How to do Disney World in under 4 hours
As you know, we are a total Disney Family. We have been pass holders (as a family) for going on 6 years! And growing up, I had Disney passes. We even announced the pregnancy of our third child there!So clearly I love Disney World. One of the benefits of living less than an hour away from The most magical place in the world, is knowing whenever we go, we don’t have to do and see everything. We can go for 3-4 hours and come back home. My kids sometimes get upset about not riding a certain ride. But we quickly remind them “we have passes, we can come back next weekend”. So as a family of 5 (almost 6) we have changed the way we do Disney, to accommodate the nap schedules, this Florida heat, and to avoid crowds. We like to go late in the afternoon, or early evening! and surprisingly we get a lot done because we go with a game plan. It’s usually a spur of the moment trip, but while in the car I’m planning things.
So whether you’re a local resident, or a tourist who’s only in Orlando for a limited time…I’ll be sharing some tips with you on how to do Disney in under 4 hours.
How to do Disney In under 4 Hours:
Pack only the essentials:
It’s important that you don’t over pack because you’re not going to be there ALL DAY long. It saves you time when trying to leave your house/ hotel and its less stuff to keep track of.
- Magic Bands, and ID and Debit card: Literally the bare minimum. When new leave the stroller to go on a ride, I’m not worried about leaving anything behind!
- Diapers and Wipes: We bring 3 diapers. 2 for the 17 month old, 1 for the 2 year old. And honestly we have ONLY changed their diapers at Disney world (for the short 4 hours trips) maybe only once or twice. We usually change them before we leave and when we get back home.
- Water bottles: I bring regular bottle water, nothing fancy because I don’t want my kids to lose their good water bottles. and because we can just toss it before we leave the park. Less junk to bring back!
- Ponchos: Only because Florida is unpredictable and I refuse to sit in a gift shop while I wait for rain to pass. We put ponchos on and keep it moving!
- Joovy Twin Groove Stroller(Gifted): I said this stroller because it’s a double heavy-duty umbrella stroller. It’s super easy to fold (you’ll thank me when you get on and off the parking lot tram) and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a regular stroller. Don’t get me wrong, this stroller is NICE and it’s actually one of my favorites, I use it everyday), but I wouldn’t be SO mad if someone stole this rather than my $800 one. And to be honest, I’ve only heard of a few stories of strollers going missing at Disney, but still why bring the flashy expensive stroller when you can bring this one that does the job and is actually less of a headache?
- Baby Carrier: I did a post about the Ergo Omni 360 baby carrier, and bringing a baby carrier is a great option if you want to leave the stroller at home, if your baby loves to be worn).
Choose What park to go to:
It’s important to pick a good park to go to. They’re all good but here are different things to look at when choosing a park to visit in under 4 hours.
- Look at wait times. I use the my Disney Experience App to check out wait times, to know which one is less packed, and which one we can do more at (based off wait times).
- Look at fast passes, So aside from wait times, look at which parks you can get decent fast passes for. If you’re making your selection in the car on your way there, you’ll get the crappy picks but every once in awhile you’ll find some good rides!
- Look at park closing time. This is super important, one time I didn’t check park time and we arrived to Epcot an hour before it closed. Total waste. So if you’re going to be arriving at 6pm, make sure you get a park that is closing at or after 9pm
- Check parade times: I love to go on kiddie rides (Winnie the pooh, Teacups, it’s a small world) while parades are going on, because the lines tend to be shorter because people are enjoying the parades. So if I see Magic Kingdom is having a parade around the time of our arrival, we’ll go there because we know we can get on some good rides even without a fast pass.
Make fast passes:
This carries on from the last one, but making fast passes saves so much time in the line. If we plan ahead (like a week+ ahead, we can get some really good ones like Pandora, Soarin’, Kilimanjaro Safari, and any of the roller coasters). But when it’s done last minute we don’t get the best options.
Eat before you go:
If we go late afternoon, early evening, we feed the kids prior so when we are there we don’t waste an hour eating dinner lol. Plus we save some money, because for some reason going to Disney world hungry is like grocery shopping shopping hungry. I end up ordering half the menu, a drink, pop corn and a mickey mouse ice cream! So if your trip to Disney is a quick one, not an all day one, eat before you leave. AND PACK SNACKS for the little ones. No matter how much they ate before, they’ll still ask for food. So packing goldfish and fruit snacks is usually our go-to.
Leave before or during the night time performance:
By night time performance I mean Happily Ever After (Firework show) at Magic Kingdom (Monorail and Ferry lines are PACKED after the firework show). Illuminations at Epcot. Fantasmic at Hollywood studios, River of Light and Tree of Life Awakenings at Animal Kingdom. These are all wonderful shows to watch, and I highly recommend it, but not if you’re looking to leave quickly! I will warn you now that leaving Magic Kingdom during the Firework performance you’ll have a hard time maneuvering (with a stroller) through the crowd because all of Main Street USA is pretty crowded, and that’s your way out! Although I have been when they created a little secret exit, so you didn’t have to go through main street USA! That was really helpful.
Remember where you parked:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a picture of where you parked! I can’t tell you how many times we just parked our car and hopped on the tram without even looking nor listening to what section we parked in. And then when we leave the park my husband and I are both scratching our heads, and asking RJ if he remembers where we parked. When you’re ready to go home, the last thing you want to deal with is looking for your car within the thousands of other cars there. I saw on facebook, someone put a pool noodle on their antennae so they could quickly find their car. That wouldn’t work for us because we don’t have that type of antennae but it was pretty genius!
Remember to ENJOY yourself, and don’t caught up in trying to rush through the park:
Although we do it pretty fast, we’re also not trying to see everything. Sometimes we’ll only ride those 3 rides we had fastpasses for and just casually walk around. Anytime spent with my family is time well spent. We know that we can always come back to do something else next time.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to do Disney World in under 4 hours! I definitely plan on blogging more about Disney because it’s a huge part of our family. We’ve been going as a family since RJ was a baby! Elias first went at 2 months old, Joel was 7 weeks old and I’m sure Laila will be even younger. If you don’t already, follow me on instagram! I always share our fun Disney shenanigans on my insta-story!
Thank you for reading! and here are some pictures of us at Disney world throughout the years!