How many days is best for Disney World? A sample itinerary

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Certainly, you can never have too many days on a Walt Disney World vacation!

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a Disney vacation veteran, there’s always a new show or attraction to experience. 

However, given that there are four Disney parks, I typically try to plan for at least four days. That way I can visit each park.

If the budget allows, I prefer to stay longer – a full week if possible. 

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West Palm Beach in South Florida (photo by SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com)
Some families opt to visit a nearby beach during their Disney World vacation, such as West Palm Beach (photo by SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com)

How long does the average person stay at Walt Disney World?

Some people who visit Walt Disney World just go for a single day and visit the Magic Kingdom. Orlando is centrally located in Florida, so many guests are driving over from the beach for one magical day.

After all, it’s the world’s most visited theme park. 

For a Disney vacation where you’ll be spending multiple days visiting the parks, an average stay is around 4-5 days

When planning your trip, it’s important to consider your travel arrangements. My family lives outside Atlanta.

We have a bunch of kids, so driving makes the most sense for our family. However, the drive takes all day, so we avoid planning anything major on arrival and departure days. 

On the other hand, if you have a shorter drive or you’re flying in early, you might have more flexibility to make plans on your arrival day.

That being said, it may be best to avoid firm plans like a dining reservation. You never know when your flight might be delayed or you might encounter an unexpected traffic jam. 

Read Also: Beaches close to Orlando, FL: 11 options for a quick beach getaway

Disney Springs Shopping at Night
Allow an extra day to shop at Disney Springs if you can (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Are five days enough for Disney World?

Five days will allow for one day in each park.

If you opt for a 5th day, you can return to your favorite park or plan a low-key day at the pool or shopping at Disney Springs.

The Walt Disney World Resort also has two water parks you could visit: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

Are six days at Disney too much?

Six full days in a row at a theme park may be too much for a lot of people. This is especially true if you’re trying to arrive early and stay late to get the most bang for your buck.

Although tempting, trying to pack too much into one single day at a Disney park can be stressful.

That’s the last thing you want on vacation. 

Less can be more when it comes to Disney trips. Sometimes a shorter trip can increase the pressure to see and do an unreasonable number of things in a few days. Longer trips of 6-7 days or more can be ideal if you plan some lower key days. 

Disney incentivizes longer stays for guests with their multi-day ticket pricing. The more days you add to your tickets, the less expensive each park day is.

This also gives you a chance to spend more than one day in each of the parks. You can rope drop the Magic Kingdom early one morning, then leave in the afternoon and enjoy a relaxing day by the pool. 

The additional ticket days allow you to return to the Magic Kingdom on another day to see the fireworks. This can be more relaxing than trying to cram everything into one day.

Cramming can be a joy robber on a Disney vacation. 

The Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando both offer park hopper tickets, which allow guests to visit multiple parks in a single day.

Right now, Disney requires a park reservation for the first park you plan to visit on a given day. The park hopper option allows you to enter a different park after 2 pm. 

Magic Kingdom Entrance
Guests stand in line to enter Disney’s Magic Kingdom (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

A sample Disney itinerary

Not sure where to start? Here’s a sample itinerary of what a week-long Disney vacation might look like for my family.

Day one

Arrive and visit Disney Springs to activate tickets at guest services. Also enjoy shopping and dining. 

Don’t plan anything too heavy. Getting there will be the main goal of the day.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom is a popular ride if you are prioritizing individual lightning lanes (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Day two

Rope drop Magic Kingdom and focus on your favorite rides. Remember that you have the option to purchase individual lightning lanes to skip the lines for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain.

Splurging for the Disney Genie+ option on your park tickets can also help shorten wait times on other popular rides.

Remember that you can select your first attraction at 7 am in the My Disney Experience App. Head out early for a relaxing day at the pool. 

The epcot ball at night
When visiting EPCOT, plan to stay after dark and catch the Harmonious show (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Day three

Head to EPCOT and spend the morning in the World Celebration area at the front of the park.

Make your way to the World Showcase around lunchtime. Take your time exploring the eleven pavilions and sampling food and beverages from around the globe.

Remember that there are rides in both France and Norway. Plan to stay for the Harmonious show that night. 

yellow car in tomorrowland speedway at Disney
Plan some time to catch any rides you may have missed on your first day at the Magic Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Day four

Spend the morning at the pool or sleeping in.

Return to Magic Kingdom for any rides you missed or want to repeat and stay for fireworks.

Sometimes my family starts in Tomorrowland and we don’t quite make it all the way to Adventureland.

Lightning Lane at Kilimanjaro Safaris
The Kilimanjaro Safari in the Animal Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Day five

Head to Animal Kingdom for the whole day! Be sure to catch the Festival of the Lion King show and Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa.

Thrill seekers won’t want to miss Expedition Everest or Kali River Rapids in Asia. There’s also a new Finding Nemo show.

I recommend exploring the park’s Pandora: World of Avatar section at night. The bioluminescence is incredible to behold after dark. 

Read Also: A guide to Magic Kingdom at night: Shows, rides and things to do

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at Disney World
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World is one of the most popular features at Hollywood Studios (photo by Martin/stock.adobe.com)

Day six

Head to Hollywood Studios and spend the morning exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. I recommend grabbing some Rising Moons Overnight Oats at Ronto Roasters for breakfast.

Star Wars fans could spend a whole day exploring this land and riding the two rides: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Move on to Toy Story Land in the afternoon. There are three rides in this nostalgic land: Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Midway Mania.

Finish off the evening on Sunset Boulevard riding Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Also, be sure to try Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the Chinese Theater. 

Day seven

On the last day, I prefer to have a flexible day. Return to whichever park you choose!

Day eight

Head back home.

How many days do you spend at Disney World in Orlando? Let us know in the comments!

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