If you’re one of the many people wondering “how many days do I need at Disney World” then you’re in luck.
When planning a vacation in Florida, there’s no doubt that a visit to Disney World is right at the top of most families ‘must-do’ list, alongside Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND Florida and much, much more.
In fact, Florida is home to so many great things to do with kids that it can sometimes be hard to know how to plan your itinerary, especially if you’ve got children of different ages.
But let’s not forget how magic Disney World is; and you don’t want to end up missing some of that magic, or having to rush your time around the parks by not leaving enough days to enjoy it properly.
In this guide, we’ll help you to plan how many days you’ll need to do the Disney World parks, specifically looking at:
- How Many Days Should You Do at Disney World?
- How Many Disney Parks Do You Want to do?
- Top Tips for Choosing How Many Days to do at Disney
- Common Disney World Planning FAQs
How Many Days Should You Do at Disney World?
Most families realise that they need more than one day at Disney World, especially when it comes to the Magic Kingdom (the most popular park at Walt Disney World).
Even one day at Magic Kingdom, for example, is just not enough time to cram all of the fun in that you want.
Whether you want to visit one park or them all (there are four parks in total at Walt Disney World Resort alongside two water parks and Disney Springs to explore, as well as two mini adventure golf courses), you’ll thank yourself later on for doing your research and stopping to think about what’s going to work best for you and your family.
We’d recommend that most families will want to allow a full seven days to properly enjoy everything that Disney World has to offer without feeling rushed.
But we’ll say one thing; one day isn’t going to be anywhere near enough time at Disney World for most guests. Far from it.
Unless you’ve visited the parks many times before and are passing through Orlando on a flying visit, you’re going to want to make Disney the main event of your vacation, otherwise you’re almost certainly going to leave feeling disappointed that you missed out on so many of the attractions.
As a rough guide, you’ll want to allow at least the following for each park:
- Magic Kingdom: 2 days
- Hollywood Studios: 1 day
- Animal Kingdom: 1 day
- Epcot: 1 day
- Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon: 1 day
That said, knowing what you want to do at each of the parks can help you to properly plan and buy the right tickets for entry, make dining reservations in advance and know that you’ll not need to rush around during your visit.
So where do you start planning the number of days to make the most of your Disney parks ticket, make sure you’re not missing out on any of the rides, parades or character meets and that everyone has the time of their lives?
How Many Disney Parks Do You Want to do?
Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is home to four theme parks, two water parks and an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex:
So that you can properly plan the number of days you’ll need to enjoy the parks, and figure our which the best value tickets are going to be, you need to decide how many parks you want to visit during your stay and which this is going to be.
To learn more about what’s going to be the best value for you, why not check out our guide to how much Disney World tickets cost?
Whilst most theme parks you’ve been to before can easily be enjoyed in a single day, this is Disney World, a totally different experience from start to finish, and you’re going to want to leave as much time as possible to experience more than just the rides.
After all, a lot of of the magic of the parks comes from watching the parades and fireworks, dining in one or more of the many themed restaurants, shopping for pretty much any Disney treat you can think of or meeting your favorite characters and making the most of that perfect photo opportunity.
The rides are on a totally different level to most theme parks, don’t get us wrong, but the fun of Disney comes from so much more than these.
So, how many parks do you want to do?
In our experience, most families will want to enjoy all four parks and at least one of the water parks, as well as taking the time to soak up the atmosphere, grab a bite to eat and indulge in some retail therapy at Disney Springs. And doing all of this means you’re going to want to set aside at least 7 days, or more if you’re able to do so.
Let’s break this down by each park and walk you through how much time you should leave for each.
How Many Days Do You Need at Magic Kingdom?
Magic Kingdom is the most popular of Disney World’s four main parks, and the one that most people typically think of when you talk about the resort due to it being where the famous Cinderella castle is located.
It’s generally assumed that you’ll need two full days to properly enjoy and experience everything that the park has to offer, including the rides, character meets, parades and the fireworks.
Magic Kingdom, as it says in the name, is a magical experience for the whole family, and many choose to start and end their Disney trip with a day in the park.
How Many Days Do You Need at Hollywood Studios?
