This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend less than 48 hours in Walt Disney World. If I am honest, I was a little apprehensive about only being there for a couple of days. I wondered if it would be worth it or if I should hold off until I could spend more days there. I decided I would jump at the chance to take in even a little bit of magic and try to knock a few things off of my Disney Bucket List (look out for a blog post coming soon!).
I wound up having a blast over the weekend and want to share a few tips if you’re thinking about spending a weekend at Disney.
Make a list of your “must do’s”
The first thing I did when planning my trip was figure out what my “must do’s” are each time I am at Disney. Try thinking about your past trips and what you would have been really upset about missing out on. Maybe it’s riding your favorite attraction or grabbing that snack that makes your mouth water just thinking about it! Either way, take a few moments to think about it and then write down your top 5. Use these as your base for planning out your days.
Research what is going on in the parks
Before you make any solid plans for your weekend getaway, make sure you research what is going on in the parks during that time. If you do a quick Google search on “Walt Disney World/Disneyland [month you’re visiting]” you will get a good idea of any special events taking place that 1. might impact crowd levels and 2. you might want to attend.
I was lucky enough to get to attend the Flower and Garden Festival and Epcot while I was there. There are a ton of food and drink offerings that I couldn’t pass up – like this Caribe Rose Hard Cider from Florida Beer Company, available at The Odyssey Pavilion!
Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours
If you are a Disney Resort guest staying on property or at one of the Disney Springs Hotels you have the opportunity to take advantage of extra time in the parks. The crowd levels are lower during these times and it means additional time playing in the parks!
Extra Magic Hours are available both in the morning and evening and the schedule can be found here and on your My Disney Experience App.
Plan, but go with the flow
Talk about contradictory! But it’s the truth – making the most of a short time in the parks is all about planning out your must do’s, so that you don’t miss out on them, but then going with the flow.
When we woke up on Saturday morning I knew that I wanted to see Illuminations that evening and try a new restaurant. Other than that though, I was open to whatever! My brother, who I was traveling with along with my sister-in-law and boyfriend, suggested we go tour the Four Seasons Orlando (located on property) and have lunch over there before heading to Epcot. We wound up taking a Minnie Van to the Four Seasons and having lunch at Plancha, somewhere I had not been before (CHECK!).
After touring the Four Seasons (side note, I NEED to stay here one day – have you all checked it out? It’s beautiful and the service was phenomenal!), we decided to take a Minnie Van back to our room at Old Key West so that we could freshen up before heading to Epcot. Before going to our room though, we grabbed a Mickey Bar at the General Store (CHECK!).
That evening we were lucky enough to view Illuminations from a window seat inside at Spice Road Table (CHECK!), completing a fun and relaxing day that would not have been so if I had tried to stick to a tight schedule.
Think of this trip differently
When I left for my weekend getaway I thought of it as being completely different than my usual 5 to 7 day vacations. To me, this trip would be a way to tide me over to my next visit, while allowing me the opportunity to experience the Flower and Garden Festival and check out the construction for Galaxy’s Edge. Setting that expectation meant that I wasn’t upset when the line for Space Mountain was way too long to wait in or that there were no reservations available for Hoop Dee Doo.
Have you done a weekend trip to the parks before? What are your tips for making the most of your time?
This is my favorite Karma and Kismet blog post yet! Short trips like these can be challenging to plan, but so worth it! There’s something great about concentrated amounts of pixie dust. 😊💖
Thank you so much! Totally agreed!
Any opportunity I get to spend some time in Disney is magical, no matter what the length! I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate to do so! I think the trick for short trips is to just focus on one or two things you’d like to accomplish and everything else is icing on the cake! And, yes, definitely go with the flow. Flexibility is the name of the game!
It’s all about being flexible!