Your wedding will be one of the most magical days of your life, so what better place to celebrate your fairytale ending than with a trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth? Forget those who claim adults without children shouldn’t go to Disney amusement parks, and instead add some pixie dust to your last fling with a Disney bachelorette party. You'll be in good company: The Bold Type star Katie Stevens celebrated her bachelorette party at Disney World!
“There’s plenty of people there without kids,” Sara Mahjoub, a Middle of the Magic Travelagent who specializes in Disney destinations, assures. “It’s not weird at all.”
From the rides and character meet and greets to special performances, shopping, and nightlife, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida offers brides-to-be any kind of bachelorette party they can dream up. Disney obsessives can squeeze in all the classics (It’s A Small World, the teacups, and a photo in front of Cinderella’s castle); Adventurous types can take a spin on all the thrill rides; Brides looking to relax can book appointments at one of the two Senses spas; and foodies can hit Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, on top of all the vast array of other dining, snacking, and drinking options offered throughout Disney all year long.
But with four theme parks and 25 on-property hotels, planning a Disney bachelorette party can seem overwhelming. Experts offer the bare necessities of how to plan a trip fit for a princess—all you and your bridal party need to do is bring your mouse ears and childish spirit.
Where to Rest Your Head, Sleeping Beauty
Staying on Disney property affords brides and their bridal parties the ability to take Disney-provided shuttle buses to and from the parks, as well as the Orlando International Airport, so that means not having to worry about rental cars or Ubers. Anyone staying at a Disney hotel gets access to Extra Magic Hours at the parks and receives a MagicBand that acts as a key card, parks pass, and a means of charging food and merchandise to your room.
“It becomes an all-inclusive vacation once you leave the airport,” Mahjoub says of staying with Disney. As for which specific resorts work best for bachelorette groups, The Grand Floridian serves as home to Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, so you’ll get a bridal vibe throughout your stay. The Grand Floridian, along with the Polynesian and Contemporary, also provides guests with main access to the Magic Kingdom. The romantic Disney Coronado Springs gives a luxe feel—especially with its latest addition, the Gran Destino Tower—and grants proximity to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. The more adult-friendly Epcot area also houses Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, and BoardWalk, the latter of which serves as home to a lot of Disney’s nightlife (more on that later).
For the best pricing on hotel accommodations, Jessica Tullino, a travel agent who specializes in Disney destinations and the founder of Imagineered Vacations, recommends visiting in January or September.
Free to Run Around All Day
When it comes to what to hit in the parks, Mahjoub calls the aforementioned Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that takes place between August and November a “must-do.” Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which runs during the same period, marks the only time of year that adults can wear costumes in the Magic Kingdom, so fall brides—or anyone who loves to dress up—might want to consider trick-or-treating at the Mouse’s house. Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in the springtime is another standout.
In general, getting a Park Hopper pass (starting at $60 on top of your base ticket cost) allows groups to best maximize a shorter Disney vacation (Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Marketing Director Korri McFann says the average Disney bachelorette group stays for two to three nights). That way, you and your girls can hit up multiple parks in one day and come and go as you please. “If you have to narrow down parks, I’d say focus on Magic Kingdom and Epcot,” Tullino suggests.
If you’re ending the night in the Magic Kingdom, check out the Happily Ever After Fireworks Show. And to up the ante, book a dessert party—which gets visitors a sweet reserved spot to catch the show—or a fireworks cruise that leaves from the Seven Seas Lagoon and serves snacks and drinks.
No matter which park you decide to visit, Tullino recommends creating a photo challenge for your group with a list like: get a photo with Gaston, make funny faces on Splash Mountain, and snag a shot on Main Street USA. Her favorite photo opp is with the Tangled lantern at sunset in Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Memory Maker package ($169 when purchased in advance) helps make sharing group photos easier; Disney photographers take your picture throughout the parks and load the snaps onto your MagicBand or PhotoPass so everyone has every shot in one place (and you don’t have to worry about blowing up the group chat or AirDropping 253 photos). You can also hire your own photographer for a full-on photoshoot with your girls, like the one Bethany Tibble of Beth Joy Photography did here!
A Culinary Cabaret
Disney offers everything from fast casual and Instagrammable snacks to fine dining. Restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Beauty and the Beast’s Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom make for fitting spots to celebrate in the Magic Kingdom. Brides can wear their sashes and crowns, take pictures with the characters, and even call ahead to have a cake or balloons delivered to the table, Mahjoub notes.
Over in Epcot, immersive dining experiences can be found at Tutto Italia Ristorante in Italy, Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada, La Cave del Tequila in Mexico (where you can get a tequila flight!), and Coral Reef, which boasts views of a living coral reef. California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary and The Boathouse at Disney Springs are standouts for dinner outside of the parks, plus the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at the BoardWalk to start the day.
While none of the restaurants have reservation requirements, “generally reservations are recommended for any table service restaurant,” Tullino says. “They open up 180 days in advance and they do book up pretty quickly.”
Quick bites on the go can be found at any of the many quick service stations around the parks, but for anything Dole Whip, head to Adventure Land and Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom, per Tullino.
Let’s Get Down to Business
Your days might be filled with family-friendly activities, but at night, you and your bridal party may want to mix in a little traditional bachelorette fun. Down at Disney Springs, The Edison nightclub gives off a steampunk vibe, whereas Wine Bar George provides a low-key but classy venue for vino and charcuterie plates. Disney’s BoardWalk is your main nightlife stop, with Jellyrolls lounge, magic-themed AbracadaBar, 1940s aviation-themed Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, and Atlantic Dance Hall. Other options around the property include: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a tiki bar at the Polynesian Village Resort; Scat Cat’s live jazz club at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter; Nomad Lounge at Animal Kingdom; and Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in Epcot.
And for something truly unique, McFann says bridal parties can reach out to the Disney Meeting & Events team to plan a private event.
Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty
Nothing calls for cute matching swag more than a bachelorette party in Disney, and both Mahjoub and Tullino recommend turning to Etsy for custom well, everything. “Disney itself doesn't have a ton of bachelorette stuff,” Mahjoub admits. “Check Etsy and work with somebody on what you’re looking for.”
The ShopDisney store online has the biggest selection of ears (need those rose gold ones!), and the World of Disney store in Disney Springs is your resource once you’re in Orlando. McFann loves the Trend D store that’s also in Disney Springs, where you can additionally shop for makeup at Mac Cosmetics, jewelry at Pandora, accessories at Kate Spade, and so much more.
“Disney Springs is almost like our own little city here at Walt Disney World Resorts for having a bachelorette party,” McFann says. “You’ve got shopping, you’ve got dining, you’ve got activities; whether it’s bowling as a group or taking a moment to stop by and get a cute Sprinkles cupcake. We’ve got something for everyone here and every budget. And do stop and enjoy the moment. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime moment—if you can get the opportunity to come here to Disney, it’ll be something that you remember for a lifetime.”