But two Disney fans managed to accomplish this. In 2013, Shane Lindsay and Ted Tamburo, founders of the Disney parks blog, Parkeology, decided to try riding every ride at Walt Disney World in a single day as part of what’s now known as the “Parkeology Challenge.” The two failed their first attempt at the challenge due to inclement weather but managed to master it the following year in 2014.
Whether or not people can hit every ride in a single day depends on a lot of factors, the pair says. The hours of the park vary day-to-day, from 15 to 17 hours of operation. The number of rides open can vary as well as Disney places certain ones under refurbishment. On any given day, anywhere from 45 to 50 rides could be in operation (with a ride counting as anything when you’re riding a vehicle and is listed on the official Disney website). And the effort to do so is not for the faint of heart…the pair says they’ve had hundreds of people sign up to complete the challenge with only about 8 percent succeeding.
With those factors in mind, Lindsay and Tamburo say most people who complete the challenge finish in at least 17 hours. Many, if they try, can hit every ride in 18. The average time is about the same to finish all the rides at Disneyland. This is with the use of Disney’s FastPasses, but not with any other perk not available to the average park guest—though there’s a secret way to skip lines at Disney without a FastPass.
Looking to try the challenge or simply ride as many rides as possible during your Disney vacation? Lindsay and Tamburo have some tips.
Plan ahead. “You have to strategize wisely,” Lindsay says. This includes scheduling FastPasses ahead of time and big rides that otherwise would suck up most of your time.
Know the times for the rides. “They have to be aware of when rides open and close,” Lindsay advises.” The Main Street vehicles only open for a couple hours in the morning. That defines a lot of your plans.”
Split the parks. It may seem intuitive to tackle each park at once, but going back and forth between parks will actually help you minimize wait times and catch rides only open certain hours.
Show up early –– really early. “Disney will often unofficially open parks even earlier than stated times,” says Tamburo. “If you get there really, really early before opening time, there’s a good chance Disney will open the park early and you’ll be able to get on and off those rides before the theme park even opens.”
Join Disney's Mickey and Minnie for new surprises in the Magic Kingdom. Sign the Celebration Guest Book and meet the duo (in their new party outfits!) for a picture inside the Town Square Theater. Then join them outside in front of the castle for their new Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party.
The new outdoor dance parade features a new song called "It's a Good Time," and classic cast members like Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Chip 'n Dale and more.
Choreographer Cindy Wilson told the Disney Parks Blog, “The ‘Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It!’ Street Party is a throwback to the Mickey Mouse Club, with wonderful music that everybody’s going to want to get up and dance to, and it’s contemporary at the same time. I think when [the characters] all come off the floats, guests are going to want to just jump in.”
At the start of 2019, Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios transformed into a Municiberg city block. The park features a party for Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible and Frozone to honor their victories and a meet-and-greet with Edna Mode and her best creations. In addition, guests can look throughout Pixar Place for clues on where to find the youngest member of the Incredible family, Jack-Jack.
Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
Opening: March 31, 2019
Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy is a new show using high tech screens. Guests (rookie racers) will learn the rules of the road from "Cars" star Lightning McQueen. There will also be a new character meet-and-greet with Cruz Ramirez.
Wonderful World of Animation
Opening: May 1, 2019
The Wonderful World of Animation is a new projection light show that will take place at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The show will take guests on a journey through more than 90 years of Disney and Pixar animations with favorites including "The Incredibles," "Coco," "Sleeping Beauty" and more.
Epcot is opening a new space-themed restaurant called Space 220. According to Disney Food Blog, the restaurant will showcase simulate space views while guests sit in a restaurant modeled after a space station. It will seat more than 350 guests, those of which will be "transported" to the restaurant by elevators covered in digital screens that will mock a trip to space.
A job posting seeking staff for the restaurant lists April 2019 as when applicants can join the cast, so we can assume this restaurant will be open by summer.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Opening: Fall 2019
Both Disney World and Disneyland will be opening a Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The park is being made to look like the planet of Batuu, which is a remote outpost that was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes and is now a safe haven for those avoiding the First Order.
There will be two main attractions where guests can fly the Millennium Falcon and another that puts guests in a Star Destroyer in a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Other fun additions will include Luke Skywalker's blue milk, a marketplace and toys, apparel and characters like BB-8 and Chewbacca.
If you like taking the monorail into the parks, you'll want to check out the new Skyliner Gondolas. Similar to a lift you'd find at a ski resort, the gondolas will take guests through two parks, offering spectacular views.
For more on the Skyliner Gondola system, see here.
Disney's Riviera Resort
Opening: Fall 2019
The new Disney Riviera Resort hotel is inspired by the "grandeur of Europe." It will have transportation to the parks, a fitness center, a rooftop restaurant and wide range of room sizes.
The Riviera Pool, a family-friendly pool, will be decorated with stucco façades, a slide that winds around a column tower (pictured) and a kids interactive water play area that slightly mimics the public fountains of Europe.
For adults seeking peace and quiet, there's a separate area called the Beau Soleil Pool.
While there's no set opening date yet for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, their first ride attraction, it's set to open sometime this year. The ride will begin with guests viewing a new cartoon short with the mice getting ready for a picnic As Mickey and Minnie are leaving, they drive alongside a train where they see that Goofy is the engineer and the ride takes off from there.
There isn't a whole lot of additional information, but according to the Disney Parks Blog, "Imagineers have been hard at work creating Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, using breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience."
Opening: Fall 2019
Epcot's famous IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime lights and fireworks show is sadly ending at the end of Summer 2019, but will be temporarily replaced with a show called Epcot Forever. The new show will feature classic Epcot tunes, combining music with fireworks, lighting, lasers and special effects kites.
Then, keep an eye out, because in 2020 Disney is gearing up to replace Epcot Forever with a new nighttime show called A Celebration of Disney Music with floating set pieces, custom-LED panels, fountains, lights, fire and lasers.