Tips for Experiencing all Four Walt Disney World Parks in One Day
Do you have a Disney Bucket list? If you do, this is probably on your list (or should be!) Sound Impossible? It is a bit of a challenge but it’s SO fun to try!
Now you might be wondering why would you want to try it…Bragging Rights, of course! Also, if you find yourself at “the World” for just a short weekend getaway or a work conference, it can be a great way to get a taste of all your favorite attractions, the best of each park, in a limited amount of time. I only recommend this if you have visited Walt Disney World before and are ready to experience it in a new way. Plus, make sure anyone else traveling with you is also up for it. It’s a whirlwind but it’s really fun!
So, you are up for the challenge? Here are my tips!
1. GET AN EARLY START– This is one of my top tips for anyone on any Disney itinerary. But, especially if you are trying to make it to all the parks in one day. No time for sleeping in! Get up, eat a good breakfast, and head to your first park.
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXTRA MAGIC HOURS– That means you need to plan on staying on property in a Disney resort. That way you can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours (EMH) that are reserved for Disney Resort Guests only. The ideal is to go on a day where there is an AM Park with EMH and a PM park with EMH. Otherwise, your next best option is to go when Magic Kingdom has EMH in the evening as this should give you the most park hours possible. Watch out for special events at Magic Kingdom such as Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as they are special ticketed events and the Magic Kingdom closes early on those dates. Of course you could always plan it to incorporate one of the parties into your Around the World Challenge…but that’s definitely for the over-achievers.
3. HAVE A PLAN but BE FLEXIBLE– You don’t need to plan out every single move but you should have a priority list of the top things you want to do at each park. That way, you know when to move on, and you can be happy with what you accomplished at each park. It doesn’t really count if you pop into one park, eat a snack, and hop on the monorail to the next park. Make it count and enjoy each stop. Try not to watch the clock the whole time so that you have time to be spontaneous and enjoy the details. One thing I love to do is walk down Main Street USA with a coffee in hand, taking in all the sights and sounds and taking some pictures. So, I made sure I did that when we ended up in Magic Kingdom. All of your plans don’t have to be rides and shows!
4. BE STRATEGIC ABOUT YOUR FASTPASSES– Plan them for the second park you go to. If you heed Tip #1 and get an early start, you can experience a lot at the first park with very little wait times. Then, at the second stop which should be mid to late morning, you use the 3 Fast Passes that you reserved in advance, and then for the rest of the day you can get more (one at a time) in any park if available. The popular rides will run out of Fast Passes as they day goes on but you should still have some good options in the late afternoon to early evening.
5. MAKE ADVANCED DINING RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER AT ONE OF THE PARKS– this will give you a much needed break. Choose a place you have never tried before so that you have something new to look forward to. Eat well… you will need the energy. Remember- you can make your Advanced Dining Reservations as early as 180 days prior.
6. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES– This is another tip that applies to any Disney trip but especially on a day like this; and never ever wear new shoes!
7. HAVE FUN! This should be a super fun day…not stressful! If you are stressed you are either not doing it right, or… visiting all four parks in one day is not the Challenge for you-and that is OK. Disney should be FUN and relaxing even if you are running around wearing yourself out.
Whew! I am tired just thinking about it. But, it really can be a fun day full of great memories.
Here is a sample itinerary from when my husband and I accomplished this great feat on January 1, 2014. I call it: The Day We Conquered the World!
Park #1 Animal Kingdom: rode Kilimanjaro Safari, Everest (twice), ate an early lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, walked around the trails, took pictures at the Tree of Life
Park #2 Hollywood Studios: Used Fast Passes (made in advance) at Toy Story, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror. Rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster a second time using Single Rider Line. Ate a snack from the bakery, walked through Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream (and watched the video), saw the Little Mermaid show
Park #3 EPCOT: Walked around World Showcase, ate snacks in Morocco, watched the show in the American pavilion(a nice break from walking), rode Mission: Space, rode Nemo, walked around in the aquarium and saw dolphins and manatees, took pictures in World Showcase, ate dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion with a perfect view of Illuminations.
Park #4 Magic Kingdom (Extra Magic Hours): Rode Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Dumbo, Little Mermaid, got a snack at Gaston’s Tavern, rode Haunted Mansion, met Mickey Mouse in Town Square. (It was a very cloudy evening so we bypassed Wishes (fireworks) for the first time ever and opted to ride more rides!)
I’d love to help you plan for perfect days at Disney! Whether that includes all four parks at once or just one at a time! Contact me today-all of my services are FREE to you when you book with me!
Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel with the Magic