As frequent visitors to Walt Disney World, our family seeks out new adventures each time we visit. Fantasia Gardens has always been on our list, but we keep ourselves busy doing other things and just never seem to get there. However, on our most recent trip (late November 2015), we took an afternoon and went for a visit. I wish we’d done it sooner!
We decided to spend the morning at Epcot, then walk out the International Gateway entrance/exit (or as we call it, the “back door”), grab lunch at Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club, and meander over to Fantasia Gardens.
It’s a lovely walk, and even some drizzle couldn’t dampen our spirits. We were especially excited when a Disney cast member in a golf cart saw us walking near the Yacht Club and offered us a ride! She let us out at the Swan and we continued the short walk from there, past the lagoon between the two hotels. There is a fairly busy street to cross, but there was a crosswalk so that made it easy.
If you’d rather not walk that far, you can take the boat from Epcot’s International Gateway, get off at the Swan/Dolphin, and then just have a short walk.
Fantasia Gardens is one of two miniature golf courses at this location. The course we chose is themed after the film Fantasia, and being a family of musicians, this was the one we wanted to play. The other course, Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf, is like a real golf course, only in miniature, and looks like it would be a blast for those who take miniature golf very seriously. Sometimes we do, but we were in the mood for some light-hearted fun!
After gaining admission, we started through the course. I was completely geeking out about the musical riddles and hints for each hole.
While we were playing, we were treated to a rehearsal for a large event that was scheduled for that evening. The rehearsal was happening right across the lagoon in the Fantasia Theater. It was fun to watch and listen to, but we didn’t let it distract us from our golf game! You can see the theater behind the satyr in this shot:
My favorite hole was Night on Bald Mountain - you got to go inside the cave!
Here is my husband and Bacchus, who is spilling grapes everywhere! Notice the Mickey tee.
A few other interesting holes:
There are some magical surprises throughout the game, and though I don’t want to give anything away, I will say that the game ends with a splash!
As you can see, it was a close game.
We will definitely come back on our next trip, and next time I’d like to try the Fairways Course, unless we are in a magical, musical mood!
Some details to help you plan: Both courses are often crowded, so be prepared for that. We played on a rainy afternoon and there were not many families on this course and we never had to wait for the people in front of us.
There are restrooms there, but no food (they did sell snacks), so you should plan to eat before or after your game. Also, Disney does not offer direct bus service to/from Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, so you either need to walk from the Epcot resort area or find your own transportation. Because we do not rent a car on our Disney vacations, and because it was raining, we decided to forego walking back to Epcot and take an Uber back to our resort. For the four of us to go from Fantasia Gardens to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, it cost us $8.00. We used our free mini-golf coupons that came with our Magic Your Way package (must play before 4:00 p.m. is the only catch), so it was a cheap afternoon. If you are looking for an alternative to the parks, give the courses a try!