Vacation season is here, which means it’s time for those extensive plans with all the long lists of where to go and what to do. But amid all the hustle and bustle of making bookings, it’s almost inevitable that we pack our short holidays with a little too much to do.
Plus, if it’s a quick trip to Disney World that we’re talking about, the chaos increase by nearly two-fold! But I’m here to tell you that that doesn’t always have to be the case.
If you’re looking for a sweet little getaway to Orlando’s Walt Disney Resort and want to get as much done without tiring yourselves out, then you’ve come to the right place.
Orlando in 5 days is very much possible and coupled with this Orlando itinerary, there’s no stopping you from having the best time! Laugh, eat, and explore to your heart’s content because your Orlando travel plan at Disney is about to have it all with our Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families.
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Getting Around
Planning a vacation to Orlando, Florida should involve some research on how to move from one place to the other. But fret not, we’re here to make sure your Orlando trip plan is complete with a bunch of choices for transport; especially if you’re traveling to Orlando without a car!
One thing you need to download immediately is the My Disney Experience Mobile App. Not only will it help you with routes, but it also has some key transport options that you can avail of. Some of these transportation options include:
1. Disney Skyliner Transportation –
These connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at EPCOT to a few select Disney Hotels; namely, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort. With these, you can glide in aerial gondolas and beat all the rush!
2. Bus, boat, or monorail –
These are available at well-marked spots on your app all across hotels and throughout Walt Disney World itself. Apart from being extremely swift, they’re also easy to come by.
Despite some of them not being direct and requiring passengers to map out connecting rides, they’re super efficient. You can expect to get at least one of them every few minutes.
3. I-RIDE on I-Drive –
This will take you around the International Drive Area with the least hassle. It’s super affordable, and you’ll get to visit many places including Universal Boulevard.
4. Shuttles –
You might want to check with your hotel about shuttle services. Most places offer complimentary shuttles to different Disney attractions.
5. Local buses –
Local buses are the simplest option for families, especially those with little kids. They can be found in the city and the outskirts and are pretty fast, with multiple routes to pick from. The only problem is the travel time.
6. Uber or Lyft –
Ubers or Lyfts are a super easy way to travel. You can book one for yourself, and it’s extremely comfortable too. Fares might be slightly steeper than shuttles or buses, but it’s one of the more comfortable travel options.
Additionally, Minnie Van Service is a Walt Disney World signature mode of transport that’s available through the Lyft app which has seating for 4. This is enough space for 2 wheelchairs, and 1 car seat when getting around the theme parks.
7. Mears Taxis –
A local transportation option in Orlando, they’re great to get by and even your hotel can book one for you as and when you need.
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Day 1 – Disney Springs
The first day of your trip should always be laid back. Kids and parents tired from traveling to the city as well as the possibility of delayed flights and minor hold-ups all make visiting a theme park on the first day a bit too much.
After arriving in the city and checking into your hotel room, let off some steam around the evening time with a well-deserved soak in the pool and a late lunch on-site. Soon after, you can begin your adventures with a visit to Disney Springs. It’s a must-see attraction, especially when you’re trying to take in Disney World at Orlando in 5 days!
Things to do:
Activities at Disney Springs:
You’ll find that admission is free and that there’s no need for entry tickets. If you’re into live music, good food, and entertainment, then this is the place to be. There’s no better way to start your 5-day vacation ideas than with a little fun and games at Disney Springs.
Head over to the Exposition Park located on the West Side of Disney Springs. The place is open to all ages and pairs mouthwatering food truck fare with live tunes and beats.
While you’re in the locality, be sure to plan a ride on the Aerophile. It’s a huge hand-painted helium balloon that lets you view the city from up above!
Next, head towards the Town Center for a meet and greet with the famous Coca-Cola Polar Bear for a fun photo-op experience with the kids. There’s a vibrant Art Walk not far off that’s open for everyone to explore. Stop by the Marketplace Carousel and the Marketplace Train Express as a treat for your child.
