As you may have seen on Day 6 of my Photo A Day instalment, last Friday my new friends and I decided to take on the four parks one day challenge. For those of you out there that may not know what this is, the challenge is to get to all four Disney parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot) in the same day. As we’re new cast members and get free access to the parks, we were lucky enough to not have to worry about tickets and entry, so the parks were our oyster!
In the lead up to Friday, we discussed the order and the sort of things we would do in each park, making sure we had a good outline of what we wanted to achieve. We started the day in Animal Kingdom, getting up early to make sure we arrived in time for the rope drop. After a few photos in front of the Tree of Life, we made the dash across to Asia and got straight on Expedition Everest. We then went on the Kali River Rapids and saw Festival of the Lion King, before deciding it was time to move on to the next park. Just as we were exiting the park to get to Hollywood Studios, we saw Tarzan doing a character meet so managed to run over and get a quick photo and autograph with him as well! Luckily I had bought an autograph book the day before, so Tarzan was my first autograph of my CEP.
Next we caught the bus from Animal Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, heading straight to the Tower of Terror. This was the ride that I was looking forward to getting on the most, so I was pretty excited that we didn’t have to wait too long before we headed to the Twilight Zone. Even though I’d been on it before, I found myself gripping Jenna’s hand on the first drop and realised that my other friend Danielle had done the same. Maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I had initially thought! By the time we got off the Tower, we were all pretty hungry, so headed to the ABC Commissary for lunch. Here I had my second portion of chicken nuggets in two days, let’s just say that I was sampling the American culture…
After lunch, we split up into groups and the thrill seekers amongst us headed to Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. This was probably one of the longest waits we had during the day, as we waited roughly 50 minutes to get onto the ride. We even managed to hold a themed pose for the photo whilst rocketing from 0 to 60 in just a few seconds! I’ll admit that I had a bit of a headache when we eventually arrived backstage for Aerosmith’s concert (the point of the rollercoaster is to get us backstage as quickly as possible as everyone is invited to an Aerosmith gig, which coincidentally they happen to be late for).
We then caught a ferry over to Epcot, getting off at the Boardwalk and walking the rest of the way to a different entrance that would lead us straight onto the World Showcase. Here we had an unbelievable amount of luck. As soon as we got into the park, we noticed that Princess Aurora was available to have photos with so we hurried over and joined the back of the queue. Whilst we quickly fished out our autograph books and tried to make ourselves look a bit less sweaty, the character attendant informed us that if we were to hang around in the area, we may get the chance to meet a few more princesses.
Sure enough, just before meeting Aurora Tiana came out for photos opposite us, and Rapunzel also emerged just a bit further away. We couldn’t believe our luck. We managed to get photos with all three of them. I think Tiana was my favourite, as she told us that we could go with her to Mama Oti’s to get special dresses made, just like hers. Tiana’s character attendant overheard us talking about trying to meet more characters, and gave us her copy of the timings. It was just what we needed. She recommended going over to France to meet Belle in 15 minutes time, so after Tiana we rushed over. After queuing for what felt like a lifetime because of the heat (realistically it was probably no more than 20 minutes), we met Belle and had a cool down in Morocco as we plotted our next move. In the end we decided that Test Track would be our final ride in Epcot before setting off for Magic Kingdom.
Catching the monorail from Epcot, we arrived at our final destination around 6.30pm and had some celebratory photos taken in front of the castle. We had done it! All four parks in one day! By this time we were shattered, so we went straight to Mickey’s Philarmagic for a sit down, quickly followed by It’s a Small World because of its short wait time. We also managed to get to the Haunted Mansion before grabbing another bite to eat for dinner. Here we split up into two groups, those of us who wanted to stay and those who wanted to go home. Some of us had an early start the following day for training, so went back to Patterson to get some rest. Being one of three to stay behind, us hardcore park hoppers stayed until Wishes, getting on Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain before going home.
All in all, I would say that the day was a success. Not only had we managed to get to all four parks in one day, but we managed to get a decent amount done in each park. I think we divided the day up well and spent roughly an equal amount of time in every location. As well as getting to the parks, we managed to use a different mode of transport for each time we travelled and we even got to the Boardwalk, a place that I’ve wanted to see. Those of us who stayed in Magic Kingdom after dinner also managed to get all four mountains done on the same day (Splash, Space, Big Thunder and Expedition Everest), so we felt like we had conquered a lot at once. As you can imagine, I slept well that night!