First of all, congratulations on having an extra day on your itinerary! Bonus days at Disney are like hitting gold.
So what do you do with your extra day?
Whew. That is a loaded question.
Our first recommendation is usually to turn a bonus day into a rest day; trust us, the more recharged you feel at Disney, the happier everyone in your group is!
We always suggest rest days that can include resort hopping, exploring areas like the BoardWalk or Disney Springs, or doing non-park activities at the resorts like hitting the pool, golfing, horseback riding, and (so many!) others.
But if you’re feeling recharged and ready for another park day, let’s help you pick which park!
We’ll start by narrowing down which group aligns the best with yours:
1) Toddlers? → Magic Kingdom!
2) Star Wars lovers or older children/teens? → Hollywood Studios!
3) Adults who love to eat, drink, or try new things? → EPCOT!
4) Animal-loving kids (or adults!)? → Animal Kingdom!
Do none of these strike a chord?
Are you traveling with a more mixed-age group?
Do you need a little more help making a decision?
Here are each park’s biggest highlights so you can decide which one to revisit.
A day in MK is always wonderful and often most associated with the classic “magical” Disney vacation you probably envisioned for your group.
It’s a great pick for those with little ones in your group, partly due to the less restrictive height requirements and because there is plenty to do outside of rides (photo ops, parades, etc.) to fill in time.
We’re huge fans of a second day at MK, followed by dinner at one of the monorail resorts.
Our favorites are Steakhouse 71 and California Grill, both located at the Contemporary!
This one is an easy (and excellent!) choice for adults or parents of older/adventurous/easily entertained kids who love taking a stroll around the World Showcase.
Some kids even say that EPCOT is their favorite park, and we get it. There are plenty of exhibits and things for them to do and see here versus Hollywood Studios (which has many height requirements and isn’t always a great fit for kids who are more ride-hesitant).
Truthfully, EPCOT is a huge park bursting with tons of detail and incredible food, so two days of touring is normally the minimum we recommend.
Having a second day allows you to take it really easy, which is a nice change of pace from the usual intensity of Disney Park touring.
Plus, with a solid strategy, you can get through two days at EPCOT without paying extra for Genie+!
With as many headlining attractions as it has, Hollywood Studios can be a tough park to tour without proficient use of Genie+ and more than a little patience and strategy.
It can be hard to fit everything you want to do in one day as it is, so a second day to catch whichever attractions you missed the first time can be extremely helpful.
Hollywood Studios also makes a solid case as an extra park day for those who consider themselves Star Wars diehards or anyone who especially enjoys rides of the more thrilling, hair-lifting variety.
Older kids and teenagers tend to appreciate this park more for those same reasons.
Add in some epic stage shows, and you’ve got a great second visit in the making.
For a well-rounded day, visit one of the several wonderfully (kid-friendly!) themed bars like Baseline Taphouse or Oga’s Cantina.
We don’t even consider ourselves Star Wars fans, yet we believe visiting Oga’s is a must-do!
Animal Kingdom normally falls low on our “second-day” park list.
Don’t get us wrong! It’s an amazing park.
But there are fewer attractions here than in the other parks. We also feel that many of the “extra” park details – such as the animal exhibits – can also be found at a good zoo.
However, if you have dino-lovers or animal-obsessed kiddos in your group, Animal Kingdom may be your best choice for an extra day!
The Maharajah Jungle Trek and Gorilla Falls Exploration Trails are two examples of the beautiful, meandering, and relaxing strolls you can take to see the animals.
You could choose to mix up your safari experience, too! Go early on one day, and save the second park day for an evening safari.
Both experiences will be different, as the animals are more active later in the day!
Note: Check the times for Kilimanjaro Safari in your MDE app. Animal Kingdom closes earliest of all the parks, and the last Safari times fluctuate.
Maybe you’re done with the parks but are looking for good shopping in a laid-back environment. Skip the cluster that is The Emporium on Main Street USA! The shops at the front of Animal Kingdom are some of our favorites.
Or maybe you
’re a major Avatar fan and (Is there even such a thing as an Avatar diehard…) want to re-ride Flight of Passage?
Devote your Early Entry (like, really early; AK opening hours aren’t for the faint of heart!) or Rope Drop to hit those headliners before dipping out of the park for breakfast at Boma (located at Animal Kingdom Lodge and an absolute must, IMHO!).
Did these highlights help you pick, or did they just confuse you more? 😅
Picking what to do with your extra day is a hard decision! It’s also highly personal, but you know your group best.
Side note: We love our VIP Facebook Group for discussions like these. Get firsthand feedback and advice from hundreds of other VIP Wish Upon a Planners working out the kinks in planning their next Disney trip – just like you are!