Leaving Walt Disney World is always sad. No matter how long your Walt Disney World Vacation it always feels like it can be longer. There is always more to do! That doesn’t mean, however, that you should try to fit more things into your last day at Walt Disney World. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on your Disney World Departure Day. So what can you do on the last day of your Disney trip?
A Walt Disney World Vacation can be filled with oh so many things. And chances are you have a few things you want to fit in. If you’ve read our How Many Days to Stay at Walt Disney World post, then you know we typically recommend that your Disney World Departure Day remain empty. Of course, if you have a later flight or a full day at Walt Disney World on your departure day, then you have options.
Keep in mind that if you plan your Disney Vacation, you are able to make choices regarding how you spend each day. We’ve shared what to do on your Disney World Arrival Day, And all the things you can do at the parks for your vacation. Planning a Departure Day at Disney could be as simple as saving certain things for your last day at Walt Disney World. But first things first! Here are a few things to know.
- Disney Resort Check-Out is at 11 am.
- You can leave your luggage with bell services if you haven’t brought a car.
- Be sure to factor in transportation times.
- If using Mears Connect plan to be back at your resort about 3 hours before your flight. Though Mears will share your pickup time in an email about 24 hours before your departure.
Relax At Your Resort
Let’s face it Disney World Vacations are busy. If you’ve just spent your entire vacation rushing around like a crazy person, riding all the rides, getting up early and staying out late, then you need a break. Use this last day at Walt Disney World to relax before heading home.
Spend some time at your resort to walk the paths, take a last look at the gift shop, and grab a bite. One of our favorite things to do is to just get a coffee, or refill our refillable mugs and walk around the resort. Most of them are so beautiful, you definitely miss the details when you’re racing through the vacation. And there are always more Hidden Mickeys to find!
Visit the Disney Boardwalk
Disney’s Boardwalk has a variety of excellent things to do on your last day at Walt Disney World. Unique gift shops at the resorts, excellent restaurants, and beaches are all part of what you can find here. We love Ale and Compass at The Yacht Club for breakfast, or Beaches and Cream Soda Shop for a Milkshake. You can even stop at the Beach Club Marketplace for a to-go snack. And Boardwalk Bakery is a great place to grab any of the New Snacks at Walt Disney World before you leave.
Play a Round of Minature Golf
Walt Disney World has two miniature golf courses, but the easiest to get to is Fantasia Gardens near the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resorts. You can grab the buses to any of the Disney Boardwalk Resorts, or take the Disney Skyliner to the International Gateway at EPCOT for easy access. Miniature Golf can just be just the fun you were looking for. Especially since it’s one of the best things to do at Walt Disney World Without a Park Ticket.
Go to Disney Springs
Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs shopping center is a mecca of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. But, if you’re heading to Disney Springs on your Disney World Departure Day, then know that you should plan several hours to cover everything. Otherwise, we recommend you plan a Disney Springs day for another day on your vacation. The reason is that once you are at Disney Springs, walking the length of the shopping center alone takes time. If you only have a couple of hours to spend, we suggest going in with a plan. Are you taking the bus transportation to and from your resort? What area of Disney Springs will you cover? What do you want to do when you’re there?
We recommend heading to Aristocrepes for a sweet snack, browsing the World of Disney store, or maybe heading to Everglazed for donuts and coffee. If you’re up for real shopping, you can find Sephora, Anthropologie, Alex and Ani, Uniqlo, and Sugarboo & Co., among others. We also like Disney’s Days of Christmas store, Earl of Sandwich, and everything at the Marketplace Co-Op. Whatever you do, keep an eye on the time, buses operating at Disney Springs arrive intermittently throughout the day.
Another great thing to do for your Disney World Departure Day is to Resort Hop to other Disney Resorts! While the Disney Buses don’t offer transportation from one resort to another, you can grab any resort bus from any theme park, or Disney Springs. That said, there are certain resorts that are better suited to resort hopping at Disney World on your last day. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort with Boat Transportation then you can just hop the boats to travel around to the other resorts. Alternatively, if you’re staying at any resort on the Disney Boardwalk, or at a resort on the Disney Skyliner or Disney Monorail lines then you can easily check out other resorts on your last day. Other resorts that are within close proximity to each other make great options for resort hopping at Disney. And the Disney All Stars Resorts are all connected by a walking path, that’s easy to walk and browse. The Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort also share a walking trail that allows you great access to both resorts.
Grab a Meal
If you have the time, why not book a restaurant for your last day! It could be a restaurant at your resort, or another resort, and as casual or as fancy as you like. Something to note here, if you’re traveling any distance to get home, don’t overdo it! The last thing you need is your stomach full with a heavy meal before travel gets underway. Our favorite Disney Resort Restaurants to consider are Topolino Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Sebastian’s Bistro at Caribbean Beach, Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort, and Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. All are easy to get to and offer budget-friendly meals that will make you feel glad you took the time to sit down and enjoy your last day at Disney.
Should you Buy a Park Ticket for your Departure Day at Walt Disney World?
No. We recommend against buying a park ticket for your Disney Departure Day. Primarily, if you’re doing a Disney Vacation on a Budget, spending the money on a ticket for a partial day could be a waste of money. Especially when you consider that transportation to and from the park will take valuable time. The one exception to this rule for us is if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Within Walking Distance of the Parks. Because at least then you can control the transportation time.
Should you visit a Disney Park on Your Last Day at Disney World?
Generally, we say No. Apart from the mindfulness about getting the most money and time from your park ticket, remember that Disney transportation isn’t guaranteed to get you anywhere by a certain time. That said, be prepared to call an Uber. Especially if you have to leave the parks in time to get back for your Mears Connect Driven By Sunshine shuttle service or airport transportation. If you are staying nearby and decide to head to the parks one last time before you leave here are a couple of things to consider. Aim for rides with low wait times. You can maximize time on your Disney Vacation by using Mobile Order for your meals, and Mobile Checkout for your purchases.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.