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Families and graduates love to celebrate graduation with travel. Graduation, whether from high school or college, is the perfect accomplishment to celebrate life and adventure. If you have a graduate or you are a graduate who LOVES theme parks, here is a FL graduation trip idea and itinerary that’s a perfect mix of theme parks, road trip, and beach vacation!
I had always told my boys they can choose a graduation trip as a celebration of their accomplishments so they had been thinking about what they wanted to do for the last 4 years. At first, they wanted something new, but then they decided that a mix of theme park and road trip felt the most “celebrational” for a fun family trip. It helped that he had a trip to Alaska planned with a friend as well.
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Florida Graduation Trip Itinerary for a Theme Park Lover
Here is our personal full itinerary to give you some inspiration. We did a great mix of theme park, road trip, roadside attractions, beach exploration, and ended with a little more theme park before heading home.
Days 1-5 – Walt Disney World
Days 1-5 (more or less depending on your budget) at Walt Disney World Resort. Since the first day is arrival you can just relax by the pool, grab some food, or walk around your favorite park. This was the most relaxed we’ve ever been at Walt Disney World because the boys chose everything we did, we woke up whenever we wanted, and weren’t trying to fit in anything specific. We love staying at Pop Century because it’s a great price, the renovated rooms are comfortable, and especially because the Sky Liner is SO convenient.
For tickets we LOVE using Get Away Today. You can use our code AllMemories to save some money on your trip! They don’t charge any extra but have some GREAT discounts and benefits to using!
We had a great time going on our favorite attractions, but also trying a lot of new dining. The walk-up lists were perfect for us on this trip. We didn’t make a ton of reservations but were still able to eat almost everywhere we wanted!
Don’t forget to grab your graduation Mickey ears & take a few photos to remember your trip. This year at Disney Parks Grad Night is back so that might get to be a part of your celebration as well!
Day 6 – Road Trip to St. Petersburg
For the next part of our trip, we wanted to do a little road trip. We LOVE road trips and wanted to fit one in so we could stop at a few attractions, plus get some beach time in.
We drove from Orlando to St. Petersburg which is just over 2 hours. We first stopped at a huge thrift/antique mall in Lakeland, FL that had SO many great Disney items. We spent a good hour wandering the mall and definitely could have spent more time there.
Our next stop of the day was the Showmen’s Museum in Riverview, FL. It was just what we hoped it would be! An amazing collection of artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and more from traveling shows in America. If you love carnivals, fairs, and unique museums, or just want to get out and stretch your legs, this is definitely worth a stop!
After the museum, I took the boys to Armature Works in Tampa. It’s a big mixed-use space with TONS of food options and just a great place to walk around and explore. We all got food from different restaurants and then walked along the riverfront.
Day 7 – Beach Day!
Day 6 we spent at Clearwater Beach, St Pete Beach, and the surrounding areas. We did some beach relaxing but also walking around the touristy areas & just exploring. We talked about visiting the Clearwater Aquarium or checking out the State Parks, but ultimately the boys wanted to just explore the area.
They loved downtown St. Pete the most I think!
Day 8 – Road Trip Back to Orlando
On day 8 we had breakfast in downtown St. Pete before heading back to Orlando to finish off our trip! We took our time driving back and then chose to chill at Universal’s Endless Summer Dockside resort & grab some dinner at Universal City Walk.
Day 9 – Universal Studios Orlando
Day 9 was all about Universal! We got up early to make sure we had plenty of time to do the things we wanted to do since we were spending only 1 day at Universal. We always love the parks here and got to do everything we wanted including having a relaxing dinner at City Walk after the park closed.
We definitely needed reservations here when we visited because I needed to make sure wherever we ate could accommodate my gluten-free needs.
If we were planning again, we’d do another day at Universal if we could make it work!
Day 10 – Home
The saddest day is always the day you have to go home. We really loved this itinerary though and all 3 of us agreed that it was a great choice for a full graduation trip focused on theme parks. While we could have done so much more in Florida, this gave us a little taste while still allowing us to get in a full Walt Disney World and Universal Studios vacation!
If you’re going on a trip yourself – don’t forget to print out our free Walt Disney World or Universal Studios countdown! I still do these for every trip we take!