You never really think about going to Disney without going to the parks (well we didn’t until buying DVC). We always planned to go to the parks a few days at least. This year has been tough with unforeseen expenses. We already had our room booked at Copper Creek. Money being tight we dug in and looked at what we could do with our kids without going into the parks and still have a good time! SO this is what we found ( I know there is a ton more). There is everyday activities that are free or a slight cost (like tye-dye shirts) at the resort pools and the kids love this along with the movie night. Also, at Wilderness Lodge resort you can rent bikes and/or boats to use and explore the area( I am pretty sure other areas rent out boats and bikes too)!
At Wilderness Lodge(Copper Creek, Boulder Ridge) they roast marshmallows every night ( not sure if it cancels when raining cause it was nice the whole time). They provide free marshmallows and if you want S more’s they sell the packs to make your own, you also can watch MK’s fireworks at night from the resort and see the electrical parade too. Disney Springs if you have not experienced it at night then add it to your list its amazing and the “street performer” Don Black (the saxophonist that plays on site) Is amazing! During Christmas time there is a Christmas tree trail worth checking out too! Another thing to experience is Fantasia’s mini golf so much fun! I don’t want to keep typing cause the list goes on and on! Please don’t let not being able to afford the high ticket prices keep you from taking a trip Home because there is so much to do and see outside the parks for everyone to have a good time!