Is it possible to see and enjoy all of the four Disney World parks in one day and do we recommend it?
After moving to Florida, we realized it’s basically a requirement to fall in love with Disney World and visit as often as possible. We typically aren’t those that like to dress up or go nuts over Disney, but we love to feel like we’ve stepped into another world even if just for a day.
On our most recent trip up to Orlando, we visited all four Disney World parks in one day in addition to a day at both Universal Studios parks and another night at Halloween Horror Nights. It was possible, we did it, and we enjoyed it, but it also nearly killed us!
Is It A Good Idea To Try And See All Four Of The Disney World Parks In One Day?
Disney World is expensive, getting there can be expensive, hotels are expensive, the food is expensive, all of the souvenirs are expensive, and so on, so we understand that one day at Disney World may be all that you can do or have the time for.
If that’s the case, then go for it! It will be exhausting, but you’re at Disney World so it’s all worth it.
But if you have the ability to spread things out a little bit, that would be the best scenario. Although it is possible to see all four parks at Disney World in just one day, you won’t have time to experience every single thing at each park and things will feel rushed.
With that being said, below are all the tips, details, and schedules to help you make it to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot in just one day if that’s what you decide to do.
When Should You Visit Disney World To See It In One Day?
Disney World does not have a slow season.
There is no such thing as an empty day at Disney, but you can visit on specific days of the week or specific times of the year to have a slightly less crowded Disney experience. It might not feel that much better as you wait in hours long lines, but there are times that are better than say the middle of summer or the week of Christmas.
🗓 These are just estimates but the general consensus is that parts of January, September, October, November, and early December are the less busy times of year to visit Disney World.
📅 The middle of the week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, are also supposed to be the less busy (less busy but still busy) days of the week to visit Disney World.
❄️🌸 As far as weather goes, Winter and Spring in Florida are the best with the lowest average days of rain and temperatures averaging between the 50s and 70s. However, this is also the high season when it comes to things like hotel prices.
🌦🍁 Summer and Fall are the cheapest seasons to visit but it’s humid, temperatures average in the 80s and 90s, rain is at its highest averages, and it is also hurricane season.
✅ For the cheapest travel days, slightly less crowds, better temperatures, and lower chances of rain, a Tuesday or Wednesday in October or November (outside of the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays) might be the best time to visit Disney World to see everything in one day.
What Kind Of Tickets Do I Need To See All Four Disney World Parks In One Day?
In order to see more than one park in a day at Disney World, you have to make specific ticket purchases.
1️⃣ You’ll start off selecting the “Standard Theme Park Ticket” option and then select the number of days you want to visit.
2️⃣ After that you’ll have to select the ticket type and you want to choose the “Park Hopper” option to be able to visit Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot in one day.
3️⃣ Next you have to choose the day you will visit and you want to make sure you select a date that has a full green circle in it (this just shows the parks availability).
4️⃣ And last on this page is to select the number of tickets you need.
5️⃣ Once you hit continue, you’ll eventually be sent to the Checkout page and you’ll finish your purchase.
6️⃣ After you purchase your tickets, you must make a reservation through the Disney Park Pass reservation system for the first theme park you plan to visit. Once you’re at Disney World and are able to Park Hop (2:00 pm and later) you can hop between each park (subject to capacity limitations) but you must have that reservation for the first park.
Does Disney Have A Fast Pass And Do I Need It?
The Disney Genie+ Service (not to be confused with the free Disney Genie Service) is the Lightning Lane entrance for a majority of rides and attractions at Disney World. Info, rules, and what experiences you can use with Genie+ can be seen on Disney’s site.
The Individual Lightning Lanes are the fast passes for the rides and attractions that are not offered through the Genie+ Service. Unfortunately you can only buy these passes for up to two experiences per day, but currently each park only offers one ride each through the Individual Lightning Lanes.
Fast Passes will always help make your day a little easier but know that Disney’s services aren’t quite the same as other theme parks. You can basically only use the Genie+ service every two hours and you can only use it for one ride at a time so you typically won’t be able to hop on any ride whenever you want.
The Individual Lightning Lanes would be especially helpful for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride at Epcot, the Avatar Flight of Passage ride at Animal Kingdom, and the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride at Hollywood Studios.
How To Schedule/Order The Parks For One Day?
Opening and closing times at Disney World change depending on the day so the exact schedule you should create will be dependent on when you choose to visit.
Typically, Animal Kingdom is one of the best parks to visit in the morning because it is usually one of the first parks to open, and animals tend to be more active early in the day. Magic Kingdom and Epcot are better parks to visit in the evening because of their firework shows.
On the other hand, since you can’t park hop until after 2:00 pm, whatever park has the most rides, shows, or attractions you want to do, visit that one first.
