Any amount of time spent in Disney World is great. That said, when you’re stuck only spending a short amount of time there, you may be wondering how on earth to fit the most important things in your brief schedule.
This is especially true in Magic Kingdom, which is home to more attractions than any other Disney World park. Getting through it all in one day can feel impossible.
Fortunately, it’s notimpossible. The following plan helps you hit all the highlights in one super fun Disney day!
1. Choose Your Day
The very first thing you’ll want to do is consider what day you want to be in the park.Look at the park hours and watch out for early closing times that might cut your day short. Additionally, you’ll want to do your best to schedule your visit for a day with nighttime Extra Magic Hours, as this will extend your park time.
2. Stay Onsite
Next, you will want to make sure to stay on Disney property.Not only does this allow you to travel to and from the park more easily, it also gives you the ability to make FastPass reservations a full month earlier than others.This definitely gives you the advantage when it comes to snagging passes for the most popular rides.
If you can, stay in one of the “Monorail Resorts”—i.e. the Contemporary, the Polynesian, or the Grand Floridian—for super easy access to Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary is most ideal for this, as it allows you to simply walk to Magic Kingdom rather than waiting around for transportation.
Of course, the other Disney resorts are also a fine option. You’ll just want to budget more time to get around.
3. Make Dining Reservations
180 days before your arrival, you’ll want to make your dining reservations.
Usually we would recommend snagging Cinderella’s Royal Table or Crystal Palace, but considering you’re working with a very limited amount of time, you will probably want to get a lunch quick-service reservation at Be Our Guest and call it good. After all, you probably won’t want to use valuable ride time having a long meal!
4. Make FastPass Reservations
At 60 days out, you’ll need to work on getting your FastPass reservations.Obviously, the passes you choose will depend on your family’s preferences.
That said, we do have some specific passes we recommend getting and using for this plan:
Splash Mountain (late morning)
Peter Pan’s Flight (later morning)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (early afternoon)
5. Get Up Early
When the big day arrives, one of the very best things you can do to maximize your time is get up early.The goal is to arrive at the gate a full 45 minutes before park opening. Take your coffee and breakfast and eat it while you wait for the park to open, or grab something at the Starbucks in the park, which is open before everything else.
6. Head to the Left
Once the rope drops, head left from the Hub.You’ll notice a huge number of people going off to the right or heading back toward Fantasyland. You want to stay out of those crowds, and heading left should allow you to do just that.
The goal is to hit Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before the crowds come pouring in.
7. Use Those Passes
With those three headliner attractions finished, you can whip out your FastPasses.You should be back by Splash Mountain already, making it easy to put that one to use. At that point, walk over to Fantasyland, catching Haunted Mansion on the way. Use your Peter Pan pass immediately after, then hit up “it’s a small world”. Finally, use your remaining FastPass to hop on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
8. Make Another
With your third pass used, you’ll be able to make a fourth FastPass reservation.If you can get one for Space Mountain, grab it fast. Otherwise, look for an evening pass for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
9. Grab Some Lunch
After Seven Dwarfs, you’ll be right by Be Our Guest for lunch.Head over there, grab a bite, enjoy the amazing theming, and cool off in the A/C.
10. Take a Break
At this point, you’re likely going to be feeling pretty worn out. We recommend allowing yourself some sort of breakin order to ensure you can make use of the slower and cooler evening hours. For some, this will mean returning to the hotel for an actual nap or a swim. Others might prefer taking advantage of cool, relaxing attractions such as the Hall of Presidents or Carousel of Progress.
11. Return for More Fun
Once you’ve refreshed yourself, you can pick up where you left off.Finish up anything you didn’t get to do in Fantasyland and check out Tomorrowland, making sure to use that fourth FastPass.
If anything has a super long queue, you might consider waiting until after the fireworks to hop in line. Of course, this only works if the park stays open after the fireworks show, so keep that in mind.
Attractions we highly recommend seeing during this stint include:
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
12. Have Dinner
Of course, at some point you’re going to want dinner. Your best option for quick-service in this area of the park is definitely Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.This eatery has plenty of options and even allows mobile ordering if you want to save time. Try to sit in the dining hall with Sunny the animatronic singing alien for an extra bit of fun.
Fireworks and Disney World go hand in hand, and the current Magic Kingdom show, “Happily Ever After”, is definitely a must-see. For this reason, we highly recommend dropping everything to see the show. That said, we do not recommend staking out a place a whole hour beforehand. 30 minutes should allow you to grab a good enough spot without wasting tons of time.
14. Stay Out Late
Finally, if the park stays open after the fireworks, we highly recommend sticking around until close.If you were able to pick a day with Extra Magic Hours, use every minute of that extra time. The late night is when crowds tend to be thinnest, and you might find yourself squeezing in several more rides if you stay late.
Chelsea is a lifelong Disney fanatic who lives and travels full time in an RV with her son and husband. Their family takes full advantage of their unique living situation by visiting Disney parks on both sides of the country as often as possible. In doing so, the Gonzales family gathers loads of great tips and info about the parks, which Chelsea is thrilled to share with readers here. Visit Chelsea's blog: https://wonderwhereverwewander.wordpress.com Wonder Wherever We Wander! Here you’ll find a wealth of valuable information as well as a variety of reviews and resources to help you navigate the often uncharted territory of roadschooling.