We often struggle with what an appropriate length of a Walt Disney World vacation should be – a quick weekend trip to check out a new restaurant or menu items at the Food and Wine Festival? Or maybe a week-long trip to celebrate the kids making it through another year at school or maybe an anniversary? Balancing all of the important considerations, we have come to believe that a five day trip is the best and here is our five day trip plan for the next time you choose to visit Walt Disney World!
Before we get to the trip plan, here are a few tips to plan your trip around. First, we would recommend getting in later at night so you can check into your room and get settled and get a good night’s sleep before tackling the parks. Second, we would recommend that you stay on property – it is a little more expensive, but spending time commuting to and from parks and missing out on park perks can definitely impact what you can accomplish on a trip. Lastly, research what parks have Extra Magic Hours during your visit and try and accommodate some of those extra hours in your trip plan.
Start things out relaxed and head to Epcot. We enjoy how Future World opens two hours before World Showcase because we are able to schedule FastPasses during those hours and get some attractions out of the way before World Showcase opens at 11 AM. Once World Showcase opens, take a leisurely stroll around World Showcase Lagoon and enjoy some of the food and drink of the world. You can also experience the culture by visiting some of the shops, seeing the entertainment, and speaking to the Cast Members in each pavilion.
We are big proponents of taking a mid-day break to head back to the resort to get out of the sun and relax – sometimes we nap, other times head to the pool or just watch some TV. We try and shoot to get out of the parks by 1 or 2 PM at the latest. We will leave it to you to decide what to do once back at the resort, but a break is definitely needed! We then head back to the park around dinner once the heat breaks, usually around 6 PM.
On night one, we would recommend heading to Hollywood Studios and trying to take in one or both of the nighttime entertainment options there – Fantasmic is always a wonderful excursion for the entire family. We also have grown to love the new Star Wars fireworks – the pageantry of the show coupled with the iconic score leaves us with goosebumps!
We love heading to Animal Kingdom in the morning to explore the park and see the animals. Generally, Animal Kingdom isn’t that busy in the morning, so guests can make their way through the park without having to use any of their FastPasses and can save them for visiting another park later in the day. Construction on Pandora: The World of Avatar is still on-going and Rivers of Light has been delayed to later this summer, so we are confident that guests can see and do everything they want to do in the morning and early-afternoon hours.
After our break in the afternoon, we would recommend heading back to Epcot for a delicious dinner at any of the pavilions or at one of the restaurants in Future World. You can use your FastPasses here to re-experience a favorite from Day 1 or to experience an attraction you missed the first day! With the new Soarin’ Around the World opening in a month, FastPasses are going to be essential for this park! You can then experience IllumiNations before heading to bed early for Day 3!
Magic Kingdom! We like saving Magic Kingdom for later in our trip so we build up to the most magical place on Earth! There is so much to see and do at Magic Kingdom and we like experiencing different parts of the park at different times, so we recommend spending more than a day here. We like getting here early for the Welcome Ceremony and to ride a few of the attractions without having to use a FastPass, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain. We try and stick to one side of the park when we are there in the morning – conquer Adventureland and Frontierland before heading back for a rest.
After our break, we would come back to the park for the magnificent nighttime entertainment options between the Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, and Wishes! We also love exploring the park at night, but find Tomorrowland to be the best because of all of the neon.
Sleep in and recover from three days in the park so far. Explore your resort a little and take your time getting going this morning. We sometimes use this time to go to Disney Springs and do our souvenir shopping at the various stores and to check out a favorite restaurant. If the weather is cooperative, we also consider heading to one of the water parks and floating around the lazy river or taking a ride down one of the amazing waterslides.
At night, we continue the relaxation and head to the Boardwalk to grab something quick to eat from the variety of the food vendors there and then head to one of the miniature golf courses for a leisurely evening before heading back to our resort.
Head back to the Magic Kingdom to see everything that you missed on Day 3. We recommend taking about half a day to see the park. We use the last portion of our day to do something that we want to do again – do we need one more trip to the Tower of Terror? Or maybe we want to grab another grapefruit beer from Epcot on our last walk around the World Showcase Lagoon? We experience the last that Disney World has to offer and then, sadly, we depart Disney World, but we are already planning our next trip!
Above all else, any trip planning must include fun. What do you do when you make your trip plans for Disney World? Use some of these plans and you will maximize what you can accomplish on your trip!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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