When most guests think of a vacation to Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom is usually what first comes to mind. Walt Disney World encompasses a total of four theme parks, two water parks, golf courses, resorts, and Disney Springs, but the Magic Kingdom is the cherished gem. Nostalgic visions of Cinderella Castle sparking in the morning sun, colorful Mickey balloons swaying on Main Street, soaring high on Dumbo, and giving Mickey Mouse a hug all make guests anticipate a wonderful time at this park. With a little bit of planning and a few tried-and-true tips, guests can make the most of their day, avoid any setbacks, and create great memories at the Magic Kingdom.
7. Arrive for “Let The Magic Begin”
The Magic Kingdom opens at different times each morning depending on the season and day. Be sure to look up the exact time of opening and get to the park at least a half hour before that. Guests who are there early are welcome to enter the park to spend time on Main Street U.S.A. before the park officially opens. Main Street and the hub in front of Cinderella Castle remain open while the rest of the park is still closed. Roughly 5 minutes before the official park opening, “Let The Magic Begin” begins! This is a welcome show held on the stage in front of the Castle with fun music, special characters, and a few fireworks to kick off the day!
6. Bear to the Left
Once you’re inside the park and have soaked in the magic of Main Street USA, avoid the crowds and head to the left. Work your way around the park starting with Adventureland. Most guests will automatically go to the right and the Tomorrowland attractions or rush to Fantasyland. Adventureland will be quiet and lines will be practically nonexistent.
5. Fantasyland Strategy
If you’ve decided to try Fantasyland first and try to get on the more popular attractions without having to use a FastPass, be at the Magic Kingdom for rope drop. If you want to get in line for Peter Pan’s Flight, go straight through Cinderella Castle. If you want to try and be one of the first guests in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, head to the right of the castle and up the path towards the Mad Tea Party, and then make a left towards The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
4. Avoid the lunch rush.
The Magic Kingdom has several delicious counter service choices for lunch. If you choose to eat right at the traditional lunch times, anticipate long lines and hard-to-find seating. A smarter option is to eat an early or later lunch and avoid the crowds. An often overlooked spot for a counter-service lunch is the second floor of the Columbia Harbor House. Enjoy a quiet lunch here with a pretty view of Liberty Square.
3. It’s all in the details.
When the Magic Kingdom opens and scheduled FastPasses beckon, guests tend to rush right down the paths and not stop to notice the hundreds of details that make this park so unique. Look up at the second story windows on Main Street; they are all dedicated to famous Disney executives and Imagineers, including two very special windows for Walt Disney himself. Take a few minutes and listen to the ragtime piano player while enjoying a delicious hot dog from Casey’s Corner. Main Street USA is filled with amazing details like this, but they are in every land of the park as well. One of my very favorite “special touches” in the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella’s fountain, right as you go through the Castle arch and walk into Fantasyland. Lean down to take a drink of water from the fountain and look up at Cinderella, as she is now wearing a princess crown upon her head.
2. Pick a good spot.
Most guests flood Main Street to watch the nightly Happily Ever After fireworks show. If you want to watch the nighttime spectacular from this location, it’s smart to stake out a spot at least one hour beforehand. If you’d rather spend your time grabbing a snack or getting in one more ride, consider another spot for fireworks viewing. Watching the fireworks from behind Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland offers a unique perspective and there is more room to spread out. Another awesome way to experience the fireworks is driving a car along the Tomorrowland Speedway.
1. The classics.
Several new attractions and entertainment possibilities have been added within the last few years that guests can’t wait to check out during a visit to the Magic Kingdom. Taking a ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, participating in Enchanted Tales With Belle, and watching the Festival of Fantasy parade are just a few of the must-do’s that guests put on top of their list. At the same time, don’t overlook the classic attractions that give the Magic Kingdom its charm. Taking a relaxing ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and enjoy the humorous nostalgia of the Carousel of Progress, which premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair. “It’s A Small World” will instantly put you in a good mood, right there along with laughing at the birds in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Climb up to the top of the Swiss Family Treehouse and catch a bird’s eye view of the park. Make a viewing of Happily Ever After the perfect end to your evening. These are the attractions that keep us all young at heart and make us want to come back to the Magic Kingdom again and again.