If you get there right at opening time (which we suggest because you’ll get through a few rides pretty quickly) you’ll have around six hours at that first park which will be the most of the day.
🦁 Animal Kingdom: The Best Things To See And Do
Animal Kingdom is typically one of the first parks to open (hours can change daily) which makes it a great park to visit first. In addition to opening times, animals tend to be more active in the mornings so you might see some more action if you visit early.
This park is also usually one of the first to close for the night, around 7:00 or 8:00 pm. Animal Kingdom does not do a fireworks show because of the animals.
The different sections of Animal Kingdom include Oasis, Discovery Island, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Africa, Asia, and Dinoland U.S.A.
Below are some of the best things to see and do in Animal Kingdom for adults visiting Disney World, but of course for families and kids as well.
➡️ Pandora & Avatar Flight of Passage
Let me start off by saying I’m not much of a fan of the Avatar movie, but I love Disney’s Pandora and the Avatar Flight of Passage. So if you are a fan of the movie, you will love this area, and if you’re not a fan, don’t worry it’s still super cool and the ride is amazing.
The Avatar Flight of Passage ride remains our favorite thing to do at any of the Disney World parks.
The ride itself is about 4.5 minutes long (which is part of the reason why wait times can be high) but before getting on the ride you’ll go through two separate rooms, each with a short video. Once inside, you’ll sit down like you’re sitting on a horse, the room will open up to a huge screen, and you will feel like you’re flying through Pandora as you watch with 3D glasses.
For a video of the ride, you can watch here.
➡️ Kilimanjaro Safari
The Kilimanjaro Safari is all the way in the back left corner of the park and although it typically gets very busy later in the day, we were able to walk right on it early in the morning shortly after the park had opened (about 9:30 to 10:00 am).
A jeep-like bus will pull up to take you around the grounds to see all the animals roaming around as if you were on a safari. Morning is typically better to see more animal activity which was true when we rode, as all of the animals were up and moving around at 10:00 am.
➡️ The Tree Of Life
Don’t forget to take the time to watch some of the animals around this park, and take a photo in front of the Tree of Life which is the main symbol of Animal Kingdom.
➡️ Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
After waiting in a couple of lines, we decided to take a break and go on a calm walk through the Gorilla Falls Exploration trail inside of Africa.
There are lots of trails throughout the park that will take you through different animal habitats ranging from gorillas and hippos to tigers and Komodo dragons. Take a break from lines, and enjoy a nice stroll through the wild.
➡️ Festival Of The Lion King
The Lion King show is one of the most popular in Animal Kingdom and at Disney World period, and it lasts for about 40 minutes.
Show times vary but they usually have a few options in the morning, a couple of options in the afternoon, and one option in the evening.
➡️ Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest always seemed to have low wait times and even when we rode in the middle of the day, we still walked right on. It’s one of the bigger rollercoasters for Disney and has a short segment that goes backwards, but it doesn’t go upside down and it isn’t all that intense (we’re used to Universal Studios coasters).
🎥 Hollywood Studios: The Best Things To See And Do
Hollywood Studios was our second Disney World park of the day, and while we only stayed for one ride, this park is pretty large and has lots to see. It typically opens anywhere from 8:00 to 9:00 am and usually closes at 9:00 pm.
Their nighttime show is an animation projection of Disney and Pixar over the last 90 years.
This park is split up into eight different sections: Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Echo Lake, Animation Courtyard, Commissary Lane, Grand Avenue, Toy Story Land, and the most popular Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Below are some of the most popular things to see and do in Hollywood Studios for adults, families, and kids visiting Disney World.
➡️ Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard is the section that you walk through straight after entering or just before leaving the park. It’s a great place to take some pictures and feel like you’re over on the west coast for a minute.
➡️ Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror
Hollywood Studios is all about Star Wars, Animation, and California which just wouldn’t be complete without a ghostly 1930s era Hollywood Tower Hotel and an unstable, rickety elevator shaft.
The Tower of Terror is a classic vertical “coaster” that sends you up and down, with sudden drops and a dark, spooky atmosphere.
➡️ Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
The largest coaster at Hollywood Studios, and one of the largest for Disney World, is the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster which races you around Los Angeles, blasting Aerosmith along the way. This is a larger coaster so the minimum height is 48″.
➡️ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The most popular and crowded section of Hollywood Studios is definitely Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Whether you’re a huge fan of Star Wars or not, this area is pretty cool and has some awesome rides with great props and visuals.
➡️ Rise Of The Resistance
The newest and busiest ride to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the Rise of the Resistance ride which typically has outrageously long lines so it’s a great idea to look into the Lightning Lane pass for this one.
The ride was really cool but the two hour wait was definitely not.
