Last Tuesday, my family had one of the busiest days of our lives – we took on Disney World! We bought one-day Hopper passes to all 4-Disney Parks (Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom) and we completely dominated all 4 parks in just one day! We literally left our hotel on International Drive at 7 am and didn’t get back until well after 9 pm. We took no stroller, no backpack, and we survived a long, exhausting day at Disney with three kids under 8!
If you’re looking into a magical Disney World vacation, but can only afford to do one day (or want to do), these tips will help you dominate all 4 Disney Parks in one day with kids. These tips will help you understand what to expect and teach you how to experience the best of all 4 Disney Parks in one day!
How to Dominate Disney World in 1 Day!
Remember, the Disney Park Hopper 1-day pass is not for everyone. In order to visit all 4 parks, you will have little time to rest and may have to choose between doing a ride and hopping over to another park.
If you are able to afford to do Disney World in more than one day, I recommend spending as much time there as possible. This way you can experience everything the parks have to offer and won’t have to make any sacrifices.
Download Disney Parks App Before You Go
One of the best things I did before we left for our Florida vacation, is download the free Disney Parks app. This app is available in both the iTunes Store and Google Play and is very beneficial when used during your Disney visit and even before.
This app not only gives you directions from your current location to certain rides, but it also allows you to view each ride’s current wait time. If you are planning on dominating Disney World, this app will allow you to ride the rides with the lowest wait times first and plan ahead for the rides that always have huge wait times.
Before we went to Florida, I checked the wait times at all the parks to help determine which park we should go to first and which rides I didn’t mind having to skip. If you use this app correctly, it can really save you a lot of time throughout your visit.
Before You Go, Rate Each Park
Before you go, use the Disney Parks app and Disney’s website to help determine which park you want to visit first. One thing you should take into consideration, though, is the Magic Kingdom and/or Hollywood Studios should be one of the parks you plan on ending your day at. Both of these parks offer a nightly show of fireworks and Disney characters and you won’t want to miss it. You will, however, have to choose to end your day in just one park and miss the other’s show.
We did Hollywood Studio last and watched the Fantasmic show and we LOVED it! But be prepared, seating fills up early.
Whenever you use the Disney Parks app and Disney’s website, you can decide which park has the most-wanted rides for your family and determine which rides you want to visit. If any of your choices are “bigger” rides that constantly have long wait times, you may want to try to the park with your most-wanted big ride first. This way you can cross the ride off your list and your family may luck out with a small wait time.
Once you determine all the rides that your family wants to ride, order your parks from least rides to most rides since it’s usually smart to cross off parks with the least rides right away and leave yourself the most time for the most exciting park.
Arrive Early, Stay Late
To get the most out of your Hopper Park Ticket, you will want to arrive early and plan on staying late. Since you will need any extra time you can get, it’s always best to be at the parks at least an hour before opening. This will give you time to park, grab tickets, and go through security.
Remember the earlier you get done these things, the sooner you can get in line to ride your favorite ride.
With that being said, staying at a Disney Resort can also get you into the parks an hour earlier. This could be tremendous in your 4 parks in one day experience but is not something you have to do. We didn’t, but we did find out Disney Resorts do have budget-savvy resorts that won’t break the bank. In fact, after checking, some of the resorts were cheaper than regular hotel stays.
Use Disney Fastpass Options
We found out too late about this, but apparently, Disney Tickets each come with 3 Fastpass options. Fastpasses allow you to speed past long-wait-times and ride your favorite ride without the wait. Since you only get three of these, it is very important you use them on rides that have long wait times instead of rides with short wait times.
When using the Fastpass, it’s also smart to pick your Fastpass times right away in the morning, as opposed to waiting until late because some rides do run out of Fastpasses.
Drive Your Own Car
When it comes to getting to and from Disney World, many local hotels offer free shuttles to and from, but this is not the best option for Park Hoppers. In fact, you will want to drive yourself to Disney and pay the $25 parking fee.
This parking fee allows you to park for free at any of the 4 parks, as long as you save your receipt. Moving your car 3/4 times may seem like a hassle, but it is really beneficial if you have things in your car you don’t want to carry into the park. It also allows you to leave at the end of the day without any hassle of waiting for another shuttle.
Since most of the parks have trams that drive through the parking lots, you won’t have to worry about excessive walks to and from your car.
Visit Disney Springs for Disney Souvenirs
To get the most out of your Disney World experience, you want to make sure to save shopping for later on. You can shop for the same souvenirs, with the same prices, later on in the week at Disney Springs near Disney World.
Disney Springs offers a ton of fun shops and restaurants and even includes free parking.
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