1. Arrive for the Opening Show
Getting to the Magic Kingdom early is important for a couple of reasons. It’s easier to get on many attractions with short waits early in the morning, you’ll be able to get some beautiful photos with few guests in the background, and you’ll be able to start your day off with the morning welcome show! Stick around Main Street U.S.A. early on in the day to catch the Main Street Trolley Show and performances by the Dapper Dans.
2. Stop for Photos
One of the biggest mistakes guests make when visiting the parks is that they don’t leave time to stop for photos. Whether you’re taking the photos yourself or stopping for a family photo just isn’t a priority, make the time to stop. You’ll enjoy having these photos years later, and while taking a family photo may not be the most exciting part of the day, it only takes a few minutes to capture those vacation memories.
3. Pick Up a Map and a Times Guide
Maps and times guides can now be accessed on your smartphone using the My Disney Experience app, however we think having a paper copy handy is never a bad idea. If your phone loses battery, or you simply don’t feel like digging it out of a backpack, pulling a times guide out of your pocket can be helpful. And you don’t want to miss entertainment offerings like the parade or fireworks, or character meet and greets that are scheduled throughout the day.
4. Meet the Characters
Speaking of characters, many classic Disney characters reside in the Magic Kingdom, and you’ll want to set aside some time to meet them. If meeting characters is more of a priority for your family, you may want to reserve a table for a character dining experience at either the Crystal Palace, which features characters from Winnie the Pooh or Cinderella’s Royal Table for a more regal character meal. Without devoting a meal to characters, Fastpass are also available for select meet and greets including Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell, and some of the princesses in Princess Fairytale Hall.
5. Don’t Skip the Classic Snacks
There are some Disney snacks that are just part of the Magic Kingdom experience. Whether you’re drawn to the turkey legs, popcorn, churros, or Mickey premium bars, do not miss out on at least one fun Disney snack. Plus, snacks are great for munching on on-the-go, so you can make even more time to get some additional photos or meet the characters!
6. Take a Break if You’re Tired
If you find yourself feeling sleepy in the middle of the day, do not hesitate to take a break. Whether this means sitting in a quick service restaurant with a snack and cold cup of water, visiting some of the monorail resorts, or hitting the pool at your own resort, there is nothing wrong with taking a midday break while visiting the Magic Kingdom
7. Don’t Miss the Afternoon Parade
If you like to take breaks in the middle of the day, you may want to make sure that you’re in the park in the afternoon for at least one day during your trip. Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade is one of the park’s most ambitious parades yet, and it’s definitely worth seeing every trip. For a less crowded, last-minute spot for the parade, head past Main Street U.S.A. and view the performance from Liberty Square or Frontierland.
8. Use FastPass+ for Your Favorite Attractions
The Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in Orlando, and as a result even a “slow” day will be very crowded. If you have your heart set on doing certain attractions, you are better off making FastPass reservations for them in advance. Don’t forget that once you use your first three FastPasses you are eligible to make more selections throughout the day one at a time. If you need help figuring all of this out, do not hesitate to ask a cast member for assistance.
9. Don’t Rush
You may feel like “rushing” and the “Magic Kingdom” are two terms that go hand in hand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You’ll get more out of your trip to the parks if you slow down the pace and give yourself time to take in the atmosphere and all of the details in the park.
10. See the Fireworks, but Stick Around When They’re Over
Seeing Disney’s all new Happily Ever After fireworks is a must for a trip to the Magic Kingdom, but leaving the park in the crowd that ensues once they finish is not. Lines for the monorail, buses, and ferry boats will be quite out of hand in the rush following the fireworks, and unless you are staying at the Contemporary and plan on walking there we do not suggest leaving right after the fireworks. Instead, spend some time taking last minute photos or shopping on Main Street, and head out once the crowds have settled a bit.