🏰 Magic Kingdom: The Best Things To See And Do
Magic Kingdom is the main Disney World park and is a must see on any Disney trip. Magic Kingdom is typically open at either 8:00 or 9:00 am and stays open as late as 11:00 pm or as early as 6:00 pm depending on other special events (like the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party).
The only way to get to Magic Kingdom is by the Monorail, so if you are driving you’ll have to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center and take the Monorail from there.
The park is split up into Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland. Magic Kingdom does a popular firework show at night unless there are other events that night like the Halloween or Christmas ones.
These are some of the best things to see and do in Magic Kingdom for adults visiting Disney World, and of course for families and kids too.
➡️ Cinderellas Castle
Everyone else will be doing the exact same thing, but you gotta take some photos in front of Cinderellas Castle during your visit to Magic Kingdom. Both daytime and nighttime photos of the castle are great.
➡️ Disney Parades
Magic Kingdom usually has the best parades with all the classic Disney characters. Take the time to relax and watch the show. We just happened to run into a parade as we were making our way somewhere else, but we’re so glad we stopped to watch.
Special events inside of Magic Kingdom also have their own parades.
➡️ Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is a fun river ride that takes you slowly around the world on a 10,000 mile journey. Any age and height can ride this one and it lasts for about 10 minutes.
➡️ Space Mountain
Space Mountain was my second ever rollercoaster long ago and I was having so much fun on it but my grandmother thought I was going to fly out of the seat so she made me put my arms down so she could hold onto me 🤭.
This indoor coaster rockets you through outer space, and it really is as dark as space inside there. But this is a thrill ride so there is a height minimum of 44″ for this one.
➡️ Pirates Of The Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is another classic Disney ride that sets sail around the 17th century Caribbean with pirates, songs, cannon fire, Dead Man’s Cove, and Captain Jack Sparrow along the way.
➡️ The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is another favorite classic Disney ride full of ghosts and graveyards that slowly takes you around the estate and its grounds in a Doom Buggy. The line was surprisingly pretty long when we visited so this was the only ride we got to go on at Magic Kingdom.
➡️ Character Meet & Greets
You might have to have perfect timing, but if you can find a little break in your schedule, don’t forget to get some photos with some of the wonderful Disney characters. Typically the day of is best for trying to plan ahead and figure out what characters will be where.
The Magic Kingdom firework show is one of the main events at this park and it is typically very, very crowded. Main Street is where you get that head on view of Cinderellas Castle with the fireworks behind, but this narrow little street gets super packed with people (which is not good if you are claustrophobic 😬).
🌎 Epcot: The Best Things To See And Do
Epcot seems to be the more popular park for adults and it is probably my favorite park because you get to travel all over the world right there inside of the park.
The different countries you can visit at Epcot are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, The United Kingdom, and Canada. There is also World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Nature in Epcot.
Here are the best things to do and see at Epcot for adults, families, and kids visiting Disney World.
➡️ See The World
My favorite part about Epcot is visiting all the different countries they have represented there. Each country has some restaurants and other dining options within it and there are shops spread around as well. There are also some shows and small rides within the countries too.
➡️ Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the brand new Disney ride in the World Discovery section at Epcot. This coaster is the first ever reverse-launch Disney coaster that takes you on a race through space and time with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
➡️ Frozen Ever After
If you like the Frozen movie and the Frozen songs, Frozen Ever After will be a fun little ride for you. You climb aboard a viking-like ship and slowly sail around to all of the Frozen characters singing the classic Frozen songs.
We got in line late in the night with a 60 minute estimated wait and the Disney worker advised us we wouldn’t make the firework show if we got in line right then. Fortunately they were wrong, and we made it through the line and the ride in about 30 minutes.
➡️ Epcot Fireworks
I loved the Epcot firework show more than the Magic Kingdom show because everyone was much more spread out and I didn’t have anyone blocking my views of the show.
They start off with the water and light show on the lake (pictured below) and then move into fireworks which we didn’t get any photos of because we ran out of space on the phone (don’t forget to clear up plenty of storage for all the photos and videos you’ll take at Disney).
Where To Eat Healthy & Allergy Friendly At Disney World
Disney World is one of the best places to travel to if you have food allergies or special diets (especially gluten free peeps).
The food isn’t necessarily healthy nor is it organic, but restaurants and chefs are super accommodating and they will bend over backwards to prepare something you’re able to eat.
You can and should check out the restaurants online before hand because many of them require reservations (or you can join the waitlist day of if its available) and sometimes they’re booked out weeks in advance.
Once you find some places that look good, you can click on most of them and find a menu. If you scroll down past the regular food and drinks, you’ll find the “Allergy-Friendly” Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts, and so on.
After hearing a lot of recommendations and suggestions on where to eat in Magic Kingdom, we decided to choose Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen as our dinner option because their menu was pretty big and had a lot of allergy friendly options.
