Is 3 Days Enough: How Many Days Do You Really Need at Disney World?

One of the biggest questions we here at ThemeParkHipster often get asked is how many days should I plan for my trip to Walt Disney World?

Obviously, there’s no right answer here because there’s no way to get absolutely everything done at all four parks, Disney Springs, the water parks, hotels, and more in a month, let alone a few days while on vacation.

But after many years of traveling to Walt Disney World, we can firmly say that four days is what you should plan for Walt Disney World. Why four?

Well there’s four theme parks, so we’re planning one for each day, and squeezing in some other fun things throughout our trip.

As solo travelers it’s so easy to bounce around the parks, hopping into single rider lines and skipping some things you definitely don’t want to do (looking at you, Astro Orbiter). So what does the four day basic itinerary look like for a ThemeParkHipster?

Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland Ariel Ride

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Day One: Arrival Day, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs

Since we typically drive to Walt Disney World we always make our first day park Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Even if you’re flying to the parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great first day park.

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life. Choose this Disney park when figuring out how many days at Disney World.
Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

Because there are so few attractions it’s super easy to hit all of them in just a few hours. If you’re planning on trying to get on the uber popular Flight of Passage attraction try getting in line just before the park closes.

Disney one-day game plan itinerary
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This is when the wait is the shortest since you likely missed being at the park at opening.

Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes early day one is the best day to explore Disney Springs.

Hop on board a bus or drive to the shopping and entertainment district. If you’re wanting to eat dinner somewhere it’s best to make a reservation.

A few places we cannot get enough of include Wine Bar George, Frontera Cocina, and Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill.

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

Day Two: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Even though Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not technically a full day park you’re going to want to make sure you get this park on one of your middle days.

This is the best way to have as many chances as possible to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Boarding groups for the attraction drop at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Rise of the Resistance Fleet of Storm Troopers

For the first morning drop you can attempt to join a boarding group from anywhere at Walt Disney World, including your hotel room. If you are not successful at 7:00 you can try again at 2:00, but you must be inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

While at the park you’re definitely going to want to ride the other new attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This ride is super cute and takes you into the cartoon world of Mickey Mouse and his friends.

Since Disney’s Hollywood Studios closes relatively early this would be a great night to spend enjoying your hotel, or playing a round of mini-golf at Disney’s Winter Summerland mini-golf course.

Day Three: Magic Kingdom

Whatever you do, do not schedule Magic Kingdom for your arrival or departure days. There is so much to do at this park that it will take you all day if you want to do it all.

Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle from the Back

We highly encourage you to get to the park at or around the official park opening. This is the best time to get on popular rides like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with little to no wait.

When afternoon rolls around grab lunch from Be Our Guest Restaurant, where you’ll dine inside Beast’s castle. This is a nice spot to sit down, relax and enjoy a good meal before starting the second half of your day.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Belle and Prince Mural Window Stain. How many days at Disney World do you need? At least 4.

After riding everything and catching the character cavalcades at Magic Kingdom you likely won’t want to do anything after the park. Head back to your resort for some much needed rest and maybe a good drink from the bar.

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Day Four: Epcot and Departure Day

It’s the last day of vacation and there’s only one park left. Epcot is a great park to end with especially if you’re planning on leaving later in the evening to head back home.

After you get your bags packed drop them off at bell services while you hit the park.

Disney Epcot Hidden Secrets Theme Park Solo. Spaceship earth with the monorail. #DisneyTips #Epcot #DisneySolo #DisneyPlanning

Since Epcot does to have a ton of attractions it’s relatively easy to hit all of them in just a few short hours.

After getting everything in the front of the park like Soarin’ Over The World and Test Track completed head to World Showcase for a bite to eat. We love dining anywhere inside the Mexico, Germany, or United Kingdom pavilions for lunch.

After taking a stroll around World Showcase head back to your resort to grab your bags and head home.

Walt Disney World Planning Tips

  1. Be flexible. This is the itinerary that works for us, but if you want to spend more time at Epcot by all means move it to a day where you’re at the parks all day. If you could care less about Star Wars move Hollywood Studios to your departure day. But whatever you do, do not let Magic Kingdom be a half-day park.
  2. Make dining reservations. Disney is known for their super limited dining reservations. This is why it’s so important to make reservations for the restaurants you absolutely want to go to before you leave home.
  3. Do what you want. There’s nothing like going to Disney alone and not having to please others with a plan. If you want to have a full day at your resort, do that. If you want to spend two days at Magic Kingdom, go ahead!

Ready to start planning your next Disney World vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

Final Thoughts on How Many Days You Need at Disney World

I know this itinerary is a bit intense, so feel free to add more half-days at the parks, that way you can relax and enjoy your resort or spend a day shopping and dining at Disney Springs.

How many Days do you need at Disney World with Mickey and Minnie Mouse Topiary in front of Cinderella Castle
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Have you done Walt Disney World Resort in 4 days? If so, let me know in the comment section below.

About the Author

Megan DuBois Theme Park Writer

Megan is a theme park expert and frequent traveler to magical places. She covers all things Disney and Universal and runs marathons for fun.

She thinks you can tell a lot about someone by the name of their signature lipstick, and hers is NARS Dragon Girl.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

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