Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fun things to do at WDW...Part 2: "An Evening on Bay Lake"

Pin It Now! As you can tell by the title, and my last post, this series will focus on specific ways to enjoy all of the fun little things there are to do at WDW without even entering any of the four theme parks. Of course the parks ate super fun, and you should certainly plan time to spend in the parks. But there are so many other things that sometimes get over looked, or not even thought about. Many of then are very cheap to do and quite a few are actually FREE! Which is always a plus.

Though our family loves the parks and most of our trips are planned around our days spent in the parks, we have enjoyed a couple of trips when we didn't even go to a park during our whole stay, and we still had tons of Disney fun and made lasting magical memories.

One of our favorite things to do is plan an evening spent on The Seven Seas Lagoon. We usually start by traveling to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom by a Disney Transportation bus, remember were not going into the park, but we'll get some special Disney-ness from just standing outside of the entrance and taking in the smells and sounds coming out of Main Street USA. Once there we like to hop a boat over to The Grand Floridian to enjoy a dessert sampler at The Grand Floridian Cafe. We usually get two to share among the four of us. As you can see by the photo they are kind of small, but plenty enough for a small snack to top off the night. They also bring out a small bread basket when you are seated, so that can be enjoyed also.

After enjoy our little treat in the beauty of The Grand Floridian Cafe, we like to take a little stroll around the resort enjoying the music from the band that plays on the second floor in the lobby and looking through the shops.

Once we've had a nice look around the Grand Floridian, we head out to the walkway that connects this resort with the Polynesian past the Wedding Pavilion. It's a pleasant walk past the wedding chapel and Franc's Boutique, and in the evening it is so pretty. A short walk more past the sounds coming from the Spirit of Aloha Luau at the Poly, and then you are coming up on the dock area and into the back of the resort.

We always try to time it so that we are arriving at the beach near the volcano pool just as the electric water parade is pulling up. If you've never seen this you should definitely plan to catch it. The water parade circles around Seven Seas Lagoon each night (check with you resort for times) and stops for a cute little show at each of the resorts on the water.

While we watch the show on the water, complete with the beauty of the Magic Kingdom and all of the resorts sparkling in the background, we grab some beach chairs (or a swing or hammock if we're lucky) and settle in for the "big show" to come after the parade. Wishes!

There's a little break between the end of the water parade and the start if Wishes, so we just hang out on the beach listening to the relaxing sounds of the waves as they reach the beach shore. And we always run into Captain Cooks for some treats. Did you know they have a self-serve dole whip station there? Oh yes, they do. That creamy, dreamy pineapple ice cream treat you can only get at Disney.

Once Wishes begins over the Magic Kingdom, they turn down the lights on the beach and pipe in the soundtrack for the fireworks show. To me, this is the best way to view the fireworks, no crowds, no craning your neck up to see them overhead. Just relaxing on the beach...with some Dole pineapple ice cream.

After the fireworks we usually take our time and walk through the resort, lingering in the shops and taking in all if the tropical lushness the Polynesian has to offer, before finally making our way to the monorail platform. We take the monorail back over to the Magic Kingdom entrance and then a bus back to our resort.

And there you have it, a fun, relaxing, and pretty cheap evening at WDW without being in the parks but still with a lot of Disney magic.

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