1 Week in Walt Disney World
With 34 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 4 golf courses and over 400 dining options on Walt Disney Resort property, it can be hard to know how to spend your week in Walt Disney World. Every person traveling to Disney will want different things and luckily there is something for everyone.
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Where to stay
The Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World
Experience the ultimate luxury and enchantment at this prestigious resort, where impeccable service, world-class amenities and a prime location near Walt Disney World create an extraordinary stay in the heart of the magic.
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Waldorf Astoria Orlando
An elegant oasis surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort offering sophistication with celebrated amenities and impeccable personalized service.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
The Grand Floridian
Step into a world of timeless elegance and Disney magic at The Grand Floridian. With its Victorian-inspired charm, luxurious accommodations and unparalleled service, this iconic resort transports you to a realm of sophistication and enchantment, making your stay truly unforgettable.
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Day 1: Arrival
The first day you arrive on vacation is typically filled with excitement and a desire to jump head first into everything there is to do but anyone traveling with kids or traveling a long distance also knows it can be exhausting! First thing I like to do is head to your resort and see if your room is ready. Depending on what time your chances vary.
Arrive early: While it is difficult to get up early and to the airport early in the morning, its one of the best ways to make the most of your vacation time. If you can arrive to Disney before noon, its possible to even take an afternoon nap in your hotel before having the entire evening to explore.
Disney Springs: This is one of my favorite things to do on arrival day. With no entry fee, you can explore this shopping and restaurant district at your own pace. If your flight gets delayed, you don't have to worry about having paid a lot of money for park tickets that you can’t end up using. With so many restaurants and bars, you can also find a variety of food choices without having reservations to worry about.
Explore your resort: Even if you arrive early and your room isn’t ready, you can leave your bags with bell services and still enjoy the amenities at the resort. Grab your swimsuit and head to the pool or check out one of the restaurants or lounges in the hotel. Pro tip: Several resorts have playgrounds for kids and some have special areas in the lobbies where they play different Disney movies with smaller chairs for kids to relax after a busy flight. You can check on your My Disney Experience app and you should get a message when your room is ready.
Day 2: Magic Kingdom
Your first full day in Walt Disney World is when I like to hit up Magic Kingdom. This is the classic Disney that we all know from pictures and movies. This is also one of the parks with the most attractions and I find it best to do it early when excitement is high and you are most refreshed since its also the busiest park.
If you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, you will gain access to the park 30 minutes before regular guests which may not sound like a lot, but can give you just enough time to get in line for a must-do ride or get some amazing castle photos without the HUGE crowds.
Magic Kingdom offers 51 attractions that do not have height requirements, so even traveling with small children means there is plenty to do. Review the list of attractions and pick your families top choices. There is no way you can experience everything so pick your top three or four and consider everything else you do a bonus! Don’t skip out on the shows either. The Tiki Room and Mickey’s Philharmagic are classics that can be enjoyed by everyone. And the best part? They are both indoor with AC so you can beat the heat and relax for a bit.
Pro tip: Plan a sit down restaurant or head back to your hotel mid-afternoon for a nap or pool time. It can get EXTREMELY hot if you visit in the summer and this is also when its most crowded. Taking a break mid-afternoon let’s you relax, ensuring your group is more likely to be able to stay to see the amazing fireworks show at night.
Day 3: Epcot
Epcot is the park that typically opens the latest and after a full day at Magic Kingdom before you will probably appreciate the ability to sleep in and not rush the next morning.
While Epcot is largely known for drinking around the world by adults, it offers so much more than just drinking (if you want to spend the day doing that, no judgment here! It is a lot of fun just remember to hydrate!)
But since you are probably still arriving at the park before lunch and many of the food/drink booths don’t open til 11 or 12, head to Garden Grill for breakfast. This character meal offers the opportunity to meet Chip and Dale and some of their friends while enjoying delicious food. And the restaurant actually spins! Okay it spins very slowly but it gives you a view of the Living with the Land attraction while you eat. How cool is that?