We did not know about the whole reservation system so day of we kept refreshing “join the waitlist”, which you can only do once you’re physically close to the restaurant, and we finally made it on the list!
After explaining a few of our allergies to the waiter, he suggested getting the chef to come out personally to help us. The chef was so nice and helpful and once we ordered, he went straight back to the kitchen to make our food himself.
My mom ordered the Gluten Free Fried Chicken, which was also dairy free and soy free (she said it was amazing), but it was fried in Canola Oil so the chef did something different for me. The sides for this meal were steamed broccoli and potatoes cooked in olive oil.
Since we couldn’t find anything on the menu that didn’t have canola oil, the chef special made chicken breast and potatoes that were both cooked in olive oil for me.
During our long day at Disney, for lunch we decided to bring some food and eat it quickly in the car as we drove over to the next park. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, there are still some good and quick allergy friendly service options throughout the parks where you can grab a bite and then get right back the action.
Where To Stay In Orlando
There are certain advantages that come with staying at one of the Disney World Hotels, however the costs are typically pretty high. But if convenience is what you’re looking for, the Four Seasons is one of the highest rated ones at Disney World.
➡️ For the highest rated Disney World resort, we recommend booking your room here with the Four Seasons.
Whenever we visit Disney World or Universal Studios, we prefer to stay at a nearby hotel that has a kitchen so we can make some of our own meals and save a bit of money.
➡️ For an economical room near Disney World, we recommend booking your room here with TownePlace Suites.
Sample Itinerary To See Disney World In One Day
Based on opening times and show schedules for when we visited, below is the exact schedule we used during our one day at Disney.
➡️ 7:30 am arrive at Animal Kingdom parking lot.
➡️ 8:00 am to 1:30 pm Animal Kingdom (Avatar Flight of Passage, Tree of Life, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, Tigers, Expedition Everest, Na’vi River Journey, Avatar Flight of Passage 2nd time).
➡️ 1:30 to 2:15 pm eat a packed lunch, drive, and park at Hollywood Studios.
➡️ 2:15 to 4:15 pm Hollywood Studios (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance).
➡️ 4:15 to 4:50 pm drive, park at the Transportation and Ticket Center, ride the Monorail to Magic Kingdom.
➡️ 4:50 to 8:20 pm Magic Kingdom (Pictures at Cinderellas Castle, 50th Celebration Parade, The Haunted Mansion, Dinner at Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, Firework show).
➡️ 8:20 to 8:50 pm Monorail back to the Transportation and Ticket Center, drive, and park at Epcot.
➡️ 8:50 to 10:30 pm Epcot (Frozen Ever After, Epcot Firework show, shop at Gateway Gifts on the way out).
See everything we did, in order, on our Disney Day at all four parks video in under 2 minutes.
Is Disney Springs Worth Visiting?
Disney Springs has some great restaurants (including allergy friendly options like the Fish and Chips at Raglan Road) and lots of stores to shop at, but if you’re spending a good amount of time at Disney World, there might not be much of a need to visit Disney Springs.
We do like to visit Raglan Road at Disney Springs for their gluten free fish and chips, and to watch the Irish Dancers and listen to Irish Music. There are also some cool lego sculptures built around the Disney Springs grounds, but stores here are pretty pricey.
Tips To Help You See Disney World In One Day
✅ Don’t forget to clear up storage on your phone for all of the photos and videos you’ll take.
✅ Fully charge your phone for the long Disney Day.
✅ Get between the parks quicker by driving yourself or getting a ride-share ride.
✅ Don’t miss out on the best ride at Disney, Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom.
✅ For more specific or sever allergies, ask the chef to come out and speak with you so you can feel comfortable and certain about your food.
✅ Magic Kingdom’s firework show is great but Epcot’s is more spread out and nicer if you don’t love crowds.
✅ Download the My Disney Experience app before your visit to help you plan and get to know where everything is.
✅ Parking is around $30 at Disney World but you only pay once and then can park and move around between the different parks.
✅ If it is your first visit to Disney, your birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, you can ask Disney workers at hotels or stores for your free Disney Celebration Button.
✅ Dont forget to make your Disney Park Pass Reservation after you buy your ticket for the first park you plan to visit.
✅ Around Orlando there are multiple Disney outlet stores where you can find discounted Disney souvenirs at much lower prices than in the parks.
✅ Wear good and comfortable shoes because you will be on your feet the whole day and they will hurt!
✅ Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Wrap Up: How To See All Of Disney World In One Day
Disney World properties cover around 43 square miles of land so although it may not be the absolute best way to see all of these parks, it is definitely possible to get in all the best highlights of each park in a day. Plan and prepare as much as possible for your day but remember to relax and have a great trip at the most magical place on earth!