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Magic Kingdom Must Dos

Magic Kingdom Must Dos

The Magic Kingdom is the place I consider to be the king of all Disney Parks. It’s the most visited theme park in the entire world, in 2016 it saw over 20 million visitors and that number increases every year! With that being said, it can be a little overwhelming planning for a day at the most popular Disney park in the World.

With so much to do in the Magic Kingdom, it’s a lot to take in and navigate. Never fear! WDW Vacation Tips is here to ensure that you have the Best Day Ever, and see and do all the best things that the Magic Kingdom has to offer!

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom

Did you know that there are 41 attractions in the Magic Kingdom? It’s virtually impossible to do all of them in a day, so let’s focus on the absolute must-do attractions for your Best Day Ever and everything else will be gravy.

TRON Light Cycle Run

TRON Lightcycle Run is a highly anticipated new attraction that is currently under construction in Magic Kingdom at Disney World. It has an opening date of April 4, 2023 and will utilize the Virtual Queue system that Disney has been so fond of in the last few years.

Here are some things you should know about TRON Lightcycle Run:

  • The ride will be located in Tomorrowland, next to Space Mountain.
  • Riders will board a Light Cycle vehicle and race through a digital world, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
  • The ride will be for guests 48″ or taller.
  • TRON Lightcycle Run will use a unique ride system with a coaster track that allows the vehicles to move independently, giving riders a thrilling, immersive experience.
  • The ride will also feature special lighting effects, a state-of-the-art sound system, and a specially-designed queue area that will transport guests into the world of TRON.

Space Mountain

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Space Mountain is a classic Disney attraction located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Here are some things you should know about this iconic ride:

  • Height requirement: Guests must be at least 44″ tall to ride.
  • Ride experience: Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster that takes guests on a thrilling journey through the darkness of outer space. The ride features sharp turns, sudden drops, and special effects that simulate a space adventure.
  • Genie+ Lightning Lanes are available for Space Mountain, and they can help you skip the long lines and save time.
  • Rider switch: If you’re traveling with young children who cannot or do not want to ride, you can take advantage of the Rider Switch program, which allows one adult to wait with the non-riding child while the other adult rides. Then, the adults can switch places without waiting in line again.
  • Wait times: Space Mountain is one of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom, so be prepared for long wait times. Consider riding early in the morning or using FastPass+ to minimize your wait.
  • Age recommendation: Space Mountain is appropriate for all ages, but keep in mind that it is a roller coaster, so it may not be suitable for very young or sensitive children.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

seven dwarf mine train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a popular roller coaster attraction located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Here are some things you should know about this ride:

  • Height requirement: Guests must be at least 38″ tall to ride.
  • Ride experience: This roller coaster takes guests through the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The ride features a unique train design that sways back and forth as it travels through the mine, adding an extra element of excitement.
  • FastPass+ reservations: FastPass+ reservations are available for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and they can help you skip the long lines and save time.
  • Rider switch: If you’re traveling with young children who cannot or do not want to ride, you can take advantage of the Rider Switch program, which allows one adult to wait with the non-riding child while the other adult rides. Then, the adults can switch places without waiting in line again.
  • Wait times: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom, so be prepared for long wait times. Consider riding early in the morning or using Genie+ Lightning Lanes to minimize your wait.
  • Age recommendation: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is appropriate for all ages, but keep in mind that it is a roller coaster, so it may not be suitable for very young or sensitive children.

BONUS: Magic Kingdom Cult Rides

Die hard Disney fans love classic quintessential Disney attractions. Some Disney attractions have even developed a cult-like following prompting attraction-based merchandise, snacks, and more. Magic Kingdom is home to 2 major Disney cult attractions, Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Haunted Mansion

Hitch hiking ghosts inside the Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom
Hitch hiking ghosts inside the Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom

The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom has a rich and detailed backstory that adds to the attraction’s immersive experience. Here is a brief summary of the Haunted Mansion’s backstory:

The Haunted Mansion was built in the early 1700s by the Gracey family, who made their fortune in the shipping industry. The mansion was designed to be a lavish home for the family, but after several unfortunate incidents, it became known as a haunted house.

The story goes that the patriarch of the Gracey family, Master Gracey, was driven to madness after his beloved fiancée died suddenly. He hung himself in the mansion’s rafters, and his ghost is said to still haunt the house to this day.

