The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is perhaps the most incredibly wonderful places on the planet. It’s one of the few places you can fly with Peter Pan, socialize with grim grinning ghosts, and see Mickey Mouse and all his friends outside of a movie screen. As fantastic as a trip to this magical place can be, it can also be incredibly easy to drain the fun right out of it. Avoidable mistakes and poor choices by guests can certainly take the magic right out of The Magic Kingdom. Though these tips are directed at the most magical place on earth, they can always be applied to any Disney Park. Here are ten sure-fire ways to make an otherwise magical trip totally miserable.
10. Missing Your Early Start
Just to be clear, I’m not saying you have to be the very first group to the park, but it does help to be early. You don’t have to be there for the rope drop or opening ceremony, although they are both crimes to miss, it will tremendously help your trip if you are at the parks at an early hour. If you wait too long to make your arrival, you face the risk of long lines, wait times, and bigger crowds to fight through. If you want to do your best to avoid crowds and lines, this writer recommends arriving no later than 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning. Like I always say, early birds meet the mouse. So if you want to avoid schlepping through the hoard and trying to muck through your late start, try to arrive early.
Walt Disney World is one of the most wonderfully magical places on earth, but because of its size, location, and popularity, there will be a few inconveniences. Yes it’s going to be hot, yes there will be crowds, and yes you will have to wait for certain things. Despite its whimsical reputation, the Disney Parks are still theme parks. They are going to have some of the same problems many theme parks have, even a place as wonderful as The Magic Kingdom. While it is true that Disney handles most problems better than other parks, sometimes they still occur. The best thing to do is simply be patient and enjoy the atmosphere the Disney Imagineers and artists have worked so hard to create. A temporary inconvenience should never be enough to ruin your magic.
Taking a bit from our previous entry, it should be obvious that Orlando gets very hot and very sunny. It is the “Sunshine State” after all. With that bright of combination, a strong sunscreen is practically mandatory for a day at the parks. Temperatures reaching the nineties and UV rays beating down can shave off some of the fun. Burns and sun poisoning have occurred, so if you don’t want to spend your trip applying aloe vera to red, stinging flesh, come prepared. Speaking from experience, it should also be noted that proper reapplication is strongly encouraged. Be smart, pack a good, strong sunblock and apply regularly.
7. Footwear Failure
Another painful mistake guests make is choosing the wrong sort of footwear to don for the parks. Nothing slows down the trip faster than blistered feet. All four of the parks cover a large amount of area, and you may walk as much as 10 miles in a day. Trudging through The Magic Kingdom in flip flops is not the way to go, dear readers. With the great number of distances, you will be walking, blisters can ensue. It’s kind of hard to appreciate the magic of Disney while you’re limping on a throbbing sore. Ditch the flops, and pack a pair of closed toed shoes or a pair of solid soled sandals. Your feet will thank you.
6. Fight the Crowd
The Disney Parks, like every other theme park in the world, will always have crowds. How big or how small the crowd truly depends on the time you go. Nevertheless, you will be put against some crowding at some point or another during your trip. Patience and planning are the keys to surviving the huddled masses. This writer has seen certain visitors push, shove, argue, and drag their child through parade traffic to try to get to their destination. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not do this. Be smart, be aware of your location, and find a safe path for you and/or your party to get from A to B. Take it from a Magic Kingdom Maniac, a straight line is not always the shortest distance. This behavior also applies to stage shows at Cinderella Castle and the Nighttime Spectaculars. Simply and bluntly put, if you want a good spot, get there early. There’s plenty to see at The Magic Kingdom, no reason to push and shove to get there
One of the biggest mistakes guests can possibly do is forget to hydrate in the scalding Floridian sun. True, it can be absolutely mind-blowing how enchanting all the sights and sounds of the Magic Kingdom are, but do not let it distract you from your own personal health and safety. There are plenty of food service locations that offer free cups of water for over-heated guests. If you didn’t pack your water-bottle, this courteous service can be a lifesaver on your trip to the parks. Remember, sunburns can be bad, but dehydration can be so much worse.
4. Forgetting Food
A hungry guest is an unhappy guest. If you don’t put fuel in the tank, your car will not start. As stated in the previous page, The Magic Kingdom has plenty of food service restaurants to satisfy the rumbly in your tumbly. For those of you thinking about saving money by waiting till the end of your day to eat outside the parks, think again. There’s a reason we’ve created the word “hangry.” Either pack some snacks in your travel bag, just remember that they have to go through security, use a meal plan, or take extra cash for food in the park. This writer highly recommends taking advantage of park favorites such as the Frontierland Turkey Leg and of course the ever popular Dole-Whip. Whatever your decision, please remember to eat and keep your energy up for storming the kingdom
3. The Wild Child
There’s a reason the announcements always say “Please watch your children.” There is always something fantastic going on and kids are always easily excitable, sometimes too excitable. With large crowds, constant movement, and a large amount of terrain, it can be very easy for them to get lost or even hurt. If you or your party happen to be traveling with smaller fans, please keep an eye on them and make sure they do not separate from your group. I’m not saying keep a leash on your kids, but by no means should they be left to just run up and down Main Street. Keep them close, under control, and out of harm’s way.
2. Disney Discourtesies
This one is a no-brainer but still seems to be something people forget. Take a page from Cinderella and be kind and patient with your fellow park-goers. There are a few certain fans that seem to leave their manners at home when visiting the parks. I have seen guests knowingly litter, use profanity at Meet and Greets, and play games loudly on their phones during shows and performances. Use common courtesy and do not distract or disrupt another fan’s Disney experience. You might be a regular pass holder going through all the bells and whistles on your trip, but don’t forget you are not the only guest of the kingdom.
1. Cruelty to Cast Members
The Disney Cast Members should be your best friend during your stay at any of the parks, but The Magic Kingdom especially. Being the biggest and most popular of all the Disney properties in Walt Disney World, it takes a lot of people to put Magic in The Magic Kingdom. They are there to assist, direct, and make sure your Disney experience is absolutely fantastic. So please, for the love of Walt, be nice to your Cast Members. They do so much and continue to smile and spread pixie dust to hundreds of guests a day. Treat them kindly as you would a host or a friend. They will always appreciate it, so don’t be afraid to share some magic back with them.