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Hubby and I returned from an incredible trip to Disney recently but even before that, several trips ago now, we went on a very last minute Walt Disney World trip and I wanted to share all of my tips and tricks for last minute trips with you. As you know, if you follow our blogs and vlogs, we are huge planners and we are huge supporters of planning your Disney trip as much as possible without driving yourself insane so that you can make the most of your trip and be sure to get or at least have a better opportunity to get the rides, times and dining options that are at the top of your list.
So, what if on a whim, the decision to take a quick trip to Walt Disney World. What should be expected? Let’s dive into that and help plan that last minute Disney trip!
Here is what happened that led us to that last minute trip. Our one year wedding anniversary was quickly approaching. I was supposed to be traveling for work but that fortunately fell through and it became an option for us to go. Hubby hopped online to check flights because flights tend to be the deciding factor for us financially and flights had actually gone down.
Disney was running a promo for summer at select resorts and we were able to take advantage of that. First tip, don’t be selective for a last minute trip to Disney and check for deals on the Disney resort reservation website ( https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/ ). There is a good chance you won’t get your number one choice but that is okay. Have backups and just excited that you are heading to Disney.
We booked a midnight flight to Orlando and a ten pm flight back three days later. To see what a full day in Disney looks like after a full work week and a midnight looks like, see picture associated with this paragraph. We booked two nights but were in Disney World for three whole days. Be sure to factor in high level of tiredness when booking flights like this. We typically don’t take big breaks when we are in Disney World but a midnight flight landed us in Orlando around five in the morning and a nap break was a necessity.
We booked this trip out exactly four days before the trip started. Obviously, we missed the 60 day mark for Fast Passes and the 180 mark for dining reservations but that doesn’t mean we weren’t able to hop on amazing rides and experience the magic of Disney. The biggest thing about a last minute trip is being flexible. Some of our favorite rides are tried and true Disney classics and unless the last minute trip falls during one of the busiest times of the year, Fast Passes for things like Haunted Mansion, Spaceship Earth, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Beauty and the Beast live stage show and Kilimanjaro Safaris are almost always available at some point.
First things first, hop onto the My Disney Experience app and see what is available when you are going to be there. Play around with it for a little bit, refresh different times and switch up the days. If you are dead set on doing Frozen, check all available times and days several times and see if something for that pops up before planning other things. You might be able to snag it and if not, make a plan to rope drop Epcot on one of the days and head straight for Frozen.
Don’t be afraid to wait in line. Especially if you get to a park early or stay late, hop in line for a ride you are really wanting to get on so that you can be sure to have that experience.
You do not have to jam pack everything into a last minute trip. The beauty of Disney is that it isn’t going anywhere. Don’t get stressed out about squeezing in every last adventure and favorite thing into a last minute experience. See what is available in terms of dining and adventures and then leave some open ended time and see where you are drawn to. We had nothing planned for the majority of our trip and it allowed us the freedom to do some resort hopping, enjoy the resort we were staying at, do a half a day at Animal Kingdom and then fly by the seat of our pants for the remainder of the day and we have a wonderful time.
Let’s talk about how our trip went. What we planned, what we didn’t for each day so you can get a up close feel of how a last minute trip went at least for us.
On our first day, we left our home airport at Midnight on Friday night, we arrived to Disney around 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. We took Magical Express to Wilderness Lodge and checked into our hotel and left our luggage with bell services as it was only about 6:30 in the morning at this point and our room, not surprisingly, was not ready.
For our luggage, since we were only going to 3 days and two nights, we each had a carry-on, roller bag and a backpack. My backpack is the backpack we carry in the parks so it had ponchos, our two water bottles, park day essentialls (a full list is coming in an upcoming blog, my book and a few other things. Before we handed our luggage to bell services, I changed into my park outfit for the morning because I always am freezing on airplanes and hate the way I feel when I get off a plane and moved a few things around in my bag so I wasn’t lugging even more stuff around in my backpack.
We grabbed breakfast at Roaring Fork and then headed to the bus stop to wait for the bus to Epcot which came about twenty minutes after we got down there. We were able to rope drop Epcot which was pretty cool even though we were exhausted. Once at Epcot, we walked right into the character spot to meet Baymax then headed to Soarin’ and Living With The Land. After that we headed to Spaceship Earth and Frozen and spent some time in the DVC Lounge.
By this time, we were dead on our feet, having barely slept in over 24 hours so we headed back to our resort, checked into our room, unpacked, did a vlog about the standard room at Wilderness Lodge and took a nap which we rarely if ever do when in Disney.
