My daughter brought up the idea of visiting all 4 Disney parks in a day a couple years ago. I blew it off at the time since I thought it was insane. Well, here we are, Summer 2013 doing the 4 Parks in 1 Day Challenge!
I figured why not? You only live once.
Before we start this adventure let me tell you the rules. These are just rules we made up ourselves to make the Challenge official 🙂
- Ride at least 3 rides at each park (Bonus points for headliners)
- Meet at least 1 character at each park
- Buy and eat a food item from each park
Let the games begin!!
Our adventure starts Hollywood Studios. 8am extra magic hour. I usually avoid the early extra magic hour because it floods the park for the rest of the day. But we weren’t planning on staying the whole day.
I’m so excited about this challenge I didn’t even focus the camera!
Oh, and poor Cameron had a late flight and only 4 hours of sleep before jumping into this insanity that is his family.Score! Minnie was right there greeting guests at the Sorcerer’s Hat. Cam ran and got fastpasses for Toy Story while we had a visit with Miss Minnie.Next we briskly walk to Rock N Roller Coaster. Ugh, the line was long and the park had only been open like 15 minutes! Breath, it’s cool, just get in line.
Bonus point, headliner.Nothing like a couple thrill rides to get your day going. Tower of Terror was next. Ugh another long line! I was hoping that this was not our destiny for the day.
And of course we sit by a crazy dude who brings a mask for the picture. If there is crazy out there, we will attract it.
Bonus point, headliner.Wow our fastpass time is ready! Thank goodness, there was no way I’d have waited the 90 minutes that was posted for this ride.A quick aside…check out my cute Toy Story alien nails! My dad is the best nail artist. Glitter and everything, cuteness.Ok, enough Hollywood Studios, let’s get a snack and get out of here! Cinnamon roll it is.
It took about 2.5 hours just to ride those 3 rides, meet minnie, and grab a snack! I will not be doing an early extra magic hour again any time soon. Way too many people.Next on our list. Animal Kingdom!
Oh I forgot to mention. Disney transportation only in this challenge. No cars no cabs, just the good old bus system.
The wait at the bus was literally 30 seconds, hooray! Before we knew it we arrived at Animal Kingdom and Cam was off to get us Expedition Everest fastpasses. We were crossing our fingers the return times on that ride were not longer than a couple hours.
Val and I headed over to Dinoland USA. Even though it was about 11am, Triceratop spin was still a walk on. So we rode it.Primeval Whirl was also a very short line so we rode that as well.
Haha, closed eyes!
Animal Kingdom was proving to be much less crowded than Hollywood Studios, thank goodness. We walked over to Dinosaur and only had to wait about 10 minutes.
Bonus point, headliner.
On our way to lunch I remembered the character meet for Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. There meeting spot is down a little trail and not very noticeable so the lines are often short. So was the case today, only 2 groups in front us.Cheese! Characters at Animal Kingdom, check.Lunch time! Flame tree BBQ was the choice for today, yum. But there was not time to hang around, we had a fastpass date with a Yeti.Love Expedition Everest! It’s worth the trip to Animal Kingdom just for this ride.
Bonus point, headliner.Grazing is a trend for today. The jalepeno pretzel must be eaten here, it’s just so good.We also decided to visit the Pangani trail. Val and I missed it the other day and I love the gorillas so we detoured.
The hippo was up and about swimming.And Valie became a Wilderness Explorer! We did 2 badges, but holy crap, there are like 40 badges you can get. I guess we will be saving this and bringing it back another day.
So our Animal Kingdom tour included Triceratop Spin, Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest as the rides. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, characters. Flametree and a pretzel for our food items. And we did a trail and wilderness explorer stuff for extra credit 🙂
This is the point in our day where you may gasp. We went back to the hotel and took a nap! Yup. This was not planned. But we decided that there would be enough time for an hour nap and the other two parks.
Was this a bad plan?
No way, a nap was just what the doctor ordered. We were refreshed and ready to take on Epcot!
