4 parks 1 day- tell me about it

So in April DW and I will be adults only at WDW with only 1 park day. I recently found some old 3 day tickets with days left that we plan to use to save some money, so we’d have to convert them at GS when we arrive. So FPP is little concern as it will be whatever is avaible day before. Current plan is to just go to HS and spend all day there, plenty to do between SWGE and MMRR being open, but we also love MK so much I thought “why not upgrade to hopper and do both?”

This inevitably led to, why not do all 4 in one day? There may never be a chance like this again, at look east not fir a long time. So question, is it worth it to do when you only have 1 park day? Will we burn too much time with transportation? And all the variables with RotR and the BG system and who knows what MMRR will be like? Thoughts?

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I’ve done a 4-park 1-day before when it was my only day. But that was about 10 years ago before SWGE, FoP, new fantasyland, etc. I really only had 2-3 priorities in each park and the rest was just bonus. I had a blast and don’t regret it.

So I would only do it if you enjoy the challenge in and of itself and if you don’t mind missing huge swaths of the parks you visit, or if you know exactly which attractions you want to experience and they are in each park. You will definitely do less overall and spend more time traveling than you need to. But might be worth the trade off.

Are you going to WDW again in the relatively near future? Do you live close to DLR (making clone attractions lower priority)?

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I’ve done 4 parks many times over the years as one day in a multi day stay. We do it for the challenge of saying we have and not as a way to really experience the parks. If I only had one day I’d probably pick two parks and hit my favorites at each. On a four park day you can’t really maximize any park.


I thought we might do a 4 parks 1 day on our second last day but by then we were much less ambitious and more into savouring the experience with as little stress as possible. One of our favourite days was an MK morning/HS evening so I think those two make for a great day without trying to add on the other two. But I totally see the appeal of that (and of the ride challenges).

I’ve done 4 parks 1 day a couple of times, but more just for the fun and challenge of doing it. It’s not an efficient form of touring.

I am returning to WDW in June and will have 5 park days then so that is going into the calculation. That is a trip with kids plus my parents so much different priorities. That’s part of why I’m considering this at all, it may be the best chance to do something crazy like this!

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I think it sounds fun. Especially if you are returning so soon! I’m always intrigued when people do a ride, photo, character meet and snack. A fun way to see a little bit of it all.

*note I have never done it!

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You know, three could actually be enjoyable now, with the Monorail from MK to EPCOT and then Skyliner on to HS. AK is still a pain to get to though! Probably easiest to link to the other three via a bus from a Boardwalk hotel or HS?


In September 4 members of our extended family group tried the 4 park challenge. The youngest (15 & 28) two of the 4 were WDW veterans while the other two were 40 something newbies. The 15 yr old was the leader of the group as it was her birthday celebration.

The plan was to open AK on a morning EMH, arriving abt 45 min before EMH, in order to exit FOP before park opening. Also Na’Vi River, Safaris, and Dinosaur - EE was down so they had to skip it.

Next up was HS - the first week that Millenium Falcon was open. Plan was to arrive here about 11. Here they did Tower of Terror standby, FP Toy Story Mania and Star Tours. They noticed that EE was operating so went back to AK for EE so the newbies could experience it.

Then on to MK - on a MNSSHP day, hoping to arrive by 3. They had a must do list - the Mtns, 7 Dwarfs, Haunted Mansion and Pirates. They did all but BTMRR which was closed - and ok since they were running out of time.

A little after 6 pm they took the monorail to Epcot to head to Mexico where they had an ADR for San Angel Inn. They rode the Gran Fiesta ride and checked in for their supper. Afterwards they did Mission Space Orange and headed for their resort.

Tips from the leader: pack snacks. Very few food opportunities before 10:30. When they arrived at MK hot hungry and tired, they had to chill at Cosmic Ray’s for awhile. The pretzels, muffins and root beer floats were gone.

Don’t back track to catch a previously closed ride. This is less about messing the schedule up and more about blisters and stamina.

An hour was scheduled for transfer between parks. For buses, this was more than ample. For the monorail, not ample.

Definitively appreciated having an ADR for a table service restaurant at the end of the day.

They had fun, were glad they spent their day that way, but they could wait 10 years to try it again. Mostly due to blisters and stamina.


