Most people who take a Walt Disney World vacation plan for months, sometimes even years. I’m usually one of the people who has made my dining reservations close to my 180 day window, but this time around I booked a trip to WDW only about 10 days out! What was I thinking?! I was thinking I needed a quick get away to one of my favorite places with a few great friends to recharge the old batteries. So I wanted to take this week’s post to discuss how to go about planning a last minute, quick weekend trip to the world’s most popular vacation destination.
My first order of business was to try to book flights for this weekend extravaganza. If air fare was too expensive, I wouldn’t be able to justify the trip. I hopped online to try to find decently priced flights from Newark to Orlando and reserved my seats without hesitation. I was in luck! I was able to find and affordable ticket to fly down after work on Friday and come home first thing Monday morning to go straight to the office (the things we do for Disney).
But where to stay? I’m trying to keep this trip as cheap as possible so I’m heading back to my home away from home, Pop Century. I had my travel agent also check into rates at the Swan/Dolphin for its convenient location within walking distance of Epcot, but decided to opt for the more affordable Pop. I figure that with such a quick trip, I’ll barely be at my resort other than to sleep. Why pay so much more for something I won’t have time to enjoy? I will save my first Swan/Dolphin experience for when I can really enjoy it. I also had to have arrangements made for me to use Disney’s Magical Express between the airport and Pop Century. I wanted to rent a car for the trip since time will be scarce. I thought I’d maximize my time on property by providing my own transportation. Alas, the price of the car ridiculously expensive for the amount of time I would use it so I opted to use Disney transportation this time.
So now that I have all of these things booked what will I do on my two full days on property? Of course, I have consulted with our TouringPlans.com crowd calendar to find that my days in the park will be typical busy summer days. How’s a girl to combat the crowds and the heat? I’ll be heading to the water parks each day to do research, enjoy the slides, and squeeze in some relaxation. My plan is to hit these water playgrounds well before opening each day, claim a shaded lounge chair, enjoy the slides before crowds get heavy, and then relax for the rest of the afternoon. Since I’ll be doing research while I’m there be sure to check back here in the coming weeks to read more about Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
After I’ve had my fill of the water parks, I intend to head back to Pop Century for a break before heading back into my park of choice for the evening. My friends and I have a short wish list to accomplish in the during our night time touring. I missed out on seeing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on my last trip so that is at the top of my to do list for the weekend. We’ll also be taking advantage of the evening extra magic hours at the Magic Kingdom to try to get lots of attractions done. Since it is summer, the park hours are long so we should be able to enjoy a decent amount of time in Epcot and Magic Kingdom along after a day in the water parks.
As for dining during the trip I’ve made only one Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR). Not only am I looking to keep my budget in check, but I’m trying to embrace the no plan, plan. We were able to book a dinner reservation at the Captain’s Grill for Saturday night without a problem. I decided to try that since its Yacht Club location makes it a bit off the beaten path so I thought it would be easy to snag an ADR. I also wanted to try somewhere I’ve never been before so I’m really looking forward to trying somewhere new. Otherwise, we’ll just enjoy our favorite counter service eateries for the weekend.
While, I have a lot of plans in place for the weekend, I’m hoping to try to relax as well. Other than trying to see the fireworks each night I don’t know what we’ll be up to in the parks during the evening hours. There are a lot of activities (like grabbing a drink at La Cava del Tequila) on our wish lists, but we are realize many of them won’t happen this time. I’m looking forward to winging it for a change. My last several trips have been really hectic and jam packed with commitments. While I loved each of those experiences, I’m aiming to take it easy a bit this time around. I think jumping at the chance to go to WDW at the last minute will allow me to fly by the seat of my pants and I’m really excited to give that a try!
How about you? Have you taken a last minute trip to WDW? If you have some advice for me or other readers please let me know in the comments!