This article is your complete guide to figuring out which Disney World park is best 2023! Of course, each of the Walt Disney World parks have their attractions, shows, restaurants and features that make them exciting and worth the visit. With that being said, you might have figured out that it is a lot to pack into one vacation, and you’ll need multiple days or even multiple trips to do it all! That means having to prioritize which Disney World park is best for your trip.
Magic Kingdom holds a special place in our hearts as the best Disney World park. Its nostalgic rides, captivating parades, and spectacular shows make it truly unbeatable. However, our rankings for the best Disney World parks in 2023 go beyond sentimentality. Join us as we explore the various reasons that have influenced our choices. So, let’s delve into the captivating world of Disney and discover which Disney World parks are best in 2023.
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So, if you’re planning to visit Walt Disney World and only have time for one or two parks, we hope that this guide is helpful.
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Right off the bat, if you’re going for magic, nostalgia, overall number of attractions and experiences, Magic Kingdom wins hands down for the best Disney park no matter who you ask. There is actually a great debate on the best Disney park, especially because the four of them are so different with attractions, shows and dining opportunities for everyone. That’s why we know it is important to share our reasonings for our rankings with all four parks, because every family has different interests and what is important to them. Some families might also want to break down the best Disney World parks even further into the Best Disney parks based on age group!
So, when determining which is the best Disney park, we are going to outline each of the features of the park so you can form your own opinion. We understand that the ages of kiddos, first timers, special interests and dining preferences can influence guests on what parks they like, so we are going to try and share it all. By highlighting the best Disney World park, we hope it will help you plan your next vacation, and make it easier when deciding where you should prioritize.
As a general rule of thumb, we find Animal Kingdom to be the best park when only visiting Disney for one day. However this is based solely on the fact that Animal Kingdom will allow guests to get on the all of the rides within the park within the one day, especially when avoiding upgrading to purchase the Disney Genie+.
For a one-day immersive experience that combines nature, adventure, and thrilling attractions, Animal Kingdom stands out as the best choice among the Disney World parks. Visitors can embark on a safari adventure, encounter exotic animals, and experience top-tier attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest. Additionally, while Dinoland USA is set to close to pave the way for future attractions, guests can currently revel in captivating performances such as the “Festival of the Lion King” and “The Big Blue Beyond Nemo Show”. Lacking a nighttime spectacle, Animal Kingdom allows for a full yet manageable day of exploration. For those wondering which Disney World park is best for a single day of adventure and awe, Animal Kingdom truly offers a distinctive and unforgettable experience.
Guests who are simply looking for feeling of nostalgia and Disney Magic might be better visiting Magic Kingdom. The main reason is Magic Kingdom park is what many families picture when they think of Walt Disney World. However as you’ll see as we continue to rank the Disney World parks below there are so many different factors to consider within all four of the Disney World parks.
When determining the best Disney World parks for ride enthusiasts, Magic Kingdom stands out from the rest. Boasting a total of 25 attractions, it surpasses the ride count of its nearest competitor, Hollywood Studios, which offers 20 rides. Beyond sheer numbers, Magic Kingdom is celebrated for housing many of Disney’s most iconic and classic attractions. For visitors wondering which Disney World park is best for a comprehensive ride experience, Magic Kingdom is typically the top recommendation, especially if you’re considering investing in the Disney Genie+ for ride prioritization. So, when it comes to selecting the best Disney World park for rides, Magic Kingdom holds a special place.
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Coming in at last on our list for the best Disney World parks is Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios opened at Disney World in 1989 and celebrates all things having to do with film, television, music, theater and is heavily inspired from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Guests have been delighted with the opening of the newer lands like Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which have both brought exciting and immersive attractions.
Hollywood Studios comes in at the last park, because it does tend to be the park that is the most difficult for families. Since many of the attractions have become extremely popular, like Rise of the Resistance, Tower and Terror and Slinky Dog Dash, lines at Hollywood Studios have become very long, even in the slow season. Hollywood Studios is definitely one of the busiest Disney World parks and requires a lot of strategic planning to get many of the attractions done.
For that reason, we think this is a hard park to do with kids under the age of 10, especially because many of the attractions are geared more toward tweens, teens and adults. Even with that being said, if you aren’t a Star Wars fan we find that many of the main attractions aren’t worth the extreme waits for casual Disney fans. Coming from a Star Wars lover, it is not worth it to wait more then 2 hours in any line for any of the attractions.