After the Gracey family abandoned the mansion, it was purchased by the government and converted into a retirement home for ghosts. The home was overseen by Madame Leota, a powerful medium who communicated with the spirits residing in the mansion.

Today, the Haunted Mansion is open for visitors to take a tour of the mansion’s spooky and supernatural rooms. Guests are greeted by the ghost host, a disembodied voice who leads them through the mansion’s eerie hallways, introducing them to the various ghosts and spirits who reside there.

The Haunted Mansion’s backstory adds to the attraction’s immersive experience and provides a rich history for guests to explore as they make their way through the spooky mansion.

Pirates of the Caribbean

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Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic Disney attraction located in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Here is a brief summary of the ride’s backstory:

The ride takes place in the Caribbean during the golden age of piracy. The attraction’s story follows a group of pirates, led by the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, as they pillage and plunder their way through the Caribbean.

The ride begins with guests boarding a boat and passing through a dark tunnel, where they are transported back in time to the days of piracy. The boats then enter a large, immersive scene featuring a Caribbean town under siege by pirates. Guests see animatronic figures of pirates, including Captain Jack Sparrow, as they loot and plunder the town.

The ride then takes guests on a journey through a series of immersive scenes, including a prison break, a pirate auction, and a battle between two ships. Guests also encounter various animatronic figures of pirates, including Captain Barbossa, as they make their way through the attraction.

The backstory of Pirates of the Caribbean is an integral part of the ride’s immersive experience, with detailed scenes and animatronic figures that bring the story to life. The ride is one of the most popular attractions at Magic Kingdom, and it has inspired a successful movie franchise starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Must Have Lightning Lanes for Magic Kingdom

Most of the attractions in the Magic Kingdom have Lightning Lanes available to skip the lines, but what attractions are worth the use of a Lightning Lane? Here are some of the best uses of the Lightning Lanes with Genie+:

  • Space Mountain
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Individual Lightning Lane

Currently, the only attraction that participates with the Individual Lightning Lane, the pay-to-play skip the ride system, is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It is expected that TRON Light Cycle Run will participate as well if Guardian’s of the Galaxy: Cosmis Rewind in EPCOT is any indication.

Do you need an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) in the Magic Kingdom?

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train maintains at least a 45 minute wait during the day, and as much as 90 minutes. If Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is on your must do list then purchasing an ILL is absolutely worth it. Pricing is based on demand and varies between $7 – $15 per person.

Best Shows at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom offers a variety of shows and entertainment options for guests of all ages. Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app to see all of the day’s showtimes so you don’t miss a thing!

 Here are some of the most popular shows and entertainment experiences at Magic Kingdom:

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Festival of Fantasy Anna Elsa

This daily parade is a fan favorite and features larger-than-life floats, colorful costumes, and beloved Disney characters. The parade down Main Street USA is an absolute must do on a Disney day. There’s nothing more wholesome than that!

BONUS: Did you know that there is a Lightning Lane available for priority parade viewing? No more waiting an hour to hold “the good seat”!

Happily Ever After

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We’re excited to see Happily Ever After make its triumphant return this April 2023! Sorry, not sorry Enchanted. This nighttime spectacular features fireworks, projections, and music from classic Disney movies that is like the cherry on top of the perfect day.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

This 4D show features classic Disney characters, iconic music, and special effects that bring the film to life. Take in all of the sights, sounds, and even smells of your favorite animated features while Donald Duck tries to fix his mistakes. Spoiler alert: He loses his temper! We feel ya, Donald.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

This interactive comedy show features live improv and digital animation, with jokes and audience participation. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is often underrated, but it is really a gem. It is different every time you attend because it is operated by live performers through Disney magic!

Dapper Dans

Dapper Dans at the Magic Kingdom

Much like the cult following of Disney attractions, the infamous Dapper Dans have earned a similar quintessential Disney reputation.  This barbershop quartet performs classic Disney tunes in their signature harmonies with smiles and flair. We especially love in the fall when they transform into the Cadaver Dans and put a happy spin on some haunting tunes.

Do you need Lightning Lanes for the shows?

Entertainment attractions like Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Carousel of Progress, etc. have Lightning Lanes available to use, but they really are not necessary. Each attraction is a timed show and often the standby wait time is just the amount of time before the next show.

