Saturday, July 27, 2013

Entertainment Outside of the Parks

What?! There are things to do in Disney that aren't in the parks?  I know, I felt that way for a long time.  I can ride the attractions over and over and over and over... and well, you get the idea.  They never get boring, and I have a new experience and memory every time I ride an old favorite.

But there are aspects of the Walt Disney World Resort that are often overlooked, and those things are equally as magical!  During the past couple of trips, my husband and I have made a concerted effort to get out of the parks some (at least for part of the day) and experience the other entertainment WDW has to offer.

This trip, we chose to go mini-golfing at Fantasia Gardens.

Fantasia Gardens is located across the street from the Walt Disney World Swan, and it has two sides. The Gardens is the goofy-golf style, full of obstacles and fun.  The Fairways is a more traditional style of golf, with sand traps, water, and other "traps" found on regular golf courses. The cost currently is $14 for adults, $12 for children.  If you purchased a "Magic Your Way" vacation package, there are 2 vouchers included for a round of mini-golf here.  Annual Passholders receive a discount, too.

Neither my husband or I are golfers, so we wisely opted for The Gardens side. The Cast Members do a great job of ensuring that families don't get "backed up" on the course.  After purchasing our round, we were assigned a return time, and so we enjoyed the beautiful patio area and the sunshine for about 20 minutes.  We then picked up our clubs and walked onto the course.  

Each hole is preceded by a sign announcing the par, and in true Disney-style, a story for the hole.  Of course, everything is based on the Walt Disney Classic, Fantasia. You can even hear snippets of the music!  Holes 1, 2, & 3 were based on Bach's "Toccata and Fugue".

Holes 4, 5, 6, & 7 feature music and scenes from Tchiakovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite".

When you arrive at hole 8, the theming changes to Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" -- if you look closely, you may also find a little surprise inside the mountain when you go in to sink your shot!

Holes 11-15 switch to the scenes from "Dance of the Hours" by Amilcare Ponchielli.  The dancing hippo was always one of my favorites from this clip!

As the course wraps up, the final three holes are decorated with images from what is probably the most famous clip from Fantasia, Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".

Careful: the buckets really do throw water!

We had a great time mini-golfing!  Although outside of the parks, this course retains all of the magic and immersive story-telling for which Disney is famous.  If time permits on your next trip, I highly recommend this experience.  I would really like to go again next time I visit... and hopefully next time I'll even win. :)

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