The Magic Kingdom brings much joy to millions of park guests each year. While most of your memories will be fantastic, there will be times where you think back to the plethora of crowds and endless waiting in lines and wonder how you got through the day. The parks have increased in attendance through the years and even though you can visit during the off season, you will be surprised as to how long some of the lines and how big some of the crowds still are. Here are nine moments to delve away from the worst times to visit the Magic Kingdom.
9. During a runDisney Event
Watch out for those competitive runners! When the runDisney marathons are underway, there is no stopping the thousands of runners competing to make it to the finish line. Some of these races have the runners stroll through the Magic Kingdom as they race towards the end, which means there are several areas that are blocked or have restricted entry to regular park guests. This can cause a major delay in traffic when trying to get to the park. Crowds can also be heavy inside the park. It is best to see the park on days when the races aren’t taking place, but if you just so happen to be there when they are, you can chill out a little at your resort, or choose another park to attend and then return to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon when the races are over.
Florida is one of the most humid states. Not only is it scorching hot most days out of the year, your sweat glands are working full force and your hair is bound to frizz up. The hottest temperatures are usually in the afternoon, which can cause a little frustration as you’re walking around the park or waiting for a show or parade to start. It’s best to make sure you are able to enjoy the park in the morning or evening if you want to avoid the heat. There aren’t very many places to ‘hang out’ in for air conditioning aside from dining at a restaurant or waiting in line for a ride that is indoors, so trying to cool down in the middle of the day is a little challenging.
7. During the Summer Months
Just like visiting during the mid-afternoon, the summer days and nights are not only full of sweat and rays of sunlight, but they are also extremely crowded. Since children are out of school, parents take advantage and take vacation during these times, which is what mostly leads to larger crowds. Mixing blazing hot temperatures with sticky, sweaty bodies is not fun in anyone’s book. The summer season is also a very rainy time for Florida. It can rain pretty badly (considering it is the start of hurricane season) and the weather is often unpredictable. If you plan to visit the Magic Kingdom, try not to do so during the summer time to avoid crowds, heat, sweat, and rain for days.
6. Christmas Day
Everyone loves the holidays. Decoration, lights, and music fill the air in the Magic Kingdom during the entire month of December and even parts of November and January. While there are many days to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of the park during the holiday season, many guests make it a point to visit the Magic Kingdom on Christmas day. I will say from a personal experience that this is by far the worst day to attempt to hang out at this particular park. The chances of you being able to ride many rides, watch shows, move quickly from one place to another, or even dine at a restaurant with an available table is slim to none. The park usually reaches capacity during the morning hours, so if you don’t try to go in early, you may not be able to go in at all. The good news is that the other parks are not as bad, so you can enjoy the décor in the other parks on Christmas day. If you still want to experience the magic of the holidays at the Magic Kingdom, you can check it out any other day in December and even parts of November and January (as previously stated). The holidays are a great time to create memories and get in the spirit, just be sure not to visit on Christmas day.
5. New Years Eve
The fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are probably on everyone’s to-do list. They’re not only magical, but they’re synched with the music of the most beloved Disney movies of all time. The colors and array of lights in the sky are a fantastic way to end the night. One of the most beautiful firework displays offered at the Magic Kingdom Park are the New Years Eve fireworks. They are enormous, one of a kind, and are set off in a 360-degree circle so no matter where you look, you wont miss out on the show. All of this sounds lovely, right? The catch is that this is another one of those holidays where the park reaches capacity early in the morning and is crowded the entire day and night. You won’t be able to enjoy most of the park due to the large crowds and leaving the park is a complete nightmare if your resort isn’t within walking distance of the park. There is good news though! The Magic Kingdom practices the exact same firework show the night before New Years Eve! You can check out the same show that will be played the following day on this evening and avoid the larger than life crowds. Still wanting to see the fireworks on New Years Eve? Head on over to Epcot where another spectacular firework display is performed without the ridiculous crowd that takes over the Magic Kingdom. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
4. Halloween Night
Fall décor at the parks is beautiful and unique as the cooler temperatures come on over to central Florida. Halloween is a huge deal at the Magic Kingdom with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party in full swing on select dates the entire month of October. Many park guests never miss this event due to its popularity with eccentric Halloween décor and the ability to dress up in costume, trick-or-treat around the entire park, and watch unique shows and parades that are never performed on a daily basis. Halloween night is one of the more popular nights for this hard ticket event. If you do not plan on attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on Halloween night, unfortunately, your day in the park will come to an end early as they make way for guests that are attending. For those that are attending, this is the evening with the most tickets sold for the event, making it more crowded. Since the hard ticket even is offered throughout select dates in the fall, it would be best to try to attend during the week to avoid larger crowds.
3. Spring Break
Spring breakers don’t play around. They are ready for some fun in the sun and a break from their daily studies. Thousands of students young and old travel to the happiest place on earth for this break, which means mass crowds. There are some really great Florida resident deals and resort packages around this time since Walt Disney World is expecting a large attendance. This allows families who are looking for great deals to take part in the magic, so chances are, no matter what time of the spring season you attend, it may be packed with guests.
These days are sometimes unavoidable and can sometimes lasts for months or even years. Although Disney dos a fantastic job of trying to keep the construction sites out of the way of park goers, these closures can cause detours and delays in the routes of guests. It can also obstruct views and leave less space for shows or parades. I have also noticed several guests unhappy with their pictures because of the large construction blocking walls and cranes that can ruin the shot. The Walt Disney World website often has a list of the construction that is going on or scheduled to happen at the Magic Kingdom on certain dates. You can check these in advance before setting up your reservation or choosing which date to visit the park.
1. Special Event Days
Hard ticket events are my favorite. They typically being in the late afternoon and end in the early morning hours allowing guests to enjoy some really special shows and décor. Unfortunately for those not attending the hard ticket nightly events, days at the Magic Kingdom are cut short. Since these nightly events commence in the late afternoon, those park guests wanting to stay late will not be able to. The park will close early, and your day at the Magic Kingdom will be cut short. It is best to check online before selecting your date to visit to ensure there are no special events taking place on that day. This way, you can enjoy the park the entire day and night if you wish.
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Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.