This is Disney World, and so much of the next 4 days will depend on crowds, lines, and the energy of your family. Here is the best 4 Day Plan for an average family, even first timers, with no real agenda except to make the most out of their vacation.
As a head’s up, times of day, even the days of the week, have been disregarded for the most part given that unless there are dinning reservations everything depends on the goals of each family.
Before you can fly you’re going to need a little pixie dust, so it’s always a safe bet to start off with the Magic Kingdom. You’re likely energized and ready to go, which is a necessity for this Park.
Breakfast: Before you get to Magic Kingdom though, consider the Supercalifragalistic Character Breakfast at the Grand Floridian. Not only is this just an unbelievably beautiful hotel, but this character breakfast is not quite as crowded and it’s reasonable priced. The Magic Kingdom is just a monorail ride away, which is must on any Disney vacation. Check! Check!
Side Tip: You should already have your fast passes squared away, and at least an idea of your family’s “must see” attractions. Go ahead and jump in the fun! Consider making your first two fastpasses rather close together in time and distance. Give yourself a break to ride other rides in between your third fastpass, and then pull out the old reliable My Disney Experience app to grab a fourth fast pass once you’ve finished your third.
Lunch: There are too many great quick stops for food and snacks in the Magic Kingdom, so lunch should be a simple endeavor.
Side tip: Even though you may want to stop and watch that Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, it may be wise to skip it on this trip, or even to be far away from it altogether. Don’t be upset, you’re going to make up for it in a BIG way. Keep reading…
Dinner: That breakfast feels like it was days ago! So, if there’s one restaurant that would be most practical for a family with only one night and one dinner in Magic Kingdom its Tony’s. Why? The Main Street Electrical Parade, of course! Book your reservations well in advance and try to time it about two hours before the parade begins. Enjoy this lovely parade passing by your window or even your veranda seat as you finish up a delicious bowl of spaghetti. Of course, there are other great options for dinner in Magic Kingdom!
I hope you slept well because today you are going to conquer Epcot, Disney’s second largest theme park. With only one day for this park, its easy to get stuck in the World Showcase or Future World either because of the lines, or you’re simply too tired to keep making the hike back and forth two or three times in a single day. Solution? Arrive at this park at opening and get through some of the more popular attractions like Mission Space, Living with the Land, Soarin’, Test Track, etc.
Breakfast: Your Disney resort will offer breakfast early, so grab your family something quick if you want. Be sure to purchase some extra food to take with you for the morning to hold you over.
Side Tip: This Park can be tricky, and a lot depends on your fastpasses here. Most of your fastpasses are most likely for rides in Future World. Remember you can always grab another fastpass through the My Disney Experience app once you’ve used up your first three; but also remember, there is not an endless supply of fastpasses and it’s not unlikely that by noon fastpasses will no longer be available for some of the more popular attractions. The sooner you can finish with the first three, the sooner you can move on to other rides. Be smart! If you are arriving at opening, consider letting your first attraction or two be one of the more popular attractions you don’t have fastpasses to. Mornings are no time to dillydally, ya’ll!
Lunch: For this particular trip, it may be easier to head over to the Land Pavilion for a delicious lunch at the Sunshine Seasons Food Court. It’s very comfortable and a great indoor stop that can be as quick or slow as you need it to be. Take a breath in the AC, readjust and plan your next few hours in World Showcase.
Dinner: There is no better Park in Disney World to find excellent food choices than Epcot’s World Showcase. Some top choices might be Japan’s Teppan Edo, Canada’s le Cellier Steakhouse or Italy’s Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. No matter what restaurant you set your heart on you’ll want to book reservation well ahead of time, and budget for this dinner. If you time it before Illuminations, you can once again enjoy a beloved Disney’s experience on a full stomach.
Hollywood Studies is many a Disney Fanatics’ favorite, but it’s likely you can take your time getting there on this trip. Not only will you likely appreciate the extra sleep, but also because of how this Park is set up.
Breakfast/ Lunch: If you’re moseying into this park a little later, you could skip breakfast altogether and head straight to an early lunch reservation. Just as you enter the park past the main street and to the left is the Prime Time Café. Walking a little further past the Star Wars pavilion you’ll come to Sci Fi Dine-In Theater. These are options that are not as pricey and really capture the theme of Old Hollywood.
Side Tip: This park has wonderful attractions that thankfully hold large crowds at a time, such as Fantastic, the Muppet Vision 3D, Indiana Jones, Beauty and the Beast, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Lights, Motor Action! Extreme Stunt Show! and even the Great Movie Ride. The trick to this park is to look ahead at times for each of these. The added bonus of working around some of these larger show times is they may not always require fastpasses, and there is time inbetween to catch some other attractions.
Dinner: You can never have too many reservations in Disney World! Even if you decide to cancel your reservation, at least you have one. The Brown Derby has an infamous “can’t go wrong” menu, but this also may be a good night to grab something quick as you sure up your family’s “must see” list. As always, there are other options.
After dinner, head over to that evening’s Fantasmic show- Note: life is a lot simpler if you have fastpasses for this show. This line fills up very quickly!
Animal Kingdom is a wonderfully high energy Park, but it does have a reputation for getting a bit hot and stuffy. For this reason (and the fact that it’s your last day) arrive at opening if you can.
Breakfast: Again, consider grabbing a quick breakfast at your Disney resort. Grab some extra food to eat throughout the morning until your next meal.
Side Tip: So, you might be wondering at this point if you should get a Park Hopper for a 4 Day Plan at Walt Disney World? The answer is most likely always yes. What you will want to take advantage of are the Extra Magic Hours throughout your trip. This will require a Hopper if you decide to spend your time at a theme park different from those Extra Magic Hours available that same day at another park. You could always rework this 4 Day Plan to match up with Extra Magic Hours. However, you’ll want to take into consideration the time of year and the crowds. The Animal Kingdom, for example, may not keep the attention of your teenagers once they’ve completed some of rides like Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur, and It’s Touch to be a Bug. If that’s the case, use your Hopper and finish up some rides at Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
Lunch/Dinner: If you decided to stay in this park for lunch or dinner, the Yak & Yeti is one of the most popular restaurants in all of Disney World.
If you decide to leave Animal Kingdom early to finish up another Park, you may have a difficult time finding a sit down restaurant reservation without advance notice, so plan this last day carefully. Book a reservation. It’s your last night and just hours away from turning back into a pumpkin!
Its understandable that the average family would want to work in as many of the attractions as possible in one single (rather short) trip, but I hope this 4 Day Trip Plan will help your family consider ways in which you can conquer park attractions, yet create time to enjoy the full Disney experience. Enjoy the Magic!
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