12 TIPS ON PLANNING A GIRL’S TRIP TO DISNEY WORLD

12 tips on planning a girls trip to disney world

SHOP THE DISNEY BACHELORETTE ESSENTIALS

Thinking about planning a girls trip or bachelorette trip to a Disney World? First of all, DO IT! Disney World is not just for kids and I guarantee you if you take your besties there, you will have the most memorable experience of a lifetime (trust me, I know from experience).

You may (or may not) be surprised to know that one of the most common questions I’m asked is on that very topic. After doing hours upon hours of research to plan my own Walt Disney World bachelorette trip last summer (as well as a recent girl’s trip for my sister and I and a RunDisney trip for my family), I’ve taken the very best of what I’ve learned and put it all together to help you make your vacation extra magical.

Click on the read more button below to read all 12 tips + see the video I put together from the trip.

 

Ohh, and to give you a peek at the fun we had on my bachelorette party, here’s a very amateur video I put together from the event…

 

For any of you who are thinking about planning a bachelorette trip or a girl’s trip to Walt Disney World, here are 12 things I’ve learned from planning 5 trips myself in the last few years.

disney world bachelorette party

1. Start Planning As Early As Possible

When my friends insisted on going to Walt Disney World for my bachelorette party the day after my engagement, I first of all couldn’t get over how amazing they were for indulging me in that dream, but secondly, I immediately began planning our trip to the most magical place on earth. To give you an idea, we went on our trip in August, and I started planning in January. Side note – I planned my bachelorette party because I absolutely LOVE planning Disney trips, but it is a lot of work so if a bridesmaid offers to plan, take her up on it and give her the link to this page. 😉 There are several reasons you’ll want to plan early, so keep reading to find out!

disney magic band monograms

2. Get Organized + Make My Disney Experience Accounts

Find out exactly who will be going on the trip and create a Google Doc where girls can start putting in their flight information and any other details you may need (sizing for t-shirts, etc.). Next, you’ll want to either have all of the people going create My Disney Experience Accounts or make them yourself. From personal experience, it was so much easier for myself to go in and create the accounts since we had such a large group (14 girls!). That way, everyone was grouped together in “my family” and I could easily make restaurant reservations and Fast Pass selections for everyone. The My Disney Experience website is where you’ll make all of your hotel, restaurant and Fast Pass reservations. There is also a My Disney Experience app that will allow you to go in and make changes to Fast Passes and restaurant reservations while you’re at the park – super helpful! You’ll also want to get a folder or file to start keeping documents in such as copies of you restaurant and hotel confirmation numbers so you’ll have them on hand and in one place when you arrive at the park.

disney trip princess tanks

3. Mark Down Important Dates in Your Calendar

Whether you’re planning a girl’s trip or you’re a bridesmaid (or bride, as I was) planning a Disney trip, if you’re the planner, you’ll need to mark down some important dates. Disney Parks are a popular place, so getting reservations to the best restaurants and Fast Passes to best rides + experiences is something that has to be done well before you arrive at the park (and it makes things so much easier too!) Here’s a few dates you’ll want to mark down in your calendar:

  • First and foremost, decide on the number of days and the exact dates you’ll be going to the parks. If possible, you’ll want to plan to go during a non-peak time (AKA less crowds). Here’s a detailed list of the best times of the year to go to Walt Disney World and here’s one for Disneyland.
  • Once you know the dates you’ll be going to the parks and the list of people who will be going, you’ll want to make hotel reservations immediately (this can be done up to 500 days in advance, so you’re good). Keep reading to see my suggestions on the best hotels.
  • Restaurant reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, so once you know the days you’ll be going, make a note in your calendar (I set an alarm on my phone, too) of exactly 180 days before you leave to start making reservations at the restaurants that top your list. Hint – you can make reservations at multiple parks and/or multiple restaurants as long as there not at the exact same time, so if you’re unsure of which park you’ll be going to and when, I recommend doing that and you can cancel the reservation on your My Disney Experience App up to 24 hours before the time of the reservation.
  • Fast Pass reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance if you’re staying at a Disney World Hotel (you should – keep reading to find out why) and 30 days if you’re not. Also be sure to mark this day down in your calendar and keep reading to get a peek at the must-do attractions for a girl’s trip in each Disney World park.

