Have you ever considered taking a one day Disney World trip? Flying from your home state to Orlando and back the same day?
Sounds crazy, right?
But planning a Disney Dash for a day is completely possible and more importantly, it’s so much fun!
I’m sharing everything you need to know for your own Disney Dash including:
- How to plan a one day, Disney World for Adults, trip.
- What to wear to Epcot.
- What to take to Epcot.
- How to make the most of a quick trip to Epcot Center.
- A Note for Friends on Weight Watchers.
- Best Food at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.
- Bites to avoid Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.
- Foods I wanted to try but didn’t have room for one more bite.
- How much does a Disney Dash cost?
- Final Thoughts
How To Plan A One Day, Disney World for Adults, Trip
- Find a friend that is as crazy about travel and Disney as you are.
- Decide which park or, more importantly, which festival you want to attend.
- Start hunting down airline tickets. Our go-to airline for cheap tickets is Spirit because the idea is to keep the cost as low as possible. Spirit often has trips from Detroit to Orland for $50 or less each way.
- Purchase a ticket that has you taking the first flight out and the last flight back.
- We wanted to attend the International Garden and Flower Festival at Epcot so we looked for cheap flights in March. Which, by the way, is also a great time to escape Michigan weather and catch some Florida sun.
- Once your airline tickets are secured purchase your Epcot one day pass or park of your choice tickets.
- Since we were focused on eating our way around the world at the flower festival that is where we focused our Disney planning.
- Use Instagram to spot the best bites at the flower and garden festival. #EpcotFresh is a great hashtag to search.
- Pack light and start walking every day because a Disney dash is going to put some serious miles on your feet.
What to Wear to Epcot
- Comfy shoes!!! <<—This is the most important
- Cool, lightweight clothing
- Adexe Watch
<<—A watch will help you stay on time. It’s easy to get lost in the Disney haze but you won’t want to miss your return flight 🙂
What to Take to Epcot
- Small backpack. This makes it easy to carry items around the park.
- Battery charger for your phone
- Empty water bottle to fill throughout the park
How to Make the Most of a Quick Trip to Epcot Center
- When you land at Orlando airport your hustle begins. Make your way to the rideshare area outside of baggage claim. On your walk there pull up your Uber or Lyft app and secure your ride. It cost us around $35 each way and completely worth it since it drops and picks you up very near the entrance saving you time and energy.
- Be prepared to stand in line for a security check. Anyone carrying a bag into the park has to have it searched. Have everything unzipped and opened up before you get to the front of the line to expedite things.
- Have your ticket ready or pick up at the ticket booth and head into the park.
- As soon as you enter the park grab the Epcot International Garden and Flower Festival guide AND a park map.
- Take a few minutes to orient yourself to the park and find all the Outdoor Kitchens you want to try (see #8 above)
- Once you have a plan it’s game on!
- With luck, you’ll have at least 6 hours at the park. We hustled hard and finished our dining around the world in 4 hours, but next time we’ll grab a later flight and use up all 6 hours.
- Stay HYDRATED. Yes, bottled water is expensive at the park ($3.50/bottle). There are drinking fountains throughout the park, but the water was warm (ick). Budget money for water!
For Friends on Weight Watchers
I wrote an entire article for my Weight Watchers friends. It shares tips on how to stay on track while visiting attending the Flower and Garden Festival and shares my best guess at how many points are in different foods.
I have included the total points with each of the foods below, but if you want to see how I more or less came about those points be sure to read my Weight Watchers Dining Guide to Disney’s Flower & Garden Festival article.
Best Food at Epcot’s Garden and Flower Festival
Throughout the flower festival, there are Outdoor Kitchens that are serving foods specifically created for this festival.
The outdoor kitchens are open from 11a-9p every day.
Almost all of these are located in the Showcase Plaza which rings the small lake at Epcot. This is the hub of the festival for food, but you’ll find their epic topiaries throughout the park.
Trowel & Trellis
Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with savory garlic spread. $5.50
This was great because it was one of the few fresh vegetable offerings available. [WW: 2 points]
Farmhouse Meatball with lentil bread, spinach, marinated vegetables, and a creamy herb dressing. $5.50
Another tasty bite that I really enjoyed. [WW: 8 points]
Trowel & Trellis also has the very fun to photograph Chocolate Pudding Terrarium which I didn’t purchase, but I’ve seen on a lot on IG. No word on if it tastes good or just looks pretty. [WW: 7 points]
This is where you find the very popular cotton candy [WW 1 ounce = 6 points]. $8-$15
We didn’t try any food here, but someone in line was eating the Szechuan Spicy Red-braised Beef Shank [WW: 4 points] and really liked it although he did say that it wasn’t very spicy. $8
Pulled Pig Slider with coleslaw. What’s not to love? [WW: 9 points] $6.75
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue, and House-made Pickle. $7.50
I’m a big fan of burnt ends (my favorite being in Kansas City) and this sandwich did not disappoint. All the flavors blended together perfectly. [WW: 13 points/9 points if you don’t eat the bun]
Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans. $4.25 This may have been Tatanisha’s favorite bite. She said it was fantastic. If I even sorta liked chocolate I would have given it a try. Tatanisha is quite the foodie though so I trust her judgment on all things food. [WW: 13 points]
Frozen Simply Lemonade. $3.50 That Florida sun is hot for these Michigan girls so the cool, frozen drinks offered at the outdoor kitchens was the perfect way to cool off. [WW: 4 points]
By the time we got here, I was feeling pretty full, but I wish I would have tried the Frushi, which is fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon rolled with coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut, whipped cream with raspberry sauce on the side.[WW: 5 points] $5.95
It looks really good. I placing under best bites because I feel pretty confident you can’t go wrong with it.
