Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Heather
There’s no place like Disney. This is the happiest place on earth and also one of the most magical places. However, with so many different things to do in one day, it can be hard to know what is worth your time. So, what are the best Disney parks to visit if you have just 1 day? Well first let’s just talk about your options.
There are four main Disney Theme Parks that can be visited if someone has just one day. These are Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into each of these four theme parks and what should be done with as little time as possible.
Best Disney Parks To Visit
Disney Parks are some of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. When it comes to Disney parks, most people think that the only way to enjoy them is by spending several days there. However, that’s not always the case. It may seem impossible to visit multiple Disney Parks in just one day, but with some planning and early morning magic, you can do it!
If you find yourself with only one day to spare, don’t worry. There are plenty of great Disney parks you can visit in just one day! Here are some of the best:
The Magic Kingdom is one of the most popular theme parks in the world, and it’s easy to see why. This park is home to some of the most beloved Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Many iconic attractions include It’s a Small World, Jungle Cruise, The Hall of Presidents, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Country Bear Jamboree, and Haunted Mansion.
If you visit the Magic Kingdom, you must experience some of its most popular attractions. Also, be sure to eat at Be Our Guest or Skipper Canteen!
There are six lands in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, each with its unique feel. These lands are Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Hence, you can spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom and still not take in everything it has to offer.
The trick at this park is to decide which direction you want to go! If you turn left at the hub you will start in Adventureland with rides like Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, if you go to the right you start in Tomorrowland with Space Ranger Spin and Space Mountain (and soon to be Tron)! I personally recommend going to the left but it’s really about what you and your family like best! Either way, this strategy will help you make it all the way around Magic Kingdom and back to the hub for fireworks.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is where nature and imagination meet in perfect harmony. Here, you can explore an expansive wildlife preserve, take a thrilling ride through an exotic jungle, and see some of your favorite animals up close.
This Theme Park is one of the most popular attractions in Walt Disney World. It has various themed areas, including Dinoland U.S.A., Asia, Africa, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Discovery Island, and the oasis. Each park area is filled with fun, exciting rides and attractions. And most include some awesome animals to observe!
The park is home to more than 200 species and 1,700 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. Visitors can see the animals up close and learn about their habitats and behaviors.
The park also features many thrilling rides and attractions, including the world-famous Kilimanjaro Safaris. You can see animals in their natural habitat as you travel through the African savanna. There really is nothing else like this in any theme park, you truly feel like you have been transported to another country!
Animal Kingdom is also home to the Festival of the Lion King, a Broadway-style musical show that celebrates the circle of life. The show features acrobatics, puppetry, and live music and is a must-see for any Disney fan.
This park is not open as late as the other three but you can still have a very full day here and hop to another park once it closes. Don’t miss the Tree Of Life Awakening show, its breathtaking!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a park that is themed after old Hollywood and movie sets. The park comprises seven themed areas: Hollywood Boulevard, Animation Courtyard, Echo Lake, Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, Grand Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard.
Hollywood Boulevard is the main entrance and exit of the park and is lined with shops, restaurants, and theaters. This area is so beautiful and themed so nicely to old Hollywood. At the end of the street you will see the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre that is home to Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway, the first ever ride to feature Mickey and Minnie!
The Animation Courtyard is home to the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream attraction and the Disney Junior: Live on Stage! Show. Echo Lake is home to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! And the Star Tours ride.
Toy Story Land is a new land at the park based on the Toy Story franchise and features three rides: the Slinky Dog Dash coaster, Alien Swirling Saucers and Midway Mania. There is soon to be a new table service BBQ restaurant here as well. Also, Galaxy’s Edge is a new land at the park which is based on the Star Wars franchise. It features two rides: The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. If you have a Star Wars fan in your crew, this is a don’t miss! There is nothing like coming around the corner and seeing the Millennium Falcon in real life!! Plus you can build a droid at the Droid Depot or even build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop which is an entire experience.
The Grand Avenue is home to the Muppets Courtyard and the ABC Sound Studio. Sunset Boulevard is home to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Sunset Boulevard might be one of my favorite places on Disney property! It is just so well themed and has cute shops and places to grab a quick bite to eat.
On Sunset you can also catch the Beauty and the Beast stage show and it is where you will go to enter the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater to watch Fantasmic. If you have never watched this show, you should definitely add it to your must do list.
Epcot or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow is the second oldest park in Walt Disney World and is the home to Spaceship Earth or the giant golfball!
The park has four main themed areas: World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature, and World Showcase. Each area has its own unique attractions, experiences, and dining options. And with new things coming into the park like Moana Journey Of Water and the new Walt Disney statue, there’s a lot to be excited for in this park.
World Celebration is home to the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction, Connections Cafe and the Creations shop. This section is also home to Journey Into Imagination with Epcot and the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival. You can meet lots of characters in this section too! Everyone from Mickey and friends to Joy and Vanelope Von Sweet.
World Discovery is home to some of Epcot’s most popular attractions, including Test Track, Mission Space and the newest addition to the park, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind! There are not really a lot of food options here other than Space 220 and popcorn stands. You can catch the JAMMitors over here too.
World Nature is home to the Land and The Living Seas pavilions. Here, guests can experience the natural world through fun and educational attractions. You can ride Soarin’, Living With The Land and Nemo and Friends. You can also get some good food at Sunshine Seasons or Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion, Coral Reef at the Seas. This is also where you will find Turtle Talk with Crush and the new Journey of Water Moana attraction.
World Showcase is a collection of 11 different country pavilions, each with its unique architecture, culture, and cuisine. Guests can explore the world without leaving Epcot! This section is where you will enjoy most of the festivals that go on in Epcot. You can pretty much count on a festival happening no matter when you visit these days, but make sure you check your dates if that’s something you want to make sure you enjoy. When there is a festival going on there are food kitchens all throughout World Showcase with delicious options!
How To Plan A One Day Trip To Disney Parks
If you plan to spend just one day at Walt Disney World, you can actually visit all four theme parks. This may seem like a lot, but it is quite doable if you plan ahead. You will definitely need a nap after this day but it can be done! Here’s a guide to help you plan the perfect one-day trip to Walt Disney World, where you can hit up all four theme parks:
4 Parks, 1 Day
Ok so this sounds totally crazy right?! Thats because it is, but if you only have one day and want to visit each park here’s how you do it!
First you will need to make your park reservation for the first park. I would suggest booking the reservation for the park you want to spend the most amount of time in. I say this because you won’t be able to hop to another park until 2pm.
Your second park should be Animal Kingdom because it all close earlier than the other parks and you want to be able to do things like the Safari before it closes for the day.
For the other two parks, check which one closes the latest and make it the last park of the day. Remember that Disney transportation can sometimes be a little slow. Consider using Uber or Minnie Vans for a faster trip if you don’t have your own vehicle.
Disney theme Parks are the ultimate destination that can make your vacation an unforgettable and magical experience! And it’s possible to have a magical Disney vacation in a single day. Although it might not be as convenient or complete of a visit, a 1-day Disney vacation is possible.
Although it is possible to visit all 4 parks in one day, it can be very stressful. My personal opinion is that you should just pick one or two parks for your one day and not have to stress about getting from place to place. We actually did a lot of these one day trips last year before we moved and only once did we go to more than one park. We chose mostly to focus on one park for the one day and enjoy everything it had to offer, the one park ticket is cheaper too!
Whatever you decide to do with your one magical day, prioritize what is important to you and your family and you can’t go wrong!! Also check out our Disney Parks page before you go.