4 Parks in 1 Day – Part 1

In front of the DHS hatBy Adam Dale

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, Mom had a day scheduled to spend with an old college friend that lives close by, so the princesses and I decided that we would try a 4 in 1 Challenge (June 4th)! We came up with a set of ground rules for our challenge:

  1. Two major attractions per park
  2. At least one attraction must take photos
  3. Some sort of eating in each park
  4. Use each of Walt Disney World’s transportation options
  5. All within normal park operation hours (no EMH)

We plotted out our day the night before and planned to begin this marathon day in Disney Hollywood Studios. Morning came and we were up and out of the house at Windsor Hills, by 7:30am, since we had seen crowds form well before DHS opened every time we have visited. We wanted to be there about 45 minutes to an hour before DHS opened. We were parked, through bag check and headed to the turnstiles to wait for opening by 8:15!

We stopped for a quick photo op to start the day then jumped in the turnstile line. At 8:25 they started scanning guests in. A quick bump of the Annual Pass to “Mickey’s Nose” and we were OFF! First up was the Toy Story Midway Mania, which meant participating in the “non-Disney designed” side attraction the TSMM Dash. We were at the front of “the Dash” so when I spotted there were no empty Fastpass lines, I quickly herded the kids into the standby queue, where as about as fast as we could walk through the winding queue we were boarding our ride vehicle.

From TSMM, we rushed to Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. By 9am we are in line and they HADN’T EVEN OPENED THE RIDE YET! We moved quickly (well quickly by Disney line standards), and were in one of the first few stand-by groups to get to the “Sound Studio.” BAM 2 headliners done and it was not even 9:30 a.m. yet. The kids made the call to see if we could fit in a bit more before the DHS crowd built up. Standby for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was posted at 80 minutes so we grabbed a Fastpass and darted to Star Tours. On our way to Star Tours we grabbed a popcorn bucket and a couple of cokes, and just chilled on a bench outside the ABC Sound Stage. Star Tours was a short wait – it took longer to walk the queue than to wait to board. Our Tower of Terror Fastpass time was almost up, so we headed back toward Sunset Boulevard at a leisurely pace. We still arrived a few minute early, but they sent us in anyway (it helps to smile and be nice to cast members). It was only 10:30 a.m. and we had already enjoyed four major attractions in DHS! We headed back toward the front of the park, stopping along the way for our Photopass shot in front of “the Hat,” and then out of DHS toward our the next part on our agenda.

Next up: Epcot

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