When we woke up, we wandered around Wilderness Lodge a little bit and then hopped on the Friendship Boat over to Magic Kingdom. We had no Fast Passes planned so we snagged, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear, grabbed a couple Dole Whip Pineapple Upside Cakes and had a really relaxing afternoon in Magic Kingdom.
We had made a reservation for Cape May at the last minute so we took a Minnie Van over to Beach Club for that. Cape May was amazing and tons of food. After dinner we were exhausted and had plans to rope drop Hollywood Studios for Toy Story Land the next morning so we skipped all nighttime shows, headed back to Wilderness Lodge and conked out.
Every morning of vacation, I get up and do a workout, it is usually a run but sometimes just a little accessory work. This is one thing I will say about the midnight flight situation. It is now several days after our return home from this trip and I am still recovering from that. I am not one, who handles lack of sleep well anymore and if you are like me, the midnight flight will wreck you.
I woke up fine and ready to go but I had no desire to workout so I did a couple of quick tabata workouts on the floor of our room and then got ready for the day. We decided not to wait on Disney transportation and grabbed a Minnie Van instead to head to Hollywood Studios. We were a little late getting there and did not quite make rope drop but we were still there within about twenty minutes of the park opening.
Making a beeline for Toy Story Land, Slinky Dog Dash said that it was a 70 minute wait for standby. We had not secured a Fast Pass and fully expected to wait in line so we got in line at that time. That line moved fast! With all of the riders, Slinky Dog Dash is able to accommodate, that line moves! We ended up only waiting for about 40 minutes before getting on the ride which was amazing.
We were able to secure a Fast Pass for Alien Swirling Saucers but it wasn’t for a couple of hours so we walked around the amazing land and took in all of the details and then went over to stand in line for Toy Story Midway Mania. The ride actually broke down while we were on it and we had to be escorted out of the ride and were given Fast Passe (for anything except Slinky Dog or Swirling Saucers), which we later used on Midway Mania again. We went on Swirling Saucers and then had breakfast at Woody’s Lunch Box.
Later that day, we decided to head to Animal Kingdom. We were able to snag a Na’Vi River Journey Fast Pass, went on a Safari, had a Night Blossom and got stuck in a rainstorm of course, because it’s July in Disney World. After that, we did something we rarely do; we went to the pool at our resort to relax and enjoy that amenity for a bit. It was so relaxing and refreshing, especially in that Orlando summer humidity. I highly recommend taking some time for that, if you don’t already; I know we will be doing that more on future trips.
And then, guess what! We decided to head back over to Hollywood Studios and Toy Story Land. The rain was pretty intense on this day. It was not random, quick showers, but long downpours and it looked like it was going to sock in for the night in a few hours so we decided to see if we could get on Slinky again. We hopped in line for it but ended up having to wait about an hour and a half due to a heavy downpour and thunderstorm but we got on it!
Dinner was supposed to be at Teppen Edo that night in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. We grabbed yet another Minnie Van to drop us off at Beach Club and then we would hightail it over to Japan in Epcot but once we arrived at Beach Club, the rain and lightning were so intense we decided to stay at Beach Club and eat at Cape May once again. Due to the weather, we chose to forego any additional nighttime shows that night and called it a day after dinner.
Our last day was a fully day since our flight wasn’t until about 10 pm that night. We requested and got late checkout for 1 pm and headed to breakfast at ‘Ohana for first breakfast seating then took a Friendship Boat over to Magic Kingdom for the morning. After a fun-filled morning checking out the Incredibles Summer photos in Tomorrowland, grabbing Peter Pan’s float in Fantasy Land, riding Pirates, Haunted Mansion and a few others, we decided to once again head to Toy Story Land.
Toy Story Land was one of the main reasons for this trip. Although we were thrilled to spend our actual anniversary in Walt Disney World, we were incredibly excited to experience and explore Toy Story Land so that is why we kept going back for more. We ended our trip at Toy Story Land and relaxing on the Wilderness Lodge rocking chairs on the patio of the main building and it was glorious.
So, that was our amazing last minute anniversary trip to Walt Disney World. A whirlwind few days, where a lot was accomplished, not much was planned and the magic was still experienced to the fullest. Have you done or are you thinking of doing a last minute trip to Walt Disney World? Did learning about our trip, how we changed up our style and rolled with our whims help you? What are your tips for last minute trips? We would love to hear from you!
Thank you for stopping by and stay tuned for more blogs from this amazing trip! For the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.