As Walt Disney World’s most popular park, the Magic Kingdom can be a bit of a beast to navigate. To keep you from getting overwhelmed, here are 12 tips that Disney Insiders have found really helpful for getting the most out of your Magic Kingdom experience.
12.) Know that this is the most popular park
The first mistake some guests make is underestimating how popular the Magic Kingdom is. If you go to the Magic Kingdom during peak season, then you should be totally prepared for long waits, crowded bathrooms, and traffic. Don’t complain about it and make someone else’s trip bad; just prepare yourself and remember that you’re at the happiest place on Earth.
11.) Know about Extra Magic Hours
Extra Magic Hours are hours where certain parks are open for longer periods of time to those staying on Disney Property. Since Magic Kingdom has so much to offer, if you get the opportunity to visit the park on an Extra Magic Hour day, you’ll get at least an extra hour to enjoy all the wonderful things the park has to offer.
10.) Know the specific areas of the park
If you don’t know your way around, it can be easy to get lost within the Magic Kingdom. Because of this, it is important to know the specific areas of the park. There are six total: Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. The attractions and entertainment are all divided by area, so if you know what area you’re in, you’ll be able to navigate through the park much easier. For safety, always grab a couple of maps to keep with you, and don’t hesitate to ask a Cast Member questions.
9.) Know what to bring in the park with you
When visiting the Magic Kingdom, you should always have a backpack filled with essentials, especially because those essentials are crazy expensive in the park. Sunscreen, ponchos, umbrellas, sweaters, water bottles, and phone chargers are just some examples of things that you’ll need but can cost almost double what you’d pay at the grocery store. Make sure to pack things that you will use to make your trip better!
8.) Know which characters to visit and which to avoid
What many guests don’t know is that some of the characters are found in more than one park. Since the Magic Kingdom is usually the most crowded park, if there are characters that are found in other parks like Alice or Aladdin, I would recommend visiting them in those parks. Other characters such as Merida and Peter Pan that are only found in the Magic Kingdom are ones that you should focus on meeting during your limited time in the park.
7.) Know that there are lots of little children
The Magic Kingdom is the most popular park for numerous reasons, and one of them is that there are a lot of attractions geared towards little children. If you’re not the biggest fan of little kids, you should be aware that there are thousands of them at any given time in the Magic Kingdom. Be prepared for that. Don’t be rude to them or make snide comments about them, because they are having the time of their lives in this park. Be kind to them, and if you still don’t want to be around them, then go on rides geared towards older children and wait for the families with little ones to leave the park before you go on rides like It’s a Small World. Once again, be courteous of the younger ones by preparing yourself for them.
6.) Know where you want to be for fireworks
There are multiple spots in the Magic Kingdom that are perfect for viewing fireworks besides the Castle Courtyard. While you’re in the park during the day, scout out cool spots or pick an outside attraction that you think would be fun to ride while watching the fireworks. Some ideas include Big Thunder Mountain, just outside Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and the center of Liberty Square. There are so many different ways to watch the fireworks; I would recommend trying them all!
5.) Know when and where the parades are
If you haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom yet, then you have no idea exactly how big the parades are. The parades can take up to half of the entire park, but the question is, what parts? Before you go, you should research when and where the parade will be so you can get a good spot if you plan on watching them, and know which areas to stay away from if you don’t. While the parades are amazing to watch because they’re full of wonder spectacle, parade time is also the perfect time to get on rides that are usually packed because everyone will be off watching the parade. Knowing when and where they are will help you make you decision about whether you’d like to go or not, and will help you plan your day.
4.) Know when to go on the Roller Coasters
The roller coasters in Magic Kingdom can get really crowded really quickly. While some days are more crowded than others, the general consensus is that if you’re going to wait in the standard line, you should do it at the beginning or end of the day. Not only are the lines shorter, but it’s cooler outside and you still get time to enjoy the more interactive aspects of the queue. The different coasters all have different average wait times, and if you look into them, you’ll be able to determine which coasters you should hit first or save for last. (Hint: Seven Dwarves Mine Train, which usually has a 120+ wait time, reduced to a 40-minute wait at about 8:30 last time I went).
3.) Know about the different dining options
If you know about dining before you go, your entire day will be much more pleasant. There are multiple options for dining all over the park: some are quick service that you can visit whenever, some are character dining opportunities that require reservations, and some are simply snack stands. There are so many dining options that it can be overwhelming. It’s important to research before you go- especially if you want to eat at a fancier restaurant that requires reservations.
2.) Know about wait times and Fastpasses
Some of the wait times in the Magic Kingdom can get really, really long- like 3 hours long. It’s because of waits like this that you should look into the average wait times for rides before you go to get an idea of how to plan your day. There are websites devoted to average wait times that you can look into. If you find a ride that has a very long wait, you do have the option to reserve a Fastpass for it. Fastpasses are your ticket to the front of the line and cut wait time substantially. You can begin reserving fastpasses up to 60 days before your visit if you’re staying on Disney property, and up to 30 days if you’re not. You can reserve up to 3 before you get to the park, and 1 at a time after those three are used. Choose your fastpasses carefully, and make sure you do your research!
1.) Know where to buy Dole Whips
If you’ve never had a Dole Whip, then this may sound a bit silly; but if you have, then you’ll know how crucial a dole whip is to a visit to the Magic Kingdom. Aloha Isle, located in Adventureland, is the only place in the magic kingdom where you can find this delicious soft-serve treat. Flavors include pineapple, orange, and vanilla, and you can even get a Dole Whip float, which is soft-serve in pineapple juice (which will make your tastebuds explode). If you haven’t had a Dole Whip, then make sure to try this delicious treat once (though I’m sure you’ll want it again)!
The Magic Kingdom can be an overwhelming place to visit if you’re not prepared. As a Disney Insider, I hope that these tips, which have always worked for me, work for you too!
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