Longing for a weekend getaway to Walt Disney World? Sometimes, a little sunshine, magic, shopping, and dining is JUST what the doctor ordered.
With limited time and so many restaurants, theme parks, and entertainment at Disney World, the options can get a little overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start when you only have two and a half days to explore. Fret no more!
We pulled together a list of fantastic must-dos for your trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
If you only have two days for theme parks, we might suggest you visit EPCOT or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios tend to be busiest on the weekends. Seeing as your time is limited, you’ll need to maximize your time and take advantage of fewer crowd. Also, Park Pass reservations fill up the quickest at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It’s a tad bit easier to pop into Animal Kingdom or EPCOT on a whim!
Animal Kingdom Must-Dos
Ride Flight of Passage! If you’re going to accomplish one thing at Animal Kingdom, it should be Flight of Passage. It’s an absolutely breathtaking attraction made with some incredible cutting-edge technology. Arrive at Pandora – The World of Avatar in the late morning (to avoid the morning masses), and check this awesome attraction off your must-do list!
Right after flying a banshee in Pandora, head to Kilimanjaro Safaris to visit some of the resident animals. The animals are fairly active in the morning so it’s a good time to take a safari and walk through some of the exhibits. What’s better than greeting a baby giraffe on a sunny Saturday morning?
There are many other great attractions at Animal Kingdom, but you should definitely hit up Expedition Everest at some point during your visit! The thrilling roller coaster gives you an awesome view of the park and will certainly make your weekend a little more exciting!
Can’t make it to Sunday brunch? Grab an African Bloody Mary from Dawa Bar! It’s near Expedition Everest and a great way to celebrate the weekend.
Hey, it’s the weekend! It’s time to cut loose and partake in the international bar hop of your dreams. Drinking around the world has become a rite of passage for grown-ups visiting EPCOT. Come prepared because each country featured in World Showcase has at least one fabulous cocktail, wine, or beer to try!
You’ll need something to calm your nerves after all those margaritas. Soarin’ Around the World is just the remedy for settling in. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the world on this must-do attraction.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Frozen Ever After. It’s one of the most popular attractions at EPCOT and a must-do for many. The Frozen attraction is still popular and usually has a long line. Head to Frozen Ever After in the late morning/early afternoon for a trip to Arendelle. Or, if Disney Princesses aren’t your thing, head to the thrilling Test Track instead!
Shopping and Dining
As of now, the theme parks have shortened their hours for some weekends. To make up for the lost time, we suggest you head to Disney’s BoardWalk or Disney Springs for some shopping and dining! Plus, you don’t need to pay for parking, admission, or make a Park Pass reservation at either place. The best part? Disney Springs just extended its hours on the weekend!
Disney’s BoardWalk Must-Dos
The BoardWalk is home to some shopping, dining, and much-needed peace and quiet. It’s a tranquil way to spend a few hours of your weekend. You can access the BoardWalk by exiting through EPCOT’s International Gateway or head directly to the resort area on one of your park-free days.
Feeling hungry? Head to Disney’s Beach Club Resort on the BoardWalk and check out the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. This place is home to some monumental desserts like the Kitchen Sink. It’s a fun place to pop in for a quick dinner and a crazy dessert.
The unassuming BoardWalk Bakery is one of our favorite hidden gems in Disney World. It’s a small Quick Service location that serves fresh baked goods, coffee, and a fantastic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Sure, we come for the grilled cheese, but we stay for the Mickey Waffle Sundaes. Currently, the bakery switches out the ice cream used for the sundaes every week. This means you can come back to the BoardWalk every weekend and have an entirely new sundae!
Disney Springs Must-Dos
Weekends at Disney World call for late-night cocktails and early afternoon brunch at Disney Springs! There are a ton of shopping and dining options in this area of Disney World. It was a tough call to narrow down our favorites, but we were up for the job!
The biggest perk for a weekend trip to Disney World? BRUNCH! We’re fervent advocates for the entire menu at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. The restaurant is turned up to 100 on the weekends with their fantastic brunch options. We’re talking huge Bloody Marys, Fried Chicken & Doughnuts, and Hush Puppy Eggs Benedict.
Now that you’ve filled up on fried chicken, it’s time to shop! You can spend hours at Disney Springs and still not visit every shop in the area. There’s something for everyone here. Most importantly, you gotta hit up World of Disney and spend some time checking out all the Disney souvenirs!
Live entertainment at Disney World is fairly limited these days. However, a modified version of one of our favorite shows is still playing at Disney Springs! Every night, Raglan Road hosts Irish Dancers and an authentic Irish band. Grab a pint of Guinness on tap and enjoy the show.
After all that fried chicken, Irish dancing, and shopping, it’s time to wind down for a nightcap. We suggest hopping over to Wine Bar George for a Froscato (Dole Whip with rum!) and some AMAZING crispy mac and cheese bites. Or, head into Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar for some funky atmosphere, great cocktails, and an awesome view of the lake.
Where to Stay On Your Disney World Weekend Getaway
We usually suggest staying somewhere on Disney World property when visiting the theme parks. In this case, we suggest you try out one of the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels. The resorts are usually a little less expensive than Disney World resorts on the weekend. They also offer the same Park Pass benefits as the on-property hotels, and you’ll be really close to Disney Springs. You can stay out late and walk home without worrying about transportation!
The B Resort is a posh resort that’s definitely grown-up friendly. The hotel hosts some great onsite dining and a swanky zero-entry pool for midday breaks. It looks like a Vegas-chic hotel without the price tag of a Disney Deluxe Resort. It’s a really great option for romantic getaways or weekend trips with friends!
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
While most of the Disney Springs Area Resorts aren’t too far away, the Hilton Orlando is one of the closest to Disney Springs. The hotel is basically connected to the overhead walkway that leads you to the Disney Springs entrance. You can leave your hotel room and arrive at your brunch reservation in no time! It’s also one of the nicest choices in the area. The hotel hosts a lot of large conventions so there are great accommodations and an enormous pool area.
You can pack in a LOT of magic over the weekend! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully, our suggestions spurred some ideas and plans for your next getaway. We suggest making a Disney Dream List of all the parks, shopping, and dining you want to accomplish over the weekend. Make sure you allow ample time for a little relaxation by the pool too!
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What your best tips for visiting Disney World over the weekend? Let us know in the comments!
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