Wondering how to visit all of the Disney theme parks in a day? We’ll share some helpful tips and tricks!
If your goal is to visit 4 Disney parks in one day, it’s going to take some planning. Our resource can help!
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You’ve always wanted to visit all 4 Disney parks, but you only have one day! What is a Disney-lover to do?!
If it’s your first time enjoying a Disney World vacation, we highly recommend allowing at least one full day in each of the theme parks.
But if that’s not feasible, or if you’re simply up for the challenge of enjoying all of Walt Disney World Florida in one day, we’ve got you covered.
With the following suggestions and a solid plan, your chances of being able to visit all four in one day increase.
Planning is essential to accomplishing this feat without feeling like you’re a contestant on The Amazing Race.
Let’s get ready, get set, and get park hopping!
If you’re planning to visit all 4 Disney parks in one day, the only ticket type that works for you is a Standard Admission with the added Park Hopper option.
Adding the Park Hopper to your Walt Disney World ticket will allow you to visit each Disney World theme park on the same day.
The trick to Park Hopping is making a reservation via the Disney Park Pass system for your first park of the day.
After reserving your first Disney World park, you can use your Park Hopper ticket to visit the other three parks beginning at 2 pm, provided they have capacity.
The Park Hopper is good until each park’s regularly scheduled closing time.
It’s worth noting that if you wish to check out one of the Disney water parks like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, you’ll need to buy separate Disney tickets, as there is no water park at any of the four major theme parks.
A trip to the water park will undoubtedly require a whole separate day!
Be Mindful Of Closing Times
Here’s where we start to tackle the logistics of the day.
Not all parks operate on the same schedule, and if you’re trying to fit everything into one day, you must know with 100% certainty when the parks open and close.
At the time of writing, the hours for Walt Disney World parks are: Magic Kingdom 9 am to 10 pm, Epcot 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, Hollywood Studios 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, and Animal Kingdom 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
As you can see, there are certain times of the day when park operations overlap and specific times when they don’t—knowing where to go and when will determine your success.
You may want to save the park that stays open the latest for your last stop of the day.
Did you know that guests of Walt Disney Resort Hotels and select other hotels can get early access to the parks?
That’s right. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can access the first park of your day thirty minutes earlier than the general public.
For this perk alone, a hotel reservation for the night may be worth considering. You’re closer to the action and get an exclusive half-hour window to hit up your favorite rides before anyone else.
Related Disney Resort Resources:
- Disney Hotels on the Monorail
- Best Disney Resorts for Adults
- Pop Century vs. Art of Animation
- Kidani Village vs. Jambo House
The My Disney Experience app is considered the Cadillac of amusement park technology.
With the addition of Disney Genie and Disney Genie+, this may be the most essential tool to help conquer your day.
Disney Genie is a standard My Disney Experience app feature that turns your phone into Aladdin’s golden lamp.
Once you login to your account, you can begin to tell Disney Genie what your wishes are for that day.
Let’s say you really want to experience the Haunted Mansion at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom, and the Gran Fiesta Tour at Epcot World Showcase.
Simply open the Disney Genie feature, and add these to your list of priorities. Disney Genie will provide an itinerary that best suits your wishes during your allotted times.
If you want to customize your day even further, Disney Genie+ is available for an extra $15 USD per person daily (though Disney just announced that the price will vary during certain times of year).
Through Disney Genie+, you’ll have access to Disney’s Lightning Lane features.
On average, you can enter two to three attractions with Lightning Lane options per day, bypassing standard Disney wait times and saving yourself some more precious time.
The best function of Disney Genie is that it updates your itinerary in real-time. If an attraction gets unexpectedly busy, Disney Genie will shift its recommendation to keep your day on track.
Trust me, you ain’t never had a friend like him.
Wear The Right Clothes and Shoes
You’ve got your Disney World tickets, checked out park operating hours, downloaded the app, and now, the day is here.
Before you even step outside your door, ensure you’re dressed for the occasion!
Now is not the time to pull out any brand new footwear or ill-fitting or restrictive clothing. You’ll be on your feet and hustling from Disney park to Disney park, so activewear is your best bet on this day.
Consider choosing a fabric that wicks away sweat, is quick-drying, and breathable. Bonus points are awarded to clothing with built-in SPF as well.
For footwear, take care of your Disney feet and prioritize comfort over everything else. How cute your new Minnie Mouse ballet flats are doesn’t matter.
If they aren’t sufficiently broken in, padded, and have excellent arch support, you’ll be begging to end this day early.
