Once we decided to do a guy’s weekend at Walt Disney World for the 24 hour event this May my 6 Parks 1 Day partner, David, and I decided this was another rare opportunity to attempt another Disney Park challenge. Both of our wives are all for a trip to Walt Disney World but they are not as crazy as we are and we are too nice to ask them to do such things.
David had his sights set on a challenge called #wdw46 where you ride all the rides in Walt Disney World in one operating day. This challenge was created and is currently monitored by the Disney blog Parkeology. We reached out to them to see if our attempt would count and found out it would not be legit because of the extended park hours for the special 24 hour event going on in Magic Kingdom. This however did not deflate our ambition.
We decided to create our own challenge, inspire by the Parkeology created challenge. We decided we would pick our own attractions (not just rides) and attempt to squeeze them into 24 hours. David suggested that we create a hashtag for promoting it on social media and said, “…you know, something like #wdw50in24.” So we went through all of the attractions in each park and made a list of “must do” and “maybe” attractions and when we were done we had exactly 50 attractions so we decided it was meant to be. Check out our list of attractions here.
With theme park challenges like this there are often roadblocks, unforeseen delays, and participant blunders. Well, our first blunder began before we even drove through Mickey’s gates. Our little guy’s weekend at WDW was kind of a spur of the moment thing, at least when it comes to planning trips to Walt Disney World anyway. I think it’s safe to assume, since all four of us are Disney nerds (and travel agents), that we typically have our trips planned at least 180 days out. We waited too long to schedule our FastPass+ for the day we planned to attempt #wdw50in24.
Our initial order of business was to rope drop Magic Kingdom at 6am, rope drop Epcot 8am and finish all attractions there, head to Hollywood Studios where we would use all of our FastPass+, head to Animal Kingdom, and then back to Magic Kingdom to finish the rest of our 50 attractions. We decided to use our FP+ on Hollywood Studios over Epcot for a couple of reasons. One, it was the second weekend of Star Wars Weekend so crowds would be heavier and we anticipated a longer standby for Star Tours. We also knew Toy Story would probably be the second longest standby over Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Being able to also FastPass Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios gave us more headlining attractions to FastPass than Epcot would. This plan was all fine and dandy until we logged into My Disney Experience to pick our FastPass+ for Hollywood Studios and ended up coming up empty for Toy Story Mania. There were no more availabilities for us.
So our first change of plans came before we even left home and resulted in us deciding to rope drop Hollywood Studios so we can do the dash to Toy Story Mania and using our FastPass+ on Epcot. As we were driving down to Walt Disney World I had the idea to check FastPass+ for just one person rather than two and sure enough it showed an availability for Toy Story Mania. We both picked our FastPass+ individually and then went in and rescheduled each one so that our times overlapped. We were able to do this for Tower of Terror and Star Tours but not Toy Story Mania so this meant we would have to ride this attractions separately. This was not an issue for us but only having one availability throughout the day would become an issue for us. We had to take what was available as this put us as close as we could get to our original plan.
More and more doubt seemed to come over us the closer we got to Walt Disney World. Yes, we had 24 hours compared to the 17-18 hours other competitors had to complete 46 rides but we tacked on 4 more attractions and were attempting it in late May as crowds start to thicken from schools letting out for the summer. Plus, the more concerning issue was that we were attempting this on a day when two special events were taking place: Star Wars Weekend and Magic Kingdom’s 24 hour event.
The alarm goes off and the four of use make our way to the Great Ceremonial House of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to catch the monorail. We are early enough to stand in our first line of the day: the one waiting for the doors to open from the resort to the monorail station. Catching the first monorail and allows us a great starting position for Magic Kingdom’s rope drop but not a prime location for viewing Magic Kingdom’s special opening show for the 24 hour event but that is okay because we must keep our focus.
During the speed walk into the park, most went straight to Fantasyland and it seemed equal groups split left for Adventureland and right for Tomorrowland. We decided to go right and get Space Mountain and Astro Orbiter out of the way first thing. Later we question whether not going straight with the majority would end up being our undoing.
We’ve conquered 9 attractions and we are feeling good enough to stop by the Firehouse to pick up a pack of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards and to get buttons with #wdw50in24 on them which ended up taking about 20 minutes of our time but paid off in the end because the Cast Members volunteered to help us out and gave us 2 anytime FastPasses. We chose Peter Pan’s Flight and Kilimanjaro Safaris since Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was not an option. Looking back, I probably would have chosen Soarin’ as one of the two.
On our monorail ride to TTC we met 2 girls in our car that were racing against another duo to try to ride as many rides as they could in 24 hours. Then in the next monorail from TTC to Epcot the 4 of us rode in a car with another duo attempting to do all the rides in one day. What a fun, crazy coincidence! We exchanged social media contacts so we could keep in touch throughout the day and in the future.
We board the first flight of Soarin’, hit the single rider queue of Test Track, and take off on the orange mission of Mission Space. We decide to finish up the east side of Epcot by completing the near agonizingly long Ellen’s Energy Adventure and then head to the Mexico pavilion right as World Showcase opens to ride The Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros.
