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This is how we did every Walt Disney World Resort Park that we wanted to go to in one day. To start you may want to go to Disney World Customized Maps to map out which attractions/rides you and your family want to see and then have Disney World send you customized maps. Or if you don’t want to wait 2 to 4 weeks to have Disney send you customized maps then you can go to Disney World Online Maps (Non-Flash) and click on a park and then click on the numbers to find out more information about different rides/attractions and you can decide which ones you really want to go on. You can also print the maps at the above website. After you have printed the maps you can then put a star next to the rides and attractions that you have decided to go do. If you so desire you can also use this splashy Disney World Online Maps (Flash Version) , but I don’t recommend it.
To keep this cheap you probably won’t want to stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel. However, you will want to stay close to Disney World and you will want to stay at a Hotel that offers a shuttle bus to and from Disney World. We stayed in Lake Buena Vista, FL because that is the actual city that Disney World is located in. I like using www.hotels.com because it lets you choose a maximum price per night, it can display a map to show how close the hotel is to Disney World and when you click on a hotel you can see if it offers shuttle service to Disney World (you may have to click on Additional Amenities). Here is an example of hotels in Lake Buena Vista/Downtown Disney area: Downtown Disney area/Lake Buena Vista Hotels
We stayed at Comfort Inn : Lake Buena Vista for about $79 per night. We were able to purchase our Disney World Park Hopper Tickets right in the hotel lobby, but you can also purchase them online.
We chose Saturday because the parks stay open the longest on Saturday. Magic Kingdom usually stays open until midnight on Saturday. However the Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios (now called Disney's Hollywood Studios) parks close earlier so we went to those parks first: We went to the parks in this order:
Check the website Disney World Park Hours Calendar before you go to check all the park hours because they are different on different dates. Remember, you have to purchase Disney World Park Hopper Tickets which are more expensive, but it is the only way to be able to switch parks in one day.
Many hotels include a shuttle bus to the Walt Disney World resort. Remember, the drivers of those buses often say they are going to drop you off at the “Magic Kingdom”. What they mean is that they are going to drop you off at the “Disney Transportation Hub”. Our bus driver said that since Magic Kingdom is closing at midnight they would have the last bus come to the “Magic Kingdom” parking lot at 12:30 am. We almost missed the bus because we were looking at the Magic Kingdom parking lot for our Hotel’s shuttle bus. But it was at the “Disney Transportation Hub”. Just remember to get your last bus at the “Disney Transportation Hub.”
Once you are inside the Disney World resort you will use Disney’s transportation system to get to and from the different parks. You can use any number of transportation means: ferry boat, monorail or bus for free.
We recommend that once you are dropped off at the Disney Transportation Hub that you take a Disney bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and get on the ride Kilimanjaro Safaris before it gets too crowded. Out first shuttle bus left around 8:00 am and the Disney parks opened at 9:00 am. Make sure you get on that first shuttle bus if you plan to do all of Disney World in one day.
Once you have the rides and attractions marked on your maps you will want to number them according to the order you wish to do them. You will probably want to do the closest or most popular attractions in the park first. Or you may want to use a little machine in front of the ride that gives you a Fast Pass. If on your way to another attraction you are passing a cool attraction that offers Fastpass, place your Disney World ticket into the machine and it will spit out your ticket along with a fast pass ticket with a time on it like 1:30 to 2:30. If you go back to that attraction between those times then you can get on the ride by using the fast lane. In the fast pass lane you can get on the ride usually in less than 10 minutes, whereas it might take 45 minutes or more in the regular line for some rides.
You probably have your list of rides ready, but we also recommend that you look at the suggestions below and do the rides and parks in an order close to this:
Your hotel’s shuttle bus will usually drop you off at the Disney Transportation Hub.
Take the Disney Bus from the Disney Transportation Hub to:
Take the Disney Bus to:
MGM Studios (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
Take a Disney Bus or Ferry Boat to:
Don’t bother doing Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy are not funny and are just confusing instead of entertaining.
Take the Disney Monorail to the Disney Transportation Hub then switch Monorails to:
Main Street U.S.A.
Take the Disney Monorail or Ferry Boat to the Disney Transportation Hub. Find your Hotel’s shuttle bus and ride it back to your hotel’s parking lot.
If you time it right and if you use Disney’s FASTPASS effectively then you can do this all in one day.