ORANAGE COUNTY, Fla. — There are 51 rides at Walt Disney World spread across four parks, and if you can ride every operating ride in one day you’ll have completed one of the toughest unofficial Disney challenges, the Parkeology Challenge.
“Every day is completely different. There is always variables that change every day, from park hours to what rides are open to what rides are closed, so no one day is exactly the same” says Kent Mullins, a seven-time Parkeology Challenge finisher.
The rules for the challenge are simple: Ride every operating ride in one day while taking a photo on each ride with a timestamp to show where you are at the time.
What’s not so simple? The variables that Kent mentioned.
“If it operates that day it counts as a ride that day, so you have to figure out a new plan and come back to it,” Mullins said. “So if it moves, you’ve got to get it that day.”
What if a ride operates, even a single pass, and shuts down before you ride it? You lose. Day over.
“If there is proof that the ride operated that day with guests, you are required to ride it,” Mullins said. “If it doesn’t come back, that is just part of the challenge.”
While shows like “Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular” and the “Enchanted Tiki Room” don’t count, things like “The Walt Disney World Railroad” and “Carousel of Progress” do, so you have to ride them.
For Disney fanatics, the challenge presents a unique accomplishment. Those wishing to undertake the challenge need to not only have a comfortable pair of shoes but spend days, even weeks preparing ahead of time.
While you can use Fast Passes and Extra Magic Hours, you are not allowed to do anything that is not open to the general public. This means no attempting the challenge during the extra hours people can pay extra for during Halloween or Christmas, and no asking if you can cut in line ahead of people.
As for planning, different parks operate at different hours, and different rides only operate for part of the day. All of this must be taken into account before attempting the challenge. You must also plan how you will get from park to park.
Mullins said the Disney buses and monorails do not count as rides, which is fortunate because he recommends driving your own car from park to park, giving you a chance to grab a snack or change clothes during your 14-hour day.
“When you are doing it it’s not really the most fun sometimes. Just like running a marathon: It’s not fun but finishing is awesome,” he said.
Cox Media Group