View of people in Disney World and a statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse

Disney World Itinerary (6 Days Planned By an Orlando Local)

With more than 50 rides, plenty of shows and experiences, endless food options, and too many photo ops to list out, a Walt Disney World vacation can be a beast to plan. 

As a former Disney cast member turned travel writer, I’ve put together the perfect Disney World itinerary to take care of all the planning for you. This schedule hits all the best attractions and breaks down each of the Disney World park itineraries.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions when you make a purchase or hotel reservation through one of our affiliate partners. Note that this site has no affiliation with The Walt Disney Company or its subsidiaries. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

6 Day Disney World Itinerary

Day 1 – Animal Kingdom

🦁 Also read my full Animal Kingdom Itinerary.

View of the Tree of Life inside the Animal Kingdom
(photo: VIAVAL / Depositphotos)

Spend your first day at Disney World at Animal Kingdom, my favorite theme park. The Walt Disney Company designed Animal Kingdom with several “hidden” trails that lead you past exotic animals. Wander through some of these trails as soon as you walk through the entrance gate. 

Continue heading straight onto Discovery Island where you’ll see the park’s icon, the Tree of Life. The path to the left of the tree will bring you to Creature Comforts. Pick up some Starbucks coffee and a pastry to fuel up for the day. From here, you’ll work counter-clockwise around the park to efficiently see and do everything. 

Make your way to Pandora – The World of Avatar to ride Flight of Passage, one of the best attractions at Disney World. Children will enjoy the Na’vi River Journey boat ride, but you can skip it if the wait is too long. Grab a quick lunch at Satu’li Canteen before continuing to Africa

Take the boardwalk path along the water to avoid the crowds. You’ll run right into the Festival of the Lion King show. After you enjoy the show, walk through Africa to hop on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Continue the animal viewing on the Gorilla Falls Expedition Trail, where you can see hippos and gorillas. Adults in your party can grab yummy beverages at the Dawa Bar

Make your way to Asia and walk through the Maharajah Jungle Trek. If you’re ready to cool off, ride Kali River Rapids and prepare to get soaked! Then, ride Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom’s only rollercoaster. 

View of the Everest from Expedition Everest in Disney World

Before heading to dinner, make a stop in Dinoland U.S.A. to ride DINOSAUR. Two of the best dinner options in Animal Kingdom are Flame Tree Barbecue, for a casual quick-service dinner, and Tiffins Restaurant, for a more up-scale table-service option. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not have a fireworks show due to the animals. Instead, enjoy the Tree of Life Awakenings, shows that are projected onto the iconic tree. Head back to your Disney hotel early to get a good night’s rest because you still have five more days of fun.

You can also check out my full post laying out the perfect Animal Kingdom itinerary.

Day 2 – Magic Kingdom

🏰 Also read my full Magic Kingdom Itinerary.

View of people in Disney World and a statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse

You can’t visit Walt Disney World without spending a day in the Magic Kingdom theme park, so get up bright and early. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can enjoy Extra Magic Hours and enter 30 minutes before the park opening. Grab a quick breakfast at your hotel before heading to Magic Kingdom.

Arrive at park opening and have your camera ready when you enter the park because the view of Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. is breathtaking. Take a left before you get to the castle to enter Adventureland. Ride the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, two of Magic Kingdom’s most popular rides. 

View of people enjoying their ride in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Then make your way over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain in Frontierland. Skip Tom Sawyer Island (unless you have kids that need to run off some energy). Enjoy a quick-service lunch at Pecos Bill Cafe or Columbia Harbour House.

When you finish eating, get ready for a spooky adventure in the Haunted Mansion. As you then enter Fantasyland, prepare yourself for all the rides! You won’t want to miss Peter Pan Flight, “it’s a small world”, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

View of rides inside Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Disney World

Finish your day in Tomorrowland and ride Space Mountain, the PeopleMover, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Enjoy a special Magic Kingdom dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle or eat in the Beast’s castle at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Grab your favorite Magic Kingdom treat, like DOLE Whip or a candy apple, before you find a spot in front of the castle for the nighttime shows. Beacon of Magic is a projection show on the castle. The fireworks are best viewed a third of the way from the castle to the park entrance.

Be sure to also bookmark my full post laying out the perfect Magic Kingdom itinerary.

Day 3 – Hotel and Disney Springs

People enjoying their day in Disney Springs

After two full days at theme parks, sleep in and enjoy a slow morning at your hotel. Eat breakfast, walk around the property, and enjoy that Florida sunshine by the pool. I always recommend a relaxing day in the middle of your Walt Disney World trip to offset the fast-paced days at the parks. 

