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Disney World Four-Day Adventure Strategy

In our companion piece to this post, we outlined and ranked our Top 25 Attractions at Disney World. Here we are going to show you how you can experience them all, including the best ones multiple times in a single four-day adventure!


We are assuming that you will spend one morning rope dropping each park along with two evenings in Magic Kingdom, and one in Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Usually, we recommend switching parks for each day. But you can also use these plans to strategize a full day in each park as well.

MAGIC KINGDOM

Magic Kingdom Castle

Ride Must Do’s:


Two or more times

  • Space Mountain

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • Splash Mountain

  • Jungle Cruise

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Definitely once

  • Peter Pan’s Flight

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Haunted Mansion

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

FastPass+ Suggestions:

  • Space Mountain

  • Peter Pan’s Flight

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Rope Drop Strategy:


You should plan to arrive at Magic Kingdom about an hour before the park opens. They usually will let guests into main street at around this time and you can then grab a spot in the front of the line to wait for the official opening. Don’t worry, they hold the groups back from each entry point to get to the rides at the same time.


Assuming you already have a FastPass+ reservation for Space Mountain, we recommend starting your day in Frontierland. Start by riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad immediately followed by Splash Mountain and then Pirates of the Caribbean. Once complete it should be time to start using your FastPass+ reservations, during which time you should be able to squeeze in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and other nostalgic rides you may want to ride.


Another option we have found fun for a morning in Magic Kingdom is to eat breakfast at Be Our Guest. You will get to enter the park even earlier, have a chance to sit down and then be able to get your own personal escort to Frontierland when the park opens. We will add that this is a longer walk, so plan on walking extra fast to beat the massive crowds! Additionally, you will need to get an early reservation via the Advance Dining Reservation system, for no later than 45 minutes before park opening

Evening Strategy:


We recommend two nights in Magic Kingdom mainly due to how good the nightly fireworks show is. Happily Ever After is worth seeing twice (when it's being shown). However, evenings are also a great time to snag some extra fastpasses and find shorter lines. Assuming you are able to get two FastPass+ reservations each evening, you should be able to knock out rides on Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear and hopefully one of the mountain attractions.


Additionally, plan for one of your evenings in Magic Kingdom to include Extra Magic Hours. During these few hours standby wait times for Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain are usually pretty reasonable. Plus, both of these are extra fun and a different experience when riding in the dark!


Recap:


Two or more times

  • Space Mountain (2 FP+ Reservations, one advance and one day-of)

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Rope Drop and Evening EMH)

  • Splash Mountain (Rope Drop and Evening EMH)

  • Jungle Cruise (Day of FP+ and evening standby)

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Day of FP+ and morning standby)

Definitely once

  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Advance FP+)

  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Standby mid-morning/rope drop)

  • Haunted Mansion (Day of FP+)

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Advance FP+)

EPCOT

EPCOT Ball

Ride Must Do’s:


Two or more times

  • Soarin’

  • Test Track

Definitely once

  • Spaceship Earth

  • Frozen Ever After

FastPass+ Suggestions:

  • Test Track (Tier 1)

  • Spaceship Earth (Tier 2)

  • Any other tier 2 attraction (Tier 2)

Rope Drop Strategy:


Due to it often breaking down and not always being operational first thing in the morning, we recommend using your single Tier 1 EPCOT FastPass+ for Test Track and heading to Soarin’ first thing in the morning followed immediately by Frozen Ever After. There will be wait for Frozen, but it’s probably your best choice. After this you can start using your FastPass+ reservations and then spend the rest of your morning and early afternoon touring the World Showcase.


In terms of arriving at the park, you can sleep a tad bit longer when heading to EPCOT. Plan to arrive around 45 minutes before park opening.

Evening Strategy:


You have to spend at least 1 night at EPCOT to experience their fireworks show in the World Showcase Lagoon (when it is being shown). You can usually find a day of FP+ for Soarin’ and then either leverage the single rider line or Extra Magic Hours to get in your second ride on Test Track.


