Four Parks in One Day: Part One

Four Parks, One Day (Mouse on the Mind)
Most of the time, when I tell people that Rob and I did all four Parks in one day, they’re incredulous. And they seem slightly accusatory: “Did you really enjoy each of the Parks? Or did you just run from one attraction to the next without taking the time to appreciate them?”

So let’s get that out of the way right off the bat: We had an awesome, amazing day. It wasn’t something we planned or even considered before that very morning. We just went where the day took us, and had a really great time doing it!

So here’s the story of how, one Saturday in December, we visited all four Parks, took a nap and enjoyed a fantastic meal. All in one day.

Stop One: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
We begin our story where we began our day: walking from our room at the Boardwalk Villas to the retro-fabulous Studios. We arrived at the gates at 7:15 a.m. for a very special breakfast event. I wrote about the unique opportunity back in March, but here are the basics: the event was called The Toys Are Back in Town, and it included the first ride of the day on Toy Story Midway Mania as well as a breakfast in the Studios with Lotso. It was awesome!

Meeting Lotos (Mouse on the Mind)

After our second ride on Mania, we headed out and hopped on a bus to … 

Stop Two: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Full of delicious food and even more delicious memories, we headed into Disney Outfitters for some retail therapy. Purchases in hand, we took a slow walk through Discovery Island and over to Asia, where we each got a FASTPASS for Expedition Everest.

While we waited for our time to come up, we found a nice shady spot across from the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck and shared a Coke. I think this was the point where we realized that we could actually do all four Parks in a single day. We sat there for around 15 minutes, chatting and planning, just enjoying a beautiful December day in Disney World.

Anandapur Ice Cream Truck (Mouse on the Mind)

After a brief respite from the sun, we made our way toward Kali River Rapids. After our ride (during which we got reasonable wet, but no where near soaked), we stopped to check out the gibbon shrine. Those dudes are so cool.

After using our FastPasses to ride Everest, we whisked ourselves off to Dinoland to do some exploring. I’ve written about this awesome section of the Park before (here and here, if you want to backtrack), but I’m constantly surprised by how rich and detailed this part of the Park is. This time, we paid special attention to the signage in the gift shops.

At this point, we were ready for lunch, so we headed back to Discovery Island for some Flame Tree BBQ goodness. In the heat of the day, the food is great and the seating is shady, so you really can’t beat it! We ended up splitting the rib plate with baked beans and cole slaw—it worked well since I love beans and Rob tolerates cole slaw.

We decided to walk off our lunch with a visit to Harambe, where we caught a performance by Tam Tam Congo before heading into the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. This is another must-do for us every trip, and most of the trail was blessedly shady on this hot day. We especially enjoyed our time with Matilda the hippo and the bachelor gorillas.

Matilda in DAK (Mouse on the Mind)

(As a side note, this was the visit when a bird decided my Figment t-shirt would make a good toilet. Blergh.)

From there, we headed back to Asia for a visit to Yak and Yeti. This has become a sort of unofficial tradition for us since our honeymoon trip. At least once a year, we order the fried wonton dessert platter. On this day, it was the perfect sweet treat after our shared lunch. And for an added touch of Disney magic, Hector, the same waiter who always seems to serve us, was our server once again!

At this point, it was a little after 2 p.m., and the heat was starting to get a little intense, so we decided to take our full bellies back to …

Stop Three: The Boardwalk Villas
That’s right! We headed back to our resort for a quick nap. By the time we got back to our room, it was almost 3 p.m. We intended to sleep for just 20-30 minutes and then head out to Epcot for the Candlelight Processional, but … alas. Tired from our early wake up call and probably a little heat sick, we ended up sleeping until around 4:15 p.m.  We washed our faces, changed our t-shirts and literally ran out the door …

Will we make it in time for the 5 p.m. showing? And even if we do, will we be able to find seats?!? Find out if we successfully complete all four Parks in one day later this week! 


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