VOL. 132 | NO. 89 | Thursday, May 4, 2017
The Daily Traveler
Mission Failure: One Day at Disney
BY LANCE WIEDOWER, Special to The Daily News
Four Disney parks in one day is possible but not very likely. I knew that before we secured one-day park-hopper passes for Walt Disney World, but I went ahead and did it anyway.
Our spring break trip to Florida was centered on baseball spring training and Miami Beach. We had just one day for Disney World and decided that was better than nothing.
My wife and I have been to Walt Disney World, although it was back in the 1980s when it was just the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. Today, the other two parks are Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
People who knock out all four parks in one day usually have a plan; maybe they only want thrill rides. We just wanted to enjoy the Magic Kingdom and maybe get a taste of another park or two. Without a specific plan, the best way to visit all four probably is with a multiday pass.
We opted against accommodations at Walt Disney World and instead booked a nearby Hampton Inn and drove the 15 minutes to the park. It worked well, except for forgetting where we parked later that night.
If we had chosen to park hop, our $20 parking fee got us into the entire complex and would’ve allowed us to come and go between all four parking lots. There also are shuttles that run between the parks, including the monorail that connects the Magic Kingdom to Epcot.
Disney World allows visitors who have the free mobile app to sign up for three FastPasses before visiting, but only at one park. Our first pass at Magic Kingdom was about an hour after we arrived mid-morning, so we went ahead and jumped in line for a couple of rides first.
We were able to zigzag across the park from ride to ride, depending on which one seemed to have shorter lines. The line times were kept updated on the app.
We knew we wanted to spend the evening back in Magic Kingdom, so by mid-afternoon we realized our park-hopper dream was quickly becoming just a two-park reality, at best. So we had a late lunch enjoying a variety of international cuisine, wine and beers at the various “countries” of the World Showcase at Epcot Center. It’s actually my recommendation to take a Disney World lunch break at Epcot. It’s worth the time.
A couple of hours at Epcot was enough before we went back and closed down Magic Kingdom.
My best advice is to save the rides with the longest lines for when everyone is standing around to watch the nightly fireworks. The wait for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train had been as much as three hours all day and we could never secure a FastPass.
It dropped to about 45 minutes when the fireworks went off. Not too bad.
Lance Wiedower can be reached at tripsbylance.com.