Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Theme Parks Planning Guide | AllEars.net | AllEars.net
Walt Disney World Theme Parks Planning Guide | AllEars.net | AllEars.net

You’ve made your travel arrangements. You’ve got a Resort hotel reservation and Advance Dining Reservations. Now you’re ready to figure out how to maximize your time in the actual theme parks!

Spaceship Earth

We’ve got your back, Chosen One! Here we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the Walt Disney World theme parks, including a brief overview and pictures of each and every ride, attraction, show, and parade! Plus you’ll find information on which rides are closed for refurbishment, which might be opening, and a calendar of upcoming events.

Use the links we provide below in order to navigate to the information you need. Then come on back for more!

Which park should you visit first? | Which rides should you ride? |
Which shows should you see?

Which Park should I visit first?

When deciding which Park to visit first, you will want to consider at least a couple of important variables. First, do you have a sentimental reason for starting in a particular Park? For example, many first-time visitors want to start their Walt Disney World vacations at the iconic Park: Magic Kingdom.

Town Square Theater

Other guests are more interested in maximizing their time in the Parks. These guests will want to consider operating hours and Extra Magic Hours to plan the order in which they’ll visit Parks. Yet another variable to consider: Genie+ selections.

Slinky Dog Dash

Highly-sought Lightning Lanes are sometimes easier to get the later into your trip you go looking for them, so you might end up at Hollywood Studios for Slinky Dog Dash on your last day because that’s when the elusive FastPass was available.

Finally, though attractions may close unexpectedly during your trip, you may want to plan around some of the publicized closures and refurbishments.

Learn more about each of these variables at the links below.

Which rides should I experience?

Our first instinct is to say: ALL of them! But we know this isn’t always possible or even advisable for some folks. So here are tips to decide what should be must-dos for you.

If your party includes young kids who will be too short to meet Disney World attractions height requirements, you’ll want to know that in advance and plan around them. You can skip those attractions altogether or use Rider Switch so that the “of-height” riders in your group can still experience the ride.

Slinky Dog Dash Height Measurement

If the folks in your group are thrill seekers, you might want to plan around the thrilling and immersive rides at each Park. You could plan to ride them as many times as you want in a day, forgoing some of the less-intense rides.

If you’re a first-timer, you will want to experience all of the Parks’ iconic attractions, making those your priority and the foci around which you plan your days.

Below are links to help you learn more about what’s available in each Park and what restrictions exist for some attractions.

Ride Safety and Height Requirements
WDW at Large
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Magic Kingdom
Attraction Seating Photo Gallery
Character Meet and Greet FAQ

Parents, for information on how to plan your family’s visit to each Park, peruse the links below!

Magic Kingdom Parents’ Guide
EPCOT Parents’ Guide
Hollywood Studios Parents’ Guide
Animal Kingdom Parents’ Guide

Traveling with or as a guest with Special Needs? Click here for information on how to explore the World with a variety of Special Needs.

Which shows should I see?

Many of the live shows at Walt Disney World are described in our individual park sections above, but there are also some parades and shows that warrant special mention. We’ve also included a generous selection of photos when it’s warranted:

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
Electrical Water Pageant
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

Festival of Fantasy

What special events can I expect to find throughout the year? 

There’s always something special happening at Walt Disney World, but if you’re looking for something specific, you might want to check the links below:

Calendar of Events
WDW Marathon
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Fourth of July
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
Candlelight Processional
Holidays in Disney Springs
Holiday Happenings
New Year’s Eve

Norway’s Storyteller during Festival of the Holidays

What kind of tickets do I need?

Need more information on what types of park admission are available?
Be sure to check out our section on Ticket FAQs, found under Planning.