Around lunchtime, head over to Disney Springs. This is a shopping and entertainment area located at the Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy lunch and a show at my favorite restaurant, Raglan Road Irish Pub

The hot air balloon ride in Aerophile

Catch a movie at the AMC theater and then ride the Aerophile. This hot air balloon will take you 400 feet in the air for 360 degrees views of the Disney property. 

Right on time for happy hour, create your own bar crawl by stopping at Dockside Margaritas, Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, the Hole in the Wall Bar, and more. Before heading back to your hotel, have dinner at one of the many table service restaurants. Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE both serve mouthwatering food. 

Day 4 – Epcot

🌎 Also read my Epcot itinerary.

The author and the Epcot Ball on her background

Don’t worry about eating a big breakfast when you visit Epcot. There are more than 30 dining and snack options available throughout the theme park. Plan to eat fun and international cuisine throughout the day.

After you pass under Spaceship Earth (fondly known as the Epcot ball), head left into World Discovery (previously Future World). You’ll want to go to Test Track as early as possible to avoid a long wait. After you ride Test Track, hop on Mission: SPACE for a journey into outer space. 

The signage in The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Before you head out into the World Showcase, walk over to World Nature. Here you can ride Soarin’ Around the World and visit the SeaBase aquarium. One unique attraction is Living with the Land where you can enjoy a slow boat ride through sustainable greenhouses. 

Spend the rest of your day wandering through the different countries of the World Showcase. In the great debate of which direction you should start, I am team Canada over Mexico (most people choose to head into Mexico first). Take your time exploring each country. They all have restaurants, bars, snack stands, and specialty shops for you to visit. 

The author holding a glass of beer from Rose & Crown Pub

Some of my favorite stops around the World Showcase are the Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom, La Crêperie de Paris in France, the stores in Japan, Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in Italy, the Werther’s Original Karamell-Kuche store in Germany, and Kringla Bakeri in Norway.

The center of the lagoon is home to Harmonious, Epcot’s nighttime light, and fireworks show. Make dining reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico for 30-60 minutes before the show. When you check in, ask to be seated by the windows to enjoy one of the coolest dining experiences of a Disney trip.

Be sure to check out my full post laying out the perfect Epcot itinerary.

Day 5 – Hollywood Studios

🎬 Also check out my Hollywood Studios itinerary

View of The Hollywood Tower Hotel in Disney World
(photo: VIAVAL / Depositphotos)

I find that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some of the longest wait times at Disney World. The attractions are either must-do thrill rides or ones you won’t mind missing, meaning the wait times for the good attractions are almost always long (especially in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge). Disney World offers a paid option for shorter wait times called Lightning Lane (previously FastPass). If you are going to spend the extra money to cut down your wait times, this is the park to do it. 

If you arrive first thing in the morning, you’ll see that a majority of guests head to the back of the park to visit Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. I recommend you turn right onto Sunset Boulevard instead. Ride the classics, Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, before the lines get too long. 

Watch the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular before getting lunch. Since there’s still a lot to see at Hollywood Studios, get a quick-service meal at ABC Commissary. Hollywood Studios has a few different quick-service and table-service dining options, but I like ABC Commissary for the location and menu. 

The author with her husband and friends in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

In the early afternoon, head into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Both attractions, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run, are fantastic. To complete this intergalactic visit grab some blue milk or a drink from Oga’s Cantina

Whether you’re visiting Disney World with kids or as a kid at heart, Toy Story Land is a can’t-miss experience. Slinky Dog Dash, a recent addition to the theme park, is a thrilling roller coaster that is exciting enough for adults but still tame enough for children. Toy Story Land is also home to Toy Story Mania, an arcade shooting ride. 

Enjoy a special dining experience at The Hollywood Brown Derby or laugh as “Ma” yells at you to get your elbows off the table at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Following dinner, ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Be sure to also bookmark my full post laying out the perfect Hollywood Studios itinerary.

Day 6 – Blizzard Beach 

View of people enjoying their swim in Blizzard Beach
(photo: VIAVAL / 123rf)

Walt Disney World itineraries would not be complete without a day at one of the water parks. I prefer Blizzard Beach over Typhoon Lagoon, but each water park is phenomenal. 

When you enter the water park, you should first find some good seats. There are lockers available for your valuables, but you’ll want to set up everything else at a “home base”. Seating around the wave pool fills up quickly. Ask a cast member to direct you to one of the many beach areas throughout the park. 

After a Disney vacation of waiting in lines and dealing with crowds, use this day to relax. Some of my favorite rides here are Summit Plummet, Teamboat Springs, the Chairlift, the lazy river, and the wave pool. 

Grab lunch at Lottawatta Lodge and bring your food back to your chairs for the beach day experience. When you need an afternoon treat, you must get some of the mini donuts. 

The park hours usually end near sunset, so soak in the remaining sunshine and reminisce on your epic Disney vacation. 

