Disney's Animal KingdomDisney's Hollywood StudiosEPCOTMagic KingdomPlanningTips

How to Do Disney in 4 Days

The Walt Disney World property covers 42 square miles of land. It is equal to the size of the city of San Francisco. There is so much to do, even if you are there for a month there is no way to cover absolutely everything. But you would be surprised how much you can fit in just a 4-day trip!

Booking shorter trips makes it more economical and provides more flexibility on when you can go. A long weekend is much more manageable than a week-long trip. Here are a few tips on how to make a Disney vacation work in just four days!

Photo Credit: Travelocity

Travel in the evening

To start your trip, take an evening flight from home to Orlando. This way, you won’t have to take the entire day off of work or school. It will give you a chance to get checked in and settled so you can get to the parks right at opening on your first full day. Plus you won’t have to worry about waiting for your room to be ready.

At the end of your trip, take a later flight! It gives you all day to get a few more attractions in, or do some last-minute shopping. You can leave your bags with the front desk of your resort so you don’t have to lug them around all day.

entrance of Magic Kingdom

Take advantage of early entry

When you stay at a Disney resort you get a 30-minute head start in the theme parks every day. The morning hours are CRUCIAL to the efficiency of a Disney vacation. The largest crowds come in around 10 a.m. so it is possible to get a large chunk of rides done first thing in the morning.

EPCOT Monorail with view of Spaceship Earth

Do EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on the same day

In terms of the number of rides, these two parks have the least amount. Since Animal Kingdom closes earlier, start your day there! It’s best to start in the back of the park, so head to Expedition Everest, grab some breakfast, go on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and then fill in whatever else suits your fancy.

This is also a great opportunity for the family to go back to the hotel for a little rest before closing the night out with some fun at EPCOT. The dining here is some of the best, and the fireworks show at night is one you shouldn’t miss!

Hollywood Studios entrance

One day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This park has really progressed over the years. What used to be a half-day park has turned into a spot that can fill your entire day! I can’t emphasize this enough – get there before the park opens! This will be essential to get everything done here. Decide which attractions are most important to you and do those first. Lightning Lane reservations are highly recommended for this park, but you may not need to buy Genie+ for the whole day. Pick and choose the individual rides that are most important to you. And be sure to see Fantasmic! at the end of your day!

View of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

One day for Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom has the most rides out of all of the parks, and usually tends to close the latest. Early Entry provides access to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, so start knocking out rides in Fantasyland right away. These are the rides that have the longest lines for the shortest rides. Plus the rides are close together, so doing this land first will be the most beneficial. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight tend to have the longest lines through the day. Try to get these done right away!

After that, head over to the far West side of the park, Frontierland. When the regular park hours start, most people head over to Tomorrowland first, so this side of the park stays pretty empty for a few hours. During the parade is the best time to hit Space Mountain.

If it will be beneficial for the group, there is plenty of time to go back for some rest in the middle of the day. The evening hours in the park after the fireworks is another time to knock out lots of rides with short waits! BE SURE to hit Big Thunder Mountain when it is dark outside. It is my favorite rollercoaster, and doing it in the dark is a fully different experience.

Another big Magic Kingdom tip is to try and do it on a weekday! The weekends usually end up showing the largest crowds here. This tactic could save you a lot of time and stress.

Disney balloons on Main Street USA

Set priorities

I would HIGHLY recommend not planning out every single minute of every day. Trying to hit every mark on time creates more stress than needed. Prioritize what is most important for the trip. Is it rides? New ones? Hitting classic family favorites? Is it spending more time at an EPCOT festival tasting food and drink around World Showcase? Only your family knows what is best. Build your trip around what is most important and it will be successful no matter what!

To recap: late-evening travel is best, take advantage of early morning and late evening hours at the parks, it’s okay to rest in the middle of the day, and most important – you will have fun no matter what! You will not be able to fit everything into such a short trip, but that isn’t the point! It’s important to go and make family memories.

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