By Jessica Hristov
When visiting Walt Disney World, everyone wants to see it all and do it all. The property is so enormous that it may seem impossible to see and do everything in one day. However, with a plan in place and a clear idea of what you want to do at each park, it is possible! Here are the rides you should do in each park and tips to park hop like a pro.
Make a Park Reservation
The days of waking up and strolling into whatever park you choose are long gone unfortunately. Now, in order to go to one of the parks, you must first make a reservation.
You pick the day you want to go, and that is called your “home” park for the day. Remember, you must go to the park that you made the reservation for before you can park hop anywhere else.
You can get as much done at your “home” park as you’d like. Once the clock strikes 2:00 pm, you can hop to as many parks as you want with no restrictions.
If you plan on getting as much out of four parks in one day, purchase Disney Genie+ for the day. This is the system that has replaced FastPass, providing guests with standby times and more. Disney Genie+ is $15 per person per day and includes many popular rides at each park. The two parks that will absolutely give you your money’s worth are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Magic Kingdom alone has 40 attractions that you can use Disney Genie Plus on!
Individual Attraction Selection
The most popular rides at each park have a pay-per-ride option. You can only pick two of these rides for the whole day. There are two Individual Attraction Selection rides per park:
Magic Kingdom– Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain
Epcot– Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Hollywood Studios- Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Animal Kingdom- Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest
The prices of these attractions vary by the day and how busy the park is. They can range anywhere from $7-$15. Personally, I would not pay money to skip the lines for Space Mountain or Expedition Everest. There are not often very long wait times for these rides. The other rides do tend to have long wait times and it is at your personal discretion if you want to pay to skip the lines and ride them.
My advice would be to start your day by rope dropping Hollywood Studios and picking one or two rides to go on. The rides that are the most popular and have the longest wait times are Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. As soon as you get to the park, run right over to Rise of the Resistance because the wait times will be the lowest as soon as the park opens in the morning. While you are in line for that ride, check on your My Disney Experience app if Slinky Dog Dash or Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has the lowest wait time and go to that ride next. Since Toy Story Land is right next to Galaxy’s Edge, you might have better luck waiting in line for Slinky Dog Dash.
If you do happen to purchase Disney Genie+, you can get in line for Rise of the Resistance and quickly make a Lightning Lane reservation for Slinky Dog Dash to minimize your wait time. Of course, you can do any rides that you want to do but I would suggest doing the most popular rides here first thing in the morning. If you choose to come here later in the day, I would recommend purchasing Disney Genie+ or Individual Attraction Selection and selecting the rides you want to do ahead of time.
The most important rides to do at Animal Kingdom, in my opinion, are Kilimanjaro Safari, Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest. If you happen to start your day at Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safari is an excellent rope drop ride because that’s when the animals are the most active. If you are a thrill seeker and you are rope dropping Animal Kingdom, make your way over to Pandora and ride Flight of Passage. This ride has the longest wait in the whole park. If you don’t rope drop this park, I would suggest coming back about an hour before the park closes because the wait times will be low, and you’ll be able to do the popular rides that you want to do.
The two rides worth using Disney Genie+ for are Kilimanjaro Safari and Dinosaur. I personally wouldn’t use the Individual Attraction selection for Flight of Passage or Expedition Everest. If you come first thing in the morning or at the end of the night, the wait times are much lower for Flight of Passage. As for Expedition Everest, it rarely has a long wait.
Epcot has great rides but one of the most fun things to do here is to eat or drink your way around the world. Unfortunately, if you are in a time crunch and you are only trying to do one or two rides per park in order to reach your “all four parks in one day” goal, you may have to skip it.
The three rides that everyone loves to do at Epcot are Test Track, Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. If Epcot is the first park you are going to do, I suggest going to Paris for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and then do either Test Track or Frozen Ever After afterwards. In addition to this, if you plan to use Disney Genie+ here to minimize your wait times, I suggest using it on Test Track and Soarin.
If you choose to do the Individual Attraction selection, Frozen Ever After may be worth purchasing because the lines get really long and stay really long throughout the day.
Image by @thethemeparkdad
Magic Kingdom has the most rides and attractions of all four parks. If you rope drop Magic Kingdom, my biggest piece of advice is to run to Fantasyland to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This ride has the longest wait times in the entire park, and it typically stays like this all day. If you are not a roller coaster fan, I would advise you to rope drop Peter Pan’s Flight because that also has consistently long lines.
If you purchase Disney Genie+, I recommend making reservations for Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain and/or Jungle Cruise as those seem to always have long lines and are very popular.
As for the Individual Attraction Selection, I would not recommend using it on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Space Mountain simply because if you get there early enough, you can quickly get on and off them.
Image by @thethemeparkdad
Remember to have a clear idea of which rides you want to get done at each park. If you pick one to two of your favorite rides per park, you can definitely get all four parks done in one day. By utilizing Disney Genie+ and/or Individual Attraction Selection, it will also save you a lot of time. I would recommend starting the day with either Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. These have the most popular rides out of the four parks.
Which park would you rope drop if you were trying to get all four parks done in one day?
The Orlando Real is sponsored by The Pozek Group. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Orlando, reach out and we would love to help!The Orlando Real on