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Around the World
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by Doobie Moseley (archives)
June 14, 2004
The debut edition of this new column looks at 5 outside-the-park activities at Walt Disney World.

Around the World

To give you some idea of WDW's size, off in the distance is the Dolphin Hotel and in the upper right corner is Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

Welcome to LaughingPlace.com's newest column Around the World. At 47 square miles there's clearly much more to Walt Disney World than Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom. This column will bring some of that 47 square miles to you.

Future columns will go in-depth on some of the many entertainment and recreation options at the World. But I've saved this first column for an overview of five of my personal favorites.

Sea Raycers on Seven Seas Lagoon with the Poly in the background

The items below may come and go from my top 10, but this one's always at the top of the list. Shown above is the Sea Raycer, but I prefer the large-enough-for-the-family pontoon boats. Rent one and cruise around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake getting a unique views of all the sites. And silly me, I didn't realize until recently I could rent pontoon boats else where around the World as well. So I can't wait to broaden my horizons at Downtown Disney, the Boardwalk and more.

Wishes from the Poly

Fireworks at the Poly
The Polynesian is a beautiful hotel. There you'll find the Kona Cafe and the legendary O'Hana. You'll also find a beautiful, sand beach across from the Magic Kingdom. Park yourself on a chair or in the sand and enjoy "Wishes" complete with piped-in music. Or for a slightly closer view, walk to end of the boat dock. Either way, it's a treat. Many nights you can follow-up the fireworks with the Electrical Water Pageant. And to complete the evening, you can stop by Kona Cafe for desert.

Ft. Wilderness Movie
Long ago when I was but a Disney neophyte living near Disneyland, I knew that Walt Disney World was a completely different beast than Disneyland, but I didn't really understand how different until I heard about this gem. A place where you can go and watch a Disney movie on a big screen under the stars .... for free! But it's true! Nightly at the Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds complete with a sing-a-long and marshmallow roasting.

Beaches 'n' Cream
There's nothing I enjoy doing around the World more than dining. Recently I discovered is the fabulous Beachs 'n' Cream at the Beach Club Resort. What's not to like? I've been three times for dinner recently without a priority seating and haven't waited longer than 30 minutes. But even if you do, the waiting area has a view of the pool and the arcade is right next door. Once inside I get to have one of my favorite treats - a double veggie burger (can't get that just anywhere, ya know). And don't forget the onion rings. Another treat -  chocolate Cokes. But anyone who's been there knows the most memorable part is the Kitchen Sink. Even if you don't get one yourself, you'll enjoy the experience of watching others.

The Monorail Tour
Looking for a break midway through your Magic Kingdom day? Try the Monorail Tour. Outside the park take the Resort Monorail ramp instead of the Express Monorail and get off and explore one or more of the Magic Kingdom Resorts. My favorite is the Grand Floridian with its beautiful lobby and "I can't believe people pay this" shops. Don't forget to go outside and walk around the grounds. If you're hungry there are plenty of restaurants on the loop open for lunch including Concourse Steakhouse at the Contemporary, Kona Cafe at the Polynesian and my choice, the Grand Floridian Cafe. Or if you're in a bit of a hurry, all three hotels have food courts available. Once you make it over to the Transportation and Ticket Center, you can transfer to the Epcot Monorail and take a long ride to and through WDW's second park. Don't worry, you can stay on and come back. With air conditioned Monorails, birds-eye views, beautiful hotels (also air conditioned) and good food the Monorail Tour is a great way to break up a day.

So those are some of my favorites. I'll have much more in future columns, but I'd also love to hear from you. If you've got a favorite - big or small - , let me know about it at Doobie@LaughingPlace.com and I'll try to include it in a future column.

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-- Posted June 14, 2004
-- Story by Doobie Moseley
-- Pictures by LaughingPlace.com Staff