Recap:


Two or more times

  • Soarin’ (Rope Drop and day of FP+)

  • Test Track (Advance FP+ and single rider/EMH)

Definitely once

  • Spaceship Earth (Advance FP+)

  • Frozen Ever After (Second ride of the day)

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Millennium Falcon at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Ride Must Do’s:


Two or more times

  • Rise of the Resistance

  • Rock “n” Roller Coaster

  • Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

  • Toy Story Mania

  • Tower of Terror

Definitely once

  • Slinky Dog Dash

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad

  • Star Tours

FastPass+ Suggestions:

  • Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run (Tier 1)

  • Rock “n” Roller Coaster (Tier 2)

  • Tower of Terror (Tier 2)

Rope Drop Strategy:


With 7 attractions that would be worth a FastPass+ or rope drop in any other park, Hollywood Studios is without a doubt the toughest park to complete everything you want to do. So it may require a little luck to get it all in.


First of all, you must be inside the park before it officially opens to get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. As with the other parks, we recommend arriving about an hour in advance. And because of Rise of the Resistance, it is the most crowded park in the morning.


We recommend rope dropping Slinky Dog Dash and then following up with a quick ride on Toy Story Mania. The wait time should still be pretty short for Toy Story Mania, since most people will be visiting one of the other 5 major attractions first. Now is when it gets tricky. If the wait for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railroad is reasonable (i.e. 40 mins or less) you should ride this now. If not, head over to Star Tours and then start using your FastPass+ reservations.


And make sure to stay around for your Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance, whenever that may be!!

Evening Strategy:


With the Boarding Group system in place, the evenings in Hollywood Studios are now much less crowded as everyone is arriving first thing in the morning. Most guests will be leaving when you are heading out for your evening visit.


You can often find a day-of FastPass+ for Tower of Terror, so be on the lookout for one of those and grab it if available. Additionally, with the lower wait times in the evening, Toy Story Mania and Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run are good bets for an evening standby ride.


Finally, we recommend skipping Fantasmic and the Star Wars Nightly shows and instead using that time to get in another ride on Rock “n” Roller Coaster.


Recap:


Two or more times

  • Rise of the Resistance (Boarding Group)

  • Rock “n” Roller Coaster (Advance FP+ and late-evening standby)

  • Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run (Advance FP+ and evening standby)

  • Toy Story Mania (Second Ride and evening standby)

  • Tower of Terror (Advance FP+ and day-of FP+)

Definitely once

  • Slinky Dog Dash (Rope Drop)

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad (Early morning or evening standby)

  • Star Tours (mid-morning standby)

ANIMAL KINGDOM

Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Ride Must Do’s:


Two or more times

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage

  • Expedition Everest

Definitely once

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

  • Dinosaur

FastPass+ Suggestions:

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage (Tier 1)

  • Expedition Everest (Tier 2)

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris (Tier 2)

Rope Drop Strategy:


If you are staying on property, morning Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom are definitely worth it. Either way, you should plan to get to the park about an hour or more before the park opens due to the continued popularity of Avatar: Flight of Passage.


Even if you have a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage, you should still plan to go there first and then immediately head over to Expedition Everest. Again - waiting to use your FastPass+ reservations until later in the morning. You can usually even get a second standby ride on Everest in the morning before the lines get too long.


After Everest, head over to Dinosaur and then use your three FastPass+ reservations not forgetting to grab your fourth as soon as you use your third. If you are visiting Animal Kingdom on a day without Extra Magic Hours, you may have to use your first FastPass+ prior to riding Dinosaur.

Recap


Two or more times

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage (Rope Drop and Advance FP+)

  • Expedition Everest (Rope Drop and Advance FP+)

Definitely Once

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris (Advance FP+)

  • Dinosaur (Mid-morning)

It may seem like a lot, but you can definitely get all of the top rides in on a four day adventure. But remember, everyone and every trip is different and there are still many other attractions and shows you will not want to miss. So an extra few days is always a great idea! We would love to help you walk through your strategy for each day and figure out what the right length trip is for you to be able to fit in everything you want to see and do. Just sign up for a free Embark session and we’ll get started.


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