Many first-time guests wonder how many days they’ll need at each Disney theme park.
Magic Kingdom and Epcot are the top priorities for shorter trips. But to get the full Disney World experience, you must visit for at least 5-7 days and spend one full day at each theme park.
Let’s take a closer look at Disney World theme parks are the highest priority.
For 2 or 3 Days Trips at Disney World
Even though I recommend going to Disney for a full week, I realize that not everyone can get that much time off from work, school, or other obligations. It’s not ideal but it’ll still work.
If your Disney trip is 2 or 3 days, then make sure you spend 1 full day at both Magic Kingdom and Epcot. On your third day, choose between either Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, or park-hop between the two of them.
Another option is to spend your 3rd day at one of Disney’s water parks (Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon) or at Universal Orlando Resort. There are also plenty of day trips from Disney World, but there’s really no need to leave Disney property if you have such limited time.
Keep in mind that weekends, holidays, and school breaks are usually more crowded. Yes, long weekend trips are doable but you should be prepared for lines. See our Disney World Crowd Calendar, When to go to Disney World, and How to Avoid the Lines pages.
Where to Start
The reason I tell you to spend a full day at Magic Kingdom and Epcot is because both parks offer more to do and they’re also the most iconic Disney parks. Thus, they deserve more time than do the other two parks.
Even one full day at these parks will just whet your appetite for more….but it’s a good start.
With such a limited window, you should first do your research long before you book your trip and go.
Make a list of the rides and experiences that sound best to you, and then make your in-park itinerary and FastPass reservation accordingly.
I’d suggest getting started with our Best Magic Kingdom rides and Best Epcot Rides pages and then go from there.
If you need help planning and booking your tickets, FastPasses, hotel, and dining reservations, then contact the commission-free Disney specialists at The Vacationeer.
For 4 or 5 Day Trips to Disney World
This length gives you a full day at all Disney theme parks, but with no time to relax.
If this is your first visit to Walt Disney World Resort, then you really need at least 4 or 5 full days at the theme parks. You won’t have time to see everything but you’ll really get a taste of what Disney is all about.
On a 4 or 5 day Disney trip, plan on at least one full day at each park. If you have an extra day, then return to Magic Kingdom or Epcot, or go to one of Disney World’s water parks.
With careful planning, you could really split one day between the other 2 parks (park hopper). Spend half the day at Animal Kingdom and the other half at Hollywood Studios. But I still think you should devote one entire day to each park.
If you have a 5th day, then I’d suggest you either return to Magic Kingdom for another full day (Epcot is worthy of a second day as well) or go to one of the 2 Disney water parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). You could also play golf, rent a boat, or go to Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, or the beach.
A 4 or 5-day Disney World vacation will be enough time to get the “full Disney experience,” but you’ll feel rushed. The park is just so big that you can’t see every corner in such a short amount of time.
Create a list of rides and experiences you want to knock out so you don’t miss out on the good stuff! I’d recommend that you stay on Disney property (at a Disney-owned resort hotel). By doing so you’ll wake up inside the park and won’t waste any time traveling between the theme parks and your hotel. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by Disney themes and uniquely Disney accommodations. It’s worth the extra money to stay at a Disney Moderate Resort or a Disney Deluxe Resort, but the Disney Value Resorts really aren’t bad either (great for kids!).
See our Disney World Hotels Comparison page for more details.
For 6 or 7 Day Trips to Disney World
6 or 7 days is the ideal length for a Disney World vacation.
You WILL feel rushed if you try to fit all four theme parks into 4 or 5 days. I recommend adding a few more days to your trip (if possible).
With 6 or 7 days, you really don’t have to spend every day at the theme parks, although you certainly could. Rather, the idea here is to allow for a few extra days to slow down, explore the resorts, ride the monorail, relax by the pool, or enjoy Disney Springs.
I’d recommend heading over to Universal Orlando Resort and seeing what excitement is all about. Check out our Universal Orlando Map, Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips, Universal Studios vs Disney World, and Best Universal Studios Rides pages for more on that park.
If you really just want to do theme parks every single day of your trip, then I’d suggest 2 full days at Magic Kingdom, 1 or 2 full days at Epcot, and then one day at each Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It’s up to you though but you might be more interested in seeing the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land 2 days in Hollywood Studios or the animals and rides at Animal Kingdom for more than just one day.
The possibilities are endless!
Why not relax and stay awhile?
More than a week really isn’t necessary to get the full Disney experience. In fact, it’s longer than you’ll need to accomplish your vacation goals (or may even want).
More than a week at Disney World will certainly give you a chance to experience much of what the theme parks have to offer. You’ll be able to go on the rides you want, more than once (especially with FastPasses), see the shows and fireworks and parades, dine at many of the restaurants and see much of the resort including Disney Springs and many of the hotels.
No, you’re not going to see everything, but you’d be able to spend at least a day or two at all 4 theme parks and hopefully schedule a day at a Disney water park (you both going to both). You can take a day trip to Universal, Kennedy Space Center, SeaWorld, or Clearwater beach, or the Everglades.
The major drawback of long trips is the expense. If you’re planning to take a Disney trip for this long, it’s probably a good idea to weigh all your options. Compare the Disney World hotels with an off-property resort, and investigate short-term rentals via AIRBNB and VRBO. Disney Vacation Club is another option.
Can’t decide? Maybe it’s time you reach out to a Disney vacation specialist.