10 Magical Magic Kingdom Tips for the Best Day Ever!

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!

PS- You can check out all my Disney World posts here if you want to explore more!

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.

Peter Pan's Flight

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!

PS- if you want to learn even more about Magic Kingdom After Hours, I have a full post on it you should read.

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.

The downside

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.

PS- You can learn all about meeting Magic Kingdom characters here!

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

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.

Minnie Mouse Magic Kingdom

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 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.

You can read my Fastpass+ strategies for Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom if you want to learn more about those 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!

Monsters Inc Scare Floor Magic Kingdom

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.

Viewing Options:

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!

Conclusion

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!

Magic Kingdom After Hours: Worth the Price?!

The Magic Kingