The Magic Kingdom is probably the most stressful out of all of the parks because there is so much to see and do, and let’s be honest, so little time when on a vacation! Fear not, I am here to hopefully help ease some of that stress and share with you my top tips when visiting the Magic Kingdom!
- FastPasses – It is important to take advantage of Fastpasses while going to the Magic Kingdom. I would highly suggest getting them for the rides that tend to have the longest waits. Such as Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan. For more recommendations read the Best Disney Fastpass Picks for Each Park.
- 60 days in advance – If you are staying on property it is almost crucial that you take advantage of the 60 days in advance Fastpass perk for being a resort guest. All other guests can only book their FastPasses 30 days in advance, which is why it is important to book 60 days in advance so you can be sure to get the FastPasses you and your family want! This will also give you the opportunity to score those hard to get FastPasses that I mentioned earlier.
- Attractions to take of advantage of in between Fastpasses – Wondering what to do during your downtime in between FastPasses? I would highly suggest doing attractions that almost never have a wait and if they do it is minimal, but are still so worth doing! Such as The People Mover, Carousel of Progress, The Hall of Presidents, and Mickey’s Philarmagic (great show by the way!).
- Extra Magic Hours – I think Magic Kingdom’s extra magic hours are the most worthwhile out of all of the parks, simply because there are more attractions. This leads to actually being able to take advantage of the extra hour and getting to ride a few rides! Whereas, at the Animal Kingdom since there are such few attractions, the lines could end up being just as long as they would be during the regular day. I would suggest going to the Magic Kingdom EMH when they have it in the AM during your trip, the crowds are significantly less compared to the late night EMH.
- Mobile Ordering – Why wait when you can order ahead? This is seriously a no brainer and will save you and your family so much time from waiting in yet another line! Who wants to wait in an extra line when you can just order from your phone, on the MyDisneyExperience App, and have it ready as soon as you arrive! Quick service restaurants at the Magic Kingdom that offer mobile ordering are Aloha Isle, Casey’s Corner, Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Ray’s, The Launching Pad, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Pinnochio Village Haus, and the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant.
- Snacks at Magic Kingdom– I think it is no secret that the must-have snack at the Magic Kingdom is a Dole Whip. Some may argue it’s the citrus swirl (which is a close second in my book and can be found at the Sunshine Tree Terrace) but there is something about the Dole Whip that just makes me think of the Magic Kingdom! You can find the Dole Whip at Aloha Isle in Adventure Land. Another amazing snack that the Magic Kingdom offers is the HUGE cinnamon roll from Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland! This cinnamon roll is so warm, gooey, and delicious! If you can eat breakfast at any time of the day, like me, then you should definitely check out the Fresh Fruit Waffle from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square! It has strawberries, bananas, and Nutella and will rock your world!
- Characters – The Magic Kingdom is a ginormous hub for meeting characters! I would highly suggest planning out which characters you and your family have to meet before your day begins and use the opportunities between FastPasses or after a meal/snack and go meet them! There will almost always be some sort of wait for every character(s). Characters you can find at MK include Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Main Street), Buzz (Tomorrowland), Ariel (Fantasyland), Aladdin and Jasmine (Adventureland), Cinderella (Fantasyland), Elena (Fantasyland), Donald and Daisy (Fantasyland), Gaston (Fantasyland), Merida (Fantasyland), Tinker Bell (Main Street), Peter Pan (Fantasyland), Rapunzel (Fantasyland), Tiana (Fantasyland), Pooh and Tigger (Fantasyland), Alice and the Mad Hatter (Fantasyland).
- Pin Trading – Are you or anyone in your family looking to start pin trading while on your vacation? Lucky for you, the Magic Kingdom has one of the best pin trading spots for not only beginners but for pin traders of all levels! Located in Frontierland, Frontier Trading Post has mystery packs and an abundance of rack pins to begin your collection, or if you already have a collection going, they have a pinboard that you can exchange pins with to hopefully complete your collection! Don’t forget to check out the cast members lanyards throughout the park as well for a chance to find some hidden gems.
- Stage Shows – Stage shows happen a couple times a day in front of Cinderella’s Castle and they are definitely worth the watch if you can squeeze them into your busy day! The one that I highly suggest not missing is “Let the Magic Begin” which happens once a day, promptly at 8:55 AM right when the park is set to open. Let the Magic Begin is a welcoming show for park guests put on by Mickey and some very special friends! The other stage show, which occurs more than once daily, making it easier to fit into a busy schedule is, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire”. This show is super upbeat and fun because it again is hosted by Mickey and friends with some great dancing and singing! Times for Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire are 10:30, 11:30, 1:00, 2:00, and 4:15.
