Are you planning a magical getaway to Walt Disney World Resort? Chances are visiting Magic Kingdom Park and the iconic Cinderella Castle are on your Disney must-do list.
But, when arriving at the Disney Park, do you take a left or right when you reach the hub in front of the Castle? To start your magical journey – here’s our pick.
First things first! In order to get the most out of your Magic Kingdom itinerary, plan to arrive 45 minutes to an hour before the Park opens. Arriving early allows Guests the opportunity to get through security and ticketing before the attraction fun officially begins.
Main Street, U.S.A. Distraction
You’ve arrived! The first slice of Disney heaven is the land known as Main Street, U.S.A. The stunning street is a perfect welcome, with Cinderella Castle nestled beautifully at the end. With Main Street Bakery, the Emporium, and many other Main Street, U.S.A. shops and eateries, it is difficult not to stop in. But – take note – don’t let the Main Street, U.S.A. distraction stop you!
Main Street, U.S.A. shops and dining remain open throughout the day, with shops even open for up to an hour after the Park closes. Plan to drop back by for shopping and visit that delicious Plaza Ice Cream Parlor later in the day.
Yes, Buy Genie+
We hate to say it, but Magic Kingdom Park is one Disney Park we highly recommend purchasing Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World. With the vast number of attractions at Magic Kingdom, it’s easy to get your money’s worth by skipping the standby line on several attractions and heading straight for the Lightning Lane entrance.
Our Pick – Go LEFT!
We’ve been to Magic Kingdom countless times and have tried both left and right directions when first starting off in the Park. Our pick is to go left! Here’s the deal… it seems like much of the Guest traffic tends to go right as they rush off to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. Instead – here’s our trick…
First, we would head to the former Splash Mountain, the future Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, in Frontierland at rope drop. Yes, it’s not always a great pick to ride a water ride first thing in the morning, but we promise it will be a great way to avoid a long wait for this incoming attraction later in the day.
Next, head to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. At this point, there will likely be a 20-minute wait posted for Big Thunder, but the line is rarely that long to start off in the morning.
What about Attractions to the RIGHT?
By going left, you’re giving up the short wait advantage for both Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. Here’s how to work this…
The best-case scenario is to spend the money to purchase an individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, as this is the Magic Kingdom attraction with the notoriously longest waits for a very short ride.
If you don’t want to spend the money on an individual Lightning Lane, we recommend making this your very last attraction during your day at Magic Kingdom, arriving roughly 30 minutes before the Park closes. Typically, as long as you are in line before the Park closes, you’ll be allowed to ride.
For Space Mountain… this should be your top pick for Disney Genie+. Try to snag your Genie+ pass for Space Mountain first thing. Your next pick could be for other popular attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight and Haunted Mansion.
Waiting is Inevitable
Sorry to say, but yes, you will need to wait for some attractions at Magic Kingdom. It’s a popular Park after all!
But, if you tackle the four attractions mentioned on the left first, Lightning Lane Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Genie+ Space Mountain – typically, the waits for the other attractions are shorter and available as the next attraction to snag with your Genie+.
Early Theme Park Entry
Ok, there’s a catch! Are you a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guest? If so, you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry at any of Disney’s four Parks on any day. This gives Resort Guests a 30-minute start on the day. BUT… at Magic Kingdom – Cast Members will force you to go RIGHT.
Much of the left side of Magic Kingdom is closed during the 30-minute Early Entry – as we’ve learned the hard way.
So, what’s the new game plan if you’re a Resort Guest? Rush over to attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight and “it’s a small world” to tackle in the first 30 minutes before the Park opens to all Guests.
When the Park officially opens to all Guests, a rope drop will be located near the Haunted Mansion. At this rope drop, dash over the future Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, followed by Big Thunder, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates as initially planned. Then you’ll still want a Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and a Genie+ pass for Space Mountain.
Going left is the best way we’ve found to tackle most Magic Kingdom attractions without waiting in numerous long standby lines.
The top advice, however, is to do your best to expect hiccups and go with the flow as needed. You are spending the day at “the most magical place on earth” after all!