On our last trip to Disney World we decided to utilize one of our Magic Your Way perks: the free round of miniature golf. There are two mini golf courses on Disney property: Fantasia Gardens near the Swan Resort and Winter Summerland near Blizzard Beach water park. We opted for Winter Summerland since last year we gave Fantasia Gardens a whirl.
Mini Golf at a Glance
Price: The costs for one round are $14.00 per adult and $12.00 per child (aged 3 to 9). Vouchers for play are included in some Magic Your Way vacation packages, and Annual Passholders and DVC members are eligible for discounts. There is often a discount for replaying. The price is slightly less than at Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, but, to be fair, that course is much newer (and nicer).
Hours: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily
Transportation: Free parking is available if you choose to drive yourself. For Disney transportation, take a bus to Blizzard Beach for Winter Summerland. For Fantasia Gardens, take a bus to the Walt Disney World Swan; Fantasia Gardens is located across Epcot Resorts Boulevard from the Swan, near the tennis courts shared by the Swan and Dolphin hotels. Note that Blizzard Beach closes for maintenance for most of January, February, and March, so bus service will not be available then. Ask at your hotel if there are options for arriving by Disney Transportation.
Food: Each course offers snacks like sodas, chips, and ice cream novelties. There are picnic tables available.
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
Address: 1548 West Buena Vista Drive, Bay Lake, Florida 34787
The back story of Winter Summerland is that it is Santa’s permanent summer retreat. There are two courses that you can choose from: Summer and Winter. Summer is beach-themed with a winter twist. It has fun summer music playing. The winter course is decked out with Santa’s elves, igloos, sleighs, and all the things you would expect to see at the North Pole. It even has classic Christmas music playing and strings of the old C9 bulbs hanging around the course. We opted for the winter course since Christmas is our favorite holiday.
The final hole (shared between the winter and summer sides) at Winter Summerland is delightful, but we won’t spoil it for you.
Each of the 18 holes is unique and worthy of time spent enjoying the details. On the first half of the course we had a large party in front of us and no one behind, so we could do just that. The holes are generally par 3; they were not too complex for children but were still engaging for us adults. It took us about an hour to complete the 18 holes.
Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
Address: 1205 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32836
As mentioned above, the year before we tried out Fantasia Gardens. You can easily get there by bus, boat, or a leisurely stroll from the BoardWalk, Beach Club, or Yacht Club resorts. If you’re feeling spry and full of energy after some time at the parks, you can even walk or take the boat there from Epcot or Hollywood Studios.
Fantasia Gardens consists of two 18-hole courses. The Gardens course is themed after the classic movie Fantasia, and it is fun for the whole family. The Fairways course is more of a “real” golf adventure, which was certainly above my skill level. We chose the Gardens course.
Although each hole’s theming was very detailed and challenging, including water sprays for good shots, this course ended up not being my favorite. There simply is no shade from that hot Florida sun, which makes for one cranky mini golf player. I don’t know if that was the reason or if I simply was having a bad day, but making par on this course seemed impossible. I’m not sure small children would enjoy it. In fact, the day we were there, there were only adults playing. But, it was an enjoyable break from the crowds, nonetheless.
I recommend going here in the evening time, when the sun isn’t baking you to a crisp. I imagine that the lighting on the Fantasia sculptures would really set it off, making it much more aesthetically appealing. And afterwards, you could stroll over to the BoardWalk for some after-hours entertainment and beverages.
Have you completed either of the mini golf courses at Disney World? Which is your favorite? Leave your comments below!