Disney World Park Planning – All Four Parks In One Day

Disney Parks

When planning a trip to Walt Disney World Parks, one of the many things you have to take into consideration is which park to go to on which day. If you’re going to be there for more than 4 or 5 days, it’s usually not a big issue because there’s plenty of time to hit each park. And if you have park hopper tickets it’s easier to change up your schedule.

But if you’ve got a coaster nut on your hands like we do, sometimes crazy thoughts enter their mind. Several years ago, on our last day at Disney World we got to Magic Kingdom at rope drop and by 10am had hit every major ride. Some of them 2 or 3 times.

Our Magical Express pick-up wasn’t until 4pm so we had all day. What do you do when you’ve done “all the rides” at one park and it’s still pretty early? So when BabyGirl asked if we could go over to Animal Kingdom so she can ride Expedition Everest (her favorite ride!) we figured why not. We could definitely get that done before the bus came to pick us up.

Evidently the sun had already gotten to me and I suggested that it would be fun to ride all the major rides at all four parks. In one day! Then get on a plane for 5 hours. What was I thinking? Am I insane?

We’re not talking about a ride here and there. No, I’m suggesting we do ALL the major attractions at ALL. FOUR. PARKS. That’s Magic Kingdom, which we’d already done. Then there would 2 rides at Animal Kingdom, which is not next to Magic Kingdom. And there would be 3 at Hollywood Studios and at least 2 at Epcot. That’s 7 more rides! At 3 more parks. In 5 hours! Seriously, it was hot and humid and I’m sure that led to my suggesting such a whirlwind day.

And so we set out to do it. And WE DID IT! Not just once, but we’ve done it 3 times now. I tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart. If planning is not your strong suit then this won’t work. There’s no room for dilly-dallying, character meet-n-greets or shiny things. This is about focus! And Uncle Walt would be so proud.

So how did we do it? It’s easy! OK, not really, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Start at Magic Kingdom. You’ve got to be there for rope drop. We get FastPasses at each ride that has ’em, just incase. We go on Space Mountain 2 or 3 times then head over to Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road for a few rides then hit Splash Mountain. We skip Pirates of the Caribbean because the one at Disneyland Resort is much better (per BabyGirl). And because The Haunted Mansion isn’t usually too busy we’ll grab a DoomBuggie for a quick spin and a few songs to get stuck in our head.

On the way out of the park we’ll grab a Dole Whip. This last time we took a detour through Pixie Hollow to see Tinker Bell and Rosetta. Our last stop, is with a Photopass Photographer. Gotta remember that last day!

Disney World with Tinker Bell

Then we were off to Disney’s Animal Kingdom by catching the bus from the Transportation and Ticket Center. Once at Animal Kingdom it’s straight back to Expedition Everest. Really, for BabyGirl, this is the only reason she goes to Animal Kingdom. We get a FastPass then get in line. Depending on the time, we’ll ride it 2 or 3 times. Then it’s a stop at the Photopass Photographer who’ll take our photo with Expedition Everest in the background before heading to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch. After, we head back in time on Dinosaur.

Family at Animal Kingdom

At this point I’m usually out of the game. I’m the bag-watcher, FastPass getter. CycleGuy is designated chaperone. And so off they are to pre-historic times and I wait in the shaded area getting my sweat on.

With the new transportation that will take you from park to park, it’s easy to get to stop #3 on the Crazy Town Express, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This one’s a little trickier because the 3 major rides are all very popular. And Star Tours is on the other side of the park from Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. Since Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster is her favorite, that’s first. So they head there and I do my duty as FastPass getter. Several times on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and by now CycleGuy is standing in line with BabyGirl and letting her go by herself and picking her up at the end.

Did I mention she’s crazy?

And despite the fact that the first time BabyGirl went on Tower of Terror she said it broke her neck (don’t you love how 5 year old kids describe things?), this is now a must do. Although if she could bypass the movie she would. That’s the part that scares her. I don’t blame her. Twilight Zone was a freaky show. After Tower of Terror it’s off to Star Tours then a stop for a frozen Coke, one last Photopass photo then off to our final destination … Epcot.

Luckily, it’s just a boat ride over to Epcot. But if there are long lines, we’ve been known to take the bus to the front of the park instead of entering through the International Gateway and having to trek across the park.

For us, Epcot has our final 2 rides – Soarin’ and Test Track. By time we enter Epcot, our ticket has been scanned at 3 prior parks. Disney is well aware of this, so it makes for some fun conversations. We head to TestTrack and I grab FastPasses and we get on the ride. A few times! Then over to Soarin’ and if it’s 30 minutes or less we’re golden!

On the way out our last stop is at Club Station Cool for a quick refreshment before our final Photopass Photo Op.

I guarantee you, this is not for the faint of heart. It’s a very intense day. But, oh, it is SO. MUCH. FUN!

Four Disney Parks One Day

Now it’s your turn. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done at Disney World?


Author: Sara

Sara is a life-long dreamer, creating a list of things she wants to do "someday". Realizing there is no "someday" on the calendar she's taking the steps to make her somedays a reality. Between saving for retirement and college and paying for all the usual things, many women find that they're often putting their hopes and dreams on hold. Saving For Someday is Sara's way of encouraging women everywhere to find ways to save on the ordinary so they can do the extraordinary. Sara is also a licensed attorney and writes about legal issues affecting bloggers, content creators and online professionals. This blog is for informational purposes only. You can also find me on Google+

9 thoughts on “Disney World Park Planning – All Four Parks In One Day”

  1. We did it too! A little differently, but we did it too. We started at Animal Kingdom, went to Hollywood Studios, then on to Epcot. We were at Magic Kingdom after Epcot closed – they were open late that night. Glad to know I’m not the only crazy one! Wish we were going to Disney with you guys again! xoxox

  2. You and your family never cease to amaze me. Every time you come back from a trip I wish it was me…then I think better of it, because there is no way I could keep up with you all!!!!

    1. Tracy, I think maybe the heat gets to us and we’re unable to think straight. Seriously! We’re obviously crazy.

      And CycleGuy does insist on one “down day”, although that usually involves the insanity of a water park.

      ~ Sara

    1. I think we’re reliving our childhood while hoping BabyGirl doesn’t figure out what we’re doing.

  3. We did the fireworks version of this…there were only 3 parks since Animal Kingdom didn’t have fireworks – and it was about 7 years ago, so don’t know if the schedules would allow for it to work now.

    We were literally running to catch the bus, the boat etc to get to the ‘suggested’ viewing locations (in no small part motivated by the cast member who told us ‘it couldn’t be done’)…it didn’t work out perfectly and we were exhausted and too ‘exercised up’ to sleep but definitely a fun adventure.

  4. So jealous!! We will have to try this!! I never get tired at Disney, I have that adrenalin rush the entire time! What time of year did you go? We were there in November with two hour minimum waits so this could never happen then. February has been my favorite time of year to date!

  5. Heading down for Night of Joy soon, might actually be trying this as we only have two days in the parks and we have to be in MK each night. Keep up the good work 😉

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