Photo courtesy of E+ / M_a_y_a
A well-balanced ladies' weekend with a hint of Disney magic
When deciding upon a bachelorette party venue, especially with destination parties on the rise, there are a number of factors to consider. Pricing, accessibility, range of activities, accommodation...the list goes on.
With direct flights to many US metropolises, Orlando checks the majority of these boxes; the city is relatively accessible at reasonable costs. And with the magic of Disney, as well as a booming restaurant and micro-brewery scene, Orlando is just beckoning you to enjoy all it has to offer with your best gals.
In fact, BACH app, which helps in organizing and rating all these factors, lists Orlando as the 12th best bachelorette party destination among the 1,098 destinations in its database for 2020.
Here’s how to take advantage of a long weekend in one of the country's most magical epicenters.
Photo courtesy of Jillian Dara
Spend time at the Disney parks
Whether you purchase a park hopper ticket for access to all four parks – Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom – or hone in on one specific park, there is truly a ride and experience for everyone.
Though you could spend the whole trip at the parks, one day is surely enough to get a taste of the magic and adventure found here. From exhilarating rides like the Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, to the international vendors creating an 'around the world' atmosphere at Epcot, your day can start with adrenaline and end with a relaxing glass of wine in Italy or a margarita in Mexico.
Photo courtesy of Topgolf Orlando
Take your best shot at Topgolf
This driving-range inspired game fuels friendly competition and allows you to enjoy Orlando’s sunny weather all at once. As someone who has long given up on mini golf and is certainly not a golfer, I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was to simply drive the ball and attempt to hit the targets.
One round provides you with 20 balls and takes about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on how focused you are. Reserve a table, buy some snacks and a bucket of beverages, then get to hitting.
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes Orlando
Enjoy a spa day at The Ritz-Carlton
Boasting 40,000 square feet of zen gardens, including a private pool amidst them, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is the ideal sanctuary for an afternoon – or entire day – of pampering. Book your treatment then arrive early to lounge in a poolside cabana or chat in the steam room and sauna.
Additionally, you can start your day earlier by reserving a yoga class, then indulging in a day of relaxation. Whether you’re booking beauty treatments like manicures and pedicures, body refreshments like facials or detoxifying wraps, or going full relaxation for a full body massage, this is a day of rejuvenation to break up the rest of the activity-fueled itinerary.
Photo courtesy of Dragonfly
Play with your food at Dragonfly
Situated just off Sand Lake Road, considered as Orlando’s 'Restaurant Row,' Dragonfly is a robata-style restaurant that caters to the large group reservation. Gather the ladies around one of the large format tables with grills as centerpieces and order a slew of dishes for an immersive culinary experience.
Robata favorites include Faroe Islands salmon, Australian lamb chop and Wagyu tenderloin steak. Make sure to book in advance.
Pro tip: Dragonfly offers happy hour specials including some of the hottest non-robata menu items, such as sushi, sliders and steamed buns, all under $7. Book a table to enjoy these starters within that time frame, then take your cocktails and prepare to get cooking.
Photo courtesy of Pharmacy Restaurant
Drink up at Pharmacy
Though there are a number of wine bars, brew pubs and, of course, night clubs throughout downtown Orlando, bachelorette parties call for something special. And nothing says special more than a speakeasy.
Hidden behind an elevator door, Pharmacy is a bar-restaurant combination mixing up cocktails (or 'concoctions') from house elixirs and spirits.
All bitters, tonics and sodas are handcrafted for what the team ensures is 'the best medicine you’ve had.' Come for drinks and stay for light bites, also using the freshest ingredients and herbs to properly accompany the finest cocktails you’re sipping.
Photo courtesy of Discovery Cove, SeaWorld Parks and Resorts, Orlando
Lounge or explore at Discovery Cove
Another way to unwind is to hit the beach. Rent a cabana at Discovery Cove for everything you need to unwind in the sun. You can book a variety of packages, with some including food and drink for the day, which allows for a prepaid, organized excursion; typically two hurdles when it comes to planning a bachelorette party itinerary.
Additionally, there are a number of interactive activities your party can book, from swimming with dolphins to snorkeling with tropical fish. The white sand beaches and tropical landscaping make for the ultimate backdrop for those group photo shoots, too!
Photo courtesy of Disney Springs
Visit Disney Springs
For an afternoon or day outing without having to purchase an admission ticket, Disney Springs is the place to be. Stroll along the boardwalk, take a boat ride, listen to live music and partake in the variety of games and activities found here.
If you choose to stay awhile, there are a range of restaurants and bars to experience. So, peruse the options in advance to schedule a mini bar- or restaurant-hop, which will allow you to make the most of your time in this sprawling hub. Don’t miss Jose Garces’ restaurant Jaleo; it’s his first in the Orlando area!
Photo courtesy of ICON Park™
Ride The Wheel at ICON Park
With capsules that fit up to 15 people, The Wheel takes bachelorette parties to new heights during a 23-minute rotation over Central Florida. To spice things up, purchase a Sky Bar ticket, which includes unlimited beer, wine and champagne for the duration of your ride.
Cheers your bride 400 feet above the ground and experience the adrenaline together, rather than some of the fast-paced alternatives found in Disney’s theme parks. Whether you book an entire capsule or share the ride with another group, it’s worth the splurge.
Photo courtesy of Arlene Laboy
Indulge at a chocolate party
At Peterbrooke Chocolatier, they’re used to satiating bachelorette parties’ sweet cravings. Choose from a number of mouthwatering event offerings from holiday-inspired classes to themed parties for special occasions, like Truffles and Bubbles.
In the latter, guests enjoy champagne while pairing dark and milk chocolates with their limited edition truffles. Chocolate on chocolate with a side of bubbles? Yes, please.
Photo courtesy of Orange County Brewers
Follow the Ale Trail
Over the past decade, a slew of microbreweries have emerged at the heart of Downtown Orlando. With a number of breweries to choose from, why not make a crawl out of it and explore them at your own pace?
From bold, hoppy pours at Dead Lizard Brewing Company, to a green tea IPA at Orange County Brewers, or organic brews at Orlando Brewing, your afternoon on the trail may turn into an evening out on the town.