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How To Tackle Magic Kingdom If You Only Have One Day

Any day spent in Walt Disney World is magical, but if you only have one day to spend at Magic Kingdom, then stress might trump the magic. Never fear though, here are eight sure-fire ways to help you make the most of your Magic Kingdom day!

8. Arrive Early: This is the most important tip to any Disney day. If you want to make the most of you time at Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to be there from open to close. Try to be at Magic Kingdom at least 30 minutes before rope drop, that way you can get through bag check and tickets before the gates even open. Luckily for you, Magic Kingdom has a welcome show prior to rope drop, so you can start the magic before the park even opens! Early morning has very low crowds. You’ll be able to ride many attractions without a long wait in the first hour or two the park is open.

7. Be prepared: Being prepared means a lot of things. It means going into the park with a plan of attack. It means bringing items like band aids, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It means not stopping to purchase tickets day-of. It means being aware of park hours, staying hydrated, and grabbing a map on your way into the park. All of this means your family can effectively, and efficiently tour the Magic Kingdom.

6. EMH or no EMH?: Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are a perk for on-property resort guests where one or more park opens either an hour early or stays open a couple hours late just for them. If you are a Disney resort guest, go to Magic Kingdom when there are EMH so you can take advantage of longer operating hours. Most on-property guests will to go whatever park has EMH each day. So, if you’re not staying on Disney property, visit Magic Kingdom on a day with no EMH to avoid the on-property crowd.

5. Fastpass+ Wisely: Fastpass+ can be your best friend if plan ahead. With the My Disney Experience app, you can select attractions ahead of time for Fastpasses. You’ll be able to choose three attractions to start, and then once you use all three, you can get another, and then another, and so on as you use them. I suggest making all three Fastpass+ reservations for headlining attractions during the afternoon. That way, you can breeze through the lines when they are at their worst.

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4. Skip the Table Service Meals: If your goal is to experience as many attractions as possible in one day, then don’t waste time with a lengthy sit down meal. Instead, nosh at one of the several delicious counter service restaurants without sacrificing as much time. If you have your heart set on eating with Cinderella or in the Beast’s castle, try breakfast instead. Book a dining reservation for about an hour before the park opens, so you can enjoy your meal without missing any attractions.

3. Eat at Off Hours and Mobile Order: Beyond sticking to the counter service restaurants, plan to eat outside the meal rush. That means eating lunch either around 11am or 2pm, and dinner around 5pm or 8pm. Doing so will mean drastically shorter lines (if you wait in line at all!) in the counter service restaurants, and no scouring the room for an empty table. Better yet, use your My Disney Experience App to Mobile Ordering food and beverages and pay right from your phone. This allows for a quick an easy pick up!

2. Rest: A day at Magic Kingdom can be exhausting! Especially if you are go, go, go all day! Alleviate tired feet and cranky feelings with a nice rest once in a while. But, resting doesn’t mean you have to miss out on fun. Attractions like Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Hall of Presidents, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, and the Walt Disney World Railroad let you sit and relax, while still experiencing a classic Disney attraction. If you want to take a break from a crowded park, head over to the monorail and take it for a spin or two around Seven Seas Lagoon. Any of these activities are perfect on a hot, busy afternoon to fill the time between your Fastpass+ windows.

1. Stay Open to Spontaneous Magic: A schedule is important, especially when you have a lot that you want to accomplish. But that does not mean that you can’t enjoy some impromptu fun! Magic is everywhere at Disney. Be on the lookout for the Dapper Dans and the Main Street Trolley Show. Stop and listen to the pianist outside Casey’s Corner or watch a Cast Member draw a character on the ground with a mop. More importantly, stay attuned to the magic happening within your own family! These are the vacation memories you will treasure forever!

These are just some helpful tips for touring Magic Kingdom in one day. What else helps you and your family?

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!