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Back in February of 2015, Ken and I set out to finally experience Diagon Alley. While planning our trip, I convinced Ken that it was against the rules to go to Orlando and not go to Disney World, at least for one day. We decided we would fly in and stay the night at a Disney hotel, then spend the following day doing as much as we could at the most magical place on Earth. We would have about 15 hours that day before we took a taxi to our Universal Studios hotel at 11 PM. Many would (and did) say that spending money on a one-day ticket was just not worth it; that having only one measly day at Walt Disney World would not be long enough to really do much worth while. And I said NAY. I am a magician. This is what I live for.
And then I set to work.
Thanks to FP+ and a lot of research, I was able to work up a plan that had us enjoying three of the four parks at WDW. Now is probably the time for me to say that Animal Kingdom is my least favorite park at the World. Maybe that will change once Avatar land opens. For this trip, though, it was an easy decision to leave it out.
Here's how we managed to experience all the great rides at Hollywood studios, enjoy the 11 beautiful countries at Epcot's World Showcase, and spend an action-packed evening at Magic Kingdom all in one day.
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS We started our day at Hollywood Studios. Because there were morning extra magic hours starting at 8 am, we got to the bus outside our hotel at 7:15. This put us in line to enter the park right around 7:45. Hollywood Studios is my favorite park for rides, and it was Ken's first time there, so we had to do all the classics.
8 AM: We hit up Rock 'N' Roller Coaster first, which was a short 5 minute wait. I'm clearly more excited then Ken. It was a little early for him, but I run on straight Disney magic.
8:20 AM: My favorite, Tower of Terror, was up, which was about a 15 minute wait.
8:50 AM: We used our FP for Tower of Terror, which by this time was up to 45 minutes already, but that was because only two of the five elevators were in operation due to refurbs.
We then had a breakfast snack break. 9:30 AM: We used our FP for Toy Story Midway Mania (where I beat Ken by 100 points).
10:15 AM: Off to Star Tours!
We then took the walking path out of Hollywood Studios over to Epcot. This path is really lovely, goes through the Boardwalk, and only took us about 12 minutes. Way better than waiting for a bus!
Path from Hollywood Studios to Epcot
EPCOT We arrived at Epcot almost exactly at opening time, 11 AM. The best part of the walking path is that it leads you directly to the back entrance of World Showcase, which is really only used by the Epcot area resorts. Meaning there was all of about 2 people in line to get in. So yeah, it's better.
11 AM: We started by eating lunch at La Cantina de San Angel. It was delicious. And totally disrupted by large amounts of ambitious birds and squirrels.
11:30 AM-1:30 PM: We explored World Showcase for the rest of our time at Epcot. I knew that World Showcase would be the most enjoyable for Ken, so we focused our time there instead of in Future World riding rides.
After plenty of exploring, we took the monorail to Magic Kingdom at 2. My goal was for us to arrive in time to get to Frontierland for the Festival of Fantasy Parade at 3, and we made it in plenty of time.
MAGIC KINGDOM 2:30 PM: We took the Walt Disney World railroad to Fronteirland, where we disembarked. This saved us a good amount of walking time through pretty dense crowds.
3 PM: It was time for the parade, which neither of us had seen before. We had a great spot positioned right by Splash Mountain, which is just what I wanted (as that's where we were headed next!).
3:30 PM: Off to ride Splash Mountain, which was a walk-on thanks to the below 70 degree weather.
4 PM: Haunted Mansion, my favorite at Magic Kingdom, was up next. The wait was about 30 minutes long.
4:45 PM: After our ride with the 99 happy haunts, I stopped at the FP machines outside of Mickey's Philharmagic, where I secured us a FP for It's a Small World for immediate use (which Ken was NOT thrilled about once our ride was over. He turned to me at the end and said, "That was the s******** ride I have ever ridden." I do not feel the same). This was our 4th FP of the day, which is considered the "rolling" fastpass; you can get one additional FP at a time after use of the first 3.
5:30 PM: Dinner at Be Our Guest, one of my favorite restaurants at all of Walt Disney World, was up next.
6:45PM: We stopped by the FP machines in Tomorrowland after dinner and secured one for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin for immediate use. Ken destroyed me, which I guess was payback for Toy Story.
7:15 PM: Off to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which only had a 10 minutes wait.
7:45 PM: Pirates time! This one also only had about a 15 minute wait.
8:30 PM: We went back to Splash Mountain for two more rides with no wait whatsoever. We even had a log all to ourselves the second time around.
9:45 PM: After enjoying Splash Mountain, we shopped around on Main Street for a while before the start of Celebrate the Magic and Wishes (which were enjoyed with a chocolate covered pineapple on a stick).
And that was it! After Wishes, we made our way to the buses and back to our hotel, where we took a taxi to our Universal Studios hotel. We were exhausted, but we had so much fun and experienced pretty much everything I had hoped we would. If you only have one day to spend at Walt Disney World, put in some planning and you can have a full day of magic!