Despite the over eight-hundred-mile distance that separates my family from the most magical place on earth, we try to visit as much as possible. We’ve vacationed there countless times, but recently we accomplished a Disney World first: we planned a one-day trip. At this point, your jaw has likely dropped in incredulity, and for good reason. As much as we adore Walt Disney World, never in our wildest imaginations would we have dreamt of a 24-hour trip to the parks, since we don’t live near the Orlando area. This crazy idea for a one-day trip stemmed from the announcement of “Disney Enchantment” permanently replacing “Happily Ever After.” As this is our favorite fireworks spectacular, we decided we needed to see it once more before it ends. Though my family had a wonderful time on our escapade, a one-day trip certainly is not everyone’s cup of tea.
The time constraint of a single day trip is an obvious disadvantage. One day at Disney World, let alone a full week, is not nearly enough time to ride all the attractions, sample all the restaurants, and explore all the other experiences the resort has to offer. Although my family was able to experience several attractions at Magic Kingdom, including some of the park’s most popular rides such as Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, there were many we had to skip given our extremely limited park time. Guests who come to Disney World with vast to-do lists will surely be unable to exhaust Disney’s boundless entertainment options, especially considering the inundation of crowds that flood queues daily. Because of this, a short Disney vacation is not optimal for first-timers or those who do not frequent Disney World. Also, for those who live outside the sunshine state, the lengthy travel time involved may outweigh the benefits of a day trip. After all, sacrificing one’s weekend to travel across the country for a few hours at a theme park is probably not appealing to the general population!
Granted, a single day trip to Disney World is definitely out of the ordinary, but a vacation this quick does have its advantages. Frequent visitors to the Disney resort with short to-do lists may find a one-day vacation worth the invested time and money. If you don’t mind missing out on some attractions, a quick jaunt to Disney World can be a wonderful way to immerse yourself in your favorite parts of the magic before you’re able to take a full-length vacation. An excursion this brief can also provide guests with an opportunity to experience a limited event without having to surrender to the increasingly excessive price tags of a week-long stay. One day is plenty of time to attend an exclusive holiday celebration, such as the new Boo Bash After Hours Party, or catch a showing of a favorite fireworks display soon to fizzle into park history.
That leads us to the million-dollar question: is a one-day Disney getaway worth it for out-of-state guests? That depends. My family thoroughly enjoyed our magical day, so in our minds it was certainly worth the rest lost and the money spent, notably because this mini-trip gave us the chance to watch “Happily Ever After” once again. However, a Disney day trip simply isn’t for everyone. Even though we were only at Magic Kingdom for several hours and did not have enough time to experience every attraction and restaurant at the park, we had a fabulous, fun-filled day. After all, for us, a day spent at Disney World is more magical than a day spent anywhere else!
Katrina is a bookish writer and unapologetic Disney enthusiast. She can't imagine anything more wonderful than a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth with her family. When she's not occupied with her studies, she writes, reads, daydreams about wandering World Showcase, and wishes she were riding Cosmic Rewind.