Kill Time Outside Disney

by Female Abroad

When I’m headed into the Disney area I always have the debate of using one of the day on my ticket on my arrival day or if I should just hold off and use it for a full day on my trip. Most of the time I end up just killing time outside the park got get the most bang for my buck. So how do I keep myself occupied during these hours instead of heading in? Well there are quite a few things you can do.

Enjoy your Hotel

Disney puts a lot of time and effort into their hotels. Take time to explore, check out all the nooks and cranny’s, pick the brain of staff members for activities going on at the resort, and don’t forget to hit up the pool! Exploring the gift shop can also be fun and start to get you excited for the next day’s activities. If you are wanting something more relaxing or it’s late, then curl up into bed and watch the cartoon s that are playing on the TV. Make it even more special by ordering in room service. Some resorts will also let you borrow Disney movies so don’t be afraid to ask.

Visit the “Downtown” Areas (Downtown Disney, Disney Springs, etc)

With a variety of restaurants, entertainment venues, and shopping there are a lot that you can do to kill time while keeping in the Disney feeling without going into the park. While you’ll probably end up spending more than what an extra day would cost you, you can just window shop and explore. If you have little ones, heading to one of the themed restaurants would be a great way to feel like you are in the park without being in the park.


I’m not a pin trader but I do pick up one pin every time I go as a souvenir as they take up almost no space in the suitcase. If you are interested in getting into pin trading then you can buy starter kits and then you can head out into the area, trading pins with cast members everywhere (especially in the hotels). Trading is a fun way to keep kids busy but again, it can become very pricy if you keep buying more. Another / eBay before you go and see if you can get a few / a bunch for cheap so you can just start trading when you get there.

Transit (ex. Monorail, boats)

Some Disney parks have different forms of transit that you can ride for free to get from one park to another but the trips themselves can be worth while; giving views of the park, relaxing rides down the river, etc. Check out what is free and in your area to kill time - Disneyland doesn’t really have these options....


While you don’t have the same atmosphere as being in the Disney parks during the fireworks, you also don’t have to deal with the crowds. If you can watch the fireworks from your hotel they will play the music so you can get the same feeling as being inside the park. If your hotel does not have a view then check out local restaurants. Some restaurants will let you eat there anytime during the day but as long as you keep your receipt, you can return later that day to watch them.

What do you do to kill time the day before you enter the park? What is your favourite activity / place to go? Send a note and let us know!