Resort Hopping - Need advice for a no-park-ticket stay

We stayed at CSR in the fall of 2019 and loved spending time outside around its lake, Lago Dorado.

There are dozens of places to sit and enjoy the view, walking trails and plenty of beautiful garden areas.

A couple of time we were late in starting our park visits since we were enjoying the resort so much.


Oops, sorry. Well, you can tweak that plan a little and substitute El Mercado QS or Rix Sports Bar and Grill QS for the 3 bridges sit down meal. Plenty of tables outside by the water and even picnic tables by the water if you stroll over to the area between Casitas and Ranchos. You could even eat by the pool if you so desire. The pool bar QS is open as well. Might be a bit tempting for the kids to jump in though haha. No bands needed to enter the pool area. The playground area by the Dig Site pool is open for kids to play as well, if you’re comfortable with that. Also, you could still make the trip up to Dahlias lounge to have a look at the viewing deck overlooking everything. You don’t need to purchase anything, you can simply go up just to take in the views.

Couldn’t agree more. I mentioned in another post that once you walk through the parking lot and into the resort it’s like another world. The way the parking lot and bus loops are on the outside perimiter, once you get inside by the lake it’s just so peaceful. You don’t see a single vehicle, no roads or streets, just trails for walking and so much to take in. Even some of the CM’s use bikes to travel from area to area.


Another recommendation to get that Disney feel at a resort is AKL. A bit tougher to get in since the food options are limited. For that one I’d say hop on over to DS and grab a bus to AKL. You could even pack a lunch or the Mara @ Jambo is now open with limited hours for grab n go only. But I did see zebra domes there :slight_smile: the playground area is closed but lots of viewing areas to see animals and it’s like a ghost town. The pool bar at Kidani is also open. Again no bands needed to enter pool area. And they alternate movie under the stars between Jambo and Kidani, maybe even time one of those for a movie night.


As for a monorail loop resort. I’d say pay for parking at the TTC then walk over to the Poly for a dole whip at the pineapple lanai, after some delicious tai meatballs at Capt Cooks of course. Bands needed to enter pool areas there but plenty of seating outdoors around Capt Cooks and some by Pineapple Lanai. You could also take a stroll by the beach to catch the Electric Water Parade. Check times but I want to say it started around 8:30pm. From Poly you could also walk to the GF. Such a nice walk. And if you’re up to it, continue on and take the new walkway over to the MK. From there you could hop the ferry back to the TTC or hop on the monorail. I made the walk from the TTC, through Poly, onto GF, and finally to MK and the entire walk only took me like 45 minutes. Here’s a link to a video of the walk I took if your interested.

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@ppehap and @AltaD, Are you unable to get on at the Poly or does it not go in a full circle right now? That would affect where we get on since we would ideally ride in a loop.

We stopped by the Mara for zebra domes last time so that’s definitely on the list to do again. Thanks for the update that the playground isn’t open and Mara has limited hours.

Thanks for so much detailed information about so many resorts! I really appreciate it! Coronado wasn’t even on our list to see, but you’ve sold me!

My boys will LOVE the sand. I’m so glad you mentioned this resort, because the playground is so much bigger than I thought. We played on the AKL playground last time and it’s nothing too special.

It still goes in a full loop, but it just goes from the TTC station directly to the GF station without stopping, passing right through the closed Poly station. The walk from TTC to Poly’s Great Ceremonial House is about 7 min. Then comes the choice to either walk 7 min back to TTC to hop back on, or keep walking about 10 min on to the GF.


I cannot WAIT to try everything you just recommended! This sounds like an amazing way to spend a non-park day. I’m planning a potential trip for November 2021 and this just made the list. Thanks!

What @Tall_Paul1 said

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I made another video of my stroll around Coronado Springs one morning.


Thank you!

Does anyone have any information on what’s still available at Wilderness Lodge? I’ve seen things about a hidden Mickey hunt, railroad display stuff, a geyser, etc.

ETA: If we wanted to do the Disney Springs boat to one of the resorts, how long does that take? And would you recommend it for little ones?

Currently, the DS boats to the resorts (OKW, SSR, POR, POFQ) are not running since POR and POFQ are not open and don’t have any announced re-opening dates yet.

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Did they keep The Mara open after the holidays? Everything I’d seen was that it was only open for the Christmas/New Year’s crowds and was closing again after the new year. (Ditto El Mercado.)

It’s open today! I just checked since I’ll be there for a couple of nights later this month.

Edited to add: Just for breakfast and it’s very much grab and go.

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