Spending Only One Day At Walt Disney World

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MK Monorail

Spending a week or so at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite things to do; however, this isn’t always practical for everyone. Perhaps you’re in Florida for a work conference or visiting family nearby and just don’t have time for a week at Disney. Whatever the reason, a trip to Florida is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your proximity to the Most Magical Place On Earth, even if it’s just for one day. So, if you find yourself in Orlando with only one day to spend at Disney, how can you really make the most of it?

If you’ve only got one day at Disney, chances are you’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the magic. So find out what time the parks will be opening and get there early. You may also want to check Touring Plans for the expected crowd levels to help you decide which park to visit (if you’ll only be visiting one). If you’re heading to Magic Kingdom, as I did on my recent one day Disney trip, the monorails will be operating prior to park opening. This gives you the perfect chance to do a little resort hopping prior to park opening.

Rope Drop will take place at the Magic Kingdom about 15 minutes prior to park opening, so you’ll want to make sure you arrive in time to see the show. If you’re riding the monorail to Magic Kingdom before the show starts, you might even get to see the characters on the train waiting to travel to the Main Street Train Station. The show includes many Disney characters, talking Mickey, music, fireworks, and more. It’s really something to see!

Because there is so much to do at Magic Kingdom, my husband and I opted not to get park hopper tickets. But we still wanted to at least see Epcot and get some great photos of Spaceship Earth. So after Rope Drop, we boarded the monorail to Epcot. Did you know you can travel through Epcot without having a park ticket? The Epcot monorail actually travels through Future World and right around Spaceship Earth. It’s a quick trip through Epcot, but it’s definitely something fun to do if you don’t plan on park hopping.

When you enter the park you will be visiting, you will want to head towards some of the more popular attractions you’d like to experience. Most of these popular attractions will have shorter wait times early in the morning, so ride them first. Before you get in line for your first attraction, I recommend getting a Fastpass for another nearby popular attraction. If you have a smartphone, use an app such as My Disney Experience to see wait times without having to physically walk to the attractions. This will help you to better plan your day at the parks. Also, be sure to bring an extra cell phone battery or turn off unneccessary functions on your phone to make your phone’s battery last longer.

If you do plan on park hopping, make sure you have a plan. Take special events such as shows, parades, and fireworks into account when making your plan. You’ll also want to look at the dining options for each park before you go. Decide which restaurants you want to visit for each meal and plan your park hopping accordingly. Since you won’t have a full day in each park, be sure to take advantage of Fastpasses.

Spending just one day at Disney is a unique and fun experience. With a little bit of planning you can actually experience a lot of Walt Disney World your one day visit. While you’re enjoying your day at Disney, be sure not to rush around too much. Remember to slow down and enjoy the Disney magic around you!

Have you ever visited Disney for a one day trip? Let us know your experience in the comments below!



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4 thoughts on “Spending Only One Day At Walt Disney World

  1. If you have little ones with you, I recommend one day-one park. There’s enough (sometimes too much) in one park for a whole day, and they can get uber-cranky if pushed to do too much. If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend MK for a one-day stop. It sums up Disney World for me (though I love the other 3).

  2. We live in Missouri but spend a couple of weeks a year in Florida for various reasons. If we have an extra day we always opt for a one day trip, usually to the Magic Kingdom . We save the other parks for when we actually do a Disney vacation. We get there when the park opens and stay until it closes. I have to admit we never use fastpasses. We do not do much running around, we usually start on one side and just work ourselves around, therefore we would hit space mountain early in the morning or Pirates of the Caribbean. Splash Mountain we usually avoid during the heat of the day, and will never wait longer than an hour, We have noticed that we can actually avoid this section and come back early evening and the lines are half as long. This is the only section we do this. Which works out really well for us, because in the heat of the day is usually when my little one starts to get sleepy so he sleeps and we do our shopping on main street. It is so much easier with him sleeping and the time of day we go there aren’t a lot of people in the stores. The big bonus is the stores are cool so it is a nice break. We don’t want our little guy to miss out on any of the excitement so we just take in the magic along main street, and wait for the 3pm parade, at which point we wake up the little man. Then we go for the second half. This is just what works for us, we have it down pretty good.

  3. In April 2013, my husband and I went on a cruise for our anniversary that left out of Cape Canaveral. We decided to make a quick visit to Disney World when we got back to Orlando and got one-day Park Hopper tickets. We had a 2pm reservation at Sanaa (which was wonderful!) in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, checked into our room at Pop Century, went to Downtown Disney, and had drinks at the Polynesian while we watched the Wishes fireworks on the day we arrived. The next morning, we were at Hollywood Studios when they opened, then to Animal Kingdom, then Epcot, and finally to Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. We rode 20 rides, saw 2 parades, 2 fireworks shows, and drank and snacked our way around the world. Because we had watched the Wishes fireworks the night before, we were able to walk right onto almost all the rides at Magic Kingdom. We were exhausted the next day, but had an amazing time!

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