We switched over to the Beach Club hotel the day before (more on that later), and it was literally 3 minutes from our room to the International Gateway entrance at Epcot. In no time we were grazing yet again on some fish and chips.Val loves the Three Caballeros Ride in Mexico, so we rode that before moving on to Future World.Ok time to get serious. We zipped over to Test Track to find a very long line. But there is the single rider option, which we took. The way we work this with a child is with the sandwich method. Me, Val, Cam. That way there is an adult in front and behind Val while she rides alone. The great thing about single rider on Test Track is that most the time at least some of us are in the same car. The ride seats 3 per row so a family of 4 gets 2 single riders, making it really fast for those willing to ride with strangers.
75 minutes in line or 10 minutes and ride with strangers. I’ll take the strangers.Club cool is a must for Cam and Val. Crazy soda drinkers. I’m not a soda gal, but this is their idea of heaven. It was now that I realized we needed a character for this park. Oh man did we luck out! The Character Spot usually has a 40 minute wait, but not anymore. They have switched up the greeting area here and it is much less advertised than it used to be. So the line was non-existant when we got there, awesome!
The characters even had time to play, so fun!M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-EWe took a ton of pics at the Character Spot but the funny ones are my favorite.
Photo bomb Minnie 🙂Photo bomb Pluto 🙂After the antics with the characters we headed to Journey into the Imagination. People think the Small World song gets stuck in your head, for me it’s the Figment song. Oh no, just looking at this pic makes it start playing.The little games after this ride are fun and often uncrowded.Nemo time.
Hey! There is a squirrel living in the Nemo sign! Haha.
We also did Turtle Talk, which I’m counting as a ride 🙂
And on our way out of Epcot, Spaceship Earth. This ride generally has very short waits later in the day. As you can see, maybe 2 families in front of us.
Ok the tally for Epcot…Three Caballeros, Test Track (headliner), Journey into the Imagination, Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Spaceship Earth. Plus Yorkshire Fish Shop, Club Cool, and Mickey, Minnie, Pluto.
Last park of the day!! We took the monorail over to Magic Kingdom. It was time for more grazing. Salmon and broccoli from Colombia Harbor House for Val and Cam and I split a burger from Cosmic Rays. Of course we rode Buzz.And the Peoplemover. We then moved on to Autotopia.This will be us in 6 years! Oh my gosh, 6 years and Val will be driving. I think I just gave myself a heart attack.Heading in the direction of Fantasy Land we noticed the crowds thinning quite a bit. So we went into New Fantasy Land and found it practically deserted. Sweet! It was pretty late, about 10:15pm. I think all the little kiddies had gone home and all the others were out watching fireworks and waiting for the parade.
When do you just walk on to Dumbo?!! Never, haha. Or late in the evening I guess. This was a first for us. And yes, I’m counting it as a headliner since it usually has a line 60 plus minutes.Barnstormer. Sure, there’s no line!Oh no we need a character!
Wait, is Ariel still in her cave thingy?
She is?!! YES!
We also rode the Little Mermaid ride and wandered around New Fantasy Land for about 20 minutes.
We had time for one last thing.
One of my favorite things.The Mainstreet Electrical Parade!
It’s just so nostalgic, bright, and fun. I love it.One last treat before calling it a day.
Yeah, that’s a chocolate covered s’more. So good.Could this possibly be the exit? It is!
We made it! 4 parks in one Day!!
Magic Kingdom tally…Buzz Lightyear, Peoplemover, Autotopia, Dumbo, Barnstormer, and the Little Mermaid. Plus, dinner, Ariel, and the Mainstreet Electrical Parade.
Totals for the Day:
Rides: 19 (7 were headliners)
Food Stops: too many, j/k there were 6
Overall I think we conquered the challenge. We met and exceeded all of our goals and still had time to actually enjoy the parks. If I had to change anything I think it would have been our arrival time at Hollywood Studios. We needed to be there about 20-30 minutes earlier so we could have been at the front of the line for Toy Story instead of fastpassing it. Then we could have used our FP elsewhere instead of waiting. Beside that, I think we did great with our timing.
So if anyone else is up to challenge, let me know, I’d love to hear your plan of attack!