10 Tips & Tricks for Your Best Day Ever at the Magic Kingdom

50th castle magic kingdom
Credit: Disney

The Magic Kingdom is the busiest park at Walt Disney World (and the single most-visited tourist attraction in the world!) so bringing some tips along can certainly help you make the most of your visit. Read through this quick list and keep these tips in mind for your next trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”


1. Arrive before park opening

You can help make the most of your time in the park by arriving before its scheduled opening time. Cast Members actually let Guests into the park ahead of schedule to limit crowding in the area outside of the park. Even if attractions aren’t running yet, you can still grab a coffee from the Main Street Bakery and spend some time getting your photos in in front of Cinderella Castle before the rest of the park opens up.

Photo: Disney

2. Use Memory Maker

Memory Maker is the Disney PhotoPass service that allows you to download all of the photos taken by Disney photographers during your trip. It covers PhotoPass photographers in the parks (including those pre-opening castle photos), ride photos, and more. Memory Maker comes at a cost ($179.99 if booked ahead of your trip, $199.99 if booked the day of) but it can be so worth it to know that the whole family can always get in the picture and you can have high quality photos from your trip to look back on later.

3. Do popular attractions early

If your one must-do for the Magic Kingdom is a ride that typically draws long wait times like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Space Mountain, you may want to head there first thing in the morning. Even if lots of other Guests seem to have the same idea, the line for an attraction right after the park opens will be really quick compared to later in the day when the park fills up. Plus, if things quiet down later or you don’t mind waiting a bit, you’ll have a better chance of riding twice!


4. Stop for classic snacks

The Magic Kingdom is a great park for snacking! From Dole Whips to Turkey Legs, there are lots of classic Disney snacks to be had around the park. Keep an eye out for new specialty Dole Whip floats that may have popped up since your last visit, and don’t miss the standards like Disney’s popcorn, corn dog nuggets, cream cheese pretzels, cheeseburger spring rolls, and even Joffrey’s donuts (especially if you could use the jolt of coffee while in Tomorrowland). 

5. Take a midday break

The Magic Kingdom is not the largest park in terms of space, but you can easily wear yourself out here covering lots of ground to get to each attraction. It’s got lots to do and going from park open to close with no breaks can be exhausting. If you don’t want to spend the time going back to your own resort in the middle of the day, find a quick service restaurant to sit back with some cold water for a bit or hop on the monorail and check out some of the nearby resorts for a slower change of pace. 

6. Don’t miss the shops

Compared to other Disney parks, the Magic Kingdom is not particularly known for its shopping experiences, but there are some spots here you won’t want to miss. First, the Emporium on Main Street is a sort of one stop shop for any Disney souvenirs you may want to grab on your way out, plus seasonal and yearly merchandise. For ride specific merchandise, you won’t want to miss the gift shops at the exits of Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, and any Haunted Mansion fans in your family simply must make time to stop at Memento Mori. 

7. Make dining reservations in advance

If you’re hoping to enjoy a table service meal in the Magic Kingdom, making reservations in advance is a must. The park has some popular table service restaurants (like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest) that can book up rather quickly. Didn’t make a reservation in time? Check the walk up statuses at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen as they may have more availability. 

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

8. Don’t skip the shows

Some of the most classic Magic Kingdom attractions are actually shows rather than rides. Some Guests tend to skip shows altogether, but we’d rather you didn’t. Attractions like the Carousel of Progress and the Country Bear Jamboree are Disney classics, and there are 3-D thrills for the whole family to be had at Mickey’s Philharmagic. (Shows are also perfect for the middle of the day when the park is at its busiest as they tend to have much shorter wait times than popular rides.)

9. Use the My Disney Experience app

The My Disney Experience app is essential for making the most of a visit to any Disney park. There you can check wait times, find dining and make reservations, PhotoPass spots, restrooms and more. If you are staying at a Disney resort you can even check bus wait times and use the app to unlock the door to your resort with your phone. The app also includes mobile ordering, which can make or break the “quick” side of quick service dining on days when the park is busy. 

10. Take in all the details

It’s tempting to rush from ride to ride in the Magic Kingdom, but we strongly recommend slowing it down to take in all of the details. Whether you find yourself admiring the architecture of the Haunted Mansion, searching for Hidden Mickeys or reading the tributes to those whose names are found on the windows of Main Street, there are plenty of details to explore that you won’t want to miss. 

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."