4 Parks (Actually 5) in 1 Day!

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Many people have visited all 4 of Walt Disney World’s (WDW) theme parks, but have you ever visited all 4 parks in 1 day?

Each WDW park is unique and special! Magic Kingdom is the quintessential Disney park and the central focus of Walt’s magic. Epcot intertwines technology of the future while also looking to the past and current cultures of many countries. Hollywood Studios captures the thrill and adventure of movies and television by immersing the guest directly into well-known stories. And Animal Kingdom showcases the beauty and majesty of nature through imaginary and real-life adventures, exhibits and shows. Undoubtedly, every Disney park has a unique flavor with something amazing to offer.

With this in mind, my son, Nathan, and I set out to mix a taste of each park flavor for a comprehensive Disney experience by visiting all four theme parks in one day. This required some advanced planning combined with utilizing real-time tips and strategies – as well as a lot of walking – to accomplish this feat!

Our Goals & Overall Plan

When undergoing a 41 challenge in which you visit 4 parks in 1 day, you can determine what you want to do at each park.

Our Goals

Nate and I established these minimum goals for our visit at each of the four parks:

  • Ride 1 Super Headliner
    • Magic Kingdom – Tron
    • Epcot – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
    • Hollywood Studios – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    • Animal Kingdom – Flight of Passage
  • Ride 2 Headliners
    • Magic Kingdom – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain
    • Epcot – Test Track, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
    • Hollywood Studios – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    • Animal Kingdom – Expedition Everest, Dinosaur
  • Eat a snack or meal

Establishing these goals meant we would also need to mitigate lines to minimize our waiting so we would have enough time to get to every park. We knew that our plan required us to maximize the amount of time parks were open. Our initial plan considered starting with the park that opened earliest – Animal Kingdom – and finishing with the park that closed the latest – Magic Kingdom. This gave us the biggest window of time to spend in the four parks.

Challenges Force Us to Adjust Our Plan

Although Animal Kingdom opened an hour before Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios started 30 minutes prior, we had arranged to meet one of our friends who was a Disney cast member in Magic Kingdom. It turned out she was working in the early morning so we needed to make this the first stop of our adventure so we could say a quick “Hi.”

Another challenge we faced was Disney’s park hopping policy that required us to wait until 2 PM to hop to our second park. We knew we would be tired and we wanted to get closer to our second park so we decided to return to our room at Pop Century Resort, rest and then take the Skyliner to Epcot for a 2 PM arrival. Then we’d go to Animal Kingdom and finish up at Hollywood Studios with our final activity of the day – getting into the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance stand-by queue shortly before park close.

Our Overall Plan

Our overall 4 parks in 1 day plan looked like this:

  • Rope drop early entry at Magic Kingdom.
  • Break at Pop Century Resort.
  • 2:00 PM entry at Epcot.
  • Animal Kingdom.
  • Hollywood Studios.

Park #1 – Magic Kingdom

Goal: Tron, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Snack

An Early Start

MK RD Position

We were up bright and early to get a head start on our 4 parks in 1 day, departing from our room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort for Magic Kingdom. With snacks and granola bars in hand, we headed for the bus stop and arrived at the Magic Kingdom tapstiles just as they opened for entry into the park. Our goal was to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train first via the standy-by queue. We walked quickly down Main Street and were able to secure a spot in the second row at the rope across from the Tea Cups. Within a few minutes, the walkway behind us was packed.

MK RD Behind Us

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train


In order to take advantage of Early Entry for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you have to arrive extra early to be close enough to the front of the throngs of people waiting for this popular family rollercoaster. If you are unable to reach the first ten rows, it will take too long to experience SDMT and you will face significant lines afterward. Fortunately, we were able to get on the 2nd train of the day, putting us on track for the start of our 41 adventure.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain

We headed over to Space Mountain next. The line seemed very long as it snaked back to the Lunching Pad beneath Astro Orbiter. We knew this line wasn’t as long as one would think. Because we got over to Space Mountain so quickly, the queue inside had not yet been filled. We got in line and within a few minutes we were walking briskly through most of the queue, eventually stopping a few rows into the interior switchbacks. The line continued to move quickly as there were no Genie+ Lightning Lanes running during Early Entry. We sped off through the darkness of Space Mountain and were back outside shortly after the park had just opened to the general public.

Tron Challenges

Our initial 4 parks in 1 day plan had us using a virtual queue to experience Tron. Unfortunately, my phone glitched when trying to get it. As a result, our high-numbered Boarding Group meant that we would be stuck in the park much longer than we wanted to. We immediately pivoted and purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for Tron so we could experience it mid-morning and return to our resort.

Gaston’s Tavern

Gaston's Outside

Since we were so efficient with our first two rides, we had some time to eat. We walked over to Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland.

Gaston's Cinnamon Roll

This quick-service location has a few tasty offerings, but we came for the giant cinnamon roll. It didn’t disappoint!

While sharing one of these creatures of sweetness, Nate noticed on his MyDisneyExperience (MDX) app that Tron was down. No problem! Our Tron ILL window had just opened and we hoped it would open up soon.

Disney Cast Member Greeting


After enjoying our time at Gaston’s, we walked over to Tron to see our friend and cast member, Megan. It was so great to visit with her and catch up! We’ve made some wonderful friends down at Disney – travelers, residents and cast members – and I’m always amazed at their love for Disney and their genuine friendliness! Megan is a perfect example of a cast member who truly cares about helping guests have a magical experience! She is fun, energetic, kind, genuine, polite and great at what she does!


Tron was still down so we decided to go to one of my favorite MK attractions – Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. I love this 10 minute ride in the sky around Tomorrowland. It was relaxing and enjoyable.

We disembarked and Tron was still down. Although we had planned to leave MK for our resort and lunch, we decided to stay and have lunch, hoping that Tron would be back up when finished.

Pinocchio Village Haus

PVH Interior

We headed over to Pinocchio Village Haus, Nate’s favorite MK quick-service restaurant.

PVH All Meet FB

We headed over to Pinocchio Village Haus, Nate’s favorite MK quick-service restaurant.

PVH Items

The Caesar Salad is flavorful. The Tomato Basil Soup is delicious even when it’s hot. And the breadsticks complement any of those items nicely.

A Change of Plans

With lunch complete, we were hopeful to get on Tron and get out! No luck. Our Super Headliner was still down. It was time to adjust our plans so we discussed our options. We really wanted to do the Super Headliner of each park and we really wanted to ride Tron. We did have some options. Our Tron ILL window had been changed to anytime for the rest of the park day and Magic Kingdom was open 2 hours later than any other park that night. We knew it would take more energy, but we decided to come back that evening and close down the park.

Castle Arms

With that, we walked to the castle, took some photos, and headed back to our room at Pop Century Resort, hopeful we could make things work out to accomplish our goal of 4 parks in 1 day.

Pinnable Image

Your travel counselor at The Magic For Less Travel can help guide and assist you with booking your vacation, navigating the parks and any other parts of your Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Reach out for a vacation quote today!

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