Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Disneyworld: The Four Park Challenge

We are in Disney World for a few days, as it is my wife and my son's happy place, and a place that I really really like.  We became DVC members last year, which means we will be vacationing at the Most Magical Place On Earth for years to come.

We've got some time to roam and explore, now that we know that we will be here for a while, and so, on a random Tuesday, we embarked on a mad mad adventure: a quest to "do" all 4 parks in a single day.  The Four Park Challenge. It's kind of like a Disney Bucket list.

What does it mean to "do" a park?
Well, everybody has a theory, and here's ours.  Seeing every ride is right out of the question (You could do it in one park, maybe, and many people have, but I know you couldn't in all 4 parks on the same day.  Doing all 4 parks every ride in 4 straight days is another bucket list we might take on another time.  That would be like a Disneyworld Ironman!

For us, we decided that for our park to count, we would have to do the following.

• Go on at least 3 rides or shows..
• Have a photo taken at one iconic area.
• Eat something in every park.
• Trade a pin in every park (we are inveterate pin traders) (at least one of us)
• Use the restroom in every park. (at least one of us)

We did it!  Although our feet and backs were sore by the end of the day (by the time my day ended at midnight, I'd walked 24000+ steps (over 11 miles!), been on 17 rides, and had a great day with the family.

I highly recommend this for your family, especially if you've been to Disney before, and want to see it in a new light/push your boundaries kind of way.  I also recommend that you make up the rules to fulfill the challenge what feels right for you and your family!  It's your vacation, spend it how you please!

Here's our itinerary for our bucketlist day.


Us in front of the Magic Kingdom Castle
 We took our picture on the way in in front of the castle.
8 AM:  Visit Be Our Guest for an early breakfast.
8:40 AM: Get in line for early rides on 7 Dwarves Mine Train.  We rode it 3 times!
9:10 AM: Walk over to TomorrowLand. While here we rode TomorrowLand Speedway, Astro-Orbital Launcher, the Laugh Floor, the PeopleMover, and Buzz Lightyear.

This took us until about 10:30 AM.  We then took the Express bus over to  Hollywood Studios.  The Express bus is a new bus service that allows you travel backstage between all 4 parks.  It's brand new, and its advantage is that you don't have to go through security again.  The disadvantage is that it costs extra.  Right now in the trial phase it's $24 per person for one week of usage.  That's a pretty good deal!


Us in front of the Bauman Chinese Theatre
in Hollywood Studios
We took our picture on the way in in front of Rockin' Roller Coaster,
11 AM:   We got in around 11 am.  It drops you off right at Rockin' Roller Coaster but my wife and child couldn't be convinced to get on.  So we took another picture in front of the Movie Ride/Main Street.   Then we rode the following three rides:
Star Tours
Muppets in 3D
Toy Story Midway Mania

We then stopped for lunch at 1:15 at the ABC Commissary, neither of us had been there before,  And then caught the bus over to Animal Kingdom for our third park of the day.


Us in front of the Tree of Life at
Animal Kingdom
We arrived at Animal Kingdom at around 2:30.  It took us a while to get our bearings.  We couldn't find a photographer right away, and we were trying to hook up with a friend who was in that park on that day (unfortunately, we arrived a little late, and they left a little early, so we missed them)

We ended up going on Everest (which both my wife and son were scared about, but ended up doing just fine on.  My son said Never Again.  But at least he conquered his fear about getting on.    After that we had a snack at the local shop.

After Everest we rode
Bugs Life in the big tree of Life.  (where we finally found a photographer)

We  then had to walk back around the park to get to the Backstage Express to get to our final park of the day:  Epcot.


Last park of the day!  Us in front of the "Golf Ball" at Epcot.
By this time we were pretty sore and not sure if we could continue.  But we did anyway!
We rode 3 rides here as well.

Spaceship Earth (which had a fault as were were getting started, and was halted for about 10 minutes)
Nemo at the Seas
Imagination with Figment

We walked back over to eat dinner at the Electric Umbrella, and then slowly made our way back to our hotel (Beach Club)  My wife and son went back to the room, and I met up with a friend who performs on the Boardwalk (Coney Island Chris)

 It was cold by then, so Chris was inside the Boardwalk Hotel.  After that, I had drinks with Chris and his wife, and then went back to the hotel to try to get some shuteye so that we could be back in the parks the next day!  I got to sleep around midnight!  Long day!

Over all, trying the challenge was a great and different way to see the parks.  I'd definitely recommend it, if you have already been to the parks once, and want to see if you can do it!

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