I was told it couldn't be done. In fact, I think I had many more people explain to me their belief that four parks in one day couldn't happen, and even more so, that there was no way you could see all three fireworks spectaculars in one night (meaning Fantasmic, IllumiNations, and Wishes). Even more so, the world seemed to be against us and gave us pouring rain on the day that we attempted to accomplish the "impossible."
Then again, when have I ever turned up a chance to beat the odds?
Back in June 2015 I made an attempt to head to all four parks in one day and almost succeeded. In fact, I came so close that I absolutely knew that doing three attractions in all four parks in one day was completely feasible. You had to do your planning and be open to going with the flow, but it was possible, and when we made the decision to return this January we knew we had to take another shot at making it work.
Our day started out at Animal Kingdom, much like the last time I attempted this challenge, and despite the influence of rain, we did manage to hit up Kilimanjaro Safaris, It's Tough to be a Bug, and DINOSAUR for our three attractions, as well as stop for some Starbucks before the rain really set in. Usually when I attempt this challenge we head to Everest first, but because of the rain, I figured that probably wasn't the best idea (especially with a camera in hand to document our day). Regardless, we finished up at Park 1 and then headed to our second park of the day, Magic Kingdom.
By the time we got to Magic Kingdom (after a bus/monorail transfer at the Poly), the rain was finally starting to calm down. We were, of course, still soaked, but we made do as we headed to Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Carrousel before stopping for some lunch at Cosmic Rays. The great part about the rain though? No people! For some reason, folks just didn't want to brave the pouring rain, even on a Friday, so the parks were unusually quiet all day long...perfect for a four parks, one day challenge!
Obviously we weren't done yet though! After a stop back at Old Key West for some dry clothes and shoes, we headed back out to Epcot, where we took a quick trip on Spaceship Earth, Journey Into Imagination, and the Seas with Nemo and Friends before meeting up with a friend of mine who has a friend who works at Test Track and brought us up to the Lounge. It was an amazing experience that I'll elaborate on more later, but needless to say, we ended our time at Epcot with a line-skip ride of Test Track.
Finally, we headed quickly to Hollywood Studios on a bus that just happened to pull up right when we needed it. While there we headed to see The Muppets, then on Toy Story Midway Mania and finally on Tower of Terror before grabbing more Starbucks and some churros amidst a beautiful sunset.
And then started the real challenge. Since I already knew that four parks in one day was possible and, more than anything, it was almost easy, I knew we had to do something...extra...and making an attempt to see all three nighttime shows seemed like the perfect way to spice things up. We started with Fantastmic, which we waited for while eating our makeshift churro/Starbucks dinner, and then realized that if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. In other words, we knew we couldn't just see Fantastmic...we had to see Symphony in the Stars too. After our Star Wars finale, we quickly walked back to Epcot for IllumiNations and then raced out of the park to catch the first monorail back to Magic Kingdom so we could get a spot for Wishes. Amazingly, the force was with us, and we not only got back to Magic Kingdom (I initially planned for us to watch from the beach by the Poly), but we also managed to get one of the best views for Wishes I've ever had.
Somewhere amidst four parks, fourteen attractions, lots and lots of rain, three trips to Starbucks, and over 15 miles of walking, we managed to do all four parks in one day and see all four nighttime spectaculars at the Walt Disney World Resort. It's probably important for me to mention that this all required a lot of planning...as well as the fact that the fireworks shows all happened to be an hour apart (Fantasmic at 7, Symphony in the Stars at 8, IllumiNations at 9, and Wishes at 10) and the fact that, somehow, we never waited more than 5 minutes for a bus that got us exactly where we were going. The real question remains though - would I do it again?
The answer? Definitely. Aside from the fact that by the end of the day we felt like our legs were going to fall off, there was an absolute sense of accomplishment in the fact that we did it. We did what everyone claimed to be impossible, and we had a lot of great adventures along the way. But more than anything, it's almost a metaphor for how I want to live my life. I want to defy the impossible and live up to the dreams I've had, because one thing is always for certain...never tell me the odds.
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on January 24 due to travel).