How to Allocate Park Days at Walt Disney World

Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World is very subjective because each family will have their favorites.  Family dynamics and ages are going to vary.  As travel planners we all get asked by our clients, how to allocate the number of park days over your vacation.  Granted having a Park Hopper ticket option will help you get to all the parks, but you have to factor in travel time from park to park and see if it is worth it to park hop.  A Park Hopper ticket option allows you to visit more than one park a day.  If you are short on time this might be a good options.  It is also a great option for couples and solo travelers.

Here is a breakdown of how I would use my days at Walt Disney World.

1 day ticket: (I know the horror!) but you will have to choose ahead of time if it will be at Magic Kingdom or Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom because the pricing is slightly different.  But this is a no-brainer for me: Magic Kingdom


2 day ticket:  Magic Kingdom & Epcot.  Unless you have a person who is into Star Wars than I would suggest Hollywood Studios.  But with Magic Kingdom and Epcot having the most attractions these will give you the most bang for your buck.

3 day ticket: Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.  Sure you may prefer to hit up Animal Kingdom but I feel that Hollywood Studios still has more to experience on a short trip.


4 day ticket:  Visit each park one time for first time visitors.  If you have been before or aren’t interested in Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom I would suggest 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 at Epcot and then 1 and either Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.

5 day tickets: With 5 days I would check out Magic Kingdom twice and all of the other parks once.  I believe this a fairly common arrangement for many people taking a 5 day vacation and it gives you plenty of time in Magic Kingdom plus a visit to each other park.


6 day tickets: Magic Kingdom and Epcot twice with a single day spent at both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

7 day tickets: Here is where it gets tricky.  I would go with 3 days at Magic Kingdom (taking it easy), 2 at Epcot and again 1 at both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

8 day tickets: You could visit each park twice, or go to Magic Kingdom 3 times, Hollywood Studios and Epcot twice and Animal Kingdom once.


9 day tickets: Magic Kingdom and Epcot 3 times each, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom get the rest so I would probably go with 2 Hollywood Studios days and 1 Animal Kingdom day.

10 day tickets: So many days to use up here!  Magic Kingdom, and Epcot 3 times each, then Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom twice.  What a fun vacation that would be!

You may find having the Park Hopper is also a great advantage especially with longer trips.  You may want to pop over to Animal Kingdom in the morning and then finish the evening with fireworks at Magic Kingdom.  And of course if the weather isn’t cooperating a Park Hopper is really handy.

Do take into consideration when planning your park days special events like hard ticket parties, events like a runDisney race.  Or if it is near a holiday or school break the parks can get very crowded so it is important to look ahead for what is going on at Walt Disney World before planning your park days.  And of course a great travel agent can help you with this!

Do you have a favorite combination of parks to visit on a vacation?  We would love to hear it!

Podcast Episode 38: WDW Traditions

Join us this week as we discuss our favorite Disney World touring habits!  Find out how we like to travel to the parks, what we like to do once we get there, and what we do to spare ourselves the misery of going home!  Maybe we can inspire you to make some new traditions of your own next time you take a Disney vacation!

Happy listening!

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Touring Tips for Christmas Week at Walt Disney World

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and everyone wants to go to Walt Disney World. If you are planning a visit the week between Christmas and New Years, you will be witness to Disney World’s peak crowd days.


Don’t get stuck with these crowds getting into the park–get there early!

These are my tried-and-true tips. Prior to my full-time travel agent career, I was a teacher and was locked in to traveling during peak times, and I have witnessed the Christmas crowds first-hand.

  • Arrive Early Whichever park you are visiting, arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the posted opening time. Many times they will let guests in prior to the posted opening time. If the park has Extra Magic Hours in the morning—take advantage of them.
  • Stay Late If mornings are not your family’s thing, then take advantage of the Evening Extra Magic Hours.
  • Extra Magic Hours will be listed on the Times Guide given to you in your check-in packet.
  • Afternoons and early evenings will be the most crowded at the parks. Plan on taking in shows or having a table-service meal during these times to help avoid the crowds. The parks will also have dance parties, characters out and little entertainment acts all around—take a moment to enjoy these little magical encounters.
  • Schedule at least one sit-down meal each afternoon or evening. It will give you a break from the crowds, time off your feet, and a good meal.
  • Park Closures The week between Christmas Eve and New Years Day there are often times when the parks close. The Magic Kingdom is usually the park that reaches capacity quickest. There are four phases of closure and those staying at Disney Resort Hotels are the last to be denied admission.150983_10200192428162200_1217758663_n
  • Take advantage of all the extra things the Disney resorts do for the holidays and possibly have a non-park day to take in these special displays. This will give you a break from the crowds. This is also a nice afternoon activity in case the theme parks get too crowded. Read more about the resorts’ Christmas decorations in this post.
  • Fastpass+ Schedule your Fastpass times early in the day so you can quickly get more throughout the day.
  • A Must-Do List Have everyone chose their must-do for each day and make it a priority to accomplish that must-do for each person. This way everyone gets one guaranteed favorite.
  • Utilize Touring Plans’ app: Lines and the Optimizer. Pick out which attractions you wish to see and this app will tell you the best way to tour with the most minimal waits.

223096_1977679130431_3178507_n Lines will be long, you might not be able to see the pavement at times, but just remember why you are there—to make wonderful memories with your family!