That’s why we will always say that Hollywood Studios is the best Disney park for kids in their teens!
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While we absolutely love Animal Kingdom and find it to be one of the most enjoyable parks to visit in Walt Disney World, if we were recommending Disney parks to first timers, we might not pick it. Animal Kingdom hasn’t seen anything that exciting since Pandora: World of Avatar opened in 2016. As we’ve seen at the D23 Expo, there is a lot of work to be done to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with the closure of Dinoland USA to allow for future “Tropical Americas” land.
With all of that being said, we think Animal Kingdom has the best dining out of all four parks and our favorite theme of all four parks at WDW. In that regard, Animal Kingdom is the best park at Disney World for dining, hands down. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest Disney park coming in at 500-acres and is completely devoted to educating the public about conservation and wildlife. So if you want an inspiring theme park experience with over 1700 animal total, Animal Kingdom might be the best Disney park.
There is currently no night time show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
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EPCOT has got to be the Walt Disney World park that has the most changes coming to it, rapidly climbing the ranks of the best Disney World park. This park was dreamed up by Walt Disney himself as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which unfortunately wasn’t built before his death. EPCOT celebrates human innovation, technology and culture serving as a permanent world’s fair for guests to visit.
EPCOT now has four distinct neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery and the World Showcase. The World Showcase is home to miniature pavilions that represent 11 different countries with shops, food, merchandise and even cultural representatives to make you feel like you’re briefly visiting that country. The best part of EPCOT and why we think it should be at the top of your list to visit are the international festivals.
If you are a foodie or want to sample recipes inspired from countries from all over the world, you have to visit during one of the international festival. We love going during festival season to get ahold of exclusive merchandise and food offerings which are created specially for each festival.
These festivals are perfect for those Disney adults looking to celebrate with food and drink!
While the nighttime spectacular featured at EPCOT was the 50th Anniversary Celebration show Harmonious – the final performance was in April 2023, when the anniversary came to an end. Now, guests can enjoy EPCOT Forever until a brand new unnamed show debuts this fall on the World Showcase Lagoon. If you are visiting later in 2023, Disney announced that a brand new Nighttime Spectacular will be debuting called Luminous.
Another popular question we receive on this topic is, is EPCOT a full day park? And as a general rule of thumb EPCOT is now once again a full day park. This is largely due to the opening of two new Disney World attractions including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. Many guests will find that the simple fact that Guardians of the Galaxy is now using the Disney World virtual Queue system make it difficult to leave this park even if they did plan to park hop over to one of the other Disney World parks.
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Coming in at number one is the original 1971 Walt Disney World park, Magic Kingdom! Home to the most magical castle on Earth and some of the most classic attractions in theme parks. Magic Kingdom is such a special park, housing the coveted Main Street Parades like Festival of the Fantasy and being the home to Happily Ever After, which returned in April 2023.
When considering the best park at Disney World, Magic Kingdom often takes the crown. In addition to rejuvenating its classic attractions, Magic Kingdom proudly introduced one of the most exhilarating rides from Shanghai Disney: the Tron Lightcycle Run. Catering to every family member, this park boasts numerous attractions without height requirements for younger guests and thrilling rides for adrenaline seekers. A vast array of snacks and affordable quick-service food options make it an excellent choice, especially if you’re with a large group or have picky eaters.
Furthermore, unique ticketed events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party grace the park on select nights, offering exclusive benefits. Whether you aim to trick or treat within its realms, dine inside Beast’s Castle, or soar on the iconic Flying Dumbo attraction, many agree that Magic Kingdom stands as the Disney World best park. So, if you’re pondering about the best park in Disney World, Magic Kingdom consistently emerges as a top contender.
Due to popular demand, Happily Ever After has returned to the Magic Kingdom in April 2023. Bringing back Happily Ever After truly solidified Magic Kingdom as the best park in Disney World! As Annual Passholders going for over 20 years, there is no other nighttime show at Disney like Happily Ever After and we are so happy for it’s return!
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Personally, we think that the best Disney World water park is Blizzard Beach, which is in the Animal Kingdom area. Blizzard Beach’s theme is super creative being in Central Florida, with it being a Ski Resort turned water park. The attractions at Blizzard Beach make it the best water park in Disney over Typhoon Lagoon, like Summit Plummet, which is the world’s tallest free-falling slide.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach also just got renovated in 2022, where Imagineers added elements from Frozen. If you have little ones, or if you’re a Frozen fan yourself, you’re going to love the adorable new theme. Typhoon Lagoon is closed for refurbishment as of early 2023, so once it’s completed it could then be also considered for Disney best water park.
