Disney Around the World 2016: My Quest to Visit Every Disney Park in 1 Year!

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Disney Around the World 2016
Baby Ellie enjoying her first birthday at Disneyland Paris. March 2016.

Disney Around the World 2016

I am generally a very shy person and don’t go around proclaiming myself to be things. With that said, I think I have genuinely earned my place as a family travel expert. My wife and I have traveled to close to 55 countries with our son, I have personally been to almost 80 countries and even our infant daughter has been to 5. We love to travel and love to do it with our kids.

For me travel is more than simply visiting the tourist sites of a city or going to an amusement park. It is more than getting off a cruise ship for a day in a port or seeing a city in a whirlwind 24 hour layover. It is actually ALL OF THOSE things and much more. I love quick trips, long term backpacking adventures, spending time at amusement parks and even going on cruises. I guess I am crazy like that.

Doing Every Resort & Theme Park

Which brings me to the point of this post. I am going to visit every single Disney park in the world this year. Why? Because I want to. Actually, I’ll explain that in a bit, but to recap here is a list of Disney Resorts around the world:

  • Disneyland Resort (2 parks)
  • Walt Disney World Resort (4 parks)
  • Tokyo Disney Resort (2 parks)
  • Disneyland Paris Resort (2 parks)
  • Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (1 park)
  • Shanghai Disneyland Resort (1 park opening soon)

With the exception of Shanghai Disneyland which isn’t open, I have actually been to every single Disney resort at least twice. I grew up an hour from Disneyland and that love of the magic stayed with me. I know it isn’t for everyone, but I love it. I definitely don’t think it should be the only travel experience people have, but it can be a great local experience at some of the foreign parks as well.

Disney Around the World 2016
Our first visit to Tokyo Disneyland. September, 2008.

My Disney Around the World 2016 Plan

So this plan actually came about because I realized I had plans to visit almost every Disney resort city this year. With a few tweaks to my plans (and a few miles & points), I decided I could visit all of them. In fact, I have already visited two resorts in 2016 with four more to go!

Parks Visited Already in 2016

Disneyland Paris: We visited during Spring Break in March. Baby Ellie actually celebrated her 1st birthday at the parks. It was a great time.

Walt Disney World: This past week after speaking at Family Travel for Real Life, I visited all four of the theme parks at Walt Disney World in one day! (Post to come soon on that.)

Disney Around the World 2016
Ellie enjoyed her first visit to Epcot and Spaceship Earth. March, 2016.

Parks Left toΒ Visit in 2016 & Plans

Disneyland Resort: I have no firm plans yet as to when I will visit the Disneyland Resort in 2016. I live only 3 1/2 hours away by car, so I can go down any time. This will be the easiest one to get to and probably the one I save for last. I have been to Disneyland dozens of times before.

Shanghai Disneyland: This park opens in June and I have plans to visit with some friends in October. I am super excited to visit this one. It looks fantastic. This will obviously be my first visit.

Hong Kong Disneyland: I will be in Hong Kong shortly before Shanghai on a trip with my dad. I plan to drag him along and make him ride It’s A Small World. The price he pays for getting to ride Cathay Pacific First Class on the way over. This will be my 4th visit to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Tokyo Disney Resort: This is the one city and resort I had no firm plans to visit for the year, but that won’t stop me. Come on. Do you really need an excuse to visit Tokyo and Japan? I don’t think so. I have been to Tokyo Disney twice before and am most looking forward to visiting DisneySea for a third time!

Disney Around the World 2016
It’s A Small World Hong Kong Disneyland 2013. Nothing goes better than Cathay F and HK Disney. (And jetlag)

Travel Hacking Disney

While Disney Around the World 2016 will be a fun way to share my experiences with you guys, I also want to make this useful for travel hackers. I can’t promise any life changing information, but I plan to share the ways I save money and the tricks I use when visiting. I think this information will be useful, especially for the International parks.

Conclusion

So there you have it. I am going to visit every single Disney park around the world in 2016 and share with you the tips and tricks to make it cheaper and better. So far I have six parks down and six more to go. (Look for posts coming soon on Paris and Orlando.) It is going to be a fun year and one I plan to enjoy tremendously.

