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Vacationeering - Making Magical Vacation Memories

The Sporting Life at Walt Disney World

Rating: 5 votes, 4.20 average.
by , 08-06-2011 at 10:30 PM

We've expanded to a 7 day publishing schedule and we couldn't be happier to introduce you to "Vacationeering" every Sunday right here on MiceChat. This new column has a rotating cast of writers who will be bringing us an exciting variety of topics centered around Disney vacations (the Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney). Much thanks to our sponsor, Fairy Godmother Travel, for making this new column possible! Now, on with the show!
Sports! We all love them, or know someone who does, and Walt Disney World is infused with sport related activities and attractions! No matter where you are in the parks, you wont be far from something sports related. Let's take a tour around the WDW resort to see how many Sports related items we can spot.

One of the most obvious examples is the All-Star Sports Resort (value resort) where you can stay surrounded by all things sports! With tennis, baseball, football, basketball and surfing themed buildings, the All-Star Sports Resort is well suited for the budget conscious sports fan!

The Magic Kingdom also has a spot to quench your thirst for sports, and fill your belly too! Casey's Corner on Main Street USA has all your favorite ballpark fare including hot dogs, cracker jacks and cotton candy!

The Cast members are dressed in old time baseball uniforms, and there is even a large screen that plays some classic Disney cartoons with a baseball theme! Photos, a scoreboard and even real bleachers make up the decor.

If motor sports are your thing, then you'll want to head over to Disney's Hollywood Studios and check out Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. This high revving show will give you a front row seat to how Hollywood motor stunts are performed. Explosions, flying motorcycles and cars on two wheels should hook audience members of all ages. As an added bonus this year, Pixar's Lightening McQueen has joined the show. But, if you'd rather be the one IN the car, rather than just watching them, you might want to check out the Richard Petty Driving Experience (located next to the Magic Kingdom). This unique attraction lets you crawl into the passenger seat of a real NASCAR on a mile long tri-oval track!. Speeds of up to 140 MPH will have your heart pumping. And if that adrenalin rush sounds like too much, the Magic Kingdom's Autopia or Epcot's Test Track might better suit your fancy.

What if someone in your travel party just can't miss the big game? Why not grab a bite to eat at ESPN Club at Disney's Boardwalk Resort! ESPN Club features 100 TV screens with satellite feed so you wont miss a minute of the action! There is even an arcade with tons of sports games in case you want to challenge your friends! This location can fill up quickly, so it is always a good idea to arrive at least one hour prior to major college football, NFL football, playoff action and other popular sporting events.

Maybe you are interested in gymnastics and dance. Well, you won't want to miss the amazing Tumble Monkeys in the Festival of the Lion King show at Disney's Animal Kingdom. You'll be delighted by the beautiful costumes and signing, and amazed by the dancing and gymnastics! This is a must see in my book. Another must see acrobatic tour de force is Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba in Downtown Disney. This is a high energy party-like show with high flying thrills as only Cirque can deliver. I like to recommend this show to anyone who is on a longer vacation or someone who has visited the parks previously and is looking for something different.

Have you heard of the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex? They recently added the ESPN to their name and have a full schedule of events throughout the year including Atlanta Braves baseball spring training, dance competitions, basketball tournaments and health & fitness expos! Some of these activities bring huge crowds to Disney World. Here's a fun tip, you can register your child's sports team to play right there on the fields at the ESPN Wide World of Sports! Can you just imagine the thrill!

If I haven't touched on enough sports for you, well, perhaps one of the runDisney events is what you need! Disney World hosts all sorts of runs from fun to extreme. The Walt Disney World Marathon, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon, Expedition Everest™Challenge, Disney’s Princess Half Marathon and Tinker Bell Half Marathon are all race events that you may consider participating in! As an added bonus, most of these runs take you into back stage spaces and include some entertainment and Disney characters along the way.

Think I've about exhausted the sports angle? Not even close. Disney has 5 amazing golf courses, 2 miniature golf courses, watercraft rentals, walking trails, tennis courts, horseback riding (at Fort Wilderness) and I'm probably forgetting dozens of other items.

While Disney may be known for its magical theme parks, there's enough crowd cheering, heart pounding, and tire burning sports and outdoor activities at the Disney World Resort to keep families happy for days of exciting fun!

I hope you enjoyed this look at Disney World's many sporting themes and activities. Did I miss one of your favorite sport homages or activities? Tell us about it in the comments below, we'd LOVE to hear from you. And if you need any help planning your Disney vacation and would like to visit any of the attractions above, just let me know. MiceChat has partnered with Fairy Godmother Travel to bring you the very best Disney travel advice and offers and I'm here to help! See you soon,

- Fairy Godmother Sarah
(Our most sincere thanks to Miles Brez, SummerInFl & Fishbulb for the photos above)

Sarah is a Disney fan who lives in Rhode Island. She has been addicted to Walt Disney World since her first trip at age 3 (When she discovered her passion for coasters, thanks to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!) and has visited "The World" dozens of times since. When she's not busy planning her own Disney trips, she spends her time as one of the godmothers at Fairy Godmother Travel planning trips for others. Sarah is a cupcake connoisseur, Boston Red Sox fan, wife to Dave, and momma to 2 cats and a crazy dog! You can reach Sarah or any of the other godmother travel agents at Fairy Godmother Travel.

