Disney World is an expansive resort. It’s bigger than Manhattan, and was made to be enjoyed over several days. In fact, you’d probably need a month or more to really see it all. However, sometimes people don’t have several days to enjoy the resort, and those who can visit whenever they like may be looking for a challenge. Occasionally, these individuals make the decision to try to do all 4 of the main theme parks in one day. While this is far from relaxing, and while we definitely don’t recommend it, it is possible. Here’s how we would tackle such a challenge.
1. Grab FastPasses
Before anything else, you’ll want to book your starting three FastPasses. With this particular itinerary, these will be best used at Hollywood Studios and should be made back-to-back beginning 2.5 to 3 hours after Magic Kingdom opens that day. This will allow you to experience one of the Galaxy Edge attractions (no FastPass available for these) and FastPass at least one of the Toy Story Land attractions. It will also give you the opportunity to book a fourth FastPass to use at Epcot. Who knows? You may even snag a fifth to be used at Animal Kingdom!
2. Make a List
At some point before the big day, sit down with a set of maps and make a list of which attractions you must see in each park. Choose only 4 or 5 attractions per park, and write them down in order of importance.
3. Go to Bed Early
Seeing 4 Disney parks in one day is exhausting. Besides that, you’ll need to get up early to accomplish it. Therefore, you’ll definitely want to hit the sack as early as possible the night before.
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4. Rise and Shine and Catch a Ride
The goal is to arrive at Magic Kingdom about 45 minutes before opening. In order to do this, you’ll need to hop on a resort monorail around 60–70 minutes before opening, or arrive (via resort bus or otherwise) at the Transportation and Ticket Center at least 90 minutes before opening. You’ll be waking up pretty early to accomplish this, but exactly what time you get out of bed will be determined by where you stay, park hours for the day, and how long you take to get ready. Our recommendation? Stay on property to save time. If you can secure a monorail resort—like the Polynesian, the Contemporary, or the Grand Floridian—you’ll have it even easier.
5. Grab Breakfast, Snap Photos, and Queue Up
No matter how you make your way to Magic Kingdom, hopefully you’ll make it there around 45 minutes prior to opening. This time should be used to grab some breakfast and coffee from Main Street Bakery, snap the obligatory photo in front of the castle, shop around a bit, and then queue up near whichever land you’re headed to first.
6. Hit Headliners
The very best time to hit headliner attractions without a FastPass is right after the park opens. For this reason, we highly recommend riding attractions such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Peter Pan as soon as the park opens. Ride whatever you care about most first, get in what you can, and head to the bus loading area around 2 to 2.5 hours after opening.
7. Take Bus to Hollywood Studios
There are buses that will take you from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios. Get on one of these for your first park hop of the day. The transfer should take no more than 40 minutes total.
8. Lunch on the Go
As soon as you use arrive in Hollywood Studios, head to Galaxy’s Edge. Here you can ride one of the attractions and grab lunch at a quick-service location to eat on the go. We recommend getting something from the newly opened Ronto Roasters. Even better, Mobile Order your lunch here!
9. Use Your FastPasses
With food in hand, start munching and make your way to your first Hollywood Studios FastPass ride and get ready to make use of those FastPasses. Use all three passes, filling any time between with shopping or short-wait attractions. As soon as you’ve scanned the third FastPass, be sure to hop onto the My Disney Experience app and make a fourth FastPass selection for Epcot. Your best bet will be Soarin’ or Frozen Ever After, if at all possible. If neither of these is available, get whatever you like.
10. Walk to Epcot
After your third FastPass has been used, head out of Hollywood Studios and onto the walking path between there and Epcot. This is located near the bus loading area. The walk to Epcot is about 25 minutes long and will put you at the International Gateway entrance at the back of the park.
11. Tour the World
After making your way through the entrance, you’ll find yourself in the World Showcase. You can choose to head to your left and see United Kingdom and Canada, or you can take the longer and more scenic route to the right, which will send you through the other nine pavilions. Whichever way you go, be sure to pick up a dessert or alcoholic beverage along the way, and don’t forget to browse the shops!
12. See Other Attractions
This plan allows for up to 2.5 hours in Epcot. This means that after touring the World Showcase you should still have plenty of time to use your fourth FastPass, schedule a fifth one for Animal Kingdom, and catch 3–4 other rides. Quick tip: If you wish to ride Test Track, you can save time (or even multi-task) by using the “single rider” line.
13. Bus to Animal Kingdom
You’ll want to hop on a bus from Epcot to Animal Kingdom no less than 3 hours before Animal Kingdom closes for the day. Use this ride to rehydrate yourself, and count on a total transfer time of no more than 40 minutes.
14. Get Some Dinner
By the time you arrive in Animal Kingdom, you’ll probably be hungry. Go ahead and get some quick-service food before anything else, but be sure to eat quickly or get something you can carry with you.
15. See What You Can
After dinner, you have the rest of the day to explore Animal Kingdom. However, the rest of the day may only be about 2 hours. Still, this should give you time to use that fifth FastPass, get in 1 or 2 more rides, and explore Pandora at night.
16. Head Home
When closing time rolls around, simply get a bus back to your onsite resort. If you’re staying offsite, get a bus to Polynesian Resort and walk from there to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where you can get a shuttle back to your car. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the TTC ferry dock before you head out for the night.