Winter Summerland Mini-Golf – WDW, FL

Since I’m on the topic of Mini-Golf this month I figured why not go check out the second set of courses available at the Walt Disney World resorts.  Located near the parking lot of the Blizzard Beach water park is my favorite of the courses available here, Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf.

The story behind this course is it’s where Santa and his elves relax in their off-season.  Getting here can be a bit difficult if you don’t have a car, but you can take a resort bus to Blizzard Beach and just a short walk from the water park entrance you can get to the mini-golf courses.  It has its own separate fee to play, so you do NOT need to have water park admission.  As you walk up from the parking lot you are first greeted by Santa’s camper with a  familiar looking sleigh hitched up to it.

This camper is where you pay your admission, get your clubs and score card before deciding which of the two courses you want to play.  To the left is the Summer course with some very cool designed playing fields for each hole.

Sometime it can be link a Where’s Waldo just to figure out where the actual target hole is.  But the colors and obstacles on these courses are really just a lot of fun.

The large candy canes throughout area a nice touch, and the Christmas decorations just add to the story of Santa’s summer retreat.

Each hole gets progressively more difficult but nothing impossible and children of all ages can have a great time here.

Every time I see this sand castle I think it looks like it will just blow over in the wind or melt away in the Florida afternoon showers.  Have you ever seen a mini-golf course with this type of detail?  It’s really amazing.

Eventually both courses end in the middle which is where Santa has a big Christmas tree all decked out and lots of left over presents just lying around.  After playing the last hole you end up back at the camper to turn in your clubs.  Or if you have time why not try the second course.

To the right is the Winter course which is my personal favorite just to the unique theming.  Plus since I’m originally from Canada this is one of the few places I can see Snow and Ice in Florida.

I love the above hole on this course, it’s themed like an ice-covered pond setup for a hockey game.  Ahh takes me back to when I was young, just in 98 degree weather with 1000% humidity.

Hmm this castle looks very familiar?  Still cool, and secretly thankful this hasn’t been converted into Elsa’s Ice Palace from the Frozen movie.  Knock on wood, please don’t change it Disney!

I should have mentioned earlier but each course does have 18 holes so this is not going to be a quick round of golf.  Plus these courses can get pretty crowded in the late afternoon or early evening.

As with the first course the final few holes meet in the middle right beside the Summer course where the Christmas Tree is located.  It’s under this covered building which can get a little crowded with the two courses converging together.  As you swing your club to send the ball into the final hole you head once again to the Camper.

As luck would have it right near the camper by the Restrooms of all places is a penny machine.

There are three designs available here which are just as unique as these mini-golf courses.  The images include an Ice Gator on Snow Skis, Donald building a Sandcastle with two Snowmen watching, and Mickey with a Surfboard & Minnie on a Beach Towel.

Just as with the Fantasia Mini-Golf you do not need to play either course to use the penny machine.  But due to the difficulty you may encounter trying to get here you may as well take a break from the parks and play a round or two it will be worth your while and a lot of fun.


Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf – WDW, Florida

Some of my fondest vacation memories from my childhood are early evening games of mini-golf with my parents and sister.  None of us were particularly good, but just having fun as a family in the cooler evening hours is something that will stick with me for a long time.  In our original home of Ottawa Canada we had a few min-golf courses around town but they were really low quality, not even consisting of the common windmill obstacle.  The ones I really remember were in Florida, we would spot them as we drove in from the airport.  My dad would somehow make a mental note of where they were and we would try a new one almost every night.  The theming of these courses was just so beyond what we were used to it just added to the enjoyment of the experience.

On those days back when my sister and I were kids we never stayed on Disney Property but instead would be at a Howard Johnson in Kissimmee.  Due to this once we were done with the parks for the day we usually headed back to the hotel to do something near there.  I don’t know exactly when the Disney Mini-Golf courses first opened, but I first tried these courses out in 1997 when I took a trip after high school graduation.

Fantasia Gardens is located near the Swan and Dolphin Resort.  Unfortunately there is no directly transportation to the mini-golf course so you have to get creative if you don’t have a car.  Once you get to the area there are actually two separate courses here, Fantasia and the Fairway.  Fantasia as you can probably guess since we are at Disney has each hole designed around the Fantasia movie.

Each hole throughout the course slowly gets a little more difficult, but nothing too crazy.  They are all very reasonable for even the most casual of player of almost all ages.

Some of the holes have simple obstacles in the middle of a curing green, where others have some very interesting water hazards like the below.

Towards the end of the course you do get to finally see the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

But be careful as you walk beneath the broomsticks with their buckets, if you don’t walk quick enough you may get a little shower of water.

The second course as I mentioned above is called the Fairway.  This is the more difficult of the two  courses.

Each hole is set up to imitate a regular golf course.  As you can see from the pictures above there are no rails along the side of the course, there are sands traps, and other water hazards.  But just take your time and have fun.

After you finish playing your course and turn in your golf club there is an arcade available near the entrance/exit.  There are sometimes long waits to play these courses.  I’ve gone a few times and been told that wait is over an hour to start.  The arcade is a great way to pass the time, but it’s not a big place and only has a few games inside.  As you can see there is also a penny machine crammed into one of the corners.

There are three designs here which have moved all around the property.  The images include Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, Cinderella’s Step Mother and Sisters, and the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

I have played these courses a few times  and they can be challenging, but still fun to play.  Some younger children may find the Fairway course a little too hard, but as my mom always said it’s not weather you win or lose but how you play the game.  It’s all about having fun and making memories!

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