A few days after I returned from the snowy mountains of Iceland, I set out for the sunshine in Orlando, Florida for a weekend of fishing, courtesy of The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. I should probably point out that I wasn’t headed just anywhere in Orlando, but to Walt Disney World Resort. I had never been and although spending the day on rides would have been fun, I was even more eager to see what fishing was like there. Would I catch bass, trout, Mickey? The closest experience I had to fishing in years was seeing Scarlet fleeing from flopping fish and playing Jacinda’s DIY Fishing Game with my niece. I had also been eating incredible arctic fish on my vacation, and was now more than ready to dive right in.
To give you a little background, The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation created the Take Me Fishing campaign, and recently teamed up with Walt Disney World Resort with two big goals in mind – connect families with nature, while making memories to last a lifetime. I was hooked. They have now developed eleven co-branded locations all across Walt Disney World Resort that are focused on boating and fishing for families to enjoy. You can do everything from cane-pole fishing, to racing mini-powerboats along the water.
If a trip to Walt Disney World Resort isn’t in the cards this year, not a problem at all. Take Me Fishing and Disney have put together plenty of resources (including an app) that is all about connecting kids and families with nature.
Keep reading to hear more about this family fun experience, and to find out how to plan your next fishing trip after the jump…
Fishing and Boating at Walt Disney World Resort
Start your fishing experience by checking out the helpful Disney Map of Recreation. Here you can quickly find out which water activities you want to do and where they are located in the park.
Fishing and Boating:
Cane-Pole Fishing: This was the first method we tried and I loved it for the fact that it was insanely easy. This traditional way of fishing is a lot like you would expect Tom Sawyer to have done. You’re completely surrounded by trees and get to relax at the edge of the dock with the family. The convenience of this fishing makes it a great way to start your day at the park, or as a fun afternoon activity when you want a little down time.
Location: Fishin’ Hole at Old Man Island at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—Riverside.
Guided Fishing Excursions on the Lakes: After a morning of fishing on the dock, we headed out on a boat for the Guided Fishing Excursions. You can spend two or four hours on the boat enjoying catch-and-release bass fishing. Between the five of us on the boat we caught fourteen fish! I’d recommend taking this trip when you want a day to unwind. It can be a great segue from work mode to vacation mode.
You can find a list of Disney marinas here.
Mini-Powerboats: Right before lunch we got to rev up our engines and race around in mini-powerboats. These are two-passenger boats that you can race around the lagoon. This is also something Dad and the kids can do while you shop on the Boardwalk.
Located in front of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Fireworks Cruise: Cap off the night with a fireworks cruise on World Showcase Lagoon. The Epcot IllumiNation fireworks show from a pontoon boat was absolutely incredible. Bring your camera and keep your eye out for the ducks swimming by.
Fishing and Boating at Home:
Continue the family fishing experience at home…
I had such a blast spending the days fishing that as soon as I got home I started looking up locations where I could fish nearby. You can start your search by checking out Places to Fish on the Take Me Fishing website.
Get the kids involved by learning ways to make Fishing with Kids even more fun. See which bait hooks the biggest bite, and how to start them off with their first rod and reel.
One of the projects I really enjoyed learning about was the Disneynature Explore app. This app encourages kids to get outside. How does it do that? You can turn the phone to video mode in your backyard and suddenly lions, tigers, and bears will appear. Go on family explorations by following bear tracks, and document your adventures in a nature journal on the app.