Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
walt disney world
Alexa Hilston
Entertainment

5 Things to Do at Disney Without a Pass

Living not far from Orlando, we are just minutes away from theme park central, with one of those areas being Walt Disney World. Some of us might be lucky enough to have passes and get to experience the magic, but even if you don’t have a pass, there are still ways to experience Disney.

Disney Springs 
walt disney world
Alexa Hilston

The first way to experience Disney, and perhaps the easiest way without a pass, is by taking a trip to Disney Springs. Disney Springs is a shopping and dining district that is completely open to the public. At Disney Springs, you’ll find plenty of shopping, from Ron Jon to Sephora and even a massive World of Disney store. There are also many dining options, some on the fancier side (the Edison), some quick-service places (Earl of Sandwich), and even some fun options for the kid in all of us (hello, T-Rex Cafe). In addition to shopping and dining, there are entertainment selections, from the new NBA Experience to catching a show at the House of Blues. A full list of things to do can be found here. And did I mention free parking?

Resort Hop

From Disney Springs, you can take a bus to any of the resorts on property. Resort hopping is a fun way to experience Disney magic as well. There are resorts that have some fun scenery elements, like Art of Animation, and some have great views of the parks, like the Contemporary. Each resort has its own theme, and it’s super fun to walk around and take in all the details. There are also dining and shopping options and even activities available at the resorts. If you end up at one of the resorts on the monorail loops (Polynesian, Grand Floridian or Contemporary), you can even hop on the monorail and see each one. Some resorts also have the perfect, Instagram-worthy photo ops.

Skyliner
walt disney world
Alexa Hilston

Disney’s latest transportation addition is the new Skyliner. The Skyliner is a gondola system that goes between various resorts with stations at the Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach, the Boardwalk/entrance to Epcot, and the entrance to Hollywood Studios. All Skyliner stops are accessible by bus from Disney Springs, or you can pay to park at one of the parks. The Skyliner offers great views of a large part of Disney property, and even some behind the scenes looks.

Hotel Restaurants 

Back to resorts! Each resort has its own dining options, ranging from quick service to sit down. Some of them offer great fireworks views if your timing is right (like California Grill), and at some you can dine with your favorite Disney characters (like Chef Mickey’s or 1900 Park Fare).

Watch Fireworks
walt disney world
Alexa Hilston

The end of a magic day at Disney is capped with a firework show. Many resorts offer spaces to catch the end of the day fireworks shows, and they even play the music along with it. Some of the best places to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks are the “beaches” at Fort Wilderness, the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. The new Riviera Resort offers views of fireworks all over Disney property –  just make sure your timing is right.

As you can see, you don’t need a pass to experience Disney magic. Have a magical day!

Alexa Hilston is a student at the University of South Florida majoring in elementary education and minoring in communications. In addition to being a member of Her Campus at USF, Alexa also is social media manager for USF Hockey and vice president of PUCKerUp Sports. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, going to Disney, creating content, hammocking, and drinking water.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️