Meals at Disney Springs:
Entertainment aside, Disney Springs comes packed with an array of fun eateries that offer up lip-smacking meals. Looking to grab a quick snack? Head over to one of the Disney Food Trucks or The Daily Poutine.
For lunch and dinner, depending on when you get there, you can try Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy and B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
A classic family restaurant that you can sample for a cozy meal is T-REX at the Marketplace. The dino-themed restaurant is perfect for the young palaeontologists in your family but does require that you reserve a table in advance.
Alternatively, Rainforest Cafe is another lunch choice that’s got cool character interactions with the Wild Bunch gang, and audio-animatronic creatures in a beautiful jungle setting.
The adults can relish some margaritas at Dockside Margaritas, and for the kids, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is fast, fresh, and wholesome. End the night with some ice cream at the Häagen-Dazs Kiosk or some luxury goodness from Amorette’s Patisserie. Your Orlando holiday itinerary is off to a great start!
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Day 2 – Disney’s Magic Kingdom
The best way to start your trip to Disney World is with a visit to Magic Kingdom. It’s an absolute crowd-pleaser and has all kinds of magical attractions to keep you occupied for the day.
You’ll want to arrive early, between 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., to ensure that you get to ride at least some of the attractions before it gets too packed.
Around noon is when the crowds really pack in, and you might have to deal with long queues. Show up ahead of time and your Orlando itinerary planner will be well-spaced and much less hectic.
A bonus tip? Magic Kingdom allows guests to bring their own coolers, so if you feel that you want to pack breakfast or a few snacks for in-between rides, you’re free to do so. FastPasses are another little hack that you can explore on your My Disney Experience App which can significantly reduce wait times.
Things to do at Magic Kingdom:
When it comes to Magic Kingdom, it’s best to make a bucket list of all the attractions to explore as it is home to some of the most popular Disney World rides of all time. And when it’s the happiest place on earth, things sure are going to get crowded, which is why it’s good to have a strategy in place.
You can be sure that the attractions at Tomorrowland and Fantasyland will always be busy even if you arrive early. Here’s where you can turn things around by beginning at Adventureland instead.
Go on the popular Jungle Cruise or walk over to Pirates of the Caribbean, then move on to Frontierland or Liberty Square. End with Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The rush normally settles down during the afternoons and early evenings, which is the best time to revisit these lands.
Hop on to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain. Astro Orbiter at Tomorrowland and The Barnstormer at Fantasyland are some rides that you can take your tiny tots on. Plenty of people will be heading to Tron, so crowds should be lighter for these rides.
After lunch, when its relaunched, you can also plan a ride on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. It’s promised to be a fun, yet relaxing way to cool off after an energetic day. Be sure to pack a change of clothes for after you get wet on the ride.
Be it an Orlando 5-day itinerary, or a 1-week Orlando itinerary, you always have to dedicate a significant portion of your vacation to meal breaks. And meals at Magic Kingdom come with endless possibilities!
If you’re planning on arriving early to grab breakfast at the park, try Cinderella’s Royal Table and sample royal entrees like their Caramel Apple-stuffed French Toast and Shrimp and Grits.
You’ll get the chance to visit Cinderella’s castle and dine in its storybook banquet hall. Try getting as many crowd-free pictures as possible inside its photogenic halls, especially if you’re there early.
For lunch and dinner, Pinocchio Village Haus and Be Our Guest Restaurant are amazing options with a delectable range of items. At Be Our Guest, you’ll get to dine at one of three dining areas at the foot of the Beast’s Castle from Beauty and the Beast.
You might even spot him saying hi! Or see the rose petals fall! Be it specific kids’ meals or delicious appetizers, there’s a lot of thrills for the whole family, and plenty of memories waiting to be made.
While Main Street at the start of the park is a huge tourist attraction, we recommend straying away from it because of the crowds that are always present. Plus, navigating it can become so much of a hassle that you lose out on time you’d have otherwise spent exploring the actual park.
