Many people ask - How long should my Disney trip be? I would say 5-7 days is ideal. If you are familiar with Disney, have a decent budget, and your kids are seasoned travelers then it could be longer.
For the average family with young children 5-7 nights is about right. You may not get to see and do everything during this time but you will enjoy everything you do and that’s what counts! Here is a sample 5 night itinerary with the highlights for a family with children.
Day 1 – Arrive in Disney via plane and Disney’s Magical Express or car by mid morning. Check in, get settled, have lunch, naps, or a dip in the pool. Head over to the Contemporary Resort to Chef Mickey’s for dinner and then over to the Magic Kingdom for the electric light parade and fireworks.
Day 2 – After eating breakfast go over to Magic Kingdom. Work your way around the park starting with Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean (for kids not scared of the dark). Head around toward Adventureland for Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain (40″ height limit) and then the Haunted Mansion. It might be a good time to grab a bite to eat at Columbia Harbour House. Then head into Fantasyland. Don’t miss Its a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Dumbo. Beginning in December 2012 you will be able to check out the new expanded Fantasyland too! On your way into Tomorrowland hit the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, Space Mountain (44″ height limit) Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. The Monsters Incorporated Laughing Floor is pretty funny if you get the chance. Be sure to see the parades and fireworks too! We love to be on the left side of Main Street when looking at the castle. You will also enjoy the Main Street Electrical Parade if you haven’t seen it yet and the Wishes Fireworks. My favorite dinner is at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and Friends. Be sure to check out the Magic Kingdom FastPass rides. Make sure you have your autograph mat with you for lots of character autograph opportunities.
Day 3 – After breakfast head over to Epcot. Enjoy the pavilions in Future World first. We like to spend a lot of time in the Land, Universe of Energy, Living Seas, and Journey Into Imagination. Keep your eyes open for Kidcot Fun Spots. After 11am you can head over to the World Showcase. You will find the Kidcot Fun Spots in every country. They may enjoy using the Passports throughout the countries too. There are fun rides for the kids in both Mexico and Norway. There are tons of great places to eat but these are my favorite Epcot restaurants. Don’t miss Illumination-Reflections of Earth at the end of the night.
Day 4 – Its break time. Enjoy your resort by swimming in the pool, renting bikes, playing on the playground, etc. Be sure to fit in a nap today too! You may want to take advantage of some free things outside of the theme parks as well.
Day 5 – After breakfast its time to head to Animal Kingdom. Make sure you know the attractions for the Extra Magic Hours. I would make sure you see Kilimanjaro Safaris, Finding Nemo – The Musical, and Festival of the Lion King. Don’t miss Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade in the afternoon. You may want to go over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. Its a beautiful resort too! You may be ready to make it an early night so you can go back to your resort and have the kids take a swim while you pack up.
Day 6 – Time to go home. Magical Express will pick you up 3 hours before your departure time but bell services will hold your luggage until its time to board so pack up, send your luggage with bell services, and head to the pool for one more swim or the playground to get out the rest of your energy before you leave. Have a safe trip home and start thinking about your next magical Disney vacation!