We revisit the Magic Kingdom with advanced tips, tricks, touring plans, and recommendations. The Magic Kingdom is Disney’s most iconic park and the park guests will spend the most time in. Read on and listen to the podcast to hear our best recommendations for how to make the most out of your Magic Kingdom experience!
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Advanced Magic Kingdom Tips and Tricks
If you want to make the most out of your Magic Kingdom time, we’d actually recommend spreading it out. Plan to visit the Magic Kingdom for two days if you can, even at the cost of another park if necessary. For kids under 12 and the young at heart, Magic Kingdom will be the most “Disney” of the parks so you don’t want to rush it. It also has the most attractions in the parks and thus can be the most overwhelming.
Here are some more tips and tricks to make the most of your time at the Magic Kingdom.
1. Make your Fastpass+ reservations as far in advance as possible
The first thing you want to do to make the most of your visit occurs 30-60 days before your visit. Making Fastpass+ reservations is one of the most important things to do before your Magic Kingdom visit.
If you’re staying at an on site Disney resort, you can make Fastpass+ reservations 60 days in advance of the first night of your stay. If not, you can make reservations 30 days in advance.
If you’re into thrill rides, we recommend using your Fastpass+ reservations for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or one of the “mountains” (Splash, Space, Big Thunder). And if you want to ride Peter Pan, you should also prioritize this Fastpass+ reservation – it has one of the slowest load times in the Magic Kingdom so standby lines get out of control. Another Fastpass+ reservation we recommend is Enchanted Tales with Belle which doubles as both an attraction and a princess meet and greet.
Most importantly, you want to schedule your three Fastpass+ reservations as early in the day as possible. After you have used your first three, you can get a “rolling” fourth Fastpass through the My Disney Experience – and you can keep adding Fastpass+ reservations one at a time until the end of the night!
2. Get to the Magic Kingdom at least 45 minutes before opening (rope drop)
Our second piece of advice is to get to Magic Kingdom for “rope drop”. That means you want to be lined up 30 minutes before the park’s official opening time. That’s around the time they allow people into the park. If you’re driving or coming from the Transportation and Ticketing Center – add an extra 20 minutes.
Being at the park for rope drop means you can ride 2-3 rides before 10 AM with little to no lines. We’ve done 5 before 10 AM (although none of them were E-ticket attractions). Because there are so little lines at rope drop, we recommend you make your first Fastpass+ reservation at 10 AM or later.
3. Have a good touring plan
Why reinvent the wheel? Many websites have great touring plans you can use to help plan your day at the Magic Kingdom. Our favorite is Touring Plans – you can get free touring plan itineraries rom their website or if you pay for a subscription you can get personalized plans based on the rides you are interested in (find out more about Touring Plans in Episode 25).
Other popular websites for touring plans are WDW Prep to Go and Undercover Tourist. But really the most important advice we can give is to have a plan, regardless of where it’s from. Magic Kingdom is the one park you want to make sure you have a plan for.
4. Eat an early lunch
Since we like to rope drop, we recommend eating an early lunch (around 11:00 AM). If you’re eating at a counter service restaurant, you’ll avoid the crowds. Make sure you use mobile ordering too, then you’ll barely have to wait at all.
If you want to do a character meal, it’s easier to find those tough to get dining reservations such as Crystal Palace or Chef Mickey’s (a quick walk to the Contemporary). This also ensures you maximize your early morning touring time.
An alternative is to eat a big breakfast and skip lunch. This saves money, but cuts into touring time. Choose what works best for your family.
5. Take advantage of character meet and greets
The Magic Kingdom is one of our favorite places to seek out and meet characters. We like to use our rolling fourth Fastpass+ reservation to get princess reservations at Fairytale Hall, to find Ariel, or to meet Tinkerbell. Note that Mickey’s town square meet and greet is one of the toughest reservations to get. If you want to see Mickey, make sure and make that one of your initial Fastpass+ reservations.
6. Stay until park closing
We love the Magic Kingdom at night, and if your kids can handle it, we’d recommend staying until park closing. As long as you are in line for a ride before official park closing you get to ride it no matter how long the line is. But the lines for rides are so short towards the end of the night that you can often get your best touring in at that time.
You can also stay for the “kiss goodnight” on the castle – a short but cute little show that is the perfect way to cap off a perfect day at the Magic Kingdom.
Leslie and Joe take a more in depth look at the Magic Kingdom, discussing our favorite character experiences, places to eat, and touring plan/Fastpass+ reservation tips. We also take care of some housekeeping from Magic Kingdom 101 while making sure you have the best information necessary to make the most of your time at the Magic Kingdom. Part 2 of a 274 part series.
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
0:00 – Recapping Magic Kingdom 101
4:21 – Rides we missed talking about
8:54 – Touring plan tips and tricks
13:43 – Line fluctuations
17:22 – Dining options
18:39 – Character meeting recommendations
22:27 – Disney dos and don’ts