Magic Kingdom is the biggest of the four Disney World parks. For this reason, it is definitely the hardest to see all of in one day. That said, seeing the highlights of this park in a single visit is possible, and we are going to use this article to tell you how.
1. What to FastPass
Let’s begin by discussing which FastPasses to grab before your trip begins. By getting these passes, you’ll save tons of time that otherwise would’ve been spent waiting in lines. Our first recommendations are: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Other great options include: Splash Mountain and Space Mountain
2. What to Skip
While all of the attractions in Magic Kingdom are awesome, some are better than others. Those that aren’t quite as good as the others can be skipped when you’re short on time. These include: People Mover, Carousel of Progress, Astro Orbiter, Mad Tea Party, Hall of Presidents, Country Bears Jamboree, Tiki Room, Flying Carpets of Aladdin, Main Street Vehicles, Mickey’s Friendship Faire, and Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel.
3. What Dining Reservations to Make
All sit-down restaurants in Disney World will require you to have a reservation. Our recommendations for dining reservations on your Magic Kingdom day include the following:
- Breakfast – Crystal Palace: We love this breakfast buffet. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, and best of all, you’ll get to dine with characters from Winnie the Pooh, removing the need to sit in line for the same meet-and-greets later. Make this reservation for a time before the park officially opens to make good use of your time.
- Lunch – Be Our Guest: Technically, Be Our Guest is a quick-service restaurant at lunchtime, rather than a table-service one. However, you will still need a reservation. We like this lunch option because it is relatively inexpensive while still giving you a unique Disney dining experience.
- Dinner – Cinderella’s Royal Table: Finally, we highly recommend eating dinner with Cinderella and her princess friends in the castle if at all possible. This is an amazing and elegant experience, and once again, it removes the need to waste time in queues for character meet-and-greets. Make this reservation with enough time to dine and get out to see the fireworks show.
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4. What to Bring
By bringing in a backpack filled with everything you need, you can save time waiting in lines and shopping for necessities. We recommended packing snacks, water, sunscreen, bandaids, baby needs, and ponchos.
5. Where to Go First
Begin your day in Adventureland and Frontierland. This will take you away from the majority of the crowds, who tend to head to Tomorrowland first. Use the first couple of hours after the park opens to ride Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain before the crowds build up. Try to time your Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FastPass to begin at the end of your time in Frontierland, just as the crowd levels begin rising.
6. Where to Head Next
Once Adventureland and Frontierland are finished, continue in a circle around the park. This will mean Liberty Square is next on the agenda. By going in a circle, you avoid backtracking, saving yourself time and energy.
7. When to Rest
Disney World is an exhausting place. For those who have multiple park days to explore, we recommend taking a break in the middle of the day. However, if you only have one park day, you may want to avoid going all the way back to the hotel to rest. In this case, you will want to find other ways to squeeze in a break. These could include:
- Watching the Parade — Grabbing a drink and watching the parade can be relaxing.
- Mealtimes — If you follow this plan, you’ll be sitting in the air conditioning for every meal. This is a great time to recuperate.
- Other Shows — There are other shows that are indoors and can be relaxing. While these are on our list of things to skip, they can be good for getting in a much needed rest. These shows could include: Carousel of Progress, The Enchanted Tiki Room, and/or the Hall of Presidents.
8. How to Finish the Day
No matter how you do it, there will be some popular rides you can’t FastPass. As mentioned before, we recommend seeing the popular rides in Adventureland and Frontierland early in the day to avoid long lines. When it comes to the popular rides on the opposite side of the park, your best bet is to hop in line immediately after fireworks and take advantage of the hour or two before the park closes.