why stay at a disney hotel

4. Stay at a Disney Hotel

It is absolutely worth it to stay at a Disney World hotel. From the complimentary use of the Disney Magical Express that picks you up right from the airport (and also allows you to check in for your flight right form your hotel!) to the free bus transportation to all parks and the extra magical hours at the parks, there are so many great benefits. If you’re making a quick trip like we did, I recommend staying at a Value Resort because the hotels can get pricey and unless you’re staying for several days, you won’t be doing much except sleeping inside your hotel room. We stayed at the Art of Animation Family Rooms  (The Finding Nemo themed ones – SO cute!) and they were perfect! The rooms slept up to six people comfortably (complete with two full bathrooms!) and the rooms were absolutely adorable!

how to plan a disney bachelorette

5. Schedule Out Payments For The Trip + Make Venmo Your New BFF

It’s no secret that a trip to a Disney Park can get pricey, but it is so easy to space out paying for the trip to make it easier on everyone going. I booked our hotel rooms first, then waited a couple of months and had everyone book their flights and finally bought our park tickets a couple of months after that. The Venmo app was so perfect for having the girls send over money so I could easily book the hotel room and tickets myself.

disney world bachelorette ideas

6. Create an Itinerary for the Group

If you’re planning a girl’s trip, it’s likely you won’t be staying at the park for a full week, but you have to make time to go to all four main parks, so a tight schedule is key. The majority of my girls could only do 4 nights and two full park days, so we bought the Park Hopper ticket option (always worth it!) and magically made our way to all four parks in the two days thanks to the itineraries (and had a blast while doing it!) The key to squeezing in all the parks in a short time is to schedule your Fast Passes and restaurant reservations according to their placement on the park map so you aren’t walking back and forth. I purchased lanyards for them all which I found here on Amazon: badges & lanyards  and printed out little itineraries for each day, literally down to the minute and included them in their Disney care packages. See the tip below this one for the details on the entire care packages + links to shop it all.

disney princess tanks

7. Matching Disney Swagger is a MUST

Whether you gift it or have everyone split the cost, it’s so fun to have matching tees or tanks on a girl’s trip in Disney. While we were at the parks, we met a few other girls there on bachelorette trips because of our shirts + Disney cast members give you extra attention if they know you’re with a big group for a celebration (example – I was serenaded by the sweetest security man who had the most incredible singing voice, which you can see in the video!) If you read this post about my bridesmaids brunch where I asked all my girls to be in my wedding, you’ll know that I chose a princess for each of my 13 bridesmaids and a Disney fairy for all five of my house party girls. So I made each of my princesses and fairies a glitter silhouette tank to wear on the trip. Here’s a list of what I included in their packages:

SHOP THE DISNEY PRINCESS SWAG BAGS

disney world packing list

8. Provide a Packing List

Unless all your gal pals are frequent Disney Parks attendees, they probably won’t know exactly what to bring. I’ll be putting together a post on outfit ideas for Disney Parks and a full packing list soon on the blog, so stay tuned for that.

disney world fast pass tips

9. Don’t Miss These Rides + Attractions on a Girl’s Trip

As I mentioned, we did 4 parks in 2 days, so I had to pick the best of the best attractions at each park. If you’re only doing 2 days as well, I recommend a start at Epcot – end at Magic Kingdom day (can’t miss those fireworks!) and if you go after Animal Kingdom unveils their Rivers of Light Show (night show), then start the other day at Hollywood Studios and end at Animal Kingdom. Below you’ll find a break down of my list of must-do attractions at each park for a bachelorette or girl’s trip. Side note – everyone has their Disney favorites, so this is completely my opinion.

**A hint on Fast Pass reservationsyou can only make 3 selections per day at once park – make sure you make all Fast Pass selections as early as possible in the first park you’re attending for each day. After you have used those Fast Passes (or even if you somehow miss one), you will be eligible to get another at a FastPass+ Kiosk in another at whatever park you’re at. It only takes one person in the group to get everyone a Fast Pass, so if you’re the planner, you’ll wanna make note of where the kiosks are at every park.

MAGIC KINGDOM – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train  //  Space Mountain  //  Splash Mountain  //  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad  //  Festival of Fantasy Parade  //  Mickey’s Philhar Magic  // Mad Tea Party (mostly for pictures!)  //  Celebrate The Magic Nighttime Spectacular

EPCOT –  Soarin’  //  Test Track  //  Spaceship Earth  //  Mission: Space  //  COMING SOON – The New Frozen Ride!

