(Port Orleans Resort - New Orleans)
When my daughter and I drove to Walt Disney World a few weeks ago so that she could begin the College Internship Program, we had just gotten home from a family Christmas vacation there a few weeks earlier.
Because we had gone to the four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) during that visit, I wasn't going to buy a ticket to go to one during this visit. Not that I didn't want to, but I didn't think I should spend the money on it since we already had weeks before. Lauren will get a discount and even a few free tickets, but that wasn't going into effect until I was gone.
If you're staying at a Disney resort, you can ride the buses everywhere. Actually, even if you're not staying on property, you can ride the buses, boats, and monorails. So transportation isn't an issue. It may take you awhile to get to where you want to go, but you easily can do it. We spent time around our resort pool (pictured on top), visited the amazing Boardwalk (FREE!), which provides beautiful scenes, fun shopping (without spending!)...
Another free thing to do is to watch the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom from a distant location. This view is of the Grand Floridian as we sat on the Polynesian Resort beach.
One thing about the resorts: You can only swim in the pool at your OWN resort. You can't go to all of them just because you're a Disney guest. But you CAN go around and visit them! And you can also take your refillable Disney mug and use it at every resort. I just snapped mine on my camera bag and used it whenever I needed something!
So, yes, you CAN visit Walt Disney World without going to the theme parks! It was possible! I wouldn't recommend it if it's your first visit to WDW, or maybe even your 2nd or 3rd, BUT if you want to experience Disney at a more relaxed pace, or if you want to splurge a little to stay on property, but not spend too much, you can still experience Disney just by being there.
There's no more magical place on earth! That's why WDW is called the happiest place on earth! Of course, it's happier when your whole family is there, but you can make it happy just on your own....or even when telling your oldest child bye and you won't be seeing her for four months!
No matter how you experience WDW, that last picture, "See Ya Real Soon", will be the saddest one you see!