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Day 3 – Animal Kingdom
After a magical whirlwind of fun, head over to Animal Kingdom, a zoological theme park that prides itself on its connection with nature. The rides and attractions here are based on this environment-friendly theme, and kids are sure to adore the whole concept.
Weekdays are always the best days to visit Orlando parks, Animal Kingdom included, and mid-week, in particular, is what you want to aim for. It also seems to be the coolest and shadiest park for those hot days!
A couple of tips and tricks to keep in mind? Refer to your My Disney Experience app for recommended routes and start with the rides that you want to get on. Shows have multiple timings and animal trails come with a lot of flexibility, so you can leave those for later.
Things to do at Animal Kingdom:
The park opens fairly early at 8:00 a.m., and you should aim to get there as soon as you can. This way, you can get on the rides of your choice before the crowds rise. Typically people make their way through Pandora first, since it has Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi Journey, both of which have the longest wait lines.
If you have Individual Lightning Lane passes or even Early Entry, you can skip the line in most cases. Otherwise, you’ll just have to save these attractions for a later time as their queues tend to begin and fill up pretty early. If that’s the case, prioritize other rides first by heading over to Kilimanjaro Safaris, Everest, and Dinoland, and circle back afterward.
Take your kids to the Affection Section and help them make new furry friends. On your walk around the park, you’ll get to interact with many animals, including elephants, hogs, and birds. Go on an Island trail to spot some beautiful storks, macaws, and kangaroos. Expedition Everest is another ride, aside from Avatar Flight of Passage, that is big on speed. It’s one that adults are sure to love!
You’ll also enjoy the park at night with colored shows and interesting nighttime tours. The kids will have a blast at Donald’s Dino-Bash and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! The Festival of the Lion King is another attraction you can’t afford to miss out on, so hurry before it gets too crowded. Consult the show timings for the day on the app, and race ahead to grab your seats.
Don’t forget to pick up your Wilderness Explorers book and complete the activities to collect your free stickers!
Meals at Animal Kingdom:
One of the best options for breakfast is to grab a quick bite to eat at the hotel before you get to the park. You can also choose to stop by Creature Comforts, Animal Kingdom’s Starbucks, for a coffee and a morning bite for the kids.
Lunch is great at the Rainforest Cafe which has American-style dishes with amazing seafood and sandwiches and burgers. It’s even an option worth considering for breakfast.
Pizzafari is a family favorite that also features plant-based items. For dinner, you can spice it up with Flame Tree Barbecue’s Ribs and Chicken Combo and a Pulled Pork Platter for the kids; both affordable and tasty options.
Remember to get on the My Disney Experience website and reserve a table in advance for a table-service restaurant.
Get on a few rides, go on a trail, and then plan on grabbing lunch before visiting a few shows. Squeeze in another trail of your choice and finally settle in for a delicious dinner.
A day of fruitful exploration spaced out by nourishing meals will set you up for an early night by 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. back at the hotel.
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Day 4 – Hollywood Studios
If you want to cap off your 4-day Orlando itinerary, then Hollywood Studios is the perfect add-on to make your Orlando itinerary planner even cooler. Films, star-studded series, and fantasy worlds, what’s not to like? Hollywood Studios has got bits of the greatest Disney characters and movies ever.
Plus, it’s a nostalgic yet fun-filled day for adults and kids alike. Consider purchasing Genie+ to skip the standby line for popular rides such as Smuggler’s Run, Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
Things to do at Hollywood Studios:
On arrival at the park, you’ll want to experience as many rides as possible and reserve the stage shows for later. Begin by getting on the Alien Swirling Saucers at Toy Story Land and go on an intergalactic spin.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run located at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is also brilliant fun and includes a smuggling mission aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy!
You can also take your little ones to the Disney Junior Play and Dance! in the morning which has a groovy singalong to the tunes of your favorite show. If it’s live entertainment and shows that you’re in the mood for, then join Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage and relive this Broadway classic.
The Beacons of Magic light show is one to watch out for as the whole park takes on a glowing aura of celebration. Finally, the display of extravagant fireworks at Mickey’s Fantasmic musical is another event that you must experience.