Best Meet and Greets at Magic Kingdom

Character meet and greets are a popular activity for many guests at Magic Kingdom. Here are some of the best places to meet and take pictures with your favorite Disney characters:

Town Square Theater

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 This is a great place to meet classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their classic outfits. Guests can also meet Tinker Bell in her magical meet-and-greet area.

Adventureland Veranda

 This is where you can meet Aladdin, Jasmine, and occasionally other characters from the movie.

Princess Fairytale Hall

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Here, guests can meet some of their favorite Disney princesses, such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, and Elena of Avalor.

Pete’s Silly Sideshow

This is where guests can meet some of the classic Disney characters in circus-themed costumes, such as Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, and Daisy Duck.

Storybook Circus

This area is home to meet-and-greet opportunities with characters like Dumbo, Timothy Mouse, and the Seven Dwarfs.

It’s always a good idea to check the daily schedule to see when and where characters will be available for meet-and-greets, as schedules are subject to change. Additionally, Genie+ Lightning Lanes are available for some meet-and-greets, allowing guests to bypass the regular line and minimize their wait time.

Do you need Lightning Lanes for the Character Meet and Greets?

YES. Characters, especially the ones in the Magic Kingdom are very popular for guests. Standby lines to meet Mickey are often 45 minutes, and the Lightning Lanes for him are among the first used up in Genie+.

If character meet and greets are important to you in the Magic Kingdom, then absolutely use Genie+ to get Lightning Lanes.

Best Snacks at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is known for its delicious and unique snacks that can be found throughout the park. It is definitely the park that you tend to snack around more than sit and eat a meal!

 Here are some of the best snacks you won’t want to miss:

Dole Whip

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This is a must-try snack at Magic Kingdom! It’s a dairy-free, pineapple-flavored soft serve that’s perfect for a hot day. You can find it at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.

For Dole Whip with a twist, head over to Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland for a Dole Whip float, or a citrus swirl.

For More Read: Pineapple Dole Whip at Disney World

Mickey Mouse Pretzel

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 These oversized pretzels come in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s iconic ears and are available at various pretzel carts throughout the park. Don’t forget to ask for the warm cheezy sauce! Yes, that’s cheeze with a “Z” because we’re pretty sure there’s no actual food or nutrition content there.

Popcorn

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 Popcorn is a classic Disney snack, and you can find it in various popcorn carts throughout the park. Try the flavored popcorn, like the buffalo popcorn available at the Frontierland popcorn cart.

Disney Popcorn is also the most economical snack! You can purchase a souvenir popcorn bucket and get it refilled for only $2.25!

Turkey Leg

This is a popular snack that is often seen as a “must-try” at Magic Kingdom. It’s a giant smoked turkey leg that is perfect for sharing and can be found at various carts throughout the park. Despite internet rumors, it is in fact a turkey leg and not an emu leg. 

Some say it tastes more like bacon than turkey!

Nutella Waffle Sandwich

This delicious snack can be found at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. It’s a warm waffle stuffed with Nutella and fresh fruit. If sweet isn’t your game, then at the same snack stand they sell a spicy chicken waffle sandwich that features a warm fresh waffle with a breaded chicken breast topped with coleslaw and drizzled with hot honey.

Mobile Order

Mobile Ordering is incredibly popular at the Magic Kingdom and almost every Quick Service location participates. It  can seriously save you time and minimize your wait time at popular restaurants. Additionally, some restaurants offer exclusive menu items for mobile ordering, so it’s worth checking the app to see what’s available.

Mobile ordering is a convenient feature available at many quick-service restaurants at Magic Kingdom. Here’s how it works using your My Disney Experience app:

  1. Open the My Disney Experience App and click the “+”
  2. Select “Order Food”
  3. Choose which quick service restaurant you would like to order from and select a time to pick your food up. You can actually pre-set your meal pick ups hours in advance.
  4. Select the items you want to order and customize them as needed.
  5. Review your order and confirm the pickup time.
  6. Pay for your order using a credit card or gift card linked to your account.
  7. When you arrive at the restaurant, tap the “I’m here, prepare my order” button on the app.
  8. Wait for the notification that your order is ready for pickup and go to the designated pickup area.
  9. Walk past the lines of people who didn’t use Mobile Order and feel like a Disney Pro.

Best Restaurants

Table Service dining in the Magic Kingdom is known for its immersive theming. Between an abundance of character meals and over-the-top backstories, the Magic Kingdom is where you go if you’re looking for that true Disney dining experience.

