Being a Disney connoisseur and taking so many trips there over the years, I have gathered so many helpful insights along the way that I have used repeatedly. These tips always ensure a fun experience where you are able to make the most out of even the smallest of trips. Every park has different perks and ways to maneuver around the parks so today we’re focusing on the Magic Kingdom. I am sure that these tips can apply to all the Disney parks in general but MK is the park I have visited the most over the years.
Tip 1: Get There Early
If you’re visiting Disney for a short trip, you’ll probably notice almost immediately that there is a million and one things to do while you’re there. From the rides, restaurants, countless shows, parades, and fireworks, you quickly realize that not all of these fun attractions can really be done in one day. And that’s a rational thought, for sure. The goal is to be able to do as much as you can in a fun free-spirited way. One of those ways is making sure you get there early! Thousands of people enter the Magic Kingdom every single day. Walking to and from your car is bound to take at least 2 hours out of your day so you want to account for this loss of time. Get there early, keep in mind the arriving and leaving times, and you’ll have so much time in between to do what you need to do.
Tip 2: Take The Other Monorail
When you finally arrive at the Transportation & Ticket Center, Disney offers several modes of transportation that get you to the Magic Kingdom park. The most used mode of transportation is the main monorail track that takes you directly to the park. Unfortunately, the line is always so long you’ll find yourself waiting at least 20 minutes or more to just get onto the Monorail. You could always take the Boat Ferry and catch the sights of the Seven Seas Lagoon while you make your way into the park. Or, you could just take the Resort Monorail that also takes you directly to the park. It will make two small stops at the Deluxe Disney Resorts on the way, but it’s never jam-packed like the main monorail and it will get you there in no time!
Tip 3: Plan Your Fast Passes Ahead Of Time
This is a crucial one. There’s a rough estimate of over 50,000 people or more who enter the Magic Kingdom park every day. Even with all of the different attractions to visit, that’s still a whole lot of people trying to get on the same rides your trying to get on. One thing people always forget to do is to plan out their fast passes ahead of time so wait times become something around an hour long and that’s just more valuable time being wasted standing in a line. Luckily, Disney has made it so that you can plan out your passes from your smartphone at any time for any day. Download the My Disney Experience app. There you’ll be able to set fast passes, reserve your spots at restaurants or hotels, see the wait times for rides, and find the map of the park you are visiting that day. It’s one of the most helpful tools Disney has placed at your fingertips and it’s key to making sure your day is planned perfectly.
Tip 4: Child Swap Is Your Best Friend
This tip is specifically for visitors that have children that are too small to ride the attractions at the park. If you are using a fast pass or are just waiting in normal line, you can talk to the Disney Cast Member working the ride and ask for a Child Swap. They will most likely ask you if they can see your little one so that you can be approved to receive the ticket. Once you’ve proved you have a little one, you are handed a ticket for you and four other members of your party to ride the ride again.
Now the trick to this is that one person of your party does have to stay out with the little one (obviously) but when you get back from riding the ride, those using the child swap ticket can re-ride the ride and enter through the fast pass lane. If you’re using a fast pass for a ride that you are also using a child swap, you can use the fast pass lane two times in a row. The child swap tickets last a whole month so if you keep the tickets with you and are coming back to visit, you can use them later on.
Tip 5: Take Advantage During Parades
Disney is always having some sort of show or parade going on. It happens quite often and large groups of people always gather to watch them so I always recommend using this time to take advantage and get to the rides you don’t have fast passes for or go eat food around these times. Think about it, thousands of Disney visitors will be watching these shows or parades and will not be waiting in lines or eating at restaurants. Lines will be significantly shorter and restaurants will be significantly empty. Take advantage, get to those rides, and get what can be done during these times. The Disney app give you parade times so you will have those handy when you need it.
Tip 6: Travel Light
Technically, this is rule number one in my book. I travel with my daughter so most of the time I find myself having to take items that are unavoidable because she’s still so little. But the goal is always to bring little to nothing with you. This is especially helpful when you are entering the park. They do bag checks and waiting in line for them to check everyone’s bag can take a pretty large chunk of your time. The more you bring, the more they have to look through. If it’s just me and my husband then we just bring our phones and our money. That’s it. You can breeze through the no bag line and get to the entrance quicker than everyone else. If you do take bags, you’ll find yourself constantly worried about what to do with them on rides. If you take strollers, you’ll find yourself constantly looking for parking spots. They have limited stroller parking stations and usually, they are filled up. So looking for a safe spot to park your stroller can take some time as well. Again, some things are unavoidable but if you don’t have to bring it, the best bet is that you shouldn’t.
Tip 7: Looking For A Break?
Stop by the hall of presidents or Country Bear Jamboree if you’re wanting to take a break after a large meal or just need to rest your feet. These are often the most overlooked attractions in the parks but you will be able to have a seat for a decent amount of time in an air conditioned room. That’s a win-win for taking breaks!
Tip 8: Watch The Fireworks Without The Crowd
During the Wishes firework show, the large crowds generally like to gather on Main Street to face the castle as the show is going on. Now while that may the most ideal spot to get a view of the fireworks, it’s also the most crowded. And by crowded I mean, shoulder to shoulder, invasion of personal space, too many people in one space kind of crowded. I stumbled across this tip accidentally while resting my feet. Fantasyland has a Pinocchio restaurant the has some outdoor seating. I didn’t realize the time and just so happened to catch Wishes as it was starting. You actually get a pretty up-close view of the fireworks. You’ll be starting at the back of the Cinderella castle but you’ll still get a chance to see what all the fuss is about while having a nice seat and very little crowding.
Tip 9: Extended Park Hours
Disney offers several perks for visitors staying in any of their Disney Resort locations. One of those very awesome perks is Extra Magic Hours. On select days, Disney decides to either open a few hours earlier or stay open a few hours after they “close”. If you aren’t staying in any of the Disney properties, there are a few tricks to this tip. Disney stays open at least an hour after their “closing time.” As the large crowds are making their way out of the park, you can still take some of the extra time to take advantage of visiting a few other attractions or even get your shopping in. You won’t be pressured to leave and you can spend a few extra minutes.
Tip 10: Plan Ahead & Don’t Over Plan
There are hundreds of attractions and sites to see at the Magic Kingdom alone and you are definitely not going to be able to see everything in one day or even on a small weekend. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to map out all of the most important attractions you definitely want to visit. A lot of visitors think they have to fit a whole lot into their small vacation because it may be one of the only times you may be able to visit the Magic Kingdom or Disney World in general. Because of this, my advice is to remember not to over plan. The Magic Kingdom is at least a 107-acre property with a few miles of walking around. Factor in the time you’re waiting in lines and you will have yourself one very exhausting day. Over planning might just put a bigger strain on your magical fun filled day. Be realistic, keep it light, try some of these tips and tricks, and enjoy yourself. No matter how much you get to see, you will always get your days worth of fun!
We hope you enjoyed these 6 Tips for visiting the Magic Kingdom. Comment below if you have any questions about your future trips to Disney and I’d be glad to help you out. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get regular updates on new blog posts! -URB