How many days to spend at Walt Disney World?

by Dorota
(Alameda, CA)

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We will be in Kissimmee the first week of April. We are from Northern California and have been to Disneyland at least twice in the past. Our girls are 6 and 10 and besides mom and dad, their uncle is coming too.

Let’s break it down


The Partners in front of Cinderella Castle

How many days? Only Walt knows for sure – Photo by Cliff Wang

Dorata, that’s a great question. I’ve answered it before but things have changed a little in the years since so it’s time to answer it again.

Dad’s How Many Days Does it Take Answer from 2012 page

The Theme Parks


Rivers of Light makes Animal Kingdom a full day park

Rivers of Light helps make Animal Kingdom a full day – Photo by Rich Ramos

The first thing to look at is how many days does it take to see the Theme Parks. Let’s dive in and look.

  • Magic Kingdom – it all starts with the Magic Kingdom. I think you should plan 2 days in the Magic Kingdom. There is so much to see and do it can’t all be done in one day.
  • EPCOT – EPCOT is one day plus. I like 2 days in EPCOT if for no other reason then to get 2 FastPasses to the “Big 4”. This is a day when you can have time for the “extras”.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios – when it comes to the Studios, it’s a full day. Yes, I know they tore down half of the park, but once Toy Story Land opens in June, it’s going to be a pretty full day.
  • Animal Kingdom – it used to be very easy to see everything in Animal Kingdom and have time to go back to the hotel, change clothes and go to dinner. Not any more. With the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar and Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom is a full, long day.

That’s 6 pretty full days just in the theme parks.

The Extras


The extras like the lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon are something to think about

Might want to take a nice relaxing ride down the lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon – Photo by Laurie Sapp

Don’t forget to set aside some time for the extra things that set Walt Disney World apart from any other vacation destination in the world. The extras don’t get as much notoriety as the parks, but they are worth consideration if you can work them in.

  • Disney Springs – Disney Springs has become almost a must see destination in itself. You can spend a whole day shopping, enjoying the shows, eating, watching a movie, bowling, eating (yes, I meant to say it again) and generally having a great time. I’d plan to try to spend an evening at Disney Springs if possible.
  • The Boardwalk – the Boardwalk area outside EPCOT is a very cool place to spend a couple of hours or more. We love just walking over and strolling through the Boardwalk in the evenings when the lights are on and the entertainment is going strong. If you have some extra time on an EPCOT day, take a stroll around the Boardwalk
  • The Water Parks – another great extra to thing about visiting is the water parks. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are the Best Water Parks on the planet. If you like water sports you might think about spending a day at one of the Water Parks or a day in each.
  • Golf, mini golf, water sports, resort visits, Ft. Wilderness Campground, spas, Dinner Shows and more – Walt Disney World has a vast array of extras. The golf courses are pretty special. I love the mini-golf. There’s all kind of boat and water sport availability including just swimming in the hotel pool. Speaking of hotels, going around and just visiting all the hotels, especially at Christmas, is one of our favorite things. There’s spas, dinner shows and on and on.

It’s incredible just how much there is to do at Walt Disney World. You could spend a week just doing extras and not seeing everything.

How long to plan at Walt Disney World

So how long should you plan for a trip to Walt Disney World. Basically stay as long as you can, but here are some guidelines

  • Optimal – Six Days is about the minimum to see most everything in the parks. It’s the average length of a trip and probably the optimal length for most guests.
  • Quickie – we have really started enjoying quickie trips. Just one, two or three days, but quickie trips have to be focused. Pick something you want to see and go do it.
  • Long – maybe our favorite trip ever was a 16 day trip (12 days at WDW and a cruise). It gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy.

    Destinations to Travel

    Dad’s Bottom Line

    Dorata, you should spend as many days at Walt Disney World as you can afford. Six days is a good start, but any trip is a good trip.

    What do you think? How long should a trip to WDW be? Tell us below in the comments.


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