By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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b. How Long to Stay

By Dave Shute


Plan to spend 9 days in Orlando, ideally arriving late morning or early afternoon on a Saturday and departing in the late afternoon or evening of the following Sunday.

This amount of time balances the time needed to fully appreciate the 4 theme parks (7ish days) with time for breaks from the parks, while fitting into a typical “week off from work” (note that other travel days may yield less expensive airfare or hotel costs).

  • Magic Kingdom takes at least two days
  • Epcot takes a day and an evening
  • Animal Kingdom takes a a day and a half
  • Hollywood Studios takes two partial days

How Long to Visit Walt Disney World from

Shorter visits are of course possible. With five park days, about the minimum, with for example four full days and two partial days on your travel days, figure to spend the equivalent of two days at Magic Kingdom and one day in each of the other four parks.

I recommend nine days, but the time in Orlando can be shortened to 8,  7, or even 6 days: a late-morning arrival day, a late afternoon departure day, and 4 to 6 full days–but only at the cost of making what is already a steady pace a hectic one.


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1 Marjorie { 12.06.19 at 11:51 am }

Thank you Dave for your help!
We will stay at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa.
I prefer not to come back in the hotel in the late noon. I prefer to go directly to MK between 6 and 8:00 PM and have a look at the park and dining before the fireworks.
Do you think it is a good idea? Do we have to reserve the dinner via the application?
In this case, do you think it is better to take our rental car?
Last question, do you think it will be really worst to go to Universal the 25/12 instead of 23/12? Because, we will arrive in Orlando late the 22/12 and it can be a little bit stressful to “attack” the parks the next morning! 😉
Thanks for your advice!

2 Dave { 12.06.19 at 1:11 pm }

Marjorie, I don’t know that hotel. Based on my general experience with such, you can expect inadequate park transportation–starting too late, ending too early, and running too infrequently. So I would use your car.

Crowds will be worse the 25th than the 23rd–but they will be bad the 23rd as well. So you will be trading one kind of stress for another.

3 Marjorie { 12.07.19 at 4:35 am }

OK Dave. Thank you very much for your help and advice. We will then probably go to Universal on the 23rd. 😉
I also hope that we will still enter into MK the evening of the 24th… There is a risk that the park will be full and that we cannot enter even with a one day park hopper ticket?

4 Dave { 12.07.19 at 9:49 am }

Yes, Marjorie, there is that risk–the park closings, though, are more common late morning to midday than in the late afternoon/evening.

5 Marjorie { 12.08.19 at 4:45 pm }

Many thanks Dave!

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