What is your favorite of the Disney theme parks and why? Please let us know in the comments!


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27 COMMENTS

    • Actually the international parks aren’t terrible considering the strong dollar. For example, in Paris I bought our tickets on a UK based site that sold a 1 day park hopper for the equivalent of $61 USD. My last visit to Hong Kong Disneyland cost me about $50 USD and even a Tokyo Disney two day ticket (needed to go to both parks) is only $62 USD per day. We are getting killed at the U.S. parks pricewise, but Disney provided me two free tickets for my one day at Disney World and perhaps the same will happen at Disneyland, but I’ll visit any way. Truthfully the international parks are like half of the price right now.

    • Yeah it isn’t a truly unique thing, although this year with six resorts it is a bit (tiny bit) tougher. It surprises me how many Disney fans in the U.S. never visit the international parks. So what is your favorite park/resort?

  1. I hit 3 parks last year (DLP, WDW, and Disneyland). Which was nothing compared to the guy that hit all 5 parks in 75 hours. I blogged it recently but won’t be presumptuous and post the link here. Dude is totally one of us. πŸ˜‰

  2. In Jan we went to WDW and hit 3 of their ‘resorts’, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Epcot. A bunch of years ago we did hit all the ‘resorts’ or parks at WDW. We live in LA and my partner works for the Mouse so we’ve already been to DL a few times already this year. Later in Nov we’ll be in HKG and are planning a stop for a few hours to see HKDL. We lived in London so we did get to DlP and loved it!

    I’m sure, in time, I’ll eventually get to the other 2 parks in Asia.

  3. I’ve been thinking about doing tokyo or HK Disney with the family but wasn’t sure how that would go over with the little ones and the language. From your past trips can you describe some of the issues with the language at the Disney parks? Are there English speaking employees/signs etc? Are the shows and songs all in Japanese/Chinese?

    • As Dia said English is spoken by most employees and pretty much all signs are in both the home language and English. In Hong Kong most everything is in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Even the Jungle Cruise has sailings for each language as do shows like Stitch Live. You definitely won’t have any issues and if you love Disney then you NEED to visit DisneySea in Tokyo. It blows every other theme park in the world out of the water theme wise.

  4. I’m looking forward to visiting all the parks when I’m more financially sound. Already got both Anaheim and Orlando down. Planning on the HK or SH one next year! I’m definitely going space them out as opposed to try to get some record down.

    Actually I came here to comment that my Google Chrome seems to think your site is unsafe (multiple occasions). Out of all the boardingarea blogs, this one tends to give me the most trouble. Hoping you can fix that so other aren’t as paranoid like me.

  5. I’ve only been to WDW, Hong Kong Disney, and Tokyo Disney and of the three parks, my favorite is DisneySea in Tokyo!!! Have a great time! I’m most curious about Shanghai Disney. BTW, is Shijinshan amusement park in Beijing still open? It’s the one that creepily looks like a Disney theme park but not.

  6. OMG. I am such a huge Disney fan and I think this sounds like an amazing year. I look forward to reading about your trips and seeing your pictures. Plus, how many kids can say that they went to all the Disney parks in 1 year??

  7. Wait! You forgot about the DisneyWorld water parks! (I think there are two of them in Orlando. I forget about them myself!)

    And the Disney cruise ship (it’s kinda like a theme park)!

    See, an excuse to come back to Orlando πŸ™‚

  8. This is great! I’ve never done it in one year before, but am in year 2 of a 3-year plan to see all the Disney Parks. I live near WDW, visited Tokyo and DLR last year, will see Paris in October, and plan to go to Hong Kong and Shanghai next year. (And, oh, what the heck, Tokyo Disney Resort is just a few Avios away at that point…)

  9. Thanks for this, Shawn. Your blog is one of my favorites, and you’ve given me tons of invaluable travel advice. Seeing as how the wifey and I have plans to tour all of the Asian parks with the kids sometime in the next few years (almost certainly all in one trip), I am eagerly looking forward to any sort of advice you could impart in terms of saving money and/or “hacking” Disney internationally. πŸ™‚

  10. I Was surfing the web and came across this site, I want to do something similar after visiting Tokyo Disney in July 2017. Did you manage to get to see all the parks as planned?

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