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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How To Decide Which Park on Which Day?

Yeah!  You’ve decided to go to Walt Disney World and are now trying to decide which parks to go to on which day.  Deciding a schedule for park touring can be a bit tricky, but with a few things to consider, along with some hints and tips, it can be easy, well, somewhat easy.

Begin with knowing that Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks.  The most known and attended park is the Magic Kingdom.  The Magic Kingdom is often considered synonymously and yet incorrectly, with Walt Disney World.  The Magic Kingdom is the home of Cinderella’s Castle.  The other parks are EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios—not to be confused with Universal Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The water parks are Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.  It may be beneficial to decide if you will be going to a water park before you begin your planning, as it may change the type of ticket you purchase or your park touring schedule.

Next, consider the length of your trip.  If you are visiting for a week, touring each park is doable.  If you will only be at Walt Disney World for a long week-end, it may be beneficial to prioritize which parks you want to visit.  We’ve taken a few 4 day trips and skipped Disney’s Animal Kingdom during those visits.  Not because we didn’t like the park, but just because we had limited time and knew we would have to cut out some things.  Also consider if during your week you will be taking in any other attractions in the area such as Sea World or a visit to the coast, as this will affect your park touring schedule.

Now you are ready to decide which park on which day.  But there is some more information you might want to have before making your final decisions:
  • Park Hours.  Are any parks offering Extra Magic Hours in the morning or night for resort guests and if so, on which day?  What parks might be closing?  This information is available on the Walt Disney World web-site.
  • Advanced Dining Reservations.  Where are you dining and when?  If you are dining at a restaurant inside a theme park, it will be important to make sure that park is included in your touring schedule for that day.  Not all day, per say, but you’ll have to get to the park to get to the restaurant.  Nearby resort restaurants may also dictate some of your park touring, for example, if you plan on dining at Chef Mickey’s you may want to tour at the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT those days as getting to Chef Mickey’s will be made easier by monorail.

We often pick our park days before making our ADR’s, but it can be done both ways.

Now that you know the park hours and your dining schedule, you are definitely ready to decide which park on which day.

Our decision making would go something like this, for a 4 day trip:
Arriving late in the day on Friday, and EPCOT is open late, so we will go there for dinner possibly and watch Illuminations.  Saturday morning, Hollywood Studios has AM Extra Magic Hours, so we ill get there for rope drop and get a head start on Toy Story Mania!  On Sunday, we have an ADR at Teppan Edo, so we will spend our day at EPCOT.  Monday, definitely Magic Kingdom, as we hadn’t visited that park yet.  We could have on Sunday night during pm Extra Magic Hours, but wanted to see if Monday morning after the extended hours were a bit less crowded.  No park on Tuesday, as we would return home.

There you have it, our thinking behind the decision making.  Our plans would require a 4 day ticket—nothing more.  No Park Hopper would need to be added or Water Parks and More option required on our ticket.  Adding these options to tickets can be expensive which is why it is important to have some idea of your touring plans before purchasing park tickets.

There’s an even bigger secret that is important and that is that there is no one right way to make a decision about which park to visit on which day.  No matter what you decide, a magical vacation is in your future!

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