How to Get Around Walt Disney World

View of a monorail in Disney World and people going to it

Buses

Disney has buses that run between the resorts, theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. The buses do not run between resorts though. Depending on the time of day and which resort you are staying at, bus travel can be a quick or slow option. 

Monorails

The monorails are iconic at Walt Disney World and everyone should take a ride at least once. There are three routes: 

  • The Transportation and Ticket Center (aka Magic Kingdom parking) to the Magic Kingdom
  • A loop with stops at the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, and Magic Kingdom
  • The Transportation and Ticket Center to Epcot 

Boats

The main boat transportation at Disney World is the ferry between the Transportation and Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom. There are also transportation boats that connect some of the resorts with theme parks or Disney Springs. 

Skyliner

The Skyliner is a gondola ride and it is the newest transportation option at Walt Disney World. Riding the Skyliner allows you to move between Epcot, Disney’s Boardwalk, Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Art of Animation Resort. 

Disney World Itinerary Planning Tips

Tip #1 – Skip the Park Hopper

The author holding a Mickey Mouse in a card

The Park Hopper add-on for your theme park admission is an unnecessary cost if you are spending at least 4 days at Walt Disney World. There is no need for park-hopping between two parks (or more). You’ll use your time more efficiently if you stay at one park per day. 

If your visit is shorter than 4 days and you must visit two Disney parks in one day, I recommend combining a morning at Animal Kingdom and an afternoon at Hollywood Studios.

Tip #2 – Use Free Transportation

View of the entrance to Magic Kingdom Ferryboat

The biggest perk of staying at one of the Disney resorts is access to free transportation. Disney utilizes buses, monorails, boats, and gondolas to connect all the Disney theme parks, Disney Springs, the water parks, and the resorts. 

📚 Related Reading: How to Visit Orlando on a Budget

Tip #3 – Plan Ahead

It can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Walt Disney World because there are endless options for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Trust me that it is worth it to spend a little time planning your Disney World itinerary ahead of time! 

By planning in advance, you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest without worrying about making a ton of decisions every day. You can use the My Disney Experience app to keep track of all your plans. 

Tip #4 – Don’t Overcommit on Your Itinerary

It is tempting to try to fit every restaurant, attraction, and show into your itinerary. Unless you have an unlimited budget and time, this is unrealistic. Prioritize your favorite activities and anything else will just be a bonus. You won’t be able to truly enjoy your visit if you are rushing and worrying. 

👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in Orlando (By a Local)

FAQ

How many days do you need at Walt Disney World?

A 6-day Disney World itinerary gives you plenty of time to visit the four main parks and everything else Disney World has to offer, like the water parks, Disney Springs, and the miniature golf courses. 

What order should you visit Disney World parks?

On your first day at Disney World, head to Animal Kingdom for a slow-paced day after traveling to Orlando. After a restful night, spend the entire day at Magic Kingdom to hit all the classics. On day three, head to Epcot for an international adventure and all the food you could want. Finish up your visit at Hollywood Studios, where you can enter the worlds of your favorite movies. 

Is 4 days enough for Disney World?

A 4-day Disney World itinerary is enough time to visit the parks. If you want to also visit the water parks or spend a day at your hotel, you will want to extend the length of your vacation. 

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This 6 day Walt Disney World itinerary takes you to all the Disney parks and hits the best attractions. 

If you use this itinerary on your visit to the Disney resort, let me know in the comments what your favorite was!

Oh, and before you go, be sure to bookmark all my free Orlando travel guides for more local advice! 

2 Comments

  1. Hello Katie. I enjoyed reading your post. We’re going to DisneyWorld on July 4th week for the first time. We’re from the Pacific NorthWest, so my kids cannot handle the heat very well. However, it’s DisneyWorld, so they cannot resist. How would you arrange the days at the parks in order, so we can enjoy the most of it without suffering too much? I understand it’s going to be so crowded because it’s July 4th. I’m thinking of Day 1: Hollywood Studio, Day 2: Magic Kingdom, Day 3: rest, Day 4: Animal Kingdom, Day 5: EPCOT, Day 6: check out and go home. Our Day 2 will fall on July 4th, I’m sure it’s gonna be really crowded at MK, should we avoid MK and switch it with EPCOT? please let me know your thoughts. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Chau! July 4th is a fun time to visit Disney World, but you’re right that it will be busy. On July 4th, Magic Kingdom will be the busiest park, followed by Epcot. I would recommend heading to Animal Kingdom or taking a rest day at your hotel.

      Another tip for managing the heat: Wake up as early as possible and get to the theme parks at opening. If you are staying at one of the Disney resort hotels, head back there for lunch, a nap, or pool time before returning to the same theme park around 4 or 5. You will still have plenty of time at the park. and avoid the hottest part of the day.

      Have a great vacation!

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