Disney World in One Day- it can be done! One of the reasons my family keeps going back to Walt Disney World is because there are endless ways to vacation there. We’ve never repeated a vacation twice! It’s a tradition on our drive home to begin planning our next trip with the things we missed out on. If you have to pack Disney World in one day though, you have to plan with some precision.
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to vacation at Walt Disney World, I just think that some people are better at planning it than others.
Some people have perfected the art of doing EVERYTHING in 1 day at WDW, like these two men who rode every ride at all 4 parks in one day. That sounds amazing (and totally exhausting) but it isn’t the norm.
If it were me, I would want to soak up as much of the Disney magic, as I could, at the Magic Kingdom park. Cinderella’s Castle is a must-see on your Disney vacation and the classic storybook rides are located at the Magic Kingdom. Kids love the Magic Kingdom the most too.
There are a million ways to plan Disney World in one day, but here is how I would.
One Day Visit to the Magic Kingdom
The ‘Let the Magic Begin’ Welcome Show is a great way to start your day at the Magic Kingdom! You’ll be front and center for rope drop and Disney’s most famous characters will be there to greet you. Once you enter (the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy), enjoy Main Street USA as you take in the sights, sounds and scents. The confectionary scent is divine! Don’t forget to take a keepsake photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
You can pick which land you’d like to visit first- Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland or Frontierland. We always pick to go right towards Tomorrowland. Space Mountain is my favorite roller coaster and a personal must-do for our family. My preschooler’s favorite, the Tomorrowland Speedway, is on your way to Fantasyland, which is usually our 2nd stop. So we tour the Magic Kingdom counter clockwise, if you look at a park map on the My Disney Experience app.
Fantasyland is fun to explore and brings out your kid at heart. With rides that theme around our favorite childhood movies, it’ll be a fun experience. I wouldn’t miss the Journey of the Little Mermaid or, if you’re lucky, the Seven Dwarf Mine Train. If you use the Fast Pass+ system for popular rides, like the Mine Train, you won’t be waiting in long lines.
If you need a mid morning snack, my favorite non-alcoholic drink on Disney property is Le Fou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. It’s a sweet frozen concoction with a marshmallow topping.
If you keep heading counter clockwise (towards Liberty Square), the most beautiful bathrooms are available. Yes- you can even plan bathroom breaks! The restrooms are themed after one of my favorite movies, Tangled. If you need to charge your phone and take a break, the benches across from the restroom have USB ports too.
A fun favorite at Liberty Square is the Haunted Mansion. It’s the home of 999 haunts with room for one more.
If you want to pass on the lines all together, hop on over to Tom Sawyer’s Island, from Frontierland, for some exploration fun. My Husband and I took a long break on the rocking chairs to relax once. It’s a nice quiet spot.
Afternoons at the Magic Kingdom are a great time to take a breather. The crowds can get heavy and the sun will be hot or it might rain. Our family loves to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, shop a little or try to escape the heat. You can sit in the shade on the Walt Disney World Railroad or hop on Splash Mountain to cool off from the sun.
Last, but not least, check out Adventureland as your day begins to wind down. Pirates of the Caribbean and the Enchanted Tiki Room are fun favorites that we love. The exclusive Disney favorite, Dole Whip, is also located in Adventureland- the infamous Pineapple soft serve snack. Disney guests rave about it.
The Magic Kingdom becomes even more special after dark. I know everyone is tired by this point, but I would definitely consider staying for Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. It’s the show that brings me to tears and leaves me with that extra magic that can only be found at Disney. The nighttime fireworks show is the perfect way to end your day at Disney. Pro tip: If you still had some energy after Wishes, closing the park is a fun way to grab some photos without the crowds!
No matter how you visit Disney, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. But I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom, if you do Disney World in one day. The park embodies Walt Disney’s vision, brings out our inner child and brings families closer together in one magical place.