REVIEW: Winter Summerland is Perfect for Beginners
Did you know you could play miniature golf on Walt Disney World property? In fact, they have two completely different courses: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. Located right next to Blizzard Beach water park is Disney’s Winter Summerland. And it’s themed to, you guessed it, Santa’s Village in winter and summer! I’ve wanted to play this course for many years and finally had the chance to. If you’ve never played mini golf on Disney property, it’s a great way to take a break from the crowds! One round of golf costs $14 for adults and $12 for children (3-9 years).
The check-in cottage is decorated with garland and Christmas decorations galore. There was even a nice photo opportunity with Santa’s sleigh, which pulls a trailer that holds the main office. And if you like to bring snacks or even pack a meal, there are many picnic tables in this area to relax at!
As with every time I play a new course of miniature golf, I can’t ever decide which of the two sides to play. So, per usual, we chose to play both! Usually one course is slightly more challenging than the other, so we asked which one was easier to start with and were told they have the same skill level. So, up first was the Summer Course!
The Summer Course is all beach theming and has a few interactive elements. Just like Fantasia Gardens, each hole has a short rhyme at the beginning describing the theme for that specific hole. Sometimes it may hint at a special trick you have to do or watch out for when putting. This side plays beach songs from bands such as the Beach Boys and even a few of their Christmas hits. As you continue, you learn you’re at the South Pole and soon enter an over hang which is fully decorated with Christmas decorations. The 18th hole ends with a giant computer monitor named PC on Earth. After you shoot your ball in, Santa gives you a nice summer message in the most 90s way possible.
After taking a break to tally our scores, we continued onto the Winter Course. Maybe it’s because I miss winter, or maybe because I hate sand, but I felt like this course had much better theming and more details than the Summer Course. There was much more to look at on every hole. We also discovered the Winter Course has a slightly higher difficulty level than the Summer Course; something to keep in mind if you prefer more of a challenge. One thing I always hope to find on mini golf courses are interactive elements and the Winter Course has many more of them than the Summer Course making it a much more interesting play. The Winter Course also displayed rhymes for each hole and plays Christmas carols throughout. Just like the Summer Course, you play through one of the poles, only this time it’s the North Pole. And the 18th hole once again is a large computer monitor, now named FrostByte. The puns never stop. Unfortunately, the sensor for this hole wasn’t working and we didn’t get to see any corny Santa video which was slightly disappointing. But the course was fun regardless.
Overall, the Winter Summerland courses are not very challenging. Most of the holes for both courses, especially the Summer Course, are almost straight shots with very few obstacles ever in the way. This makes them slightly boring for players of older age, but great for families with young children! The Winter Course is more entertaining with its interactive elements and more detailed theming. If I had to choose only one course to do, I would stick with the Winter Course for these reasons. However, both courses have a few surprises mixed in. And how does it rank compared to Disney’s other course, Fantasia Gardens? That course is definitely much more challenging and has interactive elements on almost every hole. But both are fun and exceptional in their theming. It just boils down to what sort of difficulty level you’re looking for. Whichever the case, Winter Summerland is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit no matter what month it is.