On any given day the Magic Kingdom park tends to be the busiest of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World. As it is my favorite park, I find myself spending most of my vacation time there. Since it is the busiest, I have learned several methods over the years on how-to create a less-stressful visit to the Magic Kingdom. It is not easy battling all of the strollers while you are “walking right down the middle of Main Street USA” but I’m hoping these tips will help make that experience more magical for you.
Tip 1. If the park is scheduled for a 9 a.m. rope drop (a rope does not actually drop, its just what us Disney enthusiasts like to call park opening) then arrive at least 30 minutes prior. Sometimes I find myself arriving even an hour early because I enjoy the Good Morning show performed every morning. It is a singing a dancing spectacular featuring the Mayor of Main Street and the Main Street dancers along with Mickey and friends who select a “family of the day” to help them open the park. By arriving early you could have that chance to open the park with Mickey. *Bonus tip: If you are staying at any of the Disney- owned and operated resorts on-property, you should definitely take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Times and parks vary, but check the guide maps given to you upon check in and you can gain access to the park offering EMH that day (either 1 hour before general opening or three hours after general closing).
Tip 2. Start at the back of the park. Most guests head straight through Cinderella Castle and into Fantasyland or to their right into Tomorrowland the second the park opens. Instead of following the crowd, bear left into Adventureland and work backwards. Adventureland is home to Pirates of the Carribean and The Jungle Cruise, some of Walt Disney’s most famous attractions. Once you have finished in Adventureland, move on to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. These are two of Disney’s most famous attractions and if you visit them first they should have little to no wait time. *Bonus tip: Take advantage of Disney’s FastPass service, which is free with your theme park admission. At many of Disney’s most popular rides and attractions you will find FastPass kiosks. Simply insert your park ticket and you will receive a FastPass with a one hour time window to return to ride with little to no wait. During that wait period, be prepared to visit another attraction or grab a bite to eat.
Tip 3. Eat lunch or dinner earlier than you normally would. Restaurants typically begin serving lunch around 11 a.m. To avoid crowded eating areas and lines, I recommend arriving when the restaurant opens. If you prefer a quiet dinne,r then be prepared to eat around 4:30 or even 9pm right before the restaurant closes. *Bonus tip: If you plan on dining at one of Disney’s table service signature restaurants, such as California Grill atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, do not forget to book an Advanced Dining Reservation at least 180 days in advance.
Tip 4. If you plan on viewing the 3 p.m. parade and would like a good viewing spot arrive anywhere along the parade route at least 45 minutes before the start of the parade. I also recommend viewing the parade towards the end of the route as most guests tend to gather towards the beginning of the parade route. *Bonus tip: If you don’t plan on watching the parade, it is a great time to ride attractions in Fantasyland.
Your day at the Magic Kingdom should be nothing but one of the happiest experiences of your life. I hope these tips can help ease any anxiety you may have and let you be a kid again.