Hollywood Studios has seen a huge expansion in recent years, with the introduction of both Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and also Toy Story Land, and this means you’re going to need to leave more time to explore the park than was once the case.
That said, for most guests, one day is enough to enjoy Hollywood Studios, just be sure to arrive when the park opens and be prepared to stay until close to make the most of your time there.
Some guests, however, especially huge Star Wars fans, might want to add a second day in the park, or use a Park Hopper ticket to split your second day with time in Epcot, the closest park that’s connected by a waterside walkway that takes around 20 minutes.
How Many Days Do You Need at Animal Kingdom?
You’ll only need one day to explore Animal Kingdom, even after the addition of Pandora World of Avatar, the park’s ride which typically has the longest queue times.
Animal Kingdom is a stunning park that offers guests a truly immersive experience, but can almost always be properly enjoyed in a single day.
How Many Days Do You Need at Epcot?
Many guests will be able to experience everything that Epcot has to offer in a single day, but if there’s a festival on (which is frequent), then you might want to consider extending this to two days – or at least combining your second day with a second trip to Hollywood Studios.
Families traveling with young children will usually only need one day in the park, and it’s often considered to be the one of the four that is the easiest to complete without missing out on anything in a single visit.
How Many Days Do You Need at Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon?
You can have a fantastic time at either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon in a single day, but many guests choose to add a second day as part of a longer vacation as the perfect way to relax.
Whilst the two water parks are different to each other, you might want to choose one of them if you’re also wanting to head to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, Kennedy Space Center or one of Florida’s other top attractions.
Some families choose to head to one of the beaches near to Disney World, whereas others choose to spend more time at one of these water parks.
How Many Days Do You Need at Disney Springs?
Disney Springs is Walt Disney World Resort’s outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex and is home to everything from a cinema and balloon flight to Cirque du Soleil, vintage amphicars and so much more.
But Disney Springs isn’t a park and you don’t need to treat it like one, and many guests choose to enjoy it across a few separate visits.
Disney Springs makes the perfect place to grab a bite to eat in the evening or to treat yourself to a few souvenirs or gifts in one of the many shops. It’s also a great choice to go see a movie as a way to relax at the end of the day.
By all means, take your time to explore the complex, but you won’t feel you’re missing out if you visit on a few different occasions around other attractions.
Top Tips for Choosing How Many Days to do at Disney
Enjoying your time at Disney World is often about going with the right expectations, and that often means accepting that you’ll be unlikely to get to go on every ride, meet every character and watch every show and parade.
There’s simply too much going on to fit everything into one trip unless you’re visiting for two weeks and do little else (but we’d encourage you to do more than just Disney World to take in the best of everything that Orlando and the surrounding area has to offer).
To maximize your time in the parks and avoid lengthy queues, be sure to use your fastpass+ reservations and make a proper plan. Know what you want to do in each park and build your day around your reservations. Be sure to grab a dining reservation in advance, too, or enjoy one of the many quick service options available.
If you’re planning on visiting more than one park in the same day (what’s known as park hopping), you’ll want to plan your journey between the parks properly; most of Disney World’s parks are some distance from another and it’s not as easy to get between them as many people assume.
Make sure you plan your trip in advance and know how many days you want to do at the parks so that you can buy the best value tickets and save money on your trip; the more days you do at Disney, the cheaper your tickets will be for each.
Common Disney World Planning FAQs
When it comes to planning your Disney World vacation and deciding how many days you’ll need to allow, there are a few questions that come up time and time again:
Which parks at Disney World can be done in a day?
Whilst you can enjoy all of Disney World’s parks in one day, you’ll be unlikely to enjoy everything that each one has to offer.
Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) can all be done in a single day without missing out on much, and many guests can get around Hollywood Studios in one trip.
Magic Kingdom, on the other hand, almost always needs two days to enjoy properly.
Is it possible to visit more than one Disney World park in the same day?
If you’ve bought a Park Hopper ticket, you’re able to move between the parks at Disney World and visit more than one in the same day, but you’ll need to plan your journey between these properly.
Thankfully Disney offers a number of transport options, but be sure to allow plenty of time for the journey in your day.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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