Magic Kingdom offers a variety of table service restaurants that serve a range of cuisines and dining experiences. Here are some of the best table service restaurants at Magic Kingdom:

Cinderella’s Royal Table

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 This is a unique dining experience where guests can dine in Cinderella’s castle and meet some of their favorite Disney princesses. The menu offers a range of American cuisine and is a popular choice for special occasions.

Read More: Cinderella’s Royal Table Dinner Review

Be Our Guest Restaurant

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This restaurant is located in Beast’s Castle and offers a French-inspired menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is also known for its theming, with dining rooms inspired by the movie “Beauty and the Beast.”

Read More: Be Our Guest Dining Review

The Crystal Palace

This restaurant offers a character dining experience with Winnie the Pooh and friends. The menu features American cuisine and offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Liberty Tree Tavern

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This restaurant is located in Liberty Square and serves traditional American cuisine. The menu offers family-style dining for lunch and dinner and is a great option for larger groups.

Read More: Liberty Tree Tavern Review

Skipper Canteen

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This restaurant is located in Adventureland and offers international cuisine inspired by the famous Jungle Cruise attraction. The menu offers a range of dishes from Asian, African, and South American cuisine.

Read More: Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen Review

Plaza Restaurant

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 This restaurant is located on Main Street USA and offers American cuisine for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is known for its ice cream sundaes and milkshakes.

Read More: Plaza Restaurant Review

Getting Reservations at Magic Kingdom

Reservations are highly encouraged for Disney World table service restaurants. It is very rare to walk up to a restaurant and be able to be seated without a reservation. Advanced dining reservations can be made through My Disney Experience up to 60 days out from your trip.

Read More: How to Get Disney Dining Reservations When They are Sold Out

Best Pictures

All of the Magic Kingdom is one big photo op, but the best photo spots are in these locations:

  • NOT IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE: Unless you want tons of strangers in your picture, don’t take your photos in front of the castle. Opt to go to the sides instead. It will look like you are in the park alone!
  • Back of Cinderella Castle: There is no bad angle of her, and the backside is often empty.
  • Bridge going to Liberty Square: Once again for the perfect Castle photo, the bridge going to Liberty Square will give you that picturesque castle look like we see in the opening credits of a Disney movie!

Memory Maker

Memory Maker is a photo package offered at Walt Disney World that includes unlimited digital downloads of your vacation photos taken by Disney’s PhotoPass photographers, including those taken at Magic Kingdom.

Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase Memory Maker either in advance on the Walt Disney World website or upon arrival at the park.
  • When you arrive at Magic Kingdom, look for the Disney PhotoPass photographers located throughout the park. They can be identified by their cameras and PhotoPass signs.
  • Have your MagicBand or park ticket scanned by the photographer after they take your photo to link the photo to your account.
  • Throughout the day, you can view and download your photos using the My Disney Experience app or website.
  • You have 45 days from the date the photo was taken to download it.
  • You can also download photos taken on select attractions, such as Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, by wearing a MagicBand or scanning your park ticket at the attraction’s photo preview station.

Is Memory Maker worth it?

Memory Maker is a great way to capture all the memories of your Magic Kingdom visit without having to worry about taking your own photos or asking strangers to take your picture. Plus, you’ll have access to some exclusive photo opportunities throughout the park, such as character meet and greets and magic shots.

BONUS: Dessert Parties in Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom offers several dessert parties that provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sweet treats while watching the park’s spectacular fireworks display. Here are some of the options:

Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party

This party takes place at Tomorrowland Terrace and offers a buffet of desserts, including cupcakes, cookies, and ice cream. Guests can enjoy the treats while watching the Happily Ever After fireworks show from a reserved viewing area.

Ferry-tale Fireworks

 This party takes place aboard a ferry boat and offers a selection of desserts, including chocolate-dipped strawberries and macarons, along with sparkling beverages. Guests can watch the fireworks from the boat, which provides a unique viewing experience.

After Fireworks Dessert Party

 This party takes place at Plaza Garden Viewing Area and offers a variety of desserts, including chocolate-dipped marshmallows and fruit tarts. Guests can watch the fireworks show and then enjoy the desserts in a reserved seating area.


What is going to be your first stop at the Magic Kingdom? Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas of what you want to add into your schedule. Use our FREE vacation planning printouts to organize your vacation!

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