Both adults and children alike drool over Disney. I mean, what’s not to love? Childhood nostalgia, the only vacation that can please the entire family and it really is the most Magical Place on Earth. While the thought of a Disney park warms my heart, it simultaneously gives me anxiety. Regardless of the time of year, how early you wake up or how many fast passes you book ahead of time; the parks will be packed with a million people wanting to experience the magic just like you. Never fear, as your fairy travel godmother, I’m here to show you 5 ways to experience the magic of Disney and avoid theme park crowds. I mean, you’re still going to want to visit the parks at some point but I’m here to give you options for magical Disney themed vacations as an alternative.
Experience the Magic of Disney WITHOUT Visiting The Parks
Walt Disney Family Museum and Disney Hometown Museum
Did you know that Walt Disney and his family have two themed museums in their honor. Yep! If you’re a history buff like me then you will enjoy taking a closer look into the Disney brand and the family that started it all. The Walt Disney Family museumis located in San Francisco, California. Here, you can spend the day exploring historical pictures, documentaries and exhibits dedicated to the work of the Disney family. Galleries and exhibits offer a personal look into Walt’s life and creativity from beginning to end.
The Disney Hometown Museumis in Marceline, Missouri. If your family lives in the Midwest and traveling to either coast to explore Disney Parks is a bit of a stretch then this could be the next big thing. This small Missouri town will take you back to the Disney family’s humble Midwest beginnings. Between the town of Marceline and the Museum, you’ll find never before seen family artifacts, footage and photographs.
Disney Cruise Line
What better way to have a relaxing and park crowd free vacation with your favorite Disney characters than taking a Disney Cruise? Disney Cruises are unique because they offer a ton of fun for everyone in the family to enjoy. While the adults stow away and relax at the spa, deck or enjoy nightlife; the kids have access to a Disney themed vacation with all their favorite activities right on the ship. Kids have access to kid’s clubs, character experiences and themed shows to name a few amenities.
Best of all, you can mark multiple travel goals off your bucket list. You can have your Disney vacation while visiting a new travel destination on your bucket list at the same time. Disney Cruise Lines pride themselves on the idea of offering you 3 vacations in one. You can experience all the magic of Disney, spend time on a gorgeous ship and explore multiple destinations around the world all in one vacation. Sounds like a win for everyone!
Stay at A Disney Resort
TheWalt Disney Parks in Orlando and Anaheim have a ton of resort options to choose from. Plus, there is no rule saying that you have to visit the park while being a resort guest. Staying at A Disney resort could give you and your family the perfect amount of Disney magic and none of the stress that comes along with visiting the parks. While staying at a resort (depending on which resort you choose), could still give you access to character dining experiences, character meet and greets, themed room and resort grounds. Plus, with the money you’ve saved by skipping the parks, you may be able to treat yourself to one of the more expensive properties with more amenities.
Bonus:If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando or Walt Disney World In California, then you can still access Disney Springs or Downtown Disney without a park ticket and experience more Disney magic especially during the Holidays. This is another place to find character experiences, shopping and specialty dining.
Adventures by Disney
Disney has a running history of making us feel like we can do anything. Well, if your dream includes traveling the world with a brand that understands catering to kids and adults alike then you’re in luck. Disney has taken the best of their vacation planning services and built a travel agency that offers once in a lifetime experiences. With Adventures by Disney, you have a choice of cruise destinations, Adventure packages and cultural excursions. They take the hassle out of trip planning and let you truly immerse yourself in culture and experiences the right way. This isn’t quite Disney themed but the magic is in the experiences offered.
Note: This may not be the best option for families with younger children. Most excursions require that children are ages 4 and older before they can come along on the journey. If you have smaller children, keep this in mind for later.
Broadway Disney Show or Disney on Ice/Disney Live
Booking tickets for Disney on Ice, Disney Live or a Broadwayshow could save you your sanity. Sometimes, booking a trip isn’t in the cards or you’d rather not spend all day walking in a theme park. That’s okay! You can save a ton of money and planning time by letting Disney come to you. Every year, Disney tours major cities around the US. This means that you and your family can experience the Magic of Disney and after, return to the comfort of your own home. Sometimes you’re able to catch Disney musicals on tour in your local city like the Lion King on Broadway for Example.
Here are our 5 Ways to Experience the Magic of Disney without Visiting a Park. If you still want a dose of Disney without the stress then consider these options for your next Disney themed vacation.