If you’re in the situation where you really want to go to Disney World, but you’ve only got two days to get it all done…don’t freak out yet. It may seem like a daunting task (because there’s SO much to do across the property!), but a short vacation is completely doable. That’s why we’re sharing our tips for how to have a successful trip in just two days!
Ditch a Park (or Two)
Let’s start with the easiest way to make your trip shorter — you can skip out on some of the Disney World parks. Typically we advise a day per park (or two if you really want to do as much as possible), but if you cut out one or two of the four theme parks, you can have a pretty solid 2-day trip.
Unfortunately, planning a 48-hour vacation means that you’re going to have to make some sacrifices, and cutting out parks is a big one, but one of the most effective strategies. There are two ways to go about this — you can either do one day in your favorite park followed by a half day each in two other parks, or you can do one full day each in two different parks. Keep in mind that if you go with option one, you’ll need to purchase a Park Hopper ticket, which could add some significant cost to your trip.
Make Mobile Order Your BFF
Next up, let’s talk about Mobile Order! The lines for quick service restaurants can get LONG during the day, especially if you’re stopping by during a popular mealtime. Don’t waste your time standing in line — use the My Disney Experience app to place your order ahead of time, then pick it up when you arrive at the restaurant. You can even select a Mobile Order window for later in the day, so place those orders early if you can!
And while we’re mentioning features of the My Disney Experience app, don’t forget about Mobile Checkout! It’s available at select stores around the parks, and it allows you to scan your merchandise and pay from your phone, without waiting in long lines at the register. Once your purchase is complete, you simply check with a Cast Member at a kiosk near the exit before leaving.
Plan Food Ahead of Time
This may seem dramatic, but knowing what you want to eat BEFORE you get to the theme parks can save you a ridiculous amount of time. Just think about it — you’ll know where you need to go for those highly-anticipated snacks instead of wandering around aimlessly when you’re already hangry.
And breakfast, lunch, and dinner? No need to spend extra time looking for places with Mobile Orders or dining reservations — when you plan ahead, you’ll be ready to go come meal time. Perusing the menu before your visit can also shave some time off of your meal length, meaning you get to enjoy more hours checking out rides and attractions in the park.
One Word: PRIORITIZE
The shorter your trip, the more organized you’ll need to be in your planning. On a two-day trip, you won’t really get the luxury of doing things at a leisurely pace. You’ll need to decide ahead of time which rides you want to do, which places you want to eat, and what the overall goal of your trip is.
If one person in your party is a chill vacationer while the other is a run-and-ride type of person, you’ll find yourselves having a difficult time making decisions when you get into the park. Have that discussion ahead of time so no one is left disappointed and you can make the most of your time!
Park Hop When it Makes Sense
First of all, don’t try to overdo it — Park Hopping to more than two parks in a day will mean that you’re probably spending an excessive amount of time on Disney transportation. It takes around 45 minutes-an hour to hop between the parks (counting transportation and exiting and entering), so the more times you move around, the more time you’re wasting.
You’ll also want to be smart about which parks you hop between. Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are a good pairing because Animal Kingdom has fewer attractions while Magic Kingdom has a BUNCH. On the other hand, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios pair well together because they have multiple transportation options between them — including the Friendship Boats, a walking path (be warned, it’s pretty long!), and the Disney Skyliner. With those two, you’ll likely be spending less time on transportation.
Consider Budgeting for Extras
Now it’s time to discuss a possibly controversial solution — Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. If you’re only visiting for a few days, paying to skip the lines for rides may not be a bad idea! Genie+ pricing starts at $15 per person, per day, but it might save you hours of time waiting in line, especially if you pick the right attractions for your Lightning Lanes and use them to their full potential.
For the more popular rides, you can pay individually to access the Lightning Lanes. These include Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Avatar Flight of Passage. These prices also vary depending on the date, but paying for access to these Lightning Lanes might help you skip a 2-hour wait or more.
Use Early and Extended Hours
If you’re staying at a Disney World resort, make use of those early and extended hours! For Early Theme Park Entry, Disney resort guests get into every park 30 minutes before other guests each day. You can use that time to hop in line for the most popular ride before it gets a long wait later in the day.
And then for guests of Deluxe Resorts, make sure to look at the Extended Evening Hours schedule. On select nights at select parks, you can stay 2 hours later than the regular day guests and continue riding rides. That’s a big perk!
Decide if Fireworks Are a Priority
This might be divisive, but do you REALLY need to watch fireworks? If you’ve already seen the shows before or you’re not a big “entertainment person” you might consider skipping the shows in favor of hopping in line for rides. We’ve seen wait times for things like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After dip significantly during that time window.
If you’re at Magic Kingdom, wait times will start to dip as early as an hour before the fireworks, due to guests staking out their spots ahead of time. If you pick the right attractions, you might be able to knock out a couple of things in that time frame!
Avoid Backtracking at All Costs
If you’re only traveling for a short time, avoid going back to your hotel room during the day if you can. It’ll be worth it to carry all the extra necessities in your backpack if it means you can avoid the 2-hour trip out of the park, on the bus, back to the room, and so on.
This means — be prepared for a VARIETY of scenarios! Pack that poncho or rain jacket. Bring a backup pair of shoes if you’re not sure about yours. Always, ALWAYS pack a phone charger and a power bank. Whatever you need to do to avoid backtracking!
Just Keep Swimming!
And lastly, just keep swimming, as Dory would say! Know that everything may not go according to plan, but don’t stress or stop and ruminate if your plans go awry. Have backup options in place, or maintain a flexible schedule in case of unexpected weather, heavy crowds, or some other condition out of your control.
We’ve experienced everything from sickness to ride breakdowns during our trips, and sometimes, you just have to roll with it and remember to be thankful that you’re in Disney World. Be patient and remember that you’re really there to spend time with your loved ones!
There you go — how to do Disney World in just two days! It’s a tall order, but it’s certainly not impossible. And as long as you plan ahead and do some research, it should be an amazing trip. For the best tips on how to manage such a feat, keep following DFB!
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Have you ever planned a short trip to Disney World? Tell us in the comments!