While I would love for every trip to Walt Disney World to last for weeks, it isn’t always possible between work and school schedules. Sometimes a quick weekend getaway to the most magical place on earth is just what is needed. Here are my top 10 experiences to make that weekend “mind blowing!”
10. Spend the weekend at the resort. Only.
Sometimes what we need out of a weekend trip is a little R&R with just a touch of Disney Magic. You would be surprised how amazing a vacation at a Disney resort can be all on its own. Any resort can fit the bill for this, but there are a few I recommend in particular. My first choice would be the Yacht or Beach Club—with Stormalong Bay this resort has an amazing entertainment element built in. The atmosphere is relaxing and you can walk over to the Boardwalk for entertainment and dining. You may also consider a monorail resort since they all have nice pools and an area somewhere at the resort where you can see Wishes fireworks—not to mention touring around the resorts on the monorail.
9. Water Parks!
Make it a water park weekend! Instead of visiting the theme parks plan a warm weather weekend just to visit Walt Disney World’s Waterparks. Take your time to enjoy the theming and the slides. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon could each take up most of a day if you really do it right. And speaking of doing it right, think about renting a cabana at the waterparks—reserved seating, shade and feeling pampered. That’s a great way to spend a weekend in the Florida heat!
8. Private Fireworks
If you are only there for a weekend you want to minimize your time spent waiting, so rather than staking out a fireworks spot well in advance and waiting, why not book a dessert party or a fireworks cruise. With these options you’ll have a great viewing spot along with food & beverage. With the cruise you get a scenic trip along the waterways before the fireworks. These special options are sure to make your weekend one to remember. Just be sure to book them well in advance so you don’t miss out!
7. See a Show
Cap your day off with something different—why not visit Disney Springs for dinner followed by La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil. This entertaining show takes you a little outside the Disney realm of magic into another world of acrobatic entertainment. It is a great way to end your weekend. After the show hang around Disney Springs and visit one of the lounges for drinks, or maybe one of the delicious sweet spots for dessert.
6. Visit During a Festival
Epcot is known for its fabulous festivals like the Food & Wine Festival in Fall and the Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring. The popularity of these is growing and we now see mini versions of these happening during the holidays with Christmas offerings and in the winter with Arts related activities. You may want to schedule a weekend trip just to focus on one of these great festivals. You can sign up for classes, demonstrations, tastings and parties related to the Festival and just make your entire weekend all about Epcot. If this is your focus for the weekend I recommend trying to stay at an Epcot area resort: Boardwalk or Yacht & Beach Club so you can walk to the park. Or, maybe try Caribbean Beach resort which is close by for shorter bus rides.
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5. Party Time!
Like the Epcot Festivals, Magic Kingdom offers some special parties that are seasonal—they are so much fun you may want to schedule your vacation around those specifically. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party take place pretty much from September-December. They do require a separate ticket for the party itself, but they are so worth it with the special characters, dance parties, shows, themed parade and seasonal fireworks. If you choose to plan around a party you may want to consider staying at a monorail resort like the Polynesian, Contemporary or Grand Floridian to make it easy to get to & from the Magic Kingdom . . . or Wilderness Lodge with its boat service to the park. And, because of the timing in the fall you could combine a party with the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot to make it a totally mind-blowing weekend!
4. Getting back to Nature
Going along with number 10 and spending time at your resort . . . why not try a weekend at Fort Wilderness? With the newly refurbished cabins you would hardly be roughing it and there are so many recreational activities offered. You could charter a fishing excursion, go horseback riding, take an archery class, roast marshmallows with Chip & Dale, or just go watch the fireworks. And you must reserve a dinner at Hoop Dee Doo Revue—my favorite dinner show. You could fill an entire weekend with good, old-fashioned fun at Fort Wilderness.
3. Dine Around
One fun idea for the weekend is to have a theme. It could be anything: Princesses; Meet Every Character; Ride Every Thrill Ride; etc. The one I like is Dining. Maybe you make it a goal to eat 2 signature snacks at each park. Or maybe fine dining is what you prefer and you choose signature restaurants for each night topping it off with Victoria & Alberts at the Grand Floridian. I can see building a phenomenal weekend trip around dining & food.
Tour the parks like a VIP! On a weekend trip your time is limited, so why not employ the services of a VIP guide to help you get to see more and wait less? Walt Disney World has their official VIP guide service that you can reserve, or you may contact an unofficial service like My VIP Tour who offer guides to help you navigate the parks. Either way, having someone take care of everything for you will make your weekend one you won’t soon forget.
1. Four Parks/1 Day
Weekend trips are about fitting in as much as you can, so why not rise to the challenge of visiting all 4 parks in 1 day? This is a goal of mine on an upcoming vacation. With the new express transportation service Disney is offering (for a fee) it is even easier than it was in the past. You probably need to set up parameters like riding 1 headliner and 1 “filler” attraction in each park along with a snack. Then you will have to plan based on park hours, extra magic hours, and making FastPasses. This makes for a challenge, along with fun! And I’m sure it is something that would make an incredible weekend trip (though you may be exhausted)!
What are your top tips for making a weekend trip to Walt Disney World unbelievable?