The One More Disney Day Survival Guide

As we all know, tomorrow is leap day, aka “One More Disney Day,” where Magic Kingdom at Disney World and Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA will be open for 24 hours straight. That’s 24 straight hours of guests boarding Space Mountain, getting spooked in The Haunted Mansion, and humming the Small World theme song because they got it stuck in their heads.

If you’re planning on joining the brave (and slightly insane) who plan on going into the park from 6 AM to 6 AM, I’ve made a “One More Disney Day Survival Guide.” Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your 24 hours at Disney World or Disneyland.


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Survival Tip 1: Get your caffeine fix without breaking the bank.


Market-House-Disneyland
Well known among undergrads or screenwriters working up against a deadline, coffee is your friend when it comes to pulling an all-nighter. If you want to be inside Disney World or Disneyland for 24 hours straight, you’re going to need to rely on some caffeine to get you through the day. Here are a couple of ways to get your energy boost while at the park.

For Disneyland: You can get coffee all day for the price of one cup. Main Street’s Market House gives free refills on coffee. They’ve been doing so since 1955, and they’re the only place at Disneyland that does this. Just be sure to save your receipt, and you’ll be sipping on free refills throughout the rest of your One More Disney Day.

For Disney World: Guests at Magic Kingdom aren’t as lucky as their Disneyland counterparts here. My suggestion would be to bring some Starbucks Via packets with you. They’re light to carry around, and they’re bound to be cheaper (and possibly better tasting) than what Disney World has to offer. Just go to any counter service restaurant and ask for a free cup of hot water to pour your via packets in.

Survival Tip 2: Use Your Smartphone to Stay Ahead of the Crowds.

Disney-World-iPhone-App

While Magic Kingdom is not expected to be as jam packed as Disneyland on Feb 29th, but it will still be a crowded day in both parks. Use smartphone apps like Lines, Mousewait (for Disneyland only), or Disney’s official Disney Parks Mobile Magic app. Each app will tell you the wait times and Fastpass availability for each ride at the parks, which could save you time by showing you which rides have short lines at that moment. Disney’s official app has the advantage of being hooked into Disney’s system, while Lines and Mousewait relies on other guests reporting the times. The crowds could mean many users for those two apps, which should help with accurate reporting. However, crowds will also mean it will test each application’s servers. It may be a smart idea to have more than one of them, in case any app stops responding.

Survival Tip 3: Don’t let your phone run out of battery.

iPhone-Low-Battery

While my iPhone can typically get me through a day at Disneyland or Disney World, I’m not usually spending 24 hours in the park. In fact, especially if you’re using apps and taking pictures and video, your phone is bound to run out of juice. If your phone has a removable battery, be sure to bring a spare. If you have an iPhone or another phone without a removable batter, be sure to bring your charger and look out for a plug. Disneyland has charging lockers for $2 an hour at Main Street. However, it might be a good investment to get an external battery, like a Mophie Juice Pack or Energizer’s External Battery Power Packs. They plug into your phone and will often provide another few hours worth of battery. Head to your local Target, Best Buy, or Apple Store today and pick one of these up. They may save you a big headache.

Survival Tip 4: If your phone runs out of battery, have a back up plan.

Sword-In-The-Stone-Magic-Kingdom

If you’re with a group, it can get easy to get separated from them, especially on crowded days. It’s not a big deal if your phone’s working, but if it’s 3 AM and you have no way of communicating with your group, it’s going to be a long rest of the night. Come up with a landmark that your group will meet at if anyone gets separated, like by the Splash Mountain photo shop, by the Liberty Bell in Liberty Square, or by the Sword in the Stone by the carousel in Fantasyland. A little planning can save your day.

Survival Tip 5: Pack light.

Carry as little as possible with you throughout the day. If you’re lugging a big heavy bag all day, you’re bound to get tired. Figure out what is essential for you, and then only bring that. For some, that will mean just a light jacket to wear in the evening and their park pass. For others, that will mean a DSLR, 4 lenses, and a tripod so they can capture the sunrise over the castle. It’s really all about the experience you want to have that day.

Survival Tip 6: Take a break during the middle of the day.

Disneyland-Lobster-Nachos-Cove
Let’s be honest. The really special part about One More Disney Day is right when it opens at 6 AM and being in the park from midnight until 6 AM. You’ve probably already experienced Magic Kingdom or Disneyland during the daytime. You’ll probably want to get as much done as you can in the morning, when lines are bound to be better, and then relax midday. For Magic Kingdom, maybe take a nap in the Hall of Presidents or have a nice long lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern. For Disneyland, maybe walk to the less crowded California Adventure and get some Lobster Nachos (pictured above) at the Cove Bar, or head to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland hotel. With all the locals, Disneyland may get to capacity during the evening. (Magic Kingdom is not expected to have this problem, but its a much bigger park). If you leave the park to get away from the crowds, make sure you don’t wait too long to get back into Disneyland.

Bonus Tip: Take advantage of the special events.

OK, this one has less to do with survival and more to do with fun. Both Disneyland and Disney World are holding special events for their guests throughout February 29th. Here’s a rundown of what’s going on.

Disneyland

  • Commemorative ear hats for the first 2,000 guests at the park at 6 AM
  • Special dining offerings at select dining locations. From 11 AM – midnight, French Market will serve Shrimp Pasta with red beans and rice. Blue Bayou will have roasted shrimp stuffed with Dungeness crab mousse and angel hair pasta from 4 PM to 3 AM. For the rest of the special dining options, check out Disney Parks Blog
  • Dance party at Tomorrowland Terrace from 8:30 – 4 AM.
  • An additional showing of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at 10 PM.
  • Fantasmic at 1 AM.
  • Character meet and greets throughout the park, such as Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland.

Disney World

  • Two performances of Main Street Electrical Parade at 10 PM and midnight.
  • The Magic, Memories, and You at 7:45, 9 PM, 11 PM, and 5:30 AM.
  • Dance the Night Away Party at Cinderella Castle from 1 AM – 5:30 AM.
  • Frontierland Hoedown near Country Bear Jamboree at 2:45 AM, 3:30 AM, and 4:30 AM.
  • Character meet and greets throughout the park, such as Mickey and Minnie in pajamas.

Well, that about wraps it up for my survival guide tips. If you’re heading into the parks on the 29th, I wish you the best of luck. If you have any stories, pictures, or thoughts, email me at jamesg@guide2wdw.com

Have fun, stay awake, and be sure to have a great One More Disney Day!

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney World and Disney-related posts and articles.

James

About James

James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours. James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.