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Magic Kingdom is the star of Disney World. It is the most popular park and sees the most guests each year. Magic Kingdom is very busy to say the least, but with these Magic Kingdom tips, visiting the park is a breeze!
Knowing these 10 Magic Kingdom tips will help you maximize your time in Magic Kingdom, avoid the longest lines, get the best views, and keep you safe. It is so important to have a Magic Kingdom strategy before arriving at the park. You will end up wasting a lot of time and wandering around aimlessly without one!
Get your pen and paper out. This post is packed full of pixie dust you won’t want to miss!
Table of Contents
1. Rope Drop is Worth Getting Up Early For
Rope drop is what us Disney nerd call park opening. Essentially, rope drop means you’re at Magic Kingdom ready for some magic the second it opens.
I love rope drop, and I Magic Kingdom is my favourite park to rope drop. It is amazing how much you can done first thing in the morning when there are no lines!
This is one of my top Magic Kingdom tips.
It is 100% worth waking up early and getting to Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning. You can ride the most popular attractions with little to no wait!
The only attraction that has any substantial wait is Seven Dwarves Mine Train. The line at rope drop is still the lowest it will be all day.
If you managed to snag a Fastpass+ for Seven Dwarves Mine Train later in the day, you can skip the line and hop on the rest of the rides with little to no wait time!
For example, when I rope drop Magic Kingdom, I can normally ride two or three popular attractions (like Peter Pan’s Flight) and meet a handful of characters (including the princesses) before I have to wait in a line longer than 5 minutes!
This is one of my Magic Kingdom tips that isn’t for everybody.
Lots of people don’t enjoy waking up early and want to relax a bit on their Disney vacation.
But, if you’re like me and are a morning person, being at Magic Kingdom for rope drop is the best way to get a lot done at Magic Kingdom without paying for premium access to the park.
2. If You’re Not a Morning Person, Consider an After Hours Event
Carrying on from the last sentence of tip one, if you’re not a morning person, it is well worth the money to pay for an After Hours ticket.
After Hours is a three-hour event put on by Disney where you purchase a ticket and get access to the park with very few people in the parks.
Literally so few people that you never have to wait longer than 5 minutes to get on any attractions other than Seven Dwarves Mine Train. That line is normally 10 to 15 minutes long, which is still a super short line!
The hours for the even vary depending on what time of year it is. Sometimes the event starts at 8pm and sometimes it starts at 10pm.
Tickets cost $129, so they are not cheap.
It is expensive, but what you get out of the event is well worth the price of admission!
You get so much done in those three hours. Way more than you get done in an entire day in the park.
I will acknowledge that me as a single person visiting the parks is much more likely to be able to afford a ticket than a family of four or more. A lot of families don’t have an extra $500 to shell out for three hours in the park.
You definitely have to look at your finances and see whether or not the event is worth it for you.
Oh! And did I mention that as part of the event you get unlimited complimentary popcorn, ice cream, and pop?!
That’s a nice addition to the event!
3. Everything You Need to Know About Wifi
This may seem like an odd thing to talk about in a post about Magic Kingdom tips but hear my out!
There is a lot you need to know about wifi in Magic Kingdom, and it can have a major impact on your day at Magic Kingdom.
There is complimentary wifi
Disney World provides guests with complimentary wifi in all four parks!
This is amazing and so helpful since the Disney World app is an essential part of any Magic Kingdom visit.
You use the app to check wait times, as a map, to check show and parade times, and order food.
So connecting to wifi is essential.
There are thousands of people connected to the wifi at Magic Kingdom at any given moment.
This means the wifi tends to be slow.
This can be a bit frustrating, but Disney is figuring out ways to speed up the internet all the time. It is getting better and better each time I visit Disney World!
Please be internet safe
The wifi at Disney World is public.
You don’t need a password to access it, and anybody who is within range of the signal can use it.
This makes it not the safest internet network to use.
You are exposed, and anybody who wants to can access your personal online data.
It is the same case no matter what public wifi network you are using. It isn’t just a Disney thing.
The only way to protect yourself when using a public wifi network is to install a VPN on your devices.
It essentially puts a forcefield around your phone, tablet, or laptop, so nobody can get in and steal your data.
A VPN makes using public wifi as safe as using your own personal wifi where only you know the password!
The best part is that the cost of protecting 6 devices with a VPN is less than the cost of a single latte a month!
I always say if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online information with a VPN!
Mickey would want your phone to be protected while you’re enjoying Magic Kingdom!