Now that we’ve given you all our suggestions, let’s map it all out. Start your day with a few must-try rides like Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. Move on to a show of the family’s choice like Muppet*Vision 3D in Grand Avenue and then go to Galaxy’s Edge.
After lunch, plan for a few more shows. End on a high note with the Beacons of Light and Mickey’s Fantasmic! Firework Show! There is, of course, plenty of time to fit in other attractions, as long as you make it a point to prioritize which ones you absolutely must get on.
Meals at Hollywood Studios:
Grab a bite at The Trolley Car Café with their selection of coffees and breakfast sandwiches. It’s right at the intersection between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, so you definitely can’t miss it.
For lunch, we recommend a visit to the Dockside Diner which boasts every kid’s favorite Mac n Cheese. The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is also an exciting option for its iconic appetizers and create-your-own-entree kids’ menu all set in the 50’s
You can get dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, which – good news! doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket, or pop over to Backlot Express for some good-natured American treats.
Orlando 5 Day Disney Itinerary for Families: Day 5 – Epcot and Check out
Begin the final day of your Orlando itinerary by heading to Epcot, Disney’s future-forward park that makes the best of progress, technology, and culture. There are multiple international pavilions for China, Germany, the U.S., Japan, and more, and they’re all pretty magical, to say the least.
The My Disney Experience app will come in handy here to plan a solid schedule for the day, much like at the other Disney parks. While queues aren’t that much of an issue at Epcot, it’s still a great option to have to be able to join virtual waiting lines for rides you like. This will allow you to move around and continue exploring without losing your place in line.
It’s always recommended to not overpack your day with too many things to do. As amazing as Epcot is, it can still tire you out! So, reserve the rides for the first half, and post lunch, just stroll about instead and take in all the cultural exhibits.
Things to do at Epcot:
Arrive at Epcot the minute it opens at 8:30 p.m. and try to fit in as much as you can. This way, if there’s a flight to catch on the same day, you can ensure you’re definitely on it!
Visit the American Heritage Gallery which showcases traditional American Indian art, and teach your kids about Native American histories. The Bijutsu-kan Gallery is also beautiful with cute Japanese art that is a real taste of diversity and culture.
Sneak a peek at the Advanced Training Lab which is for all ages, and join your kid as they transform into young space cadets.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Mission: SPACE are two rides that adults have to get on.
As for the kids, the amazing character experiences with Mulan, Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Donald Duck, and more are simply awe-inspiring. Don’t miss out on the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival, which you can check out when you want a break from all the walking around.
Don’t forget the very popular Frozen Ever After ride with Elsa and sing Let it Go in Norway pavilion. To escape the sun also try the Gran Fiesta boat ride in Mexico pavilion.
Make sure to visit the pavilions by clubbing a couple of them together. Visit Norway, Mexico, and China in one go, and Japan, Morocco, and France after that.
You can finish off in the UK and Canada pavilions. If you want to map it out by rides instead, start with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, move on to Frozen Ever After, and then Guardians of the Galaxy.
Stop for a quick lunch and resume with Japan’s exhibits while fitting in other rides in between. Draw your evening to a close with a family viewing of Harmonious, the park’s splendid nighttime fireworks. Grab dinner right before the show, and head to the hotel for a quick break before you pack up and check out.
Meals at Epcot:
Your meal times at Epcot are certain to be pretty uncomplicated. The Whispering Canyon Cafe has some tasty All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Signature Skillets for breakfast, which means you needn’t eat early at the hotel.
For lunch, try to squeeze in a bite at The BOATHOUSE, which is a luxurious Florida-style surf and turf. Gorge on their classic salads or simple sandwiches.
Dinner’s a fairytale affair with storybook dining at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall that lets you also meet your favorite Disney princesses!
Some of the best days to visit Orlando parks fall in the months between September to November. But don’t worry, it really is an experience that you can plan for whenever your family has a break.
We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. Plan for 5 days and soak in the happiest bits of the city with the perfect little Orlando trip plan. And just like that, you’re all set!