24 hours in Disney approaches!

On Memorial Day weekend, Disney fans will get the chance to do something truly unique.  On May 22nd at 6am, Disney will open their gates.  They won’t close again until May 23rd at 6am!  If you’re planning to be there during this time, what can you expect?  Is it worth it to go to Disney World for 24 hours?  And finally, what are some tips that you can use to ensure that you have a great time, and don’t tire out!

24 hour disney

Crowd Levels

There will be a lot of crazy Disney fans at the front gate at 6am. If you can’t get there  by 5am, expect to wait in line for awhile when the gates open, as everyone will need to scan in at the front.  The scanning process takes longer than it used to, so relax and pace yourself.

Once you get through, crowd levels will be quite low.  In the first 2-3 hours, you’ll be able to ride anything you want to, with very little wait.  The Mine Train will likely garner the most attention, but wait times shouldn’t be awful on any ride this early in the morning.

As the day progresses, however, things will change QUICKLY.  Memorial Day weekend is HUGE for crowd levels and Friday the 22nd will be unbelievably busy.  Starting at about 11AM-Noon, heavy crowds will arrive, and will stay there until around 10-11 pm.

Despite the fact that Disney advertises the 24 hours, very few people will actually make it all 24 hours.  Many though, will try, and so you may find higher than normal crowd levels from 11pm to about 1 or 2.  But over the last 3-4 hours, you’ll have plenty of time to ride anything and everything you want to, as crowd levels will be very low (and you’ll be very tired!)

magic kingdom 24 hours

Tips for your 24 hour day

Our first tip is simple:  Don’t stress over anything!  You have 24 hours.  If a ride is too busy, move on.  You’ll have the chance to ride anything you want.   So keep the stress levels low and move at a relaxing pace all day.  We won’t even bother giving you a touring plan because crowd levels for the first 3 hours and the final 6 hours will be so low, that you’ll be able to ride anything you want.  Do what makes sense for you.

Fastpasses – Try and plan this trip in advance and get your fastpasses for the middle of the day.  Anytime in the 1pm-7pm range is ideal.  Wait times will be ridiculous during this time, so try and take advantage with fastpasses.

Downtime – Ensure that you get proper downtime.  The Magic Kingdom is full of great breakfasts, incredible snacks, and nice restaurants. Take advantage of them.  Get off your feet, eat some good food, and do some crowd-watching

Be smart from noon-7pm – If you have small kids and are trying to tackle a 24 hour trip, you are likely destined to fail.  Be smart and get them back to the hotel to take naps.  This period in the middle of the day is HOT, CROWDED and rather miserable.  So lets discuss how you can make this midday time period more enjoyable.

Midday Tips

If you don’t have kids and are determined to be INSIDE THE GATES for 24 straight hours, there are a couple things you can do during this busy and hot period:

  • Book a table-service restaurant and take an extended lunch.  Take as much time as you need and enjoy yourself!
  • Go on attractions that you normally wouldn’t, and that are air-conditioned!  I can think of four great ones right off the top of my head:  Hall of Presidents, Tiki Room, Carousel of Progress, and..yes..even the Country Bear Jamboree.  Are these rides any good?  Eh, not really.  But they are nostalgic, they are INSIDE, and the lines won’t be all that long.  Plus, if you’re going to be in Disney World for 24 hours, wouldn’t you like to say that you did EVERYTHING?
  • Ride the Peoplemover and the Walt Disney Railroad
  • As previously mentioned, try and schedule fastpasses for the noon-7pm range.
  • If you’ve exhausted these options, spend some time in the gift shops, get a haircut, or just sit in the shade, eat a cold Dole Whip and enjoy being in the Magic Kingdom!
24 hour disney

A ride on the Walt Disney Railroad is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon!

After Midnight

You will probably be exhausted by midnight, but you’ll soon get a second wind.  For me, nothing is more enjoyable than the Magic Kingdom after midnight.  But that second wind will crumble by around 3AM, and you’ll be absolutely wiped out.  What are our tips for the last few hours?

Thrill Rides, ice cream, thrill rides.  Honestly, not many people are going to make it past 3am, so you’ll have the park to yourself.  Try and ride Space Mountain 10 times in a row.  Or Thunder Mountain.  Or even Mine Train.  Eat huge ice cream sundaes.  Drink huge glasses of caffeine.  Just don’t blow it and turn in early if you’ve made it this far!


Have you ever made it 24 hours straight?  If so, give us your stories below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *