How to do the Mickey Marathon (No, not that marathon)

Have you ever completed the Mickey Marathon? No, I’m not talking about any of the runDisney programs. I’m talking about going to all four Walt Disney World parks in one day. (It can be done!)

All Four WDW Parks

How to do all four Walt Disney World theme parks in one day:

  1. Don’t even think about it if you aren’t already familiar with the Disney parks. Seriously. This is advanced level theme park maneuvers. You should already know where most rides and shows are, what you enjoy, what food options are available, and what time the parade takes place so you can avoid doing parkour through the crowds trying to get around them.

2.Make a semi-loose schedule. You’re only going to be in each park for a couple of hours. Figure out what your priorities are during the day so you can make sure you hit them. Want to ride a line with a long line? Schedule a fastpass for it in advance or go to that park first so you can make a run for it. Work the rest of your schedule around your fastpasses.

2. Make sacrifices and go in with reasonable expectations. There’s going to be at least one thing you want to ride that either breaks down (Test Track) or has a ridiculously long line (MineTrain) with few fastpasses available. There will be others that you can only ride if you hit the single rider line.

3. Go in the off-season. For one, you’re less likely to die of heat stroke. For another, the lines are shorter and the crowds are lighter.

4. Ride a few of the less-appreciated rides. There are a few rides that never get the love but are still fun… and provide you with a much needed break.

The Land
Need a few minutes off your feet? Try the Living with the Land boat ride in the Land pavilion at EPCOT.

5. Save Magic Kingdom for last. It tends to have the latest park hours. Double-check the park schedule to be sure, just in case there is a special event taking place that night.

6. DRINK WATER. You’re going to be there for a long time. You can get free tap water at any place that offers fountain sodas and non-bottled coffee or tea. (FYI: Magic Kingdom tap water is an acquired taste. Be prepared for that shock to your taste buds, purchase some bottled water while there, or stand in the long line at the in-park Starbucks for less-flavorful tap water from there.) You WILL start to feel run down earlier if you don’t keep yourself hydrated.

7. Take breaks. Sit down in the shade every once in awhile.

Animal Kingdom tiger
This tiger suggests you take a few minutes to relax and breathe every once in awhile.

8. Be prepared for the weather. Depending on the time of year, you may get heat, cold, rain, and intense sun, all in the same day.

9. Utilize a combination of Disney transportation and your own personal transportation when possible. My personal preferred schedule is Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, then Magic Kingdom. One of the reasons for this is that I can drive straight to Animal Kingdom and do a few hours there, drive to Hollywood Studios for some time there (particularly brief now that it feels like half the park is closed down and the lines are horrendously long at what is left), then park at Tickets and Transportation and use the monorail to get to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.

And, most importantly…

10. Have FUN! If you’re not enjoying it, why are you doing it? If you get midway through and decide this is too much for you or it’s just not something you’re enjoying, then stop. Theme parks are supposed to be fun. Do what you need to in order to have your own personal best day ever!

Heather and Christy sporting Viking hats at Food and Wine
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How To Survive All Four Parks in One Day

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