Recently, Brad was the best man in his friend’s wedding. Of course, that meant he was in charge of planning the Bachelor party. Also of course, Walt Disney World was floated around as a possibility. That plan didn’t work out, since the groom and his groomsmen comprise mainly of teachers in various school districts and musicians with church gigs and they couldn’t all get the same weekend off. But, we did start the initial planning for a Bachelor weekend in Walt Disney World. How do you plan a Bachelor party in a place full of kids and families? Here’s how.
Let’s break down how to plan an incredible guy’s trip to Walt Disney World
When To Go
If at all possible, try to visit when the kids are in school. You probably don’t want kids at every step of the way while on your trip, so going during the school year will decrease the amount of little ones. It might be tricky with teachers in the group, as it was for Brad’s friends.
Prices tend to be a little cheaper during the school year as well. You could save on tickets, hotel rooms, and flights by traveling say, in the middle of January.
If you do have teachers (or other professional whose career revolves around the school calendar) in your party, consider visiting on a long weekend. Crowds and hotel prices do spike on long weekends, MLK weekend for example, but don’t climb as high as during the Holidays or Spring Break.
Visiting during the International Food and Wine Festival is ALWAYS a good idea. It runs mid-September through mid-November in Epcot and features food and drink from dozens are countries around the world. Remember to pace yourself going through all those booths. You don't want to end your day sloshed, stuffed, and broke.
Where To Stay
This Deluxe hotel is themed after the parks in the Pacific Northwest. The lobby features soaring ceilings, towering totem poles, and a monstrous fireplace. It’s the perfect place for a nature or exploration loving groom. Standard rooms sleep four, but the villas can sleep up to eight to accommodate larger parties (or split up into separate rooms, you do you). Guests can get to the Magic Kingdom via the water taxis, and to the other parks via buses.
The All-Star hotels are great for the guys who would rather spend their time and money in the parks. What you lack in space or resort amenities, you'll make up for in money back in your pocket. As the name implies, the All-Star Sports has athletic theme, but in an over-the-top way. You can’t miss the huge sporty statues that mark the different areas of the resort like football, baseball, and surfing. There’s pennants for college teams in the football and basketball areas, and MLB teams in the baseball area, so have fun finding your teams! Rooms here only sleep four, so you will likely need multiple rooms.
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
Got a really outdoorsy groom? Why not camp at Disney? There are campsites for either tents, pop-up campers, or full-on RVs. Plus some campsites even allow pets! Most campsites will sleep up to ten, so you can fit the whole party here (and if you have more than nine groomsmen, then I applaud you for having so many friends!). The campsites at Disney start at only $53/night, so this is a the perfect option for budget conscious guys.
What To Do
Obviously, there’s the parks. You can totally just do that and have a great time. Ain’t nothing wrong with riding some roller coasters with your friends. But you can also add some cool experiences to your Bachelor getaway to completely separate it from a family vacation!
Walt Disney World has several golf courses on property. The Magnolia, Oak Trail, and Palm Golf Courses are all near the Polynesian, while the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is over by Saratoga Springs. You’ll want to reserve a tee time for those locations.
Feel like getting competitive? There’s tons of opportunity to play a game at Disney. Touch football is always a good time. There’s a mock field in the football area of All-Star Sports (super convenient for guests there). I’ve seen groups toss the ball around there a few times. All you need is to bring a football and you’re set. Or, if you’re staying in the campsites, there are a bunch of quarter-size basketball courts for guests to use. Many of the Deluxe hotels have basketball courts as well. Basketballs are provided to guests of that hotel at no charge, but in most locations need to be obtained from community/fitness center. Most of the Deluxe hotels, plus Fort Wilderness have tennis and volleyball courts where equipment can be checked out for a small fee.
If the groom loves to fish, there are a bunch of places to do it in Walt Disney World. Guided bass fishing excursions for up to five people are available Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge and many other hotels with marinas. Reservations are needed for guided fishing excursions. Or, enjoy some casting-rod fishing at Port Orleans Riverside. No need to bring your own equipment, as you can use the rods provided.
At Fort Wilderness, guests can unleash their inner Green Arrow (yeah, I know it’s DC and not Marvel, sue me) in a 90 minute long archery lesson. The classes are limited to ten people, so you really gets hands on attention and instruction. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ups are welcome as long as space permits.
Drink Around the World
You probably have heard "Disney people" talk about this, or maybe you've done it yourself. The idea is to have a drink at each of the eleven country pavilions at Epcot's World Showcase. Drinking around the world makes for a really fun day, and you can read all my tips for making the most of it here.
Where To Eat
It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is home to some amazing restaurants. These are just a few that you’ll want to check out for a Bachelor weekend.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
If your groom is anything like Brad and his friends, then craft beer is something of an obsession. So check out Big River, it’s a microbrewery and you can watch the action unfold through floor-to-ceiling windows. Pair your craft brew with pub fare.
Oh no, you planned your party, now your team is in the playoffs (all fingers crossed for all the Chicago teams!). Never fear because ESPN Club has you covered. Think of your sports bar at home and kick it up a couple notches. They don’t take reservations for dinner or on the weekends, so come early if you want to watch your home team take the field. With almost 100 screens, showing satellite feeds from around the world, you won’t miss a minute of the action, not even in the bathroom where there are tvs over each stall.
Art Smith's Homecoming
When tossing around Walt Disney World as a Bachelor party, I actually did make a reservation for Brad and his friends at Homecoming. It’s a new restaurant in Disney Springs that Brad is anxious to try after hearing rave reviews of the fried chicken.
Flame Tree BBQ
The other restaurants on this list are table service and this one is quick service, but don’t be fooled into thinking it won’t be as good. Flame Tree BBQ is about as delicious as it gets. We even figured out a copy cat recipe for the spice rub! Be warned, the line can get pretty long, so plan to eat at off peak times.
You may also want to check out a couple of the themed bars on property, like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Polynesian Village Resort) or Jock Lindsay’s (Disney Springs). Trader Sam’s is my personal favorite. The Cast Members do an amazing job getting all the guests to play along with all their hi jinks. And be on the lookout for Easter Eggs all over the bar, from Enchanted Tiki Room, to Jungle Cruise, to the old Adventurers Club and more!
A Bachelor party/weekend/getaway at Walt Disney World has some serious potential. With these tips, you're sure to have a memorable and unique Bachelor party!