10 Tips for Doing MULTIPLE Disney Parks in ONE Day

Recently, my family (and extended family) planned a trip to Orlando, Florida. As a lover of Disney*, I knew we needed to visit a park, but we also wanted to spend a lot of our vacation relaxing pool side. So, we decided to pay the extra money for "park hopper" passes, and we made a plan to visit 3 Disney parks in one day. We moved 12 people (ranging in age from 5 to 70) through three parks in one day, so you can do it too! Check out my 10 tips for "Disney park hopping" below.

1) The first thing you need to do is decide which parks you are going to visit. Keep in mind that Disney parks are huge and there is a lot to see. If you want to fully experience all the parks (especially Magic Kingdom), you are going to want to buy multi-day passes. If you are going to park hop, you are only going to see the highlights of each park. 

For our trip, we decided to visit Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom.


2) Make a plan and book fast passes early. You aren't going to see everything in one day, so make a list of the "top things" on your "must do" list. Buy your tickets early, and use MyDisneyExperience to book your fast passes as soon as you are able to do so... 60 days before your visit if you are staying on site or 30 days if you aren't.


3) Get to the park early.  If you want to maximize your ride time and minimize your wait time, you are going to want to get to the park early. We started our day at Animal Kingdom with a goal to get on Avatar quickly (without a fast pass). 

On the day of our visit, the park opened at 9am. We arrived at the park at 7:20am, the ticket booth/guest relations opened at 7:30am (so we were able to exchange our paper tickets for cards early), the gates opened at 8:15am, and they started letting people head to rides at 8:45am. As a result, we had our first ride (which has one of the longest waits in the park) finished shortly after 9am. 

Extra tip: When you are waiting in line, stay to the left. The left side tends to move faster.



4) Use fast passes wisely. We booked our fast passes for 9:30-10:30, 10:30-11:30, and 11:30-12:30. We were able to go on a popular ride first thing (without a fast pass), and then we used all our three passes right away. (After all the fast passes are used, you can book more.) 

On our trip, we managed to complete all our "must do" Animal Kingdom rides quickly, so we had time to enjoy a show before heading to our second park.


5) Dress for success. If you are park hopping, it's going to be a long day, and you are going to want to be comfortable. Make sure you wear comfy clothes, sneakers, hats, and lots of sunblock. (You should also bring dollar store rain ponchos if the forecast calls for rain and light sweaters because it can cool down in the evenings.)

You may also want to buy special Disney themed clothing. My sister and I had these adorable shirts made for our six boys. They say "Cousin Crew 2018". They look cute in pictures, and matching shirts help you keep the group together (and easily identified) as you move through the parks.


6) Pack a lunch. If you are going to try to cover multiple parks in one day, you are not going to have time to stop for meals. So, bring some backpacks, and fill them with food and water. You will have lots of time to eat and snack while you are waiting in lines. You are also going to want to stay hydrated, so don't forget to fill your water bottles at the various fountains located throughout the park.


And, although sit-down meals may be too time consuming for a day of park hopping, you may want to take a short break for a Disney-themed treat. My boys and their cousins enjoyed some Mickey ice cream with their grandparents.


7) Get a family photo. Every time that we go to Disney, we take a family photo, enlarge, and add it to our "vacation wall". It's a fun tradition, and its a great way to document the special family memories we are making.


This year, we even got a lovely stranger to take a photo of our group of 12 (2 grandparents, 4 parents, and 6 little boys)!


8) Take the monorail. To save time, you can take a monorail (free of charge) between Epcot and Magic Kingdom. 

We started our day at Animal Kingdom, and then we drove our car to Epcot. Then, when we finished at Epcot, we took the monorail to Magic Kingdom. Our goal was to get to Magic Kingdom in time for the nighttime show, but with the time we saved taking the monorail, we were able to squeeze in a ride on Space Mountain.


9) Plan for a nighttime show. Disney is more than just awesome rides. The parades and shows are spectacular, and my all time favourite is the castle/fireworks show at the end of the night at Magic Kingdom. Get a spot (with a good view of the front of the castle) early, and enjoy. It really is a magical way to end the day! 

Extra tip: You can bring your own dollar store glow sticks/ light up toys. They are cheaper than what you can buy at the park, and the kids will love having them.


10) Have fun! It's important to get to see everything on your list, but the most important thing is to have fun, be in the moment, and make wonderful memories with your family.


Have you ever done multiple parks in one day? Do you have any "Disney Park Hopping Tips" to add to my list? Please leave them in the comments below. I'm excited to read them because I'm already planning my next trip! 😃


Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)


*Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets in exchange for my truthful review of these parks. As always, the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

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