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish. Another big thumbs up from Tatanisha. [WW: 6 points] $7.00
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy ($4.50) A perfectly refreshing drink on a hot summer day. [WW: 4 points] $4.25
Violet Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Doughnut topped with candied violets. This was my first bite of Epcot food and it was soooo good. Of course, I’m pretty much off sugar so this was a huge treat for me. I did only indulge in two absolutely delicious bites. This is why it’s important to go with friends so you can share food. [WW: the points on this is obscene coming in at a whopping 25 points. I figure one bite is about 5 points, totally worth it] $6.50
Cinnamon Sugar Croissant Doughnut without the frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar instead. It’s probably around the same point value. [WW: 23 points]
Berry Tea Mint Julep. Another winner in the beverage department.[WW: 4 points.]
The Citrus Blossom
Go for the Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup. I was so sad when I got there and they were sold out of the cups. They did say they would have more in about a week. [WW: 4 points]
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (non-alcoholic). This is a festival favorite and now I know why. It is fantastic. [WW: 4 points] $4.25
Bites to Avoid at Epcot’s Garden and Flower Festival
There were a few foods that I’d skip if I went again so I want to share those with you. Of course, this is based on my taste preference only and may be different for you.
Pomodori Verdi e Mozzarella-Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese and Balsamic Reduction. This is generally one of my absolute favorite things, but sadly, the friend green tomatoes were soggy and instead of a balsamic reduction drizzle it was more like a balsamic reduction lake in the bottom of the tray (ugh). [WW: 13 points] $8.00
Pizza Toscana-Rustic Italian Flatbreat with Sweet Sausage, Carmelized Onion, Mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan Cheeses. Sounds delightful, right? Hmmm, not so much. [WW: 6 points per slice] $8.00
Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue. While the key lime was tasty the crust was lacking. There are so many other great choices that you can easily skip this and save your dollars and points for a different treat. [WW: 12 points] $4.50
Food I Wanted to Try but Didn’t Have Room for One More Bite
The downside of a Disney Dash trip is that there is no way you can try everything in a few hours. Well, I guess maybe you could if you are able to throw down some serious amounts of food.
Sadly, or maybe it’s a good thing, I am not one of those people.
If we would have had more time to do a dine around the world for dinner these are some things I would have tried.
Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Caviar and Focaccia Crostino. [WW: 4 points]
Flavor Full Kitchen
Citrus Poached Salmon with Ancient Grain Salad, Roasted Vegetables and Citrus Greens. [WW: 5 points]
From the Garden-Roasted beets, cashew cheese, micro herbs, lemon oil dressing. [WW: 6 points]
Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls. [WW: 6 points]
The Honey Bee-stro
Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey-blistered Grapes, Sunflower Brittle and Coriander Flowers. [WW: 5 points] $4.50
Local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and Petite Lavender Shoots. [WW: 7 points] $5.00
The Citrus Blossom
Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon [WW: 3 points] $8.00
Citrus Shortcake with Orange Chiffon Cake, Lemon Curd, Mandarins, Whipped Cream, Citrus Crumble and Apple Cider Sorbet. [WW: 10 points] $4.25
Taste of Marrakesh
Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad. [WW: 4 points] $7.00
Additional Outdoor Kitchen Menus
How Much Does a One Day Disney Dash Cost?
Spirit Airline ticket, roundtrip Detroit to Orlando: $93
Disney one-day, one park pass: $109
Food: $65, most bites are $4-$8 each. (I’m including my bottled water cost of $3.50/bottle in this total)
Uber: $38 (each way, but I paid one way and Tatanisha paid the other)
Airport Parking-Detroit: $14
Total cost for one day adventure: $319
Of course, longer at Disney would always be better, but it also becomes more expensive. I found the Disney Dash to be a perfect compromise of my time and money.
This is probably not something you would want to do as a family unless your kids are much older and can handle the dash through the park.
However, as a one-day girlfriend getaway, it was a perfect plan. Tatanisha and I had a fab day.
Next time (yes, there will be a next time) I’ll be more prepared for the overwhelmingness that is Disney and be more focused.
Hopefully, the tips and tricks above will help you plot and plan a perfect day at Disney!
I’d like to thank Disney for their generosity in providing me with a park ticket for the day.
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