I went back and looked up my itinerary for my 4-parks 1-day trip back in 2009 - I recorded it in an email to my parents:

  • Animal Kingdom: Everest, Safari, Kali River Rapids, Everest, Everest, Everest (using the single-rider line twice and fastpass once)
  • Bus to Hollywood Studios; Rock’n’Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Tower of Terror, Muppet Vision 3-D;
  • Ferry to Epcot; Gran Fiesta boat cruise, Maelstrom [alas!], Test Track (10-minutes in single-rider line!), Spaceship Earth;
  • Double monorail trip to Magic Kingdom; Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Snow White, Winnie-the-Pooh, Fireworks (“Wishes”),
  • Monorail to TTC, bus to Animal Kingdom, car ride to hotel.
  • 21 rides
  • Pizza at the Pizza Planet
  • Double-scoop of chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream
  • Dole whip
  • Sticky bun

The only hiccup was the fact that none of the animatronics were working on Splash Mountain.

2009 WDW sounds like a blast!

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I did it in November on a non-MVMCP party day with evening EMH at MK. The main reason I did it was that this day was my only chance in my trip to catch two of the nighttime shows - RoL and HEA. I also had originally planned on spending most of this day in Epcot but since Epcot had evening EMH the previous day, I’d spent about 6 hours there already. I only had 4 full days in my trip. I didn’t do many things at each park on my 4 park day.

Started my day at Epcot, entered via the international gateway and rope dropped FEA. Rode Test Track single rider, SSE FP, FEA FP, and Mission:Space FP. Grabbed an Impossible Shepherd’s Pie from one of the F&W booths (I don’t remember which one). Hopped over to HS via the Skyliner at about 1:30. Grabbed a FP for ToT, rode SDD in standby (~45 minutes). Did ToT FP, watched the Muppets show.
At this point it was getting a little chilly. I knew if I planned to do the two nighttime shows I would need warmer clothes, so I took the Skyliner from HS back to my resort (Pop) and put on leggings and grabbed a jacket. Took a bus to AK at about 4:00, plan was to kill some time and then catch RoL (my only chance to do it this trip). Grabbed FP for Dinosaur, rode that, grabbed a FP for RoL, grabbed a bite to eat and wandered around AK until showtime. Watched RoL, booked it out of there to the MK bus (was about 8th person in line). I had grabbed a FP for Space Mountain for after the fireworks but before EMH started. Got to MK, staked out a spot for HEA and hung out there. Visited with people around me. Watched HEA and then swam upstream to do the SM FP. The FP line for SM was super long after fireworks, so it was almost 11:00 by the time I got done and headed back to the resort.

So all in all, this is what I did:
FEA rope drop standby
Test Track (single rider)
Spaceship Earth FP
Mission Space FP
Ate lunch

Hollywood Studios:
Slinky Dog Dash (standby)
ToT (FP)
Muppets (standby)

Animal Kingdom:
Ate Dinner
RoL (FP)

Magic Kingdom:
HEA fireworks
Space Mountain (FP)

9 rides, 3 shows. I did not feel rushed at all except when trying to get out of AK after RoL. The Skyliner is a super efficient way to get around. 26,780 steps this day. If I only had one day, I think I would stick to 2 parks personally, which for me would be very doable to get in all of my must-dos at each park.


Thanks everyone for all the input! With the trip a mere 127 I still will have the chance to change my mind a few times. I’ve discussed it with DW and we’ve run all the pro and con of 4 parks 1 day vs HS all day. In the end for it being such a short trip she is not in favor of 4 parks, mostly because of the amount of time that will be lost traveling between parks. She also said we could spend $120 or whatever a hopper upgrade costs on a tasty meal at Brown Derby which seems logical lol!

I agree with this but will keep the dream alive for a future trip, always planning right!?


My family of five did it as a challenge when we only planned to spend one total day in the parks, and wanted to see some new lands that we had not visited before - Pandora and Toy Story Land. It was a great day, but not something we would likely do again (at least for a while). We did this as off-site guests, so that made it even more difficult, as we could not schedule first or second park FPs as far in advance as we would have liked. It was a really fun day, but we would have liked more time in MK to end the day once we reviewed.

We toured as follows:


By about 9pm, we were pretty wiped out.

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I’ve never felt the need to check the “4 parks in 1 day” block, so I’ve never intentionally planned a 4-park day, but did do a 3-park day one time. I started in EP, then hopped to AK for an “organized” Liner meet-up, and then, because AK closed at 7:00 and MK stayed open until 12:00 I hopped there. But his was on a “5th” day and I had already done pretty much everything that I wanted to do, so the whole day was “icing on the cake”. If I had only one day I would choose no more than 2 parks.