Four of Our Favorite Activities To Do on Check-In and Check-Out Days at Walt Disney World
So you’ve planned out all of your days, booked in all those Fastpasses and have all of your park days perfectly organised. By what’s the best way to spend your time on the days that you check-in and out? This is a question that I get asked a lot and though Disney offers tons of ways to make check-in/check-out days uniquely your own, I do have some clear favorites. So here’s your little spark of inspiration and four of my favorites on each day!
1. Dine With Characters
For those with a late afternoon arrival, I can’t think of a better way to kick off your stay than with one of Disney’s amazing character dining experiences. The great thing is that many of these take place at one of Disney’s stunning deluxe resorts which means you don’t have to pay for theme park admission. One of our favorite ways to start our vacation is by booking dinner at 1900 Park Fare. This evening meal is hosted by Cinderella and Prince Charming. Guests feast on a delicious array of all-you-care-to-eat dishes from carvery meats and delicious sides to absolutely decadent desserts. Our favorite part of the evening is when the festivities get crashed by CInderella’s evil stepmother and stepsisters. Booking for the Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner can be made 180 days in advance online or by calling 407.WDW.DINE. The cost is typically $59.00 per adult or 1 Table Service Credit for those on the Dining Plan.
2. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
If you’re already budgeting for the costs of a busy Disney World visit then you may prefer to do something on check-in date that doesn’t break the bank. In that case we’ve got the perfect activity. Head on over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground for this amazing FREE evening offering. Gather around the campfire, listen to some toe-tapping tunes and mingle with this beloved duo! There’s no charge to attend the Sing-A-Long though S’mores kits can be purchased for the ultimate check-in day treat!
3. Head to the Theme Parks
A big debate a lot of families have is whether there’s time to head to the parks on Check-In day. I usually advise families to schedule at least 2 hours to get from Orlando airport until you check-in at your resort. However, that means that if you arrive in Orlando at noon you could essentially be strolling through the parks at 3pm. With park tickets becoming cheaper the more days you purchase, you may find that there’s only a small charge when opting for an 8-day ticket instead of a 7-day ticket also making a park visit a cost-effective option. Also, remember that many parks are open late into the evening and offer dazzling nighttime shows that are simply not-to-be-missed. Imagine spending your first night watching the incredible Tree of Life Awakening at the Animal Kingdom!
4. Enjoy Some Fun Resort Activities
Check-In Day is the perfect time to pick up a resort activity calendar and enjoy some fun offerings that you may miss during your busy days at the theme parks. Bring your beach blankets and curl up for Movies Under the Stars which is held nightly at most Disney properties. Staying at Animal Kingdom? How about night-vision goggle safari viewing? Other resorts offer bicycle rentals, wine tastings, cookie decorating, tie-dye shirt making and anything else you could possibly imagine!
1. Minature Golf
Disney has two fantastic miniature golf courses that always tend to be under-the-radar but trust us when we say that they are big on family fun! The Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf course is (of course) Fantasia themed and is located near Disney’s Boardwalk Resort as well as the Swan and Dolphin. There’s also the Winter/Summerland course which offers a Summer Course and a Winter Course and is located next to Blizzard Beach. A round of golf typically costs $14 per adult and $12 per child (ages 3-9). However, if you are staying onsite at Disney, your family will receive 4 vouchers per family for a free 18-hole round of golf if before 4PM. We think that both courses are the perfect way to kill some time and have that last dose of family fun before heading to the airport!
2. One Last Breakfast or Brunch
If you have some time before Magical Express comes to take you to the airport, you may want to enjoy one last Disney meal. This is a great way to spend any unused dining credits. Some of our favorite brunch offerings are Chef Mickey’s over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort which means you can say “See ya real soon.” to Mickey before you leave and Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk. Here you can dine on hearty fare and hang out with Ariel, Prince Eric, Flynn Rider and Rapunzel before hitting the road.
3. Head to the Parks
Not heading to the airport until the late afternoon or early evening? Then a 1/2 day visit to the parks is definitely do-able. If using Magical Express to get back to the airport, Disney will request that your board your bus about 3 hours before your flight. For those leaving later in the day, there is still ample time to leave your bags with Bell Services and head on over to the parks for some last minute fun! Remember what I said above, the more days you visit the parks the cheaper the tickets become meaning it may also be an affordable way to wind out your last day!
4. Pay a Visit to Disney Springs
If you’ve run out of theme park admission by the time your check-out day comes around but are still looking for some last minute fun head on over to Disney Springs! Disney’s downtown shopping district is the perfect spot for picking up some last-minute souvenirs. Be sure to stop by Lego Store as well as the massive and recently re-imagined World of Disney. These are both great spots for spending the last of your souvenir funds! You’ll also find any cuisine imaginable among Disney’s amazing eateries as well as bakeries, sweet shops and goodies galore. You can also check out The VOID which offers out-of-this-world virtual reality experiences or shop til you drop at many of the most popular name brand shops in the World!
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