Departure Day Tips

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Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803
Departure Day Tips

What do you do on your departure day from Disney? Tell us your tips!

Do you get out early or try and book an extra late flight? Do you stay at your resort, or head out to squeeze in a few more minutes of fun? Have you ever had any luck getting a late check out from Disney? How do you make the most of your last Disney day?

JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

I've always gotten a late flight so I can get some last minute park time. I get up early and check in for my flight and leave my carry-on bag in my friends' room (I had been leaving on Friday and they left on Saturday). After we had one last lunch together we go back to Pop and relaxed by the pool until it's time for me to catch the DME.

This year may be a little different since my mom with be with me. I don't want to book too late of flight since my dad will have to pick her up at the airport and they live an hour away. I don't have park tickets for our last day. Depending on the time of our flights, we may just go to DTD or hang at the resort.


Joined: 09/12/2010
Posts: 4703

We usually plan on leaving right after lunch. Our typical plan is to get up, get some Mickey waffles somewhere, and then go to DTD for shopping and lunch at EoS.

The year we stayed at Beach Club, though, we took advantage of proximity and went over to EPCOT for one last ride on Soarin' and Spaceship Earth before heading over to DTD. And last trip we decided to catch EMHs at HS and do ToT and Rock n Roller Coaster, drove over to the Contemporary and walked to MK to grab a set of Sorcerer cards, and then head to DTD.

So I guess my tip is get a park ticket to cover that last day (it usually does not cost that much more) if you are not leaving first thing in the morning, and do one last fun thing!

We always have a car, too, so I think that gives us a little more flexibility without having to plan too much for the last day. WE don't linger too long on the last day though. We're always gone by early afternoon at the latest. But not too early as I need to say my goodbyes and get mentally prepared for the return to the real world.... laugh

mikesteffen's picture
Joined: 01/25/2013
Posts: 81

We booked a late flight with the intention of getting out and doing something. But by the end of our trip we were so wore out that we decided just to sleep in and make it a lazy day. We did make a last minute bus ride to DTD for a pretzel.

The Colonel's picture
Joined: 11/08/2012
Posts: 2943

I've done early flights and late flights. I find that the late flights only give me a few hours in the park and I've always got leaving in the back of my mind, so I don't enjoy the day fully. I prefer to have DME pick me up at 11:30, so I can enjoy breakfast, walk around the Boardwalk, have a swim, pick up last minute gifts and then get home at a decent hour. I usually have to work the next day.


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Spook's picture
Joined: 04/27/2012
Posts: 2786

It depends if we drive or fly. When we fly, we usually don't have much time to do much so we sleep in as much as we can and have breakfast before catching the DME. When we drive we head to MK for one last time. Always MK since it's my favorite biggrin Then I usually pout when it's time to leave and after an hour or so start planning the next trip mickey

Joined: 11/15/2012
Posts: 912

There is always a sense of sadness on the last day. However much we try to pack the night before we are always packing something on the last day. We then headed to MK and walked around but we were always thinking about when to leave and we had already planned the time. This year we have planned to do lunch at BOG as our flight is 9.40 pm. we don't use DME we use a cab company as we get longer in the park.


Allie's picture
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5477

We took an early morning flight out on our last trip and I hated it! It was just too sad to get up our last day at Disney and have to head straight to the airport. Next time I plan on making it a DTD day.

crazycatperson's picture
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3718

We've never gone to a park on our last day, but we have visited Downtown Disney prior to departure. Usually we leave during the afternoon, whether it's via airplane or Auto Train. An evening flight isn't really an option because the nearest major airport is a good two-plus hours away and I don't want to be driving home at midnight. A morning flight isn't an option because I am NOT getting up that early on vacation.

Magic Days's picture
Joined: 11/02/2012
Posts: 601

We leave mid afternoon so we can do a mini marathon. Hitting soarin, toy story mania, potc, hm and a snack on the boardwalk. Staying that busy helps keep us from getting as sad on departure day.


Belinda's picture
Joined: 08/09/2012
Posts: 771

Tired We ususally have a mid afternoon departure time. We usually try to sleep in a little and then just spend some time at the resort or head to DTD before we head to the airport. It's always a sad day...


** BeLiNdA **

Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

crazycatperson wrote:
An evening flight isn't really an option because the nearest major airport is a good two-plus hours away and I don't want to be driving home at midnight.

