No matter the length of your Walt Disney World vacation, you’ll no doubt find that it’s not enough. You’ll want to prioritize must-see items on your wish list, and fit in as many experiences each day as you can, which can be difficult, especially with a park that has as many exciting attractions and as much square footage as Magic Kingdom. This is always the most popular Disney park, regardless of the time of year, and it’s the most difficult to manoeuvre in one day. Following a few simple guidelines will completely change the way you experience Magic Kingdom, allowing you and your family to maximize your time in the park, especially welcome if you have only one day to see and do everything on your list. If you want to take in 15 or more attractions in one day at the Magic Kingdom, these are a few things to take into consideration.
Planning is pivotal to experiencing 15 attractions in one day, starting with your FastPass+ selection. To minimize the amount of time you spend in lines, start by making a list of attractions that you want to experience. If Splash Mountain is a ride you want to do (and really, who doesn’t love Splash Mountain?!), know that the line will be long from the time the park opens until closing, so a FastPass is your best bet. Likewise, if you don’t have a penchant for flying over London and discovering just how you get to Neverland, then you may want to skip Peter Pan’s Flight, which typically has one of the longest lines in the park. Other rides where FastPasses are imperative to avoid long lines are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. Conversely, lines are never very long at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, so you won’t need to use a FastPass on this attraction. People will tell you to get all of your FastPasses out of the way in the morning, so that you can grab more of them later in the day after your initial three have been used. A word of advice: the FastPasses that are still left later in the day are likely going to be attractions that you really don’t need a FastPass for to begin with, so don’t worry too much about that.
Once you’ve made your list of must-do attractions and chosen those elusive FastPasses, it’s time to make a route plan for the park. It is so easy to waste time in the parks; if you have FastPasses that are on completely different sides of the park, you could end up running back and forth for the first three hours you’re there and think you’ve saved time, when really you could have gotten in 6-8 attractions in that time. For example, let’s say you have a FastPass at Splash Mountain around 9:30 am. A good plan is to get into the park early and head towards Adventureland. Do Jungle Cruise before much of a line forms, then knock off Pirates of the Caribbean before it gets too busy, or hop next door to Frontierland to take in Tom Sawyer Island or catch the Country Bears Jamboree. Then get to that FastPass for 9:30. By 9:45, you’ll be off the ride and probably have another 45 minutes at least until your next FastPass. So jump over to Haunted Mansion and check that off your list, and maybe ride the Liberty Square Riverboat. If you know Magic Kingdom well, you will notice that this plan doesn’t waste any time jumping from land to land and doubling back. If you start in Adventureland and then have a FastPass on the opposite side of the park in Tomorrowland, you’ll end up wasting so much time walking around that you won’t maximize your attraction times.
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Don’t forget to plan your meals. Part of planning your route around the park is trying to determine when you are going to want to grab something to eat. If you can, try to eat a bit early or a bit late, rather than opting for eating at peak meal times. That way, you’ll avoid long lines and potentially having to wait for a table in some restaurants. Eat right at 11:00 or after 1:30 for lunch, for example, to avoid the lunch rush. Another key here is to use your My Disney Experience App to take advantage of the Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering right from your phone so your food will be ready to go when you are! Again, plan your route in advance: if you plan to be in and around Haunted Mansion around lunch time, don’t bank on eating on the other side of the park at Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland – stop at the nearby Columbia Harbour House instead.
Lastly, and integral to the plan, is: rest well the night before, and be ready for a long day. Consider arriving for park opening (rope drop) to maximize your time in the park. Lines will be lighter this early in the day, so you’ll be able to get on rides that will be busy later, without having to use a FastPass. Stay until late and take advantage of those Magic Hours (extra time during which the park is open only to resort guests) as well. If you don’t care about catching the parade or fireworks, this is the perfect time to get those last couple of attractions in, as lines die right down while everyone is watching the parade and fireworks.
With a little planning, it’s easy to fit in 15 attractions in Magic Kingdom in one day. I will leave you with a breakdown of a typical plan we have for a day in this park:
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Railroad
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Haunted Mansion (lunch before or after, in Liberty Square)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Under the Sea – Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover