I love Disney World and we try to get down there at least once a year! Generally we take our whole family for a week but recently I was going to be in Florida for just 2 days and had one day set aside for Disney. When you are planning for a week long visit it is not hard to pick a single park per day but to maximize my time in the parks I needed a game plan! It wanted to see if it was possible to do all four Disney World Parks in one day! Where there is a will there is a way and it took planning! You can use these tips to visit all the parks in one day, too
- Check touring plans, schedule and park times to choose a day that is not crowded. We chose a day mid week in non peak season. There is a never a time that a park is “dead” but you can pick days that have decreased crowds. There are many websites that are dedicated to this and I would suggest cross researching a few of them. Just know in advance that this will not work well on a weekend or during peak season. This also means that you should know park times in advance to make your game plan and see if you are able to take advantage of extended or extra magic hours.
- Get your tickets in advance. We had a park hopper pass and with having our reservation in advance we were able to make our first 3 fast pass selections. This gave us a clear starting point and instant access to rides!
- Set your expectations. Our goal for this trip was to ride all of major roller coasters! This meant that we were not watching shows, meeting characters and or having sit down meals. Decide what you want to experience and plan accordingly.
- Download the My Disney Experience App. When you have completed your fast pass experiences you can set up more at other parks. We set up our fast passes and then went to wait in a line on rides that we didn’t have them to save time. Because we chose a low attended day many time we were able to get through lines quickly and often didn’t need to even use our fast passes. This meant I could easily hop on the app and set up another one.
- Know your routes and Disney transportation. To do all parks you have to use Disney Transportation. This means the buses, monorails and boats! We used them all! Unfortunately, getting from one park to the other takes a lot of time. We budgeted more than enough time to get from one park to the other so we were not disappointed. From park to park we waited anywhere between 2 minutes to 25 minutes to get on. It does eat up on your time but it also gives you a slight break which you do need! But, if you plan your day in advance you will know what the best mode of transportation is for where you are headed!
- Dress for comfort and not to impress. I can not stress the importance of comfy shoes! The only time at you are sitting when doing all the parks in one day are on the buses or on the rides! Which means for the most part you are standing in line, walking and sometimes running for up to 12 hours! Also, you need to have a well packed purse/bag. Since it was 2 women doing this for us we both had a small purse we were able to divvy up what we needed. We had band-aids, a phone charger, energy bars, ID’s, passes and phones. The one thing that I wish we would have packed are ponchos. They seem lame but if you get soaked on Splash Mountain on your second ride (which we did) and don’t completely dry off for a few ours it isn’t the epitome of comfort!
- If you want to do the rides, know when the big parades are and plan on NOT seeing them. Parade times mean people who are casually visiting the parks are lining the streets to take a break. This is a great time to hit up rides to get a lower wait time!
- Be prepared to do things unconventional. As I said earlier, our goal was to ride the big rides. Not necessarily to get great pictures of ourselves together so we took up every opportunity to move through lines quickly. Like on Test Track where there is a single rider option, they warn you that will not ride together. We were fine with this and chose that line. In the end in less than 10 minutes we are on the ride and actually in the same car! So, take advantage of these lines to move through rides quickly!
- Don’t forget to eat and drink! When you have a plan and you have adrenaline running to make your goals it is easy forget about hydrating! We kept energy bars on us just in case however we did stop and eat lunch and did a late dinner. But, at every park we made sure we got a beverage. One of those beverages may have technically been a dole whip but I feel like that totally counts!
- Go into the day with a good attitude. There is a chance that one ride may not be able to happen or that a bus is late and you get behind on your schedule. But, Disney is about the experience. Don’t forget to appreciate the details of the hidden Mickey’s, the smiles of the excited kids around you, the cast members kind gestures and just the feeling that you can only get at Disney. Don’t be so wrapped up in your own plans that you miss the magic!
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear
- People Mover (not a big ride but how can you not do the people mover)
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Rock N Roller Coaster
- Great Movie Ride (great for an air conditioned sit down break)
- Star Tours
- Test Track
- Space Ship Earth
- Gran Fiesta Tour
- Fireworks night time show, Illuminations
Although it is not a park and because we are over achievers we also headed over to Disney Springs when the parks were closed and enjoyed a leisurely sit down dinner at Bongos. Trust me, you need that time to reset, recharge and refuel!
It is absolutely possible to do all 4 parks in 1 day if you have the right expectations and planning and are up for the challenge! We had an incredible time and Disney never ceases to amaze me and make me feel like a kid again and it was so fun to do Disney with adults! Next time we are taking the whole family but at least I can say, that I got to do everything I wanted in one day at Disney and four parks in one day was a success!
Our tickets were provided by Walt Disney World, but opinions and plans are 100% my own.