Related Shoes and Clothing Resources:
- Best Shoes for Disney World
- How to Prevent Blisters at Disney World
- What to Wear to Disney World in March
- What to Wear to Disney World in April
- Best Family Shirts for Disney World
- Cute and Comfortable Disney Leggings for the Parks
If you’re up for eating on the go, packing your meals and snacks is the best way to save time while in the parks.
Homemade sandwiches and trail mix are easy to grab-and-go options that you can eat while on the move.
Add some protein bars, whole pieces of fruit like apples or bananas, and some squeeze packs of yogurt or applesauce to the mix, and you’ll be able to keep your energy high and your stomach full throughout your day.
Don’t forget a refillable water bottle!
Walt Disney World has multiple water fountains throughout its parks, so you can fill your water bottle as needed. You can request cold ice water from any quick service restaurant to pour into your bottle as well.
If you are getting dehydrated, a quick stop at one of Disney’s First Aid Stations will fix you quickly. Here you’ll find free electrolyte drinks to replenish your sugar stores.
Lastly, if you’re in doubt about what you can and can’t bring into the parks, check out my article on what types of food Disney allows inside their gates.
A potential hang-up at security is not worth the time it will take out of your day.
Many people think the best park to start at is the one that opens earliest in the day. In theory, this is a great idea.
However, if you have your heart set on specific attractions or experiences, this may not be the advice that best suits you.
For instance, if most of your wishlist attractions take place in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this park is a logical starting point regardless of operating hours.
Your first park should be where you want to spend the most time, since you’re committed to being there until at least 2 pm, when your Park Hopper option comes into play.
If you’re unsure which park to start at, consider making Magic Kingdom your first stop.
There is so much to do and see at Magic Kingdom that it’s worth spending the extra time there. Plus, most people want to make riding Space Mountain a priority!
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
When you’re attempting to visit all four parks in one day, there’s one thing you’ll need to accept right away – you will not get to see and do everything.
You’re not an actual Genie, after all.
You may have already started your wishlist in Disney Genie, but if you haven’t, now is the time to write out everything you want to see and do at each park.
Put your wishes in order of importance, and be prepared to get picky with your time. You may have to cross some things off the list entirely.
If you’re having trouble figuring out your priorities, there are a few simple questions you may want to ask yourself.
First, how old is everyone in your party? You may want to cut out the rides explicitly made for young children if you’re all adults doing Disney.
Next, what are your favorite Disney movies? If you answered Star Wars or Toy Story, then Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a must-do early in your day so that you can check out its fantastic themed areas of Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story land.
Be forewarned that some shows can potentially eat up a lot of your time. Narrow down your must-see shows to one or two tops, and then be diligent about checking performance times in the My Disney Experience app.
When you’re trying to visit all four parks in one day on your Disney World vacation, you don’t have time to stop for every parade or performer that comes your way!
Time management is of the utmost importance. You may think it’s as simple as dividing the total daily hours of operation by four, but Disney time management is a little more complicated.
Try to base your day around scheduled experiences.
For instance, if you have Lightning Lane reservations for Rock N’ Roller Coaster at 2 pm at Hollywood Studios, you know you’ll have to leave your first park at least 30 minutes before then to make it on time.
Some people put Cinderella’s Castle fireworks at the top of their list, and since fireworks only happen at night, you know you’ll need to end your day at Magic Kingdom park.
However, if you decide to break up your day, be diligent about staying on time. It’s very easy to get distracted by the sights and sounds at each park.
Remember, you’re on a mission to conquer all four, and there’s no time to waste!
If you’re worried about how to get between parks, fear not. There’s no reason to drive and park at each location when Disney’s transit services are so readily available.
Whether you use their bus, monorail, boat, or their newly installed Skyliner gondolas, knowing how to get around is helpful.
Consult your park schedule to understand best which transit services offer the most direct route to your parks of choice.
For instance, the monorail has an express line from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, and once you’re finished at Epcot, you can jump on the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios.
If you’re catching the bus, remember that not all bus routes are direct, and some may require transfers to a different line.
This isn’t a big deal if you’ve planned transportation into your schedule but does have the potential to throw you off schedule if you haven’t considered the bus routes.
One final option is to travel between parks if you’re in a pinch. Taxi services are readily available at each park entrance.
Just flag one down or book a car in your preferred mobile app, and you’ll be whisked away to your next stop in the privacy of your own vehicle.
As you can see, it’s certainly not impossible to visit the four Walt Disney World parks in one day. All you need is a plan, some perseverance, comfortable walking shoes, and a little bit of pixie dust for added luck.
Time to make like Lightning McQueen and get to it! Good luck!
Be sure to save this to your Disney planning board on Pinterest!