12 Rookie Mistakes People Make at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

The Magic Kingdom is definitely a big deal.  It is the most visited theme park in the world and there is definitely a reason for it.  There is so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming for guests.  Here is a list of 12 rookie mistakes that people make at Magic Kingdom to help you out on your visit:


12. Missing the opening show.

There is an opening show on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle each morning.  The show has fun music and appearances from favorite characters.  The show takes place just before park opening, so you have to plan to be up, to the park, through security and in the gates of the park in order to see it.  This also lets you dash in the direction you plan to head right after so that you are among the first in the park and in line.

11. Not knowing about the 8:05 breakfast reservations.

The 8:05am breakfast reservations at Magic Kingdom are highly sought after because they provide guests a chance to relax in the park before it officially opens! Sure, guests are now welcome to enter before park opening on Main Street U.S.A., but still feel like a VIP for having breakfast reservations that take you off of Main Street. Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Be Our Guest Restaurant offer great breakfast menus and are worth the extra penny to have a fulfilling meal before getting your day rolling!

10. Failure to plan in advance.

It is definitely a good idea to spend time as a family planning out the day in the park.  You should familiarize yourself with the park map, what attractions are there, typical times for things, etc.  This will help you plan your FastPass+ selections and what attractions are the absolute MUST-DO’s so that you all have a rough plan going into the day and what to expect.


9. Not using My Disney Experience.

My Disney Experience is definitely your friend when you are in the park.  You can check wait times, show times and more right from your phone.  The app will also keep track of your FastPass+ times, dining reservations, and even allow you to order food at quick service locations right from your phone with the Mobile Ordering. You can also receive important updates while you are there, too.  Even better, Wi-Fi is free all over Walt Disney World!

8. Missing out on classic attractions.

Some of the classic attractions are also overlooked because they don’t necessarily feature super popular characters or they aren’t thrill rides.  I definitely feel that would be a mistake.  Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree and more are classic, fun attractions that you will love if you give them a chance.  They are also classic Walt Disney attractions that he actually worked on himself and inspired.

7. Not making FastPass+ reservations as soon as possible.

FastPass+ gets you quicker access to attractions through a shorter ride queue.  You get an hour window to show up and be in a much shorter line so that you don’t have to wait the amount of time for the stand-by line.  You can make 3 FastPass+ selections for the day with valid park admission.  After you have used those 3 on your day in the park, you can keep getting more just 1 at a time after each is used.  You will want to make your selections as soon as possible (which is 60 days in advance for Disney resort guests and 30 days for all other guests) so that you can get the best times and attractions that will make FastPass+ the best benefit to your family.

6. Going to the park without dining reservations.

If you plan to dine at any of the table service locations, the reservations go extremely fast.  It is definitely advised to make the dining reservations as early as you can, starting at 180 days prior to your stay, so that you get your desired times and locations.  It is likely you will either have to wait a long time or not get in at all if you don’t have reservations.

5. Skipping parades and the evening fireworks.

The Festival of Fantasy Parade in the afternoon and the Happily Ever After fireworks in the evenings are both amazing events to experience.  Many guests either don’t know when they are happening, don’t plan ahead or decide to use this time to ride attractions.  Riding attractions during the shows can definitely be a good strategy to fit in more rides, but you will be missing out on amazing shows that are unlike anything else you’d ever see!

4. Leaving too early toward the end of the day.

It’s understandable if the kids are tired and cranky that you may want to head back to the resort.  I totally get that.  If you are able to hang around until after park closing, it is totally worth it.  About 30 minutes after park closing, the Castle lights up again to music called the “Kiss Goodnight”.  It is an extra treat for guests that are still making their way out of the park.

3. Hurrying past Main Street, USA.

Main Street, USA has so much energy and life that it would be a mistake to rush by and not spend time there.  You would miss out on the Dapper Dan’s, Main Street residents like the Mayor, dancers, trolley cars and more.  There seems to always be something fun happening on Main Street and it is all worth hanging around for.

2. Not heading to Adventureland the first thing in the morning.

So many guests head straight to Fantasyland or Tomorrowland (both to the right of Cinderella Castle) first thing in the morning.  It usually makes more sense to head to Adventureland first if you also aren’t intentionally trying to rush to the other lands.  If you do this you will likely get the benefit of fewer crowds and shorter lines first thing in the morning.

1. Over-planning the visit to the park.

You definitely don’t want to over plan your visit to Magic Kingdom.  It is unlikely that your plan will work out perfectly and that will leave you stressed and irritated.  It also doesn’t leave much room for the spontaneous magical moments that Magic Kingdom is well known for.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!