verymerrylittlethoughts

Four Parks, One World…One Day

Katie Nix

Disney World is a crazy enough experience. There’s so much to see and do that you might run out of time to do the things on your list! Sometimes even a week isn’t enough. So what do you do when you’re only spending ONE DAY in the most magical place on Earth?

Well, you’ve come to the right place because we happen to be experts on hitting Animal Kingdom, before making our way to Hollywood Studios. After taking a nap and heading to Epcot, we decide to head to the Magic Kingdom before we realize we hit all four!

We can’t guarantee you’re going to hit all of the must-dos in each park (otherwise you’ll spend all day waiting in line) but we think this is a pretty good itinerary to get the best out of your four parks, one world, one day experience!

Depending on what time of the year it is, the parks typically open at 8 or 9 a.m. and the best park to start with is Animal Kingdom.

With the addition of Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, this might sound incorrect, but we’ll circle back to that later.

For a four park, one day bonanza, starting the day off at Animal Kingdom is your best bet. You should be there the second they open, whether that’s 8 or 9 a.m. or even earlier at 7 a.m. for Extra Magic Hours.

Once you get through the gates, you’ll want to make a beeline for Pandora and more specifically, Flight of Passage. This line is going to be long early and it’s only going to get worse throughout the day, but it is completely worth it!

After riding one your banshee, bypass Na’vi River Journey and head back into Africa and take a ride on Kilimanjaro Safari. As long as it’s still early, the stand-by time won’t be too long, and it’ll still be cool enough that the animals will be out and moving around instead of resting.

From there, you can ride Expedition Everest, but if you’re trying to hit four parks in one day I would maybe skip this if you tend to get motion sick because you don’t want it to out a cramp on the rest of your day.

DINOSAUR is the last attraction worth riding at Animal Kingdom but if I were you I wouldn’t wait in the line if it’s more than 20 minutes long. You have more important things you could be doing.

Like heading to Hollywood Studios, where you have already made Fastpass+ reservations for a Toy Story Land attraction. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them, but I would make them for either Slinky Dog Dash or Toy Story Midway Mania depending on what the availability is.

Once you make those reservations, you’re free to make them for pretty much anything else at the Studios but I would recommend Star Tours and the Tower of Terror.


After knocking out your must-dos at the Studios, which should probably be around 1 or 2 p.m., head back to your resort for a swim or a nap. You’re going to need your rest because the back half of this day is going to be CrAzY.

Around 5 p.m., head over to Epcot. The two main attractions you’ll want to hit here are Soarin’ and Test Track. The stand-by lines will be hectic at both but at Test Track, opt for the single rider option to make it go a little faster.

You’ll want to at least walk through the World Showcase. If I were you, I’d start by going to the right towards Canada and making my way to Mexico, stopping for empanadas because they’re just that delicious.

Whether or not, you’ve got little kids in your party, you also might want to head back to Norway and try your hand at Frozen Ever After, but that definitely will depend on the wait times (and might mean you have to forego one of the other rides) because you still have one more park to hit!

Rather than catching a bus to your next and final destination, the Magic Kingdom, head back to the front of Epcot and catch a monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center, or the TTC. From there, you’ll exit your monorail and transfer to one on the Magic Kingdom loop and get off when your lovely director declares that stop.

From here, the world is your oyster! Magic Kingdom has a little bit for everyone – want to be a thrill seeker? Hit the three mountains – Splash, Big Thunder and Space. Want to feel like a little kid again? Spend your time in Fantasyland. But if you want a little bit of everything…

Head down Main Street U.S.A. by cutting through the Emporium on the left side of the street. All of the shops connect and will spit you out at Casey’s Corner. If you’re hungry, it’s the perfect place for a snack.

Keep heading to your left and make your way into Adventureland, where the flagship attraction is definitely Pirates of the Caribbean. The line for this isn’t too long usually and gives you plenty of time to head into Frontierland and choose between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain (for us, Splash Mountain is a must and we would never consider skipping it).

Then, make your way into Liberty Square where there’s only two attractions and only one worth doing when you’re on a time crunch – the Haunted Mansion.

Once you get to Fantasyland things can be a little bit harrowing. Peter Pan’s Flight is a favorite of ours, but the line is usually pretty long so maybe skip it and ride It’s a Small World instead. Head back into the new part Fantasyland and ride either Journey Under the Sea with Ariel OR Dumbo and then you’re in Tomorrowland!

The two attractions to try and get done here are Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. If you’re cutting it a little close, as long as you’re in the line by the time the park closes they have to let you ride!

Whew! Are you exhausted? I am too just reading it, but you’ve gotten the most out of your one-day park hopper ticket!

What are some of your tips for hitting four parks in one day?? Let us know in the comments below!


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