4. Mobile Order is Amazing
Disney World launched mobile order in 2017, and it changed the quick service game!
It allows guests to order and pay for their food on the Disney World app and collect their food at a dedicated window once it is prepared.
Taking advantage of mobile order is one of my top Magic Kingdom tips because it saves you a lot of time!
A lot of quick service restaurants and snack stands in Magic Kingdom have painfully long lines.
I’ve stood in food lines for well over 30 minutes before, and it can be a real time suck!
Mobile order completely eliminates those long lines and gets you your food way faster than standing in the normal line.
Most people haven’t caught on to mobile order yet, so not many people are using the service. This means there aren’t many orders in the queue, and you get your food lightening fast.
Just about as fast as Lightning McQueen!
Most, but not all, Magic Kingdom quick service restaurants and snack stands offer mobile order as an option.
Be sure to check the app before you hop into the regular line to see if that restaurant offers mobile order.
You can use your passholder discount on the app, so it works for annual passholders as well!
The major flaw in the mobile order process is that you have to pay with a credit card.
This means people who don’t live in the United States and don’t have a US dollar credit card have to pay their bank fees for using USD rather than their normal currency.
It also eliminates people who don’t have credit cards for one reason or another.
Hopefully in the future they add the ability to use a gift card for mobile order!
5. You Need a Parade Strategy
Magic Kingdom has the best parades in Disney World.
I said it, and I’m not taking it back!
Whether it is Festival of Fantasy parade or one of Magic Kingdom’s special parades for Halloween or Christmas, they are top notch and not to be missed!
They are also very popular, so you need a parade strategy.
This is one of those Magic Kingdom tips I don’t think enough people are talking about!
The first thing you need to decide when coming up with a parade strategy is deciding how important the parade is to you.
Form there, you can come up with a parade strategy.
If parades are very important to you, you should get a spot to watch Festival of Fantasy 30 or so minutes before the parade starts.
This will ensure you get a good view of the parade and don’t have anybody blocking your view.
For the Halloween or Christmas parades at the parties, you can purchase a special ticket that gives you a priority spot to watch the parade.
It is fairly expensive, and I don’t think it is completely necessary seeing as there are two parades a night, and the later parade is normally pretty quiet.
If you’re not super into parades, you can normally show up about 5 minutes before the parade starts and find a decent spot.
You might have to walk around and find the perfect spot, but it can normally be found.
No matter what your parade preferences are, you need a strategy, so you’re not disappointed.
6. Special Event Tickets are Worth the Splurge
There are two special events at Magic Kingdom you can buy a ticket for (other than the After Hours event we already discussed).
Magic Kingdom hosts Mickey’s Not-So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
They are both hard ticket events.
This means you have to buy a separate ticket to attend the event. You cannot use your regular park ticket.
Tickets for these special events are normally under $100, and you get access to exclusive entertainment, snacks, and the characters wear special outfits.
They are super fun for children and adults alike!
At the Halloween Party, you get to go trick-or-treating, and you can collect as much candy as you want. You get holiday cookies and warm beverages at the Christmas Party.
This is all included in the price of admission!
The parties are quite busy, so I don’t recommend them if your goal is to ride a bunch of attractions with a shorter wait time.
But if you want to celebrate the season, try some exclusive snacks, and enjoy special theming and costumes, then the parties are for you!
I personally love them and go to them whenever I have the chance.
7. Leave Extra Time to Get to and from Magic Kingdom
A lot of people don’t realize that the entrance to Magic Kingdom is not right next to the parking lot.
It is wayyyy across a lagoon, and it takes a fair amount of time to get from the parking lot to the entrance of Magic Kingdom.
One of the best Magic Kingdom tips I can give you is to factor the time it takes to get from the Magic Kingdom parking lot to the entrance of the park.
Of course this tip doesn’t apply to use if you’re using Disney transportation from your hotel. You will be dropped off right at the front of Magic Kingdom, and you don’t have to factor any extra time into your day.
But if you’re driving your own car, you need to add an extra 15 to 20 minutes to your schedule to get from the parking lot to the park entrance.
It is a bit annoying- especially during busy times when everybody is either leaving or going to Magic Kingdom.
You can either take a ferry to Magic Kingdom or ride the monorail.
My preference is to take the monorail. It tends to be the quicker of the two.
8. Make Dining Reservations 180 Days in Advance
Magic Kingdom is home to some of the most popular restaurants in all of Disney World.
Restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest are incredibly difficult to get reservations for.
You can make dining reservations through the Disney World app or Disney World website 180 days in advance.
I highly recommend you figure out when you can start making dining reservations and make Magic Kingdom dining reservations as early as possible to ensure you get the dining reservations you want.
You won’t be very successful if you try to try to make reservations at these restaurants a week or even a month in advance.
For other less popular (but still amazing Magic Kingdom restaurants) like Skipper Canteen, you can make reservations closer to your arrival date.
But if you only listen to one of my Magic Kingdom tips, let it be this one. Make your dining reservations for popular restaurants as soon as you can!
You don’t want to regret procrastinating and missing out on a restaurant you really wanted to try.
9. Your Fastpass+ Strategy will Make or Break You
Disney World is unlike any other Disney park in the world, and you get to make your Fastpass+ reservations between 30 and 60 days in advance.
You select three attractions and times per day in a particular park, and you get a Fastpass+ for those rides at that specific time.
It requires a lot of planning and some intense strategy to maximize your Fastpass+ options.
The good thing about Magic Kingdom is it is the only Disney World park that doesn’t have Fastpass+ tiers.
This means you can get a Fastpass+ for any three rides and don’t have to choose one popular ride and two less popular rides like the other parks.
I’m not going to go too in depth about different Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategies in this post because I have an entire post you can read here that goes way more in depth than I can in this post.
The long and the short of it is you have to get your Fastpass+ selections in advance to have any shot of getting a Fastpass+ for the most popular attractions.
I suggest scheduling your Fastpass+ selections for the morning to early afternoon, so you can potentially get a fourth Fastpass+ after you use your first three.
Be sure to read my Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ post to learn what a bonus fourth Fastpass+ is!
Outside of booking your Fastpass+ selections for earlier int he day, be sure to get Fastpass+ for the most popular attractions.
You want to limit the amount of time you wait in line, and there are certain attractions that you simply don’t need a Fastpass+ for.
I’m looking at you Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor!
The biggest tip I can give you for making Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections is to figure out what is most important for you to ride and get a Fastpass+ for the most popular attractions on your list!
10. Have a Fireworks Strategy
Having a fireworks strategy is one of the most talked about Magic Kingdom tips and for good reason!
The firework shows are extremely popular, and a huge percentage of everybody in Magic Kingdom watch them every night.
Thanks to the projection shows on the castle during the fireworks, gone are the days where you can stand behind the castle and get a good view of the fireworks without being crowded.
Now to get the full experience of the show (and you should because they are awesome!) you have no choice but to stand at the front of the castle.
There is less room for people to spread out and watch the fireworks, so you are often crammed in like sardines.
You often leave very sweaty from the humidity and being so close to thousands of other people.
You can pay to attend a fireworks dessert party, and this is the best way to get a good view of the fireworks without staking out your spot in advance.
They are expensive, and they aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. You can find out more about dessert parties here.
If you’re not prepared to splurge on a dessert party, you need to decide how important the fireworks are to you.
People start claiming their spot on Main Street USA at least 30 minutes before the fireworks start. Some people are there even earlier to get the best spots!
If you’re like me and aren’t too keen on standing on Main Street USA for an extended period of time, I suggest showing up 10 minutes before the show starts and weaselling your way into a gap.
This strategy doesn’t work the best for larger families, but you can split up for the show and meet at a designated spot afterwords.
I must warn you though. You probably will have a slightly obstructed view if you show up just a few minutes before the show.
You might have a tall person standing in front of you or a lamp post blocking part of the castle.
It is a risk you have to be willing to take if you don’t claim your spot early!
I personally think either splurging for a dessert party or showing up a few minutes before the fireworks start is the best strategy.
It isn’t fun standing on Main Street USA for upwards of half an hour waiting for the show to start.
You often get in people’s way and feel awkward.
It can be a bit of hassle, and there are better things you can do with that half hour!
There you have it! My top Magic Kingdom tips for the best day ever!
Each and every Magic Kingdom tip on this list is essential an helps you have a better day in the parks.
You now know how to avoid lines, get food quicker, and have a strategy for fireworks, parades, and making your Fastpass+ reservations.
You’re all set for an epic day in Magic Kingdom!
The other bonus tip I’ll give you is to make time to meet a few characters!
It is so much fun, and you make life-long memories whether you’re there alone or with a group.
The only thing I ask of you is that you say hi to Mickey for me next time you’re at Magic Kingdom!