Rankings were just released for the most popular theme parks in the word and Magic Kingdom is ranked number one for yet another year. What this means for the average park guest is that there are crowds, lines, and congestion. However, there are many ways to get more out of your visit to the world’s most popular theme park and the following are our top 10!
10 – Rope Drop – park hours can be used to your advantage. Face it, most people on vacation don’t want to get up at daybreak to go to a theme park and walk around all day long. This means that crowd levels during the morning hours are significantly less than they are in the middle of the afternoon. You can easily tackle the more popular attractions with minimal wait times and not have to worry about using any of your precious FastPasses.
9 – Go Clockwise – I don’t know if this is caused by most people being right-handed or if most Disney fanatics have an affinity towards Space Mountain, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and the attractions of Fantasyland, but it takes awhile for Adventureland and Frontierland to start filling up with guests. If you hit these areas first thing, you can easily enjoy some classic attractions (and of course grab a Dole Whip and a Citrus Swirl)!
8 – Use FastPasses and Schedule Them Correctly – if you arrive at rope drop, there is no reason to schedule FastPasses for the first few hours. Wait times will not justify you wasting them. Save the FastPasses for later in the morning or right after lunch. You will still be able to grab a few extra FastPasses from a kiosk after you use your initial three.
7 – Get Advanced Dining Reservations – The Magic Kingdom has a wonderful assortment of restaurants, but since there are so many people who visit, it is difficult to walk up to a table service restaurant without a reservation. Don’t overlook less popular restaurants like Liberty Tree Tavern has a great all-you-care-to-enjoy selection and the Plaza Restaurant is my favorite place to get a burger in the Magic Kingdom (and you can order ice cream from the parlor next door)! If you don’t make advanced dining reservations, you can still grab a meal at one of Magic Kingdom’s counter service restaurants.
6 – Leave Shopping Until the End – Main Street U.S.A. features specialty shops selling everything from t-shirts, plush toys, magnets, mugs, games, and keychains to name a few. These stores stay open even after park closing during Extra Magic Hours. Save your shopping until after Wishes and the fireworks, then you won’t be missing prime park time and have to carry your purchases around all day long!
5 – Take in the Nighttime Shows – The Magic Kingdom has two very fun and inventive nighttime shows that are a ‘must see!’ The first is Celebrate the Magic. This show uses Cinderella’s Castle as a backdrop for projections of classic Disney movies and characters accompanied by a stunning soundtrack. Make sure you have a straight-on view for the best vantage point of the show. The second is Wishes. This fireworks display captures the essence of the Magic Kingdom and the classic elements of Disney movies.
4 – Try Something New – the theme parks are constantly evolving and adding new elements for guests to enjoy. It is easy to overlook them when you are trying to make your way to your favorite attraction or restaurant. Stop by the Fire Station to get involved with Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom or join in the Move It! Shake It! parade. You may discover a new favorite!
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3 – Plan for Two Days – it is very hard to accomplish everything in the Magic Kingdom in one day – I tried and failed at the 24 Hour Event. You may find yourself exhausted if you try to accomplish it all in one day. Taking two days will let you see everything you want to see and will also let you do your favorites more than once!
2 – Use Extra Magic Hours at Night – there is something truly special about the Magic Kingdom at night. If you are staying on site, be sure to go to the Magic Kingdom at least one night during Extra Magic Hours. The smaller crowds allow you to appreciate the majesty of the park even more. You appreciate the smells, the sights, and the feel even more during this time of day.
1 – Transportation – Steer clear of taking the bus from your resort to Magic Kingdom. If you take the bus, you’ll miss the magical experience of Magic Kingdom appearing in front of you. My favorite way to get to the park is by boat. You can see the rooftops of Main Street U.S.A. and the spires of Space Mountain coming into view and can take time to appreciate the whistles of the Walt Disney World Railroad. All of these lead to the culmination of seeing Cinderella’s Castle after you walk under the train station into the park.
The Magic Kingdom has much to see and enjoy. Planning is essential to your experiencing what you want while you are there. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to tackle the Magic Kingdom!
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