This Walt Disney World vacation we did something we have never done before — all four parks in one day! Yes, we went to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot in just one day. And now I am going to tell you how to do it AND get all your favorite rides in — PLUS a sit down dinner! Seems crazy, I know. We spent about 17 hours in the parks that day, but it was all worth it. Heck, we even took a 20 minute break back at our resort!
We started with Hollywood Studios so that we could knock out two of our favorite “lands” first thing in the morning – Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land! Thanks to the extra, extra magic hours, the park opened at 6am. This was fantastic for us! We went right over to Smuggler’s Run, and only waited about 20 minutes before riding! Then we had a conversation with Rey about our 6 year old’s piloting (and warned her she might have some repairs to make). We also stopped in at Oga’s Cantina and had breakfast (with no wait!).
Next we were off to Toy Story Land to do all three rides with minimal wait times. We could have easily hit Star Tours, Tower of Terror, and Rock N Roller Coaster as well (wait times for all were 10 minutes or less). However, our youngest daughter is too short for Rock N Roller Coaster, and we had FastPasses for Tower of Terror and Star Tours later in the week. I imagine adding all three of these to our itinerary would have only added an hour (or less) to our Hollywood Studios time).
We were in Hollywood Studios from 5:50 am to 8:50 am. Had a sit down breakfast, went on 4 rides, did a meet and greet, and shopped.
TIP: Take advantage of extra magic hours. Especially the extra extra magic hours if they are still in effect when you are traveling. They allowed us to finish the rides in the park we wanted to before it even opened to the public for the day!
Knowing that the middle of the day would be Animal Kingdom for us, we planned to spend the most time at this park. We booked FastPasses for the big rides (Expedition Everest, Jungle Safari, and Kali River Rapids). We decided to avoid Pandora all together (except we did eat lunch at Satu’li Canteen (yum!) because we had FastPasses for another day. If you plan to go this route and want to hit Flight of Passage, be sure to grab a FastPass for it, as the wait time is still pretty long.
We were in Animal Kingdom from 9:30 am to 1:50 pm. Had a sit down lunch, went on 5 rides, Mickey and Minnie meet and greet, and saw a show.
TIP: Get your FastPasses for your second park of the day, especially if you are taking advantage of extra magic hours like we did. This way you can bang that park out, and move on to the third park WITH FastPasses! Of course, be sure to grab them before you leave the second park!
Who doesn’t love Magic Kingdom? Fortunately for us, we spend a LOT of time at this park during our Disney vacations, so we had decided to just take whatever FastPasses we could get. Of course we grabbed our first one before we even headed out of Animal Kingdom.
This might shock you — but we took the bus from Animal Kingdom back to our resort, Copper Creek, and took a 30 minute breather before hopping on the boat to Magic Kingdom. If you ever attempt four parks in one day, it is great to schedule in a break if possible! We were able to get on 7 rides – including popular coasters like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Railroad! Of course we grabbed a Mickey pretzel and churro for a pick me up snack!
We were in Magic Kingdom from 3:15 pm to 4:50 pm. We went on 7 rides and had a snack.
TIP: If you are traveling between August and December, you can likely take advantage of a holiday party night — Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. A party day is the perfect day to attempt four parks in one day because resort guests tend to stay away from Magic Kingdom on those days. Why? Well they have to leave the park by 6pm — which means shorter lines for you during your window in this park!
We ended the day at Epcot, which was perfect. This was during Food and Wine, so things were a little crazy, but we still had a blast! The first thing we did was head to China for our dinner reservation (delicious!) and then we went on a few rides. Of course we had to stop by the dance party and see Remy! Then we ended the night with one of the final showings of Illumination!
We were in Epcot from 6:40 pm to 10:15 pm. We had a sit down dinner, went on 3 rides, attended a dance party, and watched Illuminations.
TIP: Make a dinner reservation at your favorite restaurant in the World Showcase! This will allow you the time to relax and refuel before tackling a few more rides to end the night!
Overall Thoughts on the Day
After a long day we were back at our resort by 11pm. We went right to bed and ended up sleeping for over 10 hours! I guess our bodies needed it. But honestly this was such an amazing experience and one that our whole family will remember for the rest of our lives.
We changed “Four Parks, One Day!” throughout the day and my daughters told just about every cast member they saw what we were doing. You know we had to pick up a celebration button at the front desk on our way back to our room to make it “real”. If you think your kids are too little to try this, think again. Kids are surprisingly resilient. And if you make it fun, they will be sure to want to attempt it! My daughters were 6 and 8 (and with no stroller)! at the time of our adventure — and now they say they want to do it every year!
TIP: Be sure to take at least one photopass photo at each park to commemorate your day! These absolutely MUST be the iconic shots — in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, in front of the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom, in front of the ball (Spaceship Earth) at Epcot, and on Hollywood Boulevard at Hollywood Studios!