You can see our whole opinion on why we think Blizzard Beach is the best water park in Disney here.
When determining which Disney park is best, we think it will be important to compare the individual parks to each other. This is especially important if you only have a few days in the parks and are really weighing which one or two parks to pick down to the fine details.
If you’re wondering which Disney park is best between Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, it is going to rely heavily on your interests. If you’re more of a movie person, like Star Wars or Pixar, we would highly recommend heading over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are also more thrill attractions for those traveling with older kids or adults in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Personally, if we were to pick the best Disney park, we would choose Animal Kingdom over Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom feels more cohesive and we love how many different animal viewing trails there are to break up the busy day. If you take your time to do all of the attractions in Animal Kingdom, you’ll have a full day with the lowest crowds of all four parks. What isn’t there to love!
If you’re going on pure Disney magic and that fuzzy nostalgia, we would always recommend guests go to Magic Kingdom over Animal Kingdom. Overall there are many more attractions, an amazing nighttime spectacular and even incredible parades throughout the day to see all of your Disney favorites. There are also a ton of Disney character meet and greets, which is perfect for any Disney fan old or small.
The Magic Kingdom has all of the major icons that surround Walt Disney World, like Cinderella Castle, Main Street, U.S.A. and other classic features. It is, of course, the original Walt Disney World park, with just a special sprinkle of pixie dust.
Magic Kingdom vs EPCOT is a little more difficult to come up with a clear winner because this will seriously depend on the party you’re traveling with. If you are with mainly adults, we would recommend going to EPCOT, as there are usually a lot more events to enjoy throughout the day for those without kids. If you have kiddos and are wanting to do a lot of attractions that do not have a height requirement, you’re going to want to go with Magic Kingdom.
While Magic Kingdom is ranked number one on our list, we typically like to head to EPCOT more, as the seasonal festivals always offer something new and exciting to do.
Magic Kingdom is definitely the better park when it comes to food, attractions, character meet and greets and entertainment over Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios has become more a half day park, unless you are a major Star Wars fan and want to spend plenty of extra time doing galactic activities. Magic Kingdom is more versatile for the ages of those in your party, where there isn’t an abundance of attractions for those under 10.
If you’re looking for the best Disney park between EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios, we would have to say EPCOT has the edge. Hollywood Studios used to be the park with the newest and most exciting attractions, but we would have to say that EPCOT has now taken that place with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
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A: The best Disney park is Magic Kingdom out of all four parks. That is for so many reasons, mostly is that you will absolutely feel the pixie dust all day as you’re visiting the the original Walt Disney World park. There are the most attractions for guests to enjoy, as well as the iconic Cinderella Castle with the incredible night time fireworks show.
A: The best Disney park for teens is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are the most attractions centered for kids between the ages of 12-27 as there are themes like Star Wars, Toy Story and Indiana Jones. Most teens really enjoy attractions like Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Tours.
A; As a general rule of thumb we find EPCOT to be the best park for adults visiting Disney World and Animal Kingdom to be the better park for guests who enjoy animals and live stage shows. We do find that EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are great parks to consider combining when you plan to park hop at Walt Disney World. With the main reason being is Animal Kingdom will typically close earlier in the evening which will allow guests to hop over to EPCOT to enjoy World Showcase and the fireworks show at night which typically is held at 9:00 PM.
A; We typically recommend to visit Animal Kingdom park when trying to pick the quickest Disney World park to visit within one day. The main reason is Animal Kingdom does not have as many high ticket attractions as the other three Disney theme parks and it also closes the earliest out of all of the Disney theme parks.
A: Personally, we think that the best Disney park for toddlers is Magic Kingdom, which has the most attractions with no height requirements. There are also the most character meet and greets, parades and overall entertainment for little ones.
A: The three best Disney World parks are: #1 – Magic Kingdom, #2 – EPCOT, #3 – Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, Hollywood Studios comes in at fourth on our list because it is very busy with long lines and better suited for teens.
A: If you are visiting Disney World for the first time, we think that Magic Kingdom is the best Disney park for that. First timers will truly feel the magic seeing Cinderella Castle, and we don’t think there is any other Disney park with that factor. Magic Kingdom is the perfect starter park and will leave newbies wanting to try the other three too!
Our Disney World Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.
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