The Challenge: All four parks in one day!
What is the four park challenge?
The four park challenge is an unofficial challenge some Disney fans attempt to accomplish. To be successful, you must visit all four parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT) in one day. It is suggested that you take photos at each of the park entrances, or attractions, to prove you were really there. There is no reward other than bragging rights, although some people do request an “I’m Celebrating” button to let others know of their accomplishment. I strongly recommend your group be made up of children over the age of 8. You know your children and whether or not they could handle the pace of the day. It can be a fun and exciting day if everyone is motivated and up for the challenge!
All four parks in one day? Well, if you just hop the bus to each park and take a photo out front it would be easy. There’s really no challenge there. The challenge is going into the parks and enjoying your favorite attractions. Disney World’s Four Park Challenge can seem daunting if you don’t have a plan. My oldest son felt the need to add some specific requirements to the challenge. We had to experience at least two rides, or attractions, and have two snacks between the four of us at each park. Well, we did it. According to hubby’s fitness tracker, we covered over fourteen miles (29,500 steps) that day! We even had time to relax by the pool mid-day. A good plan made all the difference in the (Disney) world!
Four Park Challenge – Park 1- Animal Kingdom
We mapped out our day taking advantage of extra magic hours and utilizing our fastpasses strategically. We started the day at Animal Kingdom. Extra magic morning hours allowed us entrance to the park at 8:00 AM, instead of 9:00. Since we were staying at The Beach Club Resort, we were up bright and early to catch the first bus out and be at the park by 7:30 AM. We followed the rope drop through Animal Kingdom to Pandora’s Flight of Passage. We were on and off the ride by 8:20. Next, we headed to Expedition Everest to use the first fastpass of the day. The crowd was still small enough that we rode it twice and our two boys were able to ride it three more times! We stopped by the Starbucks on the way out to grab our two snacks – a Mickey Cinnamon Roll, fruit, coffee and juice. While we were having breakfast, I used the My Disney Experience App to make the next fastpass for Star Tours in Hollywood Studios. Park one- check!
Four Park Challenge – Park 2- Hollywood Studios
We took the bus from Animal Kingdom to Hollywood Studios. We had our picture made on the way in. We headed to Rock’n Roller Coaster, our family favorite! Disappointingly, It was closed. Not to be thrown off, we decided to carry on and head to Frozen Sing Along. While my boys weren’t thrilled with the choice, they went along with it because Toy Story Land had not opened yet, and they don’t like the Hollywood Tower of Terror. We heard the story of Queen Elsa according to the Arendelle Historians. Next, we rode Star Tours. The final item for Hollywood Studios was lunch at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. We had advance reservations, so getting in without a super long wait was no problem. My hubby and oldest son had the steak. Both raved about how tender and delicious it was. My youngest and I shared a pasta and chicken dish. Two attractions, and at least two snacks- done!
Knowing that my family does better with some down time, especially when we have an early morning, I scheduled some time to go back and relax at the pool. Hollywood Studios is within walking distance to the Beach Club Resort. It was quicker to walk over than wait for a bus. The boys swam, while my hubby and I relaxed pool side with rum drinks! After about a two hour break, we headed over to EPCOT to use our next fastpass for Soarin. EPCOT is also within walking distance to the Beach Club.
Four Park Challenge – Park 3- EPCOT
It was beginning to cloud up as we walked over the bridge to the entrance near World Showcase. We rode Soarin’, and then headed over to ride Nemo and Friends. We toured the aquarium for a bit during the biggest part of the afternoon downpour. On the way out, we stopped and had Mickey Bars. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a Mickey Bar!
Four Park Challenge – Park 4 – Magic Kingdom
We were a little wet, tired, and ready for the challenge to be complete. Earlier in the week we were given a use anytime fastpass for up to four attractions. We used it to ride the Flight of Peter Pan. We also rode The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the boys enjoyed Goofy’s Barnstormer. At this point we were ready to sit down and relax for a bit so, we staked out our place for fireworks in front of the castle. Hubby and the youngest went to get dinner from Casey’s Corner. While we waited for fireworks to begin, we shared hotdogs, french fries, and talked about what a crazy, fun day it was. The fireworks were amazing, as always!
Our friends and family kept up with us as we completed the challenge through Facebook. We were complete exhausted by the end of the day, but we did it. To be successful you MUST have a good plan and take advantage of all the extras like extra magic hours, advanced dining reservations, and fastpasses. You also need a little flexibility in your plan. With a little faith, trust, and pixie dust you can complete the challenge! Leave a comment and let me know if you have completed the challenge.
To learn more about Fastpasses and Extra Magic Hours check out Disney Planning 101.