For most of us, check-out day at Disney World usually means scurrying to get those bags packed, running to meet the express bus or squeezing in that last quick service meal before hitting the road. But for those Disney travelers with a bit of free time on check-out day, there are some really fun ways that you can say goodbye to Disney before heading to the airport or piling into your minivan. Here are a few of our favorite ways to spend a leisurely check-out day at Disney World.
1. Squeeze in one last character dining experience – Why not say “good-bye” in style by hanging out with some of your favorite characters and getting that last taste of delicious Disney cuisine? If opting for a character meal on your last day, pick a fun location where there are other things to do and explore in the area. For instance, the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is a great option as its located at Disney’s Boardwalk where you can enjoy a stroll, some ice cream or go on a surrey bike ride before heading home. Other great options include Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at the Grand Floridian or Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Each of these meals are located in resorts that offer fun shops, beautiful views and amazing eateries that are perfect for exploring if you have a bit of time.
2. Request a late check-out and order room service – If your Disney vacation has consisted of waking up at 6 am each morning before spending at least 12 hours at a theme park then a bit of extra time on check-out day is the perfect last-minute indulgence. Several of Disney’s resorts offer room service options (For a complete list check out this article) so make the call and tuck into those Mickey Waffles from the comfort of your bed. I also get asked quite regularly if Disney World allows for late check-outs and the answer is usually yes. Check out is traditionally at 11am. However, if your flights are leaving later or you want to rest a bit before driving, call the front desk from your in-room phone and see if there’s any leeway. Usually, they’ll give you an extra hour or two. However, guests should note that late check-outs are not guaranteed and may not be available during peak periods.
3. Shop and grab some lunch at Disney Springs – For families spending full days at the theme parks, finding time to visit Disney’s downtown shopping district can be a next to impossible task. That’s where check-out day comes in. A visit to Disney Springs can be the perfect way to bid the Mouse adieu. Shops like the World of Disney, the Lego Store, and Marketplace Co-op are fun-filled retail spaces where you can stock up on those last minute souvenirs. There’s also a range of terrific eateries to grab one last Disney lunch. Two of my family’s favorites are T-REX and Rainforest Cafe. Or why not opt for a Gospel Brunch at House of Blues, a Pan-Asian Lunch at Morimoto’s or enjoy a coffee and a sweet treat from Amorettes Patisserie. Your family will love this last slice of Disney without having to pay theme park prices.
4. Miniature golf – Disney has two miniature golf courses Winter Summerland, located just outside of Blizzard Beach, and Fantasia Gardens located near the Swan and Dolphin Hotels. These are one of those places where most families just don’t have time to visit during busy theme park days making check-out day the perfect opportunity to give them a try. They are open most days from 10am and the cost to play is only $14 per adult and $12 per child (ages 3-9). A quick game of Disney-themed mini golf can be the perfect send-off. So try and stop by before hitting the open highway or squeeze in a quick game before those flights.
5. Spend those remaining dining credits – On check-out day my family can usually be found figuring out how many dining credits we have left and then going on a wee spending spree with them. A lot of first-time users of the Disney Dining Plan may not realize that most resort gift shops offer a nice selection of non-perishable food items that you can purchase with any remaining snack credits that you may have. To take this one exciting step further, if you have any leftover quick service meals, you can go to the same gift shop and convert them into 2 snack credits. Use those credits to buy fun items like lollipops, rice crispy treats or bags of Goofy’s Candy that you can take home with you. They also make the perfect gift for dog-walkers, housesitters or classmates or you can just start a hidden Disney candy stash so that you can savor the flavors of Disney long after your trip has come and gone.
6. Hit the Disney Outlets – If you’re driving to and from Walt Disney World and you have some time to spare on check-out day, head to one of Disney’s outlet locations. There’s Orlando Premium Outlet (4951 International Dr.) located nearer to Universal Studios or Orlando Premium Outlet (8200 Vineland Avenue) located closer to Walt Disney World. These shops are an absolute treasure trove of discontinued Disney theme park merchandise. Both are great places to stock up on those last-minute souvenirs at a fraction of the cost.
7. Squeeze in a last-minute tour – Looking for something extra special and slightly out of the ordinary to do on check-out day? Fort Wilderness Resort has a Back Trail Adventure Tour that departs most days at either 8am or 11:30am. And when I say depart, I mean on the back of a segway! Guests learn how to use their personal all-terrain vehicles before setting off on a picturesque journey through the lush Cyprus forests that make up Fort Wilderness. You’ll make a 2-hour circuit around the property including woodland trails, a stop at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the stables of the Tri-Circle D-Rance and along the shorelines of Bay Lake. Guests must be 16 or older to participate and the cost is $85 per person. The tour can be booked at 407.WDW.TOUR.
If you’ll be heading to Walt Disney World in the weeks and months ahead and have some time to kill on check-out day, we hope that you’ll give some of these fantastic options a try. They all offer fun ways of saying goodbye to Disney (until next time!)
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
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