There are so many things to experience when visiting the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. From the rides to the shows, and from the shopping to the dining, Disney has something for everyone to enjoy. Each time you visit the Magic Kingdom, you will learn what works best for you as well as developing your own tips and tricks when it comes to spending the day in the park. To help get you started, here’s a list of the 7 things no one tells you about visiting the Magic Kingdom:
7. Fantasyland Bottleneck
Behind Cinderella Castle, Fantasyland opens up to reveal some of the most iconic attractions in Walt Disney World. In the Fantasyland expansion, it’s easy to walk to each ride as the pathways are wider to accommodate all of the guests. However, when you’re walking between “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan’s Flight heading towards Liberty Square, you’ll find that the crowds begin to bottleneck. Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most popular attractions with the queue sometimes spilling out into the walkway. It’s never impossible to move through the area, but just know that when the crowds become heavier, the Fantasyland bottleneck can take you a few extra minutes to navigate.
6. Best Time to Ride
With the FastPass+, you don’t have to wait in the regular queue for your selected attractions. For each of the other attractions, it’s beneficial to be strategic about when you plan on waiting in the stand-by queue. While the best times to ride may vary depending on a number of factors, in general, there are a few times during the day that are best.
Rope drop is a perfect time to get on the rides you don’t have fast passes for since the first hour after opening is usually quieter. Late at night is another good time to visit the attractions since guests will usually start to leave after Happily Ever After. And speaking of which, during fireworks is another great time to ride, since a large number of guests are watching the nighttime spectacular. During the day, when a parade taking place, is typically the best time to get in the queue for the popular attractions.
5. The Railroad
The Walt Disney World Railroad is a great way to get around the park. It stops at Main Street, U.S.A., Frontierland and Fantasyland during the 1.5-mile tour around the Magic Kingdom. Trains typically come every 4-10 minutes so you’ll never wait too long before one arrives. The Railroad is really its own attraction, since a narrator will point out a number of sights to see, including ones you wouldn’t be able to see from anywhere else in the park.
4. Park Planning
Since the Magic Kingdom is full of iconic shows and attractions, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your must-do experiences. One thing to keep in mind, however, is the fact that the park is large and traveling from one side to the other can be a big time waster, especially if there is a parade going on. It’s a good idea to plan your day (or days) around a logical progression through the park. If you have a fast pass for Splash Mountain, it makes sense to plan on going to Big Thunder Mountain or Tom Sawyer Island while you’re there instead of heading across the park to ride Space Mountain.
3. Rope Drop
Rope Drop is the best time to come to the park, since it’s the easiest time to get on rides. The added benefit of being there that early is the opening show, Let The Magic Begin. Mickey and the gang arrive on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt stage and help you count down the opening of the Magic Kingdom. While the opening show is typically scheduled for 20 minutes before rope drop, if the crowd is becoming too large, the show will begin earlier. So if you’re planning to make it to the park before rope drop or to catch the opening show, make sure you plan on being there a little earlier so you don’t miss any of the fun.
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2. Dining Times
With so many table service and quick service restaurants to choose from, it can be difficult to plan your dining in the park. During the lunch and dinner rush, you can expect to battle the crowds as you wait for food in the quick service lines. If you are more of a relaxed diner and don’t care when you eat, the off-peak dining times are the perfect way to skip the lines and enjoy all the wonderful food Disney has to offer. An early lunch before 11am or a late lunch between 2-4pm will likely give you a better chance of avoiding the crowds and finding a table to relax at. For dinner, a 2-4pm early dinner or a late dinner after 8pm will give you plenty of flexibility. If you’d like to try your luck at a table service restaurant, these are also the times that are most likely to get you seated without a reservation.
1. Signature Snacks
The first time you visit Walt Disney World, you’ll likely read about tips for which resort to book, which restaurants to try and which rides you must-do. What many people don’t tell you are which signature snacks you should have. At the Magic Kingdom, there are so many to try and each one has its own following. From the Mickey Ice Cream Bars to the Churros, you can’t really go wrong with anything you try in the park. A stop at the Main Street Confectionery is a must during your visit, so you can peer into the glass display and pick the first snack to try. The Cinnamon Roll from Gaston’s Tavern is another signature snack to experience. The most iconic snack at Magic Kingdom (and possibly all of Walt Disney World) is the Dole Whip that is available at Aloha Isle in Adventureland – if you’ve never tried it, please do yourself a favor and add it to your must-do list for your next trip.
What are some of the things you wish people had told you about visiting Magic Kingdom? What are your tips and tricks for planning a day in the park? Let us know in the comments!