My high school friend Ally is the queen of all things Disney World. Not only has she planned several girls getaways to the Orlando theme parks, including most recently her friend Shelly’s bachelorette bash (Shelly Cinderelly! How cute, right?), she even spent her honeymoon on an all-access Disney adventure. So she was the absolute perfect person to share her tips for planning the perfect Walt Disney World bachelorette weekend in Orlando, Florida.
Ally’s Tips for the Perfect Disney Experience
1. Stay on property. Logistics can be a nightmare with a big group, but Disney makes it effortless. There are plenty of hotels for all budgets, so take advantage of the free parking and public transportation (buses/trams) offered by on-park resorts. You also have access to other resorts and their amenities.
2. Purchase park passes early. Disney offers a complimentary FastPass service once you purchase your tickets or book a room at a Disney resort. FastPasses allow you to reserve an entrance time for top attractions or character greetings and can be a real time saver. Your attraction choices can be selected 90 days out from your trip. By pre-booking rides/attractions that are of interest to your party, you can plan the rest of the day around the “must-do’s.”
3. Customize your Magic Bands. These bracelets act as your ticket and room key, and allow for in-park charging to a room account if you stay on property. Plus, they can be customized! There are a few Etsy shops with cute monogramming options (like these glitter ones or these Minnie Mouse ones) or you can find bridal party decals or patterned decals like these Lily Pulitzer-inspired ones. The Disney store also has buttons you can add to make these accessories your own.
4. Make reservations for great dining experiences! The Disney restaurants both in the park and at their on-property hotels are amazing and cannot be passed up for stand-in-line, quick-service fare. Take a breather from the crowds and schedule some down time for your meals. Be quick, though! High-demand restaurants such as Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table often book up 4 to 6 months in advance.
5. Meet Characters: These meet ‘n’ greets aren’t just for kids! Take time to look up when your favorite characters will be out and get in line early or FastPass to meet them. It’s worth it and makes the Disney magic come alive! You can also look up rare character appearances, such as Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, Drizella, Gaston and many others. You may even spot a villain or two….or a fairy godmother!
6. Download the Disney app. You will be glad you did. The app allows you to see the wait times of attractions, the location of bathrooms, and much, much more! It’s a lifesaver!
7. Let your Disney side show: Embrace everything Disney. Bring out your inner princesses with tu-tus or a matching color scheme. Get ears for your party! Matching shirts? Yes! Do not be afraid to go all out. It’s Disney, after all.
Ally’s Picks for Lodging and Dining
Budget: Rent a camp site and go glamping at Fort Wilderness, or savor the flavor of NOLA at Port Orleans-Riverside/French Quarter.
Spend: The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a treat (hello, animals outside your room!) or try The Beach/Yacht Clubs (they have sand in the pool and water slides for that oceanside feel).
Splurge: The Polynesian will make you feel like you’ve escaped to the Maldives with its waterside villas, or try The Grand Floridian for a Victorian-style trip back in time or The Contemporary for modern upscale luxury.
Budget: The Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom), Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios), La Hacienda de San Angel (Epcot), The Plaza (Magic Kingdom), Trader Sam’s (Polynesian) and Yak & Yeti (Animal Kingdom).
Spend: Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas), Rainforest Cafe (Disney Springs), Be Our Guest (Magic Kingdom), Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge).
Splurge: California Grill (The Contemporary), Le Cellier (Epcot), Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom), Victoria & Albert’s (Grand Floridian).