How to Plan a Magical Girls' Trip to Disney World
Get your fanny packs, sunscreen, comfy shoes, and Mickey ears ready — here's how to plan the perfect Disney World girls' trip.
Editor's Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure. Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Whether you're planning a reunion, bachelorette party, or just a long weekend away, Disney World can be the perfect destination for a girls' trip. With countless delicious restaurants and bars, seasonal festivals, fantastic shopping and entertainment, innovative attractions, and all the nostalgia and magical memories, the theme park resort has a lot to offer adult travelers looking for a fun getaway with friends. Here's how to plan the perfect Disney World girls' trip.
Related: More Disney vacation ideas
Before You Go
Before planning any girls' trip, connect with your friends to make sure you're all on the same page about the basics: budget, travel logistics, and any must-dos. Even if you're a laid-back traveler, you'll want to prep some plans in advance because there's so much to experience at Walt Disney World.
First, you'll need to book travel, accommodations, and theme park tickets. Be sure to make theme park and dining reservations for any table-service locations as you plan your trip — popular restaurants can book up fast. If you have dedicated Disney fans in your group, chat about the rides, attractions, and experiences that are most important, so you can begin to create a rough plan of the stops you'll want to make every day.
Get your fanny packs, sunscreen, comfy shoes, and Mickey ears ready — you're going to the "Most Magical Place on Earth" with your best friends, and really, what's better than that?
Where to Stay at Disney World
There are countless places to stay in the Orlando area, but opting for a Disney World Resort hotel offers several perks that you just won't find off-property. Complimentary transportation via boat, Skyliner, Monorail, or bus makes getting around a breeze, and immersive theming means you never have to leave the magical atmosphere. From affordable Value Resorts to the more luxurious Deluxe Resorts, there's an option for every price point.
Disney's Pop Century Resort is a fun, budget-friendly option — its rooms have been recently renovated, and they're sleek, clean, and modern (with several Disney touches, of course). Plus, the resort's exterior, pools, and common areas have a nostalgic feel that takes us right back to childhood Disney vacations. Bonus: The property is located on the Skyliner system, so it's easy and quick to get to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. If you want to splurge for more luxe accommodations, book Disney's Yacht Club Resort or Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa — both offer sophisticated rooms located within walking distance of a theme park.
What to Do
If you're planning a girls' trip to Disney World, you probably expect to spend a day (or two or three) in the theme parks. Whether you want to relive your childhood memories revisiting classic attractions like Peter Pan's Flight or Space Mountain or prefer to experience the new, innovative rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you're guaranteed to have a magical time hanging out at the four theme parks with your pals. Opt for a Park Hopper ticket, so you can visit more than one park per day — you could spend your morning seeing animals and exploring Pandora in Animal Kingdom before heading over to Epcot for a world tour of eats and drinks.
If you're planning a trip longer than three days, consider adding a low-key day about halfway through your itinerary, so your travel companions don't get too tired. For something more relaxed, head to your resort's pool; visit one of the water parks to splash around in the wave pool, relax in the lazy river, or plunge down waterslides; or play some themed mini golf for a little friendly competition.
Spend at least one evening at the Disney Springs shopping, dining, and entertainment district. There, you'll find shops selling all kinds of Disney merchandise (don't forget to snag some matching shirts or Minnie Mouse ears from the World of Disney), along with stores like Free People, Lululemon, Sephora, Zara, and more.
Where to Eat
Disney World theme parks have become culinary destinations in their own right, going beyond the standard amusement park fare to offer some delicious and interesting food and drink options. (Don't worry, you can still find classic snacks like corn dogs and popcorn, too.) There are eateries that cater to every taste, budget, and dietary preference (Disney World has added some excellent plant-based options in recent years). And of course, because it's Disney, there are dozens of themed and interactive dining experiences for guests of all ages.
Find iconic Disney World snacks like Dole Whips, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and more in Magic Kingdom, along with table-service options including Cinderella's Royal Table and Be Our Guest (for the girls in your group who are still princesses at heart). Disney's Hollywood Studios serves nostalgia alongside meals at the vintage-themed 50's Prime Time Cafe and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, and the restaurants in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge offer an out-of-this-world experience, especially appreciated by fans of the film franchise (but loved by everyone).
Try to snag a reservation at Oga's Cantina for some intergalactically inspired cocktails and ambience, or go for craft beers and snacks at BaseLine Tap House. In Animal Kingdom, Satu'li Canteen is a great option for flavorful lunch bowls; Nomad Lounge is ideal for small plates and cocktails; and Tamu Tamu Refreshments offers Dole Whips served with rum.
Epcot is the ultimate foodie destination within Walt Disney World Resort — where else can you try food and drinks in 11 countries around the globe over the course of an afternoon? Whether you want to snack around the world or enjoy a table-service meal at an internationally inspired restaurant, Epcot is sure to have something for everyone in your group. Visit during one of the park's festivals — Festival of the Arts, Flower & Garden, Food & Wine, or Festival of the Holidays — for even more seasonal, globally inspired sips and eats.
Disney Springs is home to dozens of great restaurants and quick-service eateries, too. Wine Bar George is perfect for a girls' night out, with over 150 expertly picked wines by the glass, bottle, or ounce, delicious bites and boards, and even frozen cocktails made with Dole Whip. For dessert, try Mickey-shaped pastries at Amorette's Patisserie or a famously decadent cookie at Gideon's Bakehouse.
Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure who loves all things theme parks. Follow her adventures on Instagram @elizabetheverywhere.