Epcot also have an aquarium. After breakfast, check out the fish and enjoy the Seas with Nemo and friends. Or head over to the World Showcase and do Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure or Frozen Ever After. These attractions typically get the longest wait times so if you can hit them early, you might beat some crowds.
Almost all year round, Epcot is home to various festivals with different food booth offerings. This is a great opportunity to try a variety of small plates. Eat what you want, whenever you want.
Pro tip: If you want to try something from every country, alternate between beverages and food. This way you are still saying you ate/drank at every country but you won’t have a massive hangover the next day. Or split drinks between group members. Alcohol is also a lot more expensive in Disney so you will also save money!
After you spend the day exploring all Epcot has to offer, find a spot to watch the nighttime spectacular. Most nights, Epcot puts on an amazing fireworks show that is worth hanging around for.
Day 4: Resort Day
After so much excitement and activity packed days in Magic Kingdom and Epcot, take the day to just relax. Sleep in, spend some time at the pool and just enjoy being on vacation. Florida is hot. Even in January, you can get warm days in the 80s that if you spend a full day outside, you will probably feel drained. If you are traveling with kids, a few packed days of overstimulation can also lead to more meltdowns than you would expect. All Disney hotel pools are heated to a comfortable temperature so no matter what time of year, you can go swimming.
Each resort hotel also offers an array of activities at the hotels. Watch a movie under the stars, roast marshmallows at a campfire, paint a picture, etc, just spend a day where you aren’t worried about wait times or making sure you don’t miss out on a single thing.
Don’t feel like hanging around the hotel? Didn’t get a chance to see Disney Springs? Head over there to grab a bite to eat or buy some presents for people back home. If you are really feeling energetic (or just need to escape the Disney bubble), head to the beach for the day or Kennedy Space Center, which are each about an hour away from Orlando.
Day 5: Hollywood Studios
Okay now that you are all rested and refreshed from your relaxing day, lets jump back into the Disney parks. Head on over to Hollywood studios to experience the immersive theming at Toy Story Land and Star Wars. While Hollywood Studios has five major attractions, they are some of the biggest thrills in all of the theme parks which also mean some of the longest wait times. Head early and see how many you can do before the major crowds descend.
Hollywood Studios also has some amazing shows that shouldn’t be missed. You can see a stage production of Beauty and the Beast, included in the cost of your park ticket! Your little ones can also have a dance party with some of the characters from Disney Junior or see how movie stunts are performed in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Hollywood studios without seeing the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! This amazing performance is the perfect way to end the day.
Pro tips: There is almost no shade in Toy Story land so try to avoid that in the peak afternoon. It gets HOT.
Day 6: Animal Kingdom
A lot of people say Animal Kingdom is just a zoo and I highly disagree! This is one of my favorite parks. The theming of Pandora is incredible, Flight of Passage is one of the best rides in all of Disney, and the Safari is incredible. Where else can you see so many animals, ride the roller coaster on Everest and explore an entire other world like Pandora?
Animal Kingdom is a much more relaxed park. There are not as many attractions and most of it you can do at a leisurely pace which is the perfect way to end a jam packed vacation. It’s typically less crowded than the other parks and its a great way to calm down and soak in the last few days of vacation.
I also like to head on over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and have dinner at Boma. A buffet style restaurant serves fantastic food and the Zebra dome dessert is top notch every time.
Day 7: Head home
This is the worst day of any vacation. If you have a late flight, take some time last minute to finish shopping or one last swim in the pools. Remember bell services will hold your bags until you need to head to the airport so you aren’t stuck just sitting around waiting for your flight. Grab breakfast, take a leisurely walk or hit up a playground for the kids. You never know what could spark a memory that lasts a lifetime!
Need to Know
Looking for more travel tips? Check Fora Travel Advisor Jenny Liu 's guide, Beyond Disney: Family, Food and Feeling Good at Space Coast Beaches & Greater Orlando .
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florida.