How To Do Magic Kingdom Right – 10 Things You Should Know

The Magic Kingdom is practically synonymous with Disney World. It is the most visited park and also the busiest. These tips will help you explore and make the most of your trip to “the most magical place on earth!”

10. Fast-Pass + the most popular attractions! Waiting in line for every attraction will waste precious time and you might not get to them all. High volume attractions create long wait times, so rides like Space Mountain, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Splash Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight should be high priority when planning ahead and reserving your Fast-Pass times. If you want to see Princesses, this is also a must. Securing fast passes online before your trip is essential!

9. Decide what to do about Parades! The Magic Kingdom offers two great parades. If you want to see Festival of Fantasy, you might want to scout out a shady spot along the parade route. If planning for the Main Street Electrical Parade, the Frontierland section offers great seating along the shops if you arrive early enough. Grab a snack (perhaps a Dole Whip?) and enjoy! If parades aren’t really your thing, you might be able to capitalize on lower wait times for many attractions. Just beware that after parades are over, the crowds will be overwhelming in many sections of the park.

8. Quick service restaurants help you eat on the go! To maximize time, this is the way to go. Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe specializes in hamburgers with a great topping bar, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is able to handle the hungry masses with a variety of sandwiches, even Be Our Guest offers a great lunch experience. You can get pizza flatbreads at Pinnochio’s Village Haus and fish plates at the Columbia Harbor House. These are also your best choices for indoor seating to escape the Florida sun.

7. The best lunch at Disney is found at the Liberty Tree Tavern! The secret here is the lunch menu is an affordable sit-down meal with a colonial atmosphere. (For dinner, it transforms into a buffet which is a bit more pricey). I think they serve the best burger on Disney property. However, the Pilgrim’s Feast is a can’t miss Thanksgiving meal you can enjoy year round. You might need a reservation here because of the limited time frame. One more secret you won’t find on the menu – you can order rolls before your meal that come with honey butter or apple butter – for free!

6. Check out classic attractions! Some older attractions shoudn’t be missed. These include the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise. One of Walt Disney’s greatest achievements at the 1964 World’s Fair was the Carousel of Progress, found now in Tomorrowland. It seldom has a wait longer than 5 minutes and will help you relax from a frenzied day in the heat.

5. Visit Tom Sawyer’s Island! Escape the hoards of people on this island-sized playground filled with great photo ops, creepy caves, and bouncy bridges. Whether you decide to defend Fort Langhorn (with unlimited “ammunition” at the gun racks), take it easy on the rocking chairs or play checkers, this escape will seem miles removed from the crazy pace of the rest of the Kingdom. Lucky for you it’s just a quick raft ride away!

4. Meet Mickey Mouse! At the Town Square Theater near the entrance to the park you will not only meet Mickey, but you’ll be able to have a conversation with him! Introduce yourself and take a picture with the one who, in Walt’s words, started it all!

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3. Stay for the nighttime shows! Experience Celebrate the Magic as your favorite scenes and characters are projected on the walls of Cinderella’s Castle. Minutes later you will have a prime spot to witness Wishes!, the nightly fireworks display! These are great excuses to enjoy a Dole Whip if you haven’t done so yet or perhaps a bucketful of buttery popcorn!

2. Stay on property for Extra Magic Hours! Dependent on your stay at a Disney Resort property, you’ll want to take advantage of extra magic hours where the Magic Kingdom is either open early or late for Resort guests only. Crowds are certainly down, especially on the seasonal occasions when the park is open the full two hours after closing (sometimes as late as 3am)! There’s something extra magical being inside the park in the wee hours of the morning – you’ll feel like it’s open just for you to enjoy!

1. Plan to experience the Rope Drop, the Flag Retreat and The Kiss Goodnight! Get to the park early for the Welcome Show at the Main Street Train Station where Mickey and his pals arrive by train to usher in a magical day! At this time, once the park is officially opened you are able to ride one of the vehicles parked along Main Street to the Castle for a rare experience (and be first in line to the attraction you choose)! Every day before dusk, the American Flag is lowered with a time-honored ceremony at the entrance of Main Street as well. Finally, if you are on Main Street as the park closes you are able to hear an official farewell from Mickey and friends known as the Kiss Goodnight.

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About Jared

I believe there's magic everywhere and love Story in all of its forms. Disney has impacted me from childhood, helping to instill in me the lost art of wonder and imagination. Having spent time as a cast member and now as a professional communicator, I long to inspire others with those same values. A few of my favorite Disney things are Fort Wilderness, extra-magic hours at the Magic Kingdom, and the nostalgia of EPCOT Center. My wife and I recently traded the Walt Disney World mountains (Space, Splash, Everest, Big Thunder and Mount Gushmore) for the mountains of Tennessee but writing about the Disney experience helps keep the magic alive!

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