The parks feel like they are getting busier and busier. Last month we wrote about how Disney can make the parks feel less busy by adding more capacity. Another way to make the parks less busy is to keep guests busy outside the parks at the Disney resorts, water parks, and Disney Springs. A set of new resort activities, with a range of age-appropriate options, might just help relieve a bit of the in-park congestion.

On your next stay on property at Walt Disney World you can enjoy one of a channel your inner Ariel and learn to be a mermaid, get artful and create your very own Disney masterpiece on canvas or on a wine glass, or sign on to Captain Hook’s band of buccaneers and see if you have what it takes to be a pirate.

Mermaid School

You will feel like you are part of Ariel’s world during the Mermaid School at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Guests ages 4 and older will enjoy an hour-long class where they’ll be fitted with a swimmable “tail” and led through activities teaching them how to swim in a pool like a mermaid. The Mermaid School will be offered at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Note, I don’t see an upper age limit here, but I suspect it’s aimed more at children. Classes are $50/person (plus tax). Bookings (select dates per resort) will open mid-March through 407-WDW-PLAY.

New Pirate Experience

Ahoy, mateys! Reservations are open for a new group experience that invites young recruits ages 4-12 into the world of pirate feasting and treasure seeking, high-energy sailin’ and swashbucklin’ fun. The new Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is the latest chapter of immersive experiences for kids at Walt Disney World Resort. Captain Hook will be lookin’ for a new band of adventurers to learn the pirate code and follow clues leading to hidden treasure.

As part of Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew, these young buccaneers will comb through the resort and set sail on a pontoon boat around Crescent Lake, in the latest seafaring adventure at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Once the treasure is unearthed, all join in a Pirate Feast that includes selections such as Cannon Meatballs with marinara or macaroni and “gold” sauce for entrees, along with a treasure chest treat or fruit for dessert.

This imports a popular experience from the Seven Seas Lagoon to another of Disney’s iconic lakes. It also gives adults time to relax while the kids are off having fun of their own. Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is priced at $55 (plus tax) per child; the adventures begin April 28. For more information or to book a reservation, call 407-824-KIDS.

New Art Programs

All-new master classes led by professional artists at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have you creating your own masterpieces. Classes range from $35 (plus tax) to $50 (plus tax) per person, offered to ages 12 and older for most experiences. The artful lineup:

  • Win, Paint, Show at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Wild About Painting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (adults), Painting by the Lagoon (kids), Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort. NOTE: children’s painting class is $30 per person (plus tax); designed for ages 6 and older; accompanying parent required.
  • Painting in the Vineyard, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
  • Canvas and Wine Glass Painting on the Boards, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

This sounds like those paint and wine classes available at your local mall, just without the wine. They’re actually a lot of fun, especially when you get a group of friends together. Bookings (select dates per resort) are available through 407-WDW-PLAY.

A non-park break day is a tradition among many Disney World guests. These all sound like fun new options. Will you add any of these fun new resort based activities to your Disney vacation itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

stacey-frost-headshotIf you would like more information on booking a Walt Disney World vacation, please send an email to Pixie Vacations authorized Disney travel agent Stacey Frost ([email protected]), call (407) 454-1477 or fill out this form for complimentary travel planning. Your use of this free service to book your travel will help support The Disney Blog. Thank you.