ANIMAL KINGDOM – Kilimanjaro Safari  //  Expedition Everest  // Festival of the Lion King  //  Finding Nemo The Muscial  //  Dinosaur  //  It’s Tough to be a Bug  // COMING SOON – Rivers of Light Night Show

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror  //  Rockin’ Rollercoaster  //  Beauty and the Beast Musical  //  Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage  //  Frozen for the First Time in Forever Sing Along Celebration

disney bachelorette drinks around the world

10. YES! You Can Drink at Disney World

Many people don’t know that Disney World offers alcohol in every park except Magic Kingdom (hence the water bottles). There are so many delicious drinks at the parks, from beer and wine to delicious mixed concoctions. My favorite little spot in Animal Kingdom to grab a drink on the go is the Dawa Bar in Africa and at Hollywood Studios is the little hidden bar on the porch at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, but by far the most fun place to have drinks is around the Epcot World Showcase. Make sure you build in ample time to do this with your girls. My very favorite places to stop for drinks at the World Showcase is La Cava de Tequila located inside the pyramid (best margaritas ever, but you have to get the tequila flight – so yummy!), then you have to try the grapefruit beer in Germany at Sommerfest and I love the little wine spot inside France – it’s called Tutto Gusto.

drinks around the world epcot

11. Eat the Most Amazing Food Ever at the Coolest Restaurants

Alot of people don’t know that Disney Parks offer some of the most amazing food and restaurant options ever! With a larger group, you’ll want to select restaurants that will accommodate your party, so here’s a quick list of some go-to’s.

MAGIC KINGDOMBe Our Guest (for lunch & breakfast – you place your orders ahead)  //  Pinnochio Village Hauss (for quick counter service!)

EPCOTVia Napoli (so easy to split their delicious pizza!) //  San Angel Inn (such a cool setting!) // Sunshine Seasons for Quick Service

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOSMama Melrose Ristorante Italiano  //  50’s Prime Time Cafe

ANIMAL KINGDOM – Yak and Yeti Quick Service (there’s too many lengthy shows here that you can’t miss, so I always grab a quick meal!)

disney bridal tank

12. Do Your Research

As I was writing this post, I realized after all the hours of research I’ve done about Disney trip planning and personal experiences from my trips, I have a wealth of information to share on Disney World planning myself. So much, in fact, that this list was growing to over 20 different points and I had to stop myself and make the decision to break them down into smaller blog posts. So if you are planning a Disney trip of any type, do your research because there is so much amazing and helpful information. Lastly, stay tuned to Vandi Fair, because I’ll be sharing a more Disney Park tips and tidbits soon, too.

PS – if you like my bridal tank, you can find the tank here and the glitter Mickey iron-on transfer here. 

Fair-well xx,

signature-lauren-vandiver-vandi-fair12-2

PS – below you will find the exact itinerary documents (both PDF and word doc style) so you can download and modify yourself. I also included the tips/tricks I sent to the girls before we left in a Word Doc format and an example of the pretty, card-style itinerary I printed for each of the princesses and included in their gift box (the one that says “Kristen AKA Jasmine”). 🙂

Disney Bachelorette Itinerary Example – PDF

Disney Bachelorette Itinerary Schedule Word Doc

Disney Bachelorette Trip Tips For Girls Word Doc

 

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25 Comment

  1. Reply
    Andrea H.
    May 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Can you give me details on the floral shorts the girls are wearing?

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      May 7, 2016 at 9:26 am

      Hi Andrea! I think you’re referring to the little floral pom pom shorts that myself and my cousin are wearing! You can find the shorts with the below link. 🙂

      http://rstyle.me/n/bpsjgvbar4f

      Thanks so much!
      xx,
      -Lauren

  2. Reply
    Laura
    May 15, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    HI! What an AWESOME post! I’m heading to Disneyworld on June 19 for me and my bestie’s 30th birthdays (celebrating them about 4 months early because she lives in Canada and I live in China!)
    Just FYI some of the Etsy links don’t work, but all your advice was great and I just watched the video you made and it’s getting me so excited!! 5 weeks and counting!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      May 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hi Laura!

      Oh my goodness this makes me so happy! Have an incredible time!! Ohh and thanks for letting me know about the Etsy links – I’ll check in on that.

      I hope you and your friend have the most magical time ever!

      xx,
      -Lauren

  3. Reply
    Amanda
    June 29, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Oh my gosh! I am planning my own Disney bachelorette and this post is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Everything you planned was so perfect! I love the itinerary in the lanyard and all of your matching things!

  4. Reply
    Donna
    September 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Hi, I love your itinerary badges, could you please send me a better pic so i can see what you actually put on it??!! Thanks!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      September 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Hi love!

      I actually get asked that a lot so I’m going to attach a document to this post so you can download it! I’ll work on getting it up by EOD!

      xx,
      -Lauren

      1. Reply
        Anonymous
        September 8, 2016 at 1:13 pm

        Thanks Lauren!!!