- Parades – The parades, in my opinion, are a can’t miss! I would highly suggest adding at least one, if not both, to your schedule! If you are going to choose one over the other, I think it just depends on how interactive you want to get with the characters. During the “Move It! Shake It! MouskeDance It! Street Party” you get a little bit more interaction than the “Festival of Fantasy” simply because the characters come off of the floats, and exactly like the title says, it is a ginormous street dance party! Move It! Shake It! Is a little bit more accessible than Festival of Fantasy because it happens three times a day, as opposed to just once. You can catch Move It! Shake It! at 11:00, 12:30, and 5:45. The Festival of Fantasy is my favorite parade because the song is so catchy, and although I may not get to dance with the characters on the floats, there are still plenty of characters and performers on the street that you can interact with as well. All of the floats in the Festival of Fantasy are so beautiful, well thought out, and overall very ascetically pleasing. I would highly suggest seeing this parade! You can catch the Festival of Fantasy at 3:00 daily.
- Once Upon a Time – Once Upon a Time is a projection show that takes place thirty minutes (7:30 PM) before Happily Ever After. It is 14 minutes long and is hosted by Mrs. Potts and Chip! They take you through some of your favorite Disney movie scenes. This show is so great because the projections and animation are absolutely amazing. Since you will most likely be in your viewing spot for Happily Ever After by this time you will get to see this show! It’s a win-win and sets the crowd up for an even bigger finale that is Happily Ever After.
- Happily Ever After – Happily Ever After is honestly the STAR of the Magic Kingdom in my opinion. This show is an ABSOLUTE must see, especially if it is your first time at the parks and you haven’t gotten to see it yet. This show takes you through an emotional rollercoaster of everything Disney and animation. Not to mention the song alone can bring tears to my eyes. I would highly suggest getting to your viewing spot of Happily Ever After at least an hour before the show begins at 8:00 PM. You will want a good view of the castle because of all of the projections, but I would not get too close. My favorite viewing spot is right around the Walt and Mickey partner statue. I think it makes for the best view of the fireworks and projections.
- Kiss Goodnight – The Kiss Goodnight is probably the one thing at the Magic Kingdom that guests miss out on the most. The Kiss Goodnight is essentially the Magic Kingdom saying goodnight and goodbye to its guests. It happens about every 30 minutes after the park closes and consists of Cinderella’s Castle twinkling and a narrator coming on the loudspeaker to say a short and sweet goodnight and thank you to the guests. You can only hear and see the Kiss Goodnight on Main Street. And fun fact, Magic Kingdom is the only park that does something like this, which I why I highly suggest not missing out on it! It may be something so simple compared to the other aspects of the Magic Kingdom, but sometimes the simplest things are the best things.
- After Hours Shopping – This might be the most important tip on this entire list, do not waste precious time during the day shopping. Wait until after the park closes, or after you have completed everything you wanted too. The retail stores remain open a full hour after the park closes so you do not have to stress about getting those must-have merchandise items during the day, and then having to lug them around all day. Simply wait until the end!
- Places to rest throughout your day – I think we can all agree that we sometimes need a break during a busy day at the Magic Kingdom. Some of the best places to do that are The Hall of Presidents, the Magic Kingdom Railroad which takes you around the perimeter of the park is a great place to rest your feet and be transported to different areas, Liberty Square Riverboat, The People Mover, and the Carousel of Progress.
Well, there you have it! My top tips and tricks for a day in the Magic Kingdom! I hope this list helps ease any stress you may have toward planning a day at MK. After all, it is the happiest place on earth and should not be stressed over!
For more Magic Kingdom tips, check out The Exhaustive Guide to Magic Kingdom Rides for an abundance of information on every ride at MK! Also it always a great idea to get your barings before you go and look at the Magic Kingdom Map Disney World.
My passion for the Disney Parks has been growing strong since ever since I can remember. Being a Florida native, Disney has always been right around the corner, and I take pride in the fact that I know the parks inside and out! I love sharing my insight on all things Disney related, in hopes of helping others have the most magical vacation ever.
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