Our park itineraries for Walt Disney World, Disneyland (now updated with Star Wars Land!), Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong offer step by step touring plans with efficient strategy for 1-day and multi-day visits. These plans-of-attack cover everything from rides to restaurants and will help you save time by avoiding crowds and minimizing wait times. (Last updated July 22, 2019.)
Our patented (not really) park strategy guides are unlike most theme park itineraries that you’ll find. These are not focused solely on efficiency. Instead, we also cover quiet places to stop and enjoy the ambiance. We believe there’s more to theme parks, and Disney’s parks should also be enjoyed for the wonderful atmosphere and sense of place that separates them from other theme and amusement parks.
Of course, efficiency is important, too, so we make sure to order experiences in a way that minimizes waiting in lines. (“I love waiting in lines!” ~said no one, ever.) We think our balanced approach that starts by emphasizing efficiency and continues by focusing on the subtle charm when the lines are longer is the best of both worlds.
This results in Disney touring plans that allow you to get a lot done, while also enjoying the scenery and what the theme parks have to offer beyond the rides. We do not view the parks simply as collections of attractions that should be completed checklist style, so the plans balance “getting stuff done” with “having a nice, leisurely day.”
If that approach sounds appealing to you, check out our touring plans for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the international Disney Parks…
Walt Disney World
With 4 theme parks, plus 2 water parks, a couple dozen resort hotels, and lots of “other stuff” our 1-day plans for Walt Disney World barely scratch the surface.
In an ideal world, we’d allocate 5 days to the WDW theme parks, with probably two days spent in the Magic Kingdom. Here are our current touring plans for Walt Disney World…
Magic Kingdom 1-Day Itinerary – An aggressive itinerary for Walt Disney World’s flagship park that combines an early morning in Fantasyland with lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, morning snacking, and midday shows to recharge before a fun evening doing the rides that are best at night. You can’t do it all at Magic Kingdom in a single day, but this comes very close.
Magic Kingdom 2-Day Itinerary– Our preferred way to experience Magic Kingdom. The pace here is slightly more leisurely, allowing for more snack time, soaking up the beautiful details, and meals at the best restaurants in the park.
Epcot 1-Day Itinerary– Few Epcot touring plans can hit the “Big Three” (Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’ Around the World) in a single day, but this one manages to do exactly that–with minimal waits. You’ll also fully experience Future World before a pleasant time in World Showcase.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios 1-Day Itinerary– Everything you’ll want to do in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, from Slinky Dog Dash to Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster and the park’s many shows. This DHS touring plan also includes two table service meals, which are among the best-themed restaurants at Walt Disney World! (This will soon be updated to include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Half-Day Itinerary – Since it’s currently not the best park (just wait until Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens for that), we recommend those short on time do only an evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This touring plan manages to hit the highlights in a half-day.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom 1-Day Itinerary– Now that Pandora: World of Avatar is open, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is unequivocally a full-day park (not that it wasn’t before). This itinerary gets you in and out of Pandora quickly, bypassing the frequent two-hour waits for Flight of Passage. It also allows ample time for exploration, animal watching, and eating.
Walt Disney World “Beyond the Parks” 1-Day Itinerary– Have a free day but don’t want to spend it poolside or simply shopping the day away at Disney Springs? This itinerary takes you around other under-the-radar spots at Walt Disney World that are fun but do not charge admission.
In an ideal world, we recommend two full days at Disneyland, which is now the case more than ever following the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Additionally, we recommend a full day or more at Disney California Adventure to see and explore the more leisurely park without feeling rushed. There’s so much entertainment in addition to attractions that it’s difficult to see and do it all in a single day.
This is especially true now, as crowds have also increased at Disneyland dramatically in the last 3 years, meaning longer wait times and fewer attractions per day. When Rise of the Resistance opens in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or once the land gets more crowded, you might just need a third day at Disneyland.
Disneyland Park 1-Day Touring Plan– Our most aggressive single-day itinerary for the Disney theme park with the most attractions, this Disneyland touring plan starts in Fantasyland, includes ideal FastPass strategy, along with plenty of snacking and soaking up the quaint charm of “Walt Disney’s original magic kingdom.” (Updated to include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.)
Disneyland 2-Day Touring Plan– A Disneyland touring plan with time to breathe. This one covers all of the same ground as our 1-day itinerary, while also seeing and doing things that you’d have to skip in a single day due to a lack of time. (Updated to include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.)
Disney California Adventure 1-Day Touring Plan– If you want to do Radiator Springs Racers, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, or DCA’s other thrill rides without waiting in long lines, our Disney California Adventure itinerary is for you.
International Disney Parks
In this case, “International Parks” means the two parks at Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris, plus Hong Kong Disneyland. Much like Disneyland, neither Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea can be fully experienced in a single day. However, we recognize that’s how much time most people will allocate to these parks during a trip to Japan, so here are our plans for those parks:
Tokyo Disneyland 1-Day Touring Plan– Another challenging castle park thanks to a surplus of attractions and live entertainment. Nevertheless, this Tokyo Disneyland itinerary allows you to do as much as possible via efficient ordering of rides.
Tokyo DisneySea 1-Day Touring Plan– Our favorite theme park in the world, period. This Tokyo DisneySea itinerary does the tough tightrope walk of getting you through popular rides efficiently, while also savoring this ornately designed park like a fine wine.
Disneyland Paris 1-Day Touring Plan– We take that same ‘fine wine’ approach here, as Disneyland Paris is the most lavish–and best designed–castle park in the world. This itinerary strikes the perfect balance.
Walt Disney Studios Park 1-Day Touring Plan – A far cry from the castle park next door, WDSP is–bluntly–a utilitarian park. This itinerary gets you in and out as quickly as possible, so you can do the rides and shows here and then hightail it back to Disneyland Paris.
Hong Kong Disneyland 1-Day Touring Plan – The new quaint, uncrowded Disney park, Hong Kong Disneyland is the only castle park that does not require an efficient plan of attack. Nonetheless, waiting in line is never fun, so this HKDL itinerary covers what order to do the popular rides here.
That covers it for our Disney Parks itineraries! If there are any other plans you’d like to see, or if you have questions about the current Disney Parks plans, please let us know in the comments!
Planning a visit to one of the Disney theme parks? Check out our Disney Parks Vacation Planning Guides for everything you need to start planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Aulani in Hawaii.
What would you include in your ideal day at the Disney Parks? If you haven’t visited yet, what do you plan on doing? Anything you’d add to any of our plans? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!