A well known "Challenge" among Disney lovers is to see if you can visit and "enjoy" the four main parks at Walt Disney World in one day. There are many variations on what "enjoy" means ranging from 3 - 5 rides, eating a meal, seeing a character, etc...My husband and I are always up for a Disney challenge and were excited to give this one a go. With the advent of the Magic Express Transportation that allows you to travel directly between parks, bypassing the bag checks and security, we wanted to make sure we still gave ourselves a bit of challenge, so here were our rules:
1. Ride 3 rides in each park
2. Eat a sizable snack/sit down meal in each park
3. Take a picture at the entrance.
Well, here's how we did it:
First thing: PLAN
I am always a huge advocate of being on top of Disney Trip Planning. Whether it is booking your dining at the180 day mark, or your fast passes, or just having an idea of what parks are the best to go to which days, having a plan and sticking to it (with some moderation of flexibility) can alleviate much stress from the crowds and heat and help any family enjoy their trip so much more. Well if you are thinking about doing the challenge, that is even more true! Check out calendars for ride closures, park hours, and estimated crowd levels. Then use that information to craft a plan that takes you to the park that opens first, through the day and ending at the park with the latest operating hours. Give yourself time to enjoy this!
Third: BE THERE EARLY
I cannot stress this enough. I suggest being at your first park, well before rope drop (when the park officially opens), for several reasons. First, you can use that time to get ready. Get your sunscreen on, check the maps and use the bathrooms! Second, the parks can open a few minutes early sometimes even if it is to just move you to a second rope. You are just that much closer to your first ride! Third, the crowd levels are always ridiculously low first thing in the morning. Walk (don't run) quickly and efficiently to your first attraction and you'll be on and off in under 10 minutes!
Finally: Have Fun and Check the App!
Once you've started, just enjoy it. Its crazy, yes, but if its not fun, then its not worth it. Be flexible if a ride's wait time is too long or you get hungry at an unexpected time. But also remember to keep checking that Disney Experience App for wait times and closures.
So how did we do?
First stop was Animal Kingdom and was there for rope drop! Headed straight for Kilamanjaro Safaris, then Mt. Everest, and finally Dinosaur. We grabbed a cinnamon roll from the stand in Africa and boarded the Magical Express. We were at Hollywood Studios by 9:45! From there, we did Aerosmith's Rock n' Roller Coaster, Tower of Tower and Star Tours. We grabbed a light lunch there and made our way to Magic Kingdom! We had plenty of time arriving there at approximately 2:30pm. This is where those Fastpasses kicked in! We were able to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain. For our snack we grabbed a Nutella and Fruit Waffle from Sleepy Hollow and relaxingly headed to Epcot. Since we had plenty of time and could book more Fastpasses, we choose Spaceship Earth, Soarin, and Test Track. To end our eating, we enjoyed some of the booths still out at the World Showcase from the Flower and Garden Festival. We were done by 7pm! If planned well, the challenge is easy!
Have you ever done the 4 park challenge? What are your tips?!?
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!