10 Tips for the Best Day Ever at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Entrance Sign
Credit: Disney Dining

If you’re heading to Magic Kingdom, chances are you’re going to want to ensure you have the very best day possible. Unfortunately, many people who have never been to Magic Kingdom have no idea where to begin when planning their day. In fact, even those who have been to this park a time or two may feel lost during the planning process. Fortunately, we’ve been to the Magic Kingdom enough to know exactly how to have the perfect day. Try these tips and you’re sure to have a blast.

1. Grab FastPasses

Those who have never been to Disney World may not know about the FastPass+ system. This system allows visitors to reserve a time to ride their favorite attractions, meaning they waste less time in standby queues. That said, the most popular rides must be reserved well in advance, meaning if you want to get the most out of your FastPasses, you’ll want to make your reservations as soon as your window opens up. For those staying on Disney property, this is 60 days in advance. All others must wait until 30 days out.

2. Eat with Your Favorite Disney Friends

Disney World is one of the few places on earth where you can eat with Disney characters, and Magic Kingdom has some of the best character dining around. Whether you choose to have breakfast with Pooh and his friends, lunch in Cinderella’s castle with your favorite princesses, or dinner in Beast’s castle with the Beast himself, you should definitely plan on at least one character meal. Just be sure to make your dining reservations in advance. The reservation window opens 120 days in advance.

3. Arrive at Opening

Many vacationers make the mistake of arriving at Magic Kingdom around lunchtime. By this time, the people have started to pour in, the temperatures are rising, and the crowds on Main Street, U.S.A. make it difficult to enjoy the characters and entertainment found there. Arriving at opening is a much more pleasant experience. It allows you to enjoy some attractions before the crowd levels rise, and puts you further back in the park when others are flooding the front area near the entrance.

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4. Make Time for a Rest

Disney parks are exhausting. This is especially true of Magic Kingdom, which is almost always crowded and has countless attractions to take in. For this reason, we highly recommend making time for a rest in the afternoon. For some, this might mean heading back to the hotel for an actual nap, but for others it might just mean going to a sit-down restaurant for a leisurely meal or riding the rafts over to Tom Sawyer’s Island for a bit of quiet time and decompression.

5. Stay Until Close

Hopefully that afternoon rest will re-energize you, because you will certainly want to stay in the park until closing time. This is because the crowds begin to thin out in the evening, and the hour or so before closing is one of the best times of day to be in the park. Besides that, after the official park closing time, the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. stay open a bit longer, meaning you can meander out and get your shopping done without using any of your precious ride time. So rest up in the afternoon and trust us when we say you do want to hold out until the very end.

6. Make Time for Fireworks

Since you’ll be staying until closing time anyway, you absolutely should make time for fireworks. There is nothing quite like a Disney World fireworks show, and the one at Magic Kingdom is especially magical. If you can, find a spot 30 minutes or so before the projections show begins and stay for both the projections show and the fireworks. Grab a snack to enjoy while you’re waiting, have a seat on the ground, and use the wait time as a chance to recharge.

7. Take Your Time

Because there is so much to see and do in Magic Kingdom, it can be tempting to run from one ride to the next. However, rushing through the park actually takes away from the magic of it all. This park has so many little details to enjoy and so many wonderful side experiences that taking your time is very rewarding. Go ahead and make a list of must-do attractions, but don’t expect to get everything done. Instead, grab a coffee, meander through the lands, do some people-watching, and allow magical experiences to come to you.

8. Dress Up

Whether you dress your kids up as their favorite characters, don a homemade Disney-themed dress, or put your entire family in matching Mickey shirts, dressing up is a great way to enhance your Magic Kingdom experience. People who dress up draw attention, resulting in compliments and extra attention from Cast Members.

9. Get a Button

Another way to start conversations and fun interactions with Cast Members is to grab a free button from City Hall. There is a button for those who are visiting for the first time ever, a button for those celebrating their birthday, and a general celebration button that can be worn for a celebration of any sort. Not only are these fun to wear for the day, they also make great free souvenirs.

10. Pack Snacks and Drink Water

It’s hard to have fun if you’re starving or thirsty. While there is food around every corner in Magic Kingdom, feeding the kids in-park treats all day can get pricey. For this reason, we highly recommend packing your own snacks to bring in. Additionally, we recommend asking for free cups of water at any quick-service restaurant rather than spending money on bottles of water.

About Chelsea Gonzales