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Updated 08-07-2011 at 09:33 AM by Vacationeering



  1. Dustysage's Avatar
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    Thank you Sarah! I'm looking forward to reading more from you and the rest of the Vacationeering team!
  2. LuckyJack65's Avatar
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    Great info Sarah! Thanks for your article, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I seem to recall Kevin Yee posting an article several months ago about sport fishing on the Disney lakes. Been wanting to try that myself!

    Also, I don't know if it's "sporty", or if it's still available, but a few years ago my family went down to the docks at Disney Marketplace and rented little one-seater motorboats (can't remember what they're called) and had a blast zipping around the lake.
  3. Dustysage's Avatar
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    You are right LukyJack, you can fish at WDW. Good addition. Watercraft rental was mentioned above and is available from several hotels around the resort.

    Bicycle rentals would be another one to add.
  4. geomorph's Avatar
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    Sarah, I like that you have chosen a comprehensive theme for this feature and compiled a fairly complete listing of facilities that fit the theme. However, as a Micechat feature column, I think that a more in-depth description of the facilities is needed, along with more details and perhaps first-hand observation/opinions as well. This article so briefly mentions each facility that I suspect it is of little interest to most Micechatters who already know the lineup of available WDW facilities/attractions but who may want more information on the things they have not seen. Many of the sentences end with exclamation points where none are seemingly needed (is an arcade at ESPN really exciting and unexpected?), resulting in an article that 'gushes' and comes across as a corporate 'puff piece' better suited to an introductory travel brochure. My friendly advice is to tone down the sales pitch and flesh out the content.
  5. jaxbistro's Avatar
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    My family and I loved the ESPN Cafe when we visited back in October. I thought it was even better than the huge monstrousities known formerly as the ESPN Zones. Here's a hint for all of you baseball fans, the ESPN Cafe is one of the very few places that have TBS so you can see the baseball playoffs. We were fortunate enough to see Roy Halladay's perfect game in the playoffs. We caught in all on video, however we lost our camera there. So if you happened upon a lost Canon Powershot, silver in color, could you send the SD card to us? It has all of our pics from our trip to WDW, including the reactions of the historical perfect game!! You can have the camera as a thank you. We've tried everywhere to find it, Craigslist, WDW lost and founds. Hopefully the Miceage family can help us out.

    Thanks for your support.
  6. MJM's Avatar
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    Thank you, Sarah, for your article. As a family with varying interests, we always took time from the theme parks for some family sporting/recreational activities. What I like about your article is that it touches upon sporting activities that some WDW visitors may not be aware of. I know my girls would have loved the pony rides when they were young, but there weren’t articles like this to bring the rides to my attention.

    I sort of agree with Geomorph. A more in-depth description of the sporting activities with pics and commentary may have been helpful to those who are interested and want more information, but with the vast variety of activities that are available at WDW, it would be almost impossible to cover them in one article. You did a good job at condensing them. I look forward to your future articles about all things Disney.

    Also, for the avid golfers (keeping with the sports theme) the WDW PGA Golf Classic will be held in October. Passholders receive complimentary admission.
  7. TriSarahtops's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    Your tips and advice have been noted, and I respect your opinions. MJM is right about my reasons for not delving as deeply into each activity as I could. Had I written in depth about each activity, this article would have been incredibly long! So I tried to condense it. However, my next articles will have more details included.

    I look forward to writing more articles for you all in the future.
  8. JDN's Avatar
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    Thanks for the article, Sarah! I didn't know about the "Richard Petty Driving Experience" - when my brother and I come to WDW before our Disney Cruise with the MiceChat group, I'll be sure to tell him about this!
  9. TriSarahtops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDN
    Thanks for the article, Sarah! I didn't know about the "Richard Petty Driving Experience" - when my brother and I come to WDW before our Disney Cruise with the MiceChat group, I'll be sure to tell him about this!
    Yes, definitely check it out!! Dave has been dying to try it since we saw the one in Charlotte. (I wouldn't let him participate there because I wanted to use it as a bribe, in case at some point he doesn't want to go to Disney! haha)
  10. SummerInFL's Avatar
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    Great article Sarah! This is an aspect of WDW that I have little knowledge of and I look forward to expanding it reading your articles.
  11. rtobe's Avatar
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    For any tennis players - it is possible to get tennis lessons at WDW.