It is time for another Disney Friends Blog Hop! The theme for this month is “Summer”. We weren’t super sure what to write about as we had never actually been to Walt Disney World during the summer season (hard to believe right?). But that fact has recently changed. Since we moved to the Orlando area, it was a no brainer for us to become Disney Annual Pass (AP) holders. We decided to celebrate acquiring those little yellow cards by taking on a little bit of a crazy challenge: hitting all four parks in one day….in the middle of summer. Read on to hear about our long day and for a few of our tips for surviving the heat… (Also make sure to check below for a list of other fun Disney blogs in this hop to go check out!)
Similar to something like the Monorail Bar Crawl, there is no “official” 4 Parks in 1 Day challenge. But many Disney fans love the idea of checking something off of their Disney must do list. Since we were brand new AP’s we decided what better way to celebrate than by going into all the parks simply because we now can. We created our own mini challenge for the day:
Within each park we had to get proof with a Photopass picture
Within each park we had to do at least one ride (preferably a favorite if possible)
Within each park we had to consume some sort of Food or Beverage
A few things to keep in mind when attempting the challenge is that travel time between parks and actually walking to your destinations can eat up a lot of time. You can also only book early fast passes in one park so we weren’t able to save time in the other 3 parks by utilizing fast pass. Let’s see how we did…
PARK #1: Animal Kingdom
We headed by car to our first stop. At 9:24 am we entered the Animal Kingdom park. We found a Photopass photographer in front of the main pathway to the Tree of Life to snag our picture. We headed to Dinoland to get in line for one of Andrew’s fave attractions: Dinosaur! We waited in line for about 40 minutes which we didn’t think was too bad for a summer weekend morning. (Unfortunately for some reason the Photopass picture never loaded in our account of us in action, boo). After wrapping up the ride we stopped at Isle of Java for a refreshment break. Since it was still pretty early and we weren’t super hungry we only grabbed a cappuccino here. Then we were off back to the car.
PARK #2: Hollywood Studios
So this was the park we made sure to build in a lot of buffer time, we weren’t sure what to expect with crowds since it has been a little nutty lately. We entered Hollywood Studios at 11:15 am and it seemed pretty busy as we expected. We were hoping to do Julie’s fave Tower of Terror but it was only running at half capacity and unfortunately the line was super long. So instead we decided on an oldie but a goodie for both of us: Star Tours. The wait was about 30 minutes which is probably the longest we have waited for that ride in awhile. After cruising the galaxy we were getting pretty munchy. We stopped right next door at Backlot Express restaurant to share a quick chicken tender meal. Before heading out we made sure to swing by to get a picture in front of the Hollywood Tower.
PARK #3: EPCOT
So before heading directly to Epcot we actually drove and parked in the Magic Kingdom lot. We were ending our day here and we wanted our car to be here as well. We were easily able to take the Monorail over from the TTC and headed over to Epcot and entered the park at 1:53 pm. This was the one park where we did book a fast pass, and we had chosen Soarin’. Since we saved some time there we decided to do Living with the Land too (such a classic). We actually booked a dining reservation in this park as well. We headed over to San Angel Inn for a late lunch/early dinner of yummy Mexican food. We had a nice table next to the water and it was great to relax a bit. (If looking for a full review of this restaurant make sure to check out our article HERE.) After our meal we made sure to get a picture in front of the ball and then headed out for our last park of the day.
PARK #4: Magic Kingdom
We headed back over by Monorail to the TTC and took the ferry boat over to the Magic Kingdom. We were in the park at 5:28 pm. We grabbed a Main Street photographer to capture our final proof picture. We actually had done way better time wise than we expected so it freed us up to do a few attractions in the MK: Pirates, Haunted Mansion, the People Mover, and Country Bear Jamboree. Since we were stuffed from eating in Mexico we ended up sharing a treat: the new “Red’s Revenge” float in Adventureland. (The soda was very strawberry but the ice cream perfect for a hot day, Red’s little chocolate hat was a cute touch). We also picked up a couple to-go treats for our ride home as well. We even stayed through to see Happily Ever After that night, then headed home after a long, but successful day.
Here are some fun stats from our challenge:
Parks Visited: 4
Modes of Transportation: 3 (parking tram, Monorail, and Ferry)
Attractions Completed: 8
Hours on Disney Property: 14+
Miles Walked: 15+
Very Tired but Happy Fans: 2
Here’s the proof…
BONUS: Summer Survival Tips
Now that we have experienced our first long day in the middle of summer we have a couple tips to share:
It is super hot, you will be sweating. Make sure to keep your liquid intake high (and we suggest to lower your consumption of coffee and alcohol). We packed bottles of water to take on the go. We also took advantage of free ice water from Disney quick service locations. We also made sure to mix in some electrolytes. They have Powerade in the park, we also love packing these hydration sticks.
MAKE SURE TO EAT
Sometimes the hot weather will make you not seem hungry at all. Make sure that you do fuel yourself for the activity you will be doing. We suggest sharing meals or bringing some snacks at least throughout the day. We love packing some meat sticks, nut & seed mixes, or peanut butter crackers.
During other parts of the year we sometimes think about cute picture clothes more so than comfort. But in the middle of summer comfort wins. Julie will trade in cute ears for a more functional baseball cap. Choose light Moisture wicking athletic gear over a black t-shirt. Also think about how things will wear during the day. Flip flops may sound great when it’s hot, but sneakers will actually keep you more comfortable for all the miles.
In your bag it can help to be prepared with some summer items. Sunscreen is an obvious one, make sure to reapply. We also like to bring cooling towels. Bring some meds if needed, some people may get headaches or prefer some cooling gel for their legs. (Also don’t forget ponchos for those summer afternoon storms!)
TAKE BREAKS & PLAN ATTRACTIONS ACCORDINGLY
Even if used to a lot of exercise it is smart to build in some time for rest. Enjoy a sit down restaurant reservation. Hang out in the shops for some air conditioning. Or enjoy some people watching in a shady spot. When planning your schedule for attractions keep in mind the afternoon will most likely be the hottest and you may be tired. It is a great time to catch an indoor show or try some rides that you can sit for a longer period of time like the WDW Railroad, Living with the Land, or the Safari.
We hope you enjoyed our 4 Parks in 1 Day Challenge and Summer Survival Tips. Looking to read some more fun “summer” themed Disney content? Click the arrow to read the next article in this Disney Friends blog hop. Or check out all participating sites below: