When you purchase tickets to visit Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, planning your trip has only begun. From Fast Passes to MagicBands, the options to customize your trip can be overwhelming. To truly have a magical trip, you can follow these five simple tips to get the most from your vacation.
Making the Most of the Magic Kingdom
Since I recently returned from a three day trip to Disney World, I realized that small choices can greatly impact your day there. You can have the ideal day at Magic Kingdom if you plan ahead.
Tip 1: Arrive early and ride as many rides as you can.
To arrive when there are minimal crowds, leave your hotel as early as possible. If you leave by 7 am, you can get to the park well before the crowds have arrived. You might even see a welcome show when the park opens.
When you get inside the park, immediately visit as many rides as you can. Later in the afternoon, the rides you visit in the morning might have an hour wait. Get in as many rides as you can when the lines are short. Then, when the crowds arrive you can rest and have lunch.
Some people will enter the park early on special early admission days or to enter for an early reservation. On our second day of visiting the Magic Kingdom, we went to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for my daughters’ hair appointment before the park opened. This was an excellent time to get photos in front of Cinderella’s castle without strangers in the background.
After the hair appointment, we sat and had a delicious breakfast. I had never had such amazing waffles, smothered in whipped cream and topped with strawberries! Luxuriously, I indulged myself in savoring each bite and in drinking a tasty coffee. In a few short minutes, the crowds had arrived and lines started building outside of each ride. Luckily, we had some rides lined up on our Fast Pass, but even the Fast Pass line can get a longer wait when it’s busy.
Remember to make the most of your morning, and use the My Disney Experience mobile app to reserve time slots when you can visit the rides. You can have three Fast Passes lined up at a time. When you use all three, you can sign up for more. I recommend using the Fast Pass service throughout the day.
When you enter Magic Kingdom, make the most of your time. Visit the most popular rides, and don’t sit down to rest until the crowds start to arrive. Even though Fast Passes can cut down on wait time, you want to make the most from the less busy times at the park.
Tip 2: Meet the princesses and other characters.
While it might be tempting to only visit the roller coasters and fun rides, remember that meeting the characters is a memorable experience for your kids, and it can be for you too! You have several different options for meeting the characters during your stay at the Magic Kingdom.
Watching the characters walk by can be really fun, even if you don’t get to speak to them much. Catch the major parades that happen the day you visit in order to see many different characters at a distance. During the parades, we saw characters from Zootopia and many other Disney movies that we never saw again when we were visiting the Magic Kingdom.
Another good opportunity to meet the characters is to get some one on one time with them. You can meet several princesses as well as Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell at the Magic Kingdom. Lines can fluctuate for meeting the characters. In the morning, you won’t need to use your FastPass, but in the afternoon, it could save you some time.
Make sure that you buy an autograph book before you meet the characters. My younger daughter decided on the last day that she wanted to buy an autograph book. She missed getting signatures from so many characters that she had already met.
So, double check that you have an autograph book before you arrive, and watch the parades to see some characters that you might not meet otherwise! I’ll be going into more detail in a later post about 3 different character dining options, which are totally worth visiting.
Tip 3: Keep your camera nearby
One thing that separates the Magic Kingdom (and all the Walt Disney parks) from other amusement parks is that the entire staff – from the bus drivers to the characters – make the experience special. Make sure that you have a camera with video capabilities nearby at all times. Phone cameras work fine if you don’t want to lug around a heavier camera, but if you aren’t buying the Memory Maker photo downloads, you should bring a camera that will print in high quality.
On a visit to Enchanted Tales With Belle, I had no idea how special of an experience it would be until I was separated from my phone and didn’t have video capability on the camera I was using. The pictures I took didn’t capture the surprising, fun moment at all!
When you visit Enchanted Tales with Belle, children are selected from the crowd to be in a play with Belle. The first funny moment was when my husband (out of all the dads in the audience) was selected to be a knight in shining armor during a play with Belle. This meant he and one other knight in shining armor had a picture taken with Belle at the end of the play.
Then, my daughter was immediately asked to have a major role in the play as the Beast. Even though she was hoping for a girl’s role, being the Beast was the most incredible experience because it was the most important character (other than Belle). Check out Samantha’s face as she walked down the aisle to meet Belle. She looks completely in awe of the person in front of her.
Without a video camera nearby, I missed capturing the moment. The pictures are cute, but they don’t tell the story of what was happening. Samantha was selected a special dance with Belle, while every other child (including her sister, who was a teapot) sat in the audience. She was thrilled to have her dad in the play with her on stage too.
A Princess’ Transformation
Another time I regretted not having my phone out to video a special moment was at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Located in Cinderella’s castle, this beauty salon does an excellent job of making kids feel special during their visit to the Magic Kingdom. After my kids got their hair and makeup done, the fairy godmothers (the hairstylists) transformed the kids into princesses. A photo only partially captured this beautiful moment!
Keeping your smartphone nearby will help you be prepared to capture every moment. Just make sure that you back your photos up instantly in case your phone gets broken during your vacation!
Tip 4: Take breaks during the day
Kids can get totally exhausted from spending the day at an amusement park, especially if you stay for multiple days. I logged the steps I took during my visit. Some days, we walked close to 8 miles! Remember even if your kids aren’t walking the whole time that for younger kids, being around a new situation with lots of people can be stressful.
To avoid exhaustion, we took breaks whenever the kids needed a break. Let your kids set the pace for the day. When they’re thirsty, find a water fountain and let everyone sit for a few minutes. Traveling with snacks can also help everyone stay energetic.
Tip 5: Enjoy the fireworks, but leave early
Enjoying the nighttime fireworks is a classic part of the Disney experience. Even if you want to avoid crowds at the end of the night, skipping this experience is not the best idea! Kids love seeing the spectacular lights.
This was my kids’ first time to see the fireworks. My younger daughter was so happy! She couldn’t stop grinning and thanking me for letting her stay out late at night to see them. One of the most exciting parts was seeing Tinker Bell fly across the sky at the end.
To skip the crowds at the end of a long day, position yourself far from the stage towards Main Street USA. You won’t get a close up view of the fireworks, but exiting the park will be much easier.
You can have an incredible day at Magic Kingdom. Record your most memorable moments, rest when you need to, and take advantage of the best moments that Disney has to offer. Remember to avoid crowds when possible, but don’t skip the most exciting parts of the day just to avoid a crowd. Even if this is your first visit to the Magic Kingdom, your entire family can have an awesome experience.
What tips for making the most of the Magic Kingdom am I missing here? Leave ideas in the comments!
I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.