After completing our 14th attraction we were forced to leave Epcot before the park is completed because of the limited FastPass+ availabilities in Hollywood Studios. There were only 3 available times for Toy Story Mania when we made our changes and one of them was way too late so David had to take one in the early afternoon and I had to take the one at 12:20pm. This was the only time David and I really split up but this allowed us the opportunity to take shifts eating lunch.
We reunited and waited in one of the longest lines I have ever experienced at The Great Movie Ride all thanks to Star Wars Weekend. We used our FP+ on Star Tours, walked into Muppets, took advantage of single rider on Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and used our other FP+ on Tower of Terror. It was then David’s turn to ride Toy Story Mania and my turn to eat.
It took us around 4 hours to complete 6 attractions in Hollywood Studios but we were at 20 attractions and completed our first park.
We originally were going to go back to finish Epcot but decided to go ahead and knock out Animal Kingdom since it closed in 4 hours and Epcot was open until 1am (ideally we would be done way before then).We knocked out Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl fairly quickly and were able to nab a forth FP+ for Expedition Everest and even got to sit in the front! We escaped drench-ery on Kali River Rapids and use our anytime FP+ on Kilimanjaro Safaris and hit It’s Tough to Be a Bug on the way out of the park.
We wrapped up our second park and completed number 26. We were over halfway through our 24 hours and a little over halfway to our 50 attractions. We were a bit behind schedule considering the remaining travel time we had left since we had to go back to finish Epcot but were optimistic since the remaining attractions there were basically walk-ons.
We knocked out the four attractions we had to leave in Epcot earlier in the day and with 9 hours remaining we were waiting to board a monorail back to where it all started 15 hours earlier to finish the 20 remaining attractions in our #wdw50in24 challenge!
We received a text from our friends in Magic Kingdom that the park was getting packed and we started to worry. I was quite surprised and relieved to find ourselves fighting the crowds exiting as we were entering the park. This may have been due to the storm that was supposedly rolling in.
Cast members had the overflow entrance/exit open behind Main Street so we opted to avoid the Main Street crowds and head to Tomorrowland to continue with our list. Worry once again set in once we saw the crowds in Tomorrowland and we knew we had our work cut out for us.
We made it to the top of the escalators and were about to board the Tomorrowland Transit Authority and the line and the attractions suddenly stopped. About 5 minutes later Cast Members began directing us to the exit. It ate about 20 minutes of our time but paid off in the end because we were given and anytime/any attraction (some attractions excluded) FastPass.
We hoped to complete all of Tomorrowland while we were over there but the TTA was still not back up an running once we completed all of the other Tomorrowland attractions but the TTA and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor so we made our way to knock out some of the Fantasyland attractions and decided we would double back to check on the TTA later in the night. The lightning started to pick up which meant the outdoor attractions started to close. This naturally drove crowds to the indoor attractions which forced us to actually have to wait in line for It’s A Small World!
We realized earlier in the day that we should have done the Liberty Bell Riverboat first thing in the morning because it would close at night so once we heard the the Enchanted Tiki Room was also closed it was looking like the best we could do was 49 and we were currently at 39. We were disappointed but not deterred. At this point we had so many people following and encouraging us, we had to press on!
Everything seemed to be piling up against us and boy was I not happy with our 50 minute wait for Jungle Cruise. I posted to Facebook that our skipper better make it worth it and did he ever! BEST SKIPPER EVER! It was a blast and he help lift our spirits!
We knocked out all of the open attractions in Adventureland and made our way to Frontierland with only 10 attractions remaining!
We did make the mistake of not doing Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when we were in the Magic Kingdom in the Morning, thinking we could knock it out early the next morning but the large crowds maintained a wait of a least 90 minutes all night and we knew if we took the time to do that we would only hit about 45 attractions so we opted to leave it until the very end to see if the wait we let up toward the end of the 24 hours but unfortunately it had to close at 4:30am for daily maintenance before the next operating day so at this point we ended up deciding we were not going to do it as part of our 50 attractions…well, now 48.
So we called an audible and added Anna & Elsa Meeting and Greet to the list which was number 47. We had to make our way back to Tomorrowland with our fingers crossed that the TTA was back up and running and knock out it and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. We were thrilled to see the TTA circling Tomorrowland but opted to do the Laugh Floor first because we figured they would close it before they closed the TTA.
While on the TTA we found out The Enchanted Tiki Room had reopened so I literally ran to Adventureland in hopes that we could catch the last show and we walked out of the Tiki Room at 5:58am! 50 attractions in 24 hours!
We had a blast doing our #wdw50in24 challenge, made some friends along the way, and were blown away by the following and support we got from so many on social media. Many were fans of the idea of participating in some type of challenge like this and I know there will be more challenges like #wdw50in25 and 6 Parks 1 Day for David and myself. Based on the popularity of this one, who knows, maybe one day we can have a challenge open to multiple teams! Thank you to all who followed us and if you actually read this whole post! If you’d like to see the timeline of photos and videos from our #wdw50in24 challenge please visit me on Instagram @mousehost.
If I can make 50 attractions happen in 24 hours, just think would I could do with your trip? Take advantage of my complimentary planning services when you book your next Disney vacation through me. Send me a message through the contact page or call (314)494-9166 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!