A day at the Magic Kingdom is a dream come true for families! In fact, any day at the Magic Kingdom is the perfect day in my book. If you only have one day planned to visit the Magic Kingdom on an upcoming trip, it can be a bit overwhelming to get in all you want to do in just one day. Whether you plan every minute of your trip or fly by the seat of your pants, I have put together 5 tips to help you get the most out of your day at Magic Kingdom!
- Open or Close the park
Getting to the park for the opening ceremonies is just the beginning of the perks of being an early bird. The added Disney magic of singing and dancing your way in will certainly get you in the mood for a great day. I highly suggest that you make your way to your favorite attraction immediately afterward! Do not let Main Street shopping slow you down! Often, the park will be very busy by 11 am, so getting in some must do rides will have you feeling very satisfied before noon. If you are staying on property, an extra magic hours day might be the day to get there early, but if you are off property, pick a different day if you want to get the most of the morning! If you are a night owl, that’s good too! A lot of families will little ones will be tuckered out by the nighttime and ready to go back to their hotels. Keep your eyes open for late nights at the Magic Kingdom, sometimes even open until 3 am! Thrill rides do tend to stay busy throughout the night, but you can usually get in most of fantasyland in a short time after 9 pm. Closing the park also gives you the opportunity to see fireworks, which is a very special event!
- Get your Fast Pass+
As a family, decide which 3 rides you really, really want to ride while at Magic Kingdom and make sure that you reserve them as far in advance as you can to guarantee you get on your favorites. My advice is to make sure you make great Fast Pass+ decisions and use this option for these rides: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Enchanted Tales with Belle, The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain. Believe it or not, Peter Pan’s Flight is the most popular ride at Magic Kingdom according to wait times, so if that is a must do…you must do a Fast Pass+. If you have a favorite ride or character you must meet, you should use a Fast Pass+ on it if you absolutely do not want to miss it. Here is also my list of don’t burn your Fast Pass+ on this, as waits are usually manageable: The Barnstormer, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
- Reserve for no wait!
Disney allows you to make table service reservations up to 180 days in advance, so take advantage of this! Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Crystal Palace and Liberty Tree Tavern are very popular restaurants and Tony’s Town Square and the Plaza Restaurant will get busy once the others are pretty booked up. If you do not make a reservation, I suggest you hit the quick service meals to avoid waiting for a table. If your goal is to get the most of your day, sitting for over an hour to eat may not be your top priority. And, remember that Be Our Guest is quick service for lunch. Making the most out of your day and time would lead me to suggest that you do not wait for Be Our Guest lunch, as wait times have been as long as 2 ½ hours.
- Download My Disney Experience and other Disney Apps
I always suggest a little advanced planning to help make the most of your day. Using the My Disney Experience app will allow you to make and change Fast Pass+ choices, dining reservations and allow you to see menus, gives you show times, parade times and firework times. My Disney Experience also has maps, which can really go a long way to getting the most out of your day! Trust me, walking in a circle through the themed lands of Magic Kingdom instead of a zig zag can add hours of more fun to your day. So, look at the apps and chart some sort of a plan. Check wait times through the day and score a short wait time. Even if you just have an idea of where your high priority stops will be, you’ll get much more out of your day!
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- Parades and Shows and Fireworks, Oh my!
My final suggestion is that you do take the time to enjoy the events that are not rides at Magic Kingdom as they are very rewarding and entertaining. I cried last week after seeing Festival of Fantasy Parade, it was so special! Dream Along with Mickey and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular give me the same feels! You’ll also enjoy interactive shows, meeting characters, and incredible shows of talent all over the Magic Kingdom! Take the time to enjoy all you can in your day at Magic Kingdom and have fun!