you realize all that’s happening!

Bethany Jacobs

Travel Specialist

Bethany Jacobs
bethany@meandthemouse.com