      2. Reply
        Donna
        September 27, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        Lauren i dont see the itinerary attachment. How can i find it? Thanks much!!

      3. Reply
        Donna
        October 18, 2016 at 11:04 am

        Lauren,
        Any luck finding a pick of your itinerary lanyard?
        Thanks,
        Donna

        1. Reply
          Lauren Vandiver
          June 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

          Hi Donna!! I finally figured out how to upload the itinerary!! It’s uploaded to the bottom of this post both as a word doc and pdf!! Just click on the link and you can download them!!

  5. Reply
    Sarah Smith
    September 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I’m planning a trip to Disney World. Thanks for the advice about creating an itinerary for the group so that you can hit all the parks. It would also be smart to get some help with the planning from a professional.

  6. Reply
    Janessa
    January 7, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I just started planning my Disney bachelorette a few weeks ago, so stumbling upon your post was a HUGE relief for my planning process! None of my girls have ever been to any Disney park and I want them to be as prepared as possible. What would you suggest for a packing list?

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      June 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hi love!! Just uploaded a packing list and my itinerary I created for the girls via word doc and PDF!! Have the most magical time!!

      xx,
      -Lauren

  7. Reply
    Adrian Syso
    June 13, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Can I see a picture of the Itinerary??? I am doing my bachlorette in October and super excited!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      June 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Hi love!! I just uploaded the itinerary I used via word doc and PDF format and some other documents I used!! Hope that helps! Have the most magical time!!!

      xx,
      -Lauren

    2. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      June 15, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Ohh! and it’s located at the very bottom of the post!!

      1. Reply
        Adrian Syso
        June 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

        Thanks so much!! I am having so much fun planning my trip! I have 12 amazing girls that will be with me and a LOT of first timers! Your post has really helped with the planning!

        1. Reply
          Lauren Vandiver
          June 16, 2017 at 7:14 am

          Hi Adrian!!

          Ahh that makes me SO happy to hear!! I hope you have the most wonderful time!!!

          xx,
          -Lauren

  8. Reply
    Kelly Stevens
    August 3, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Lauren! I am planning my trip and your blog has been VERY helpful 🙂 While looking to book the room (at Art of Animation through Disney’s site) I was wondering if you found it more economical to book the park tickets separately or at the same time you booked the room? Also, did you all do a dining option?

    Thanks!!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      September 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Kelly!

      Ohh YAY!! That makes me so so happy to hear!! 🙂

      To give my gals a little break, I spaced out all of the payment deadlines by a month or two so no one went into panic mode, haha. But Disney World is always offering different packages for tickets and hotels at different times, so I would definitely look into that option and do the math to see if it does save you money! The problem we had is that we were only going to the parks 2-3 days, and most of the hotels + tickets bundle packages required a minimum of 5 day tickets. We also didn’t do a dining option for the same reason – at the time, it was only offered if you were staying for 5+ days. We found it super easy to share at a lot of restaurants though and for some of the meals, we just filled up on sharing quick service items and snack foods!! PS – if you’re going to WDW anytime now through November 13th, definitely leave one entire meal option open (either lunch or dinner) on the day you spend at Epcot because it will be their Wine and Dine festival, and there is SO much extra yummy food at the 35 different country kiosks, there’s no way to try it all!! Here’s a link to see what they’re serving at each kiosk this year (and almost all of them include alcoholic bev options too!) https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/food-wine-marketplaces/ …And on that note, if you’ll be there during this time, definitely sign up for a Beverage Seminar – it’s a really fun tasting event where you’ll either taste wine, beer or spirits, depending on the day. Here’s a link to book that!! https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/food-wine-beverage-seminars/

      Hope that helps!! AHHH – have the BEST time ever!!! It’s pretty impossible not to. 😉

      xx,
      -Lauren

  9. Reply
    Jules Roberts
    August 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I have just found this post and I am so happy, it’s perfect. I am going to Orlando for my 40th with 6 first timers.. absolutely using every tip, list and idea you have put forward, thank you for for this ? Could you please resend the link for your white top and white tanks you got the girls please?
    ?✨amazing post ✨?

  10. Reply
    Reasons to Run a RunDisney Race
    August 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    […] parks nearly a dozen times in the last few years (and even had my bachelorette party there – catch the details here!), but you may be surprised to know that many of the trips were for RunDisney races. After […]

  11. Reply
    Click The Mouse
    October 16, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Nice post, such a nice blog writing and beautiful photography..!!!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      October 25, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Ohh thanks so much I really appreciate it!! 🙂

      xx,
      -Lauren

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