I *so* hear this! My entire life I lived not more than 30 minutes from a major airport and flying was such an easy common place thing. Then 9/11 happened and they made security more difficult, then we moved 2 hours away. Now I have to leave 4 hours before my flight just to get there and it's always another 2 hours home. Plus there's always an added transportation cost living that far away. I never imagined how big a deal living so far away from an airport would be to me.

J's picture
Joined: 02/06/2012
Posts: 484

I talked to a family on a visit that actually booked an extra early flight on purpose. The day before, they stayed at the Magic Kingdom till 1:00 AM. Then they drove to the airport, and should have arrived just a couple hours before their flight were they caught up on some sleep. I am sure their kids slept on the drive to the airport, and they all probably slept on the flight home. Thought it was a clever idea.

beckyboo013's picture
Joined: 02/25/2013
Posts: 61

For our departure day on the trip coming up, we booked a late flight and plan to wake up really early and spend the whole day in Disney doing whatever we feel like... repeating in the parks or maybe DTD... I guess it just depends! Then we can sleep on the flight home. Hopefully it works out well! Smile


Eddie G.'s picture
Joined: 03/28/2013
Posts: 166

We always book the first flight out to be at Disney as soon as we can after arrving in Orlando....And book the latest flight out so we can enjoy any last minute time we have in the parks. I want to spend as much time as we possibly can while we have it and are there. Even if it is to shoot into EPCOT to ride Mission Space or Soarin' one last time.


~Eddie G.
Fla. Res. AP Holder Since 1989
404 Days at Disney World & Counting



Joined: 05/20/2013
Posts: 166

What I've done the last few trips & have really enjoyed is after checking out & checking my bags with the resort airline check in is to take my personal & carry on bags with me to the food court & get breakfast. After I've eaten I refill my mug, pull out my laptop & surf the internet, check email etc. At some point I get lunch & then before heading out to catch DME I pack up the laptop & refill my mug one last time. This seems to really work for me as by the time departure day rolls around I've been running around DW for at least seven days so I'm tired & don't want to anything other than sit around and relax. Plus, I've found that doing something as normal & everyday as checking my email & surfing the internet on departure day helps ease me back in to my everyday non Disney life.

daddylicious's picture
Joined: 05/09/2013
Posts: 32

This is our first trip. We are driving (9 hours). For our last day we plan on sleeping in, going to DTD for shopping and lunch. We will stay until we decide we are ready to leave. One reason we are doing our DTD shopping day at the end is that we will no exactly what we have left to spend. I also didn't plan a park this day, because it is pretty cheap to add one more day to our tickets if we decide we really want one more day. We don't mind driving at night so we will just wing it on when we leave.

carlsbaddrew's picture
Joined: 03/11/2013
Posts: 157

Our departure flight is at 6:30pm. We leave our bags with our hotel (POR) and hit the parks and water parks! They will hold any bag for you, even if it's carry on. Our checked luggage goes straight to the plane via the DME checked bag service.

Paying for an extra ticket day is way better than being sad Smile


Current Disneyland / CA Adventure pass holder. WDW X4 visits!

Nancy D's picture
Joined: 05/29/2012
Posts: 754

How does it work to add on a day to your tickets? Can you do that after your tickets are already in use?

I can't decide if I'm going to use our arrival day to do a park, or use our last day to do a park for the first half of the day.

If we did a park on arrival day, but then decided we wanted to extend our tickets for another day and use it on departure day too, is that possible?

We usually do Downtown Disney on arrival day, but I might change this if tickets can be extended! Smile

RobynPrincess's picture
Joined: 03/14/2010
Posts: 2859

The direct flights home to the uk are in the evening from Orlando but we have to be there at least 2 hours before the flight is due to depart. We usually try to get there with enough time to have a decent meal at the airport as I really dislike plane food. I don't usually plan for the last day but we normally have tickets that include it - either annual passes or ultimate tickets (we get different Disney tickets here in the uk than the magic your way ones), I always try to pack the night before as when I know I have to do it by a certain time I don't sleep well worrying I won't finish in time, I'm a natural worrier Wink so we usually wake up at a leisurely pace, have a shower and pack the last few bits and see where we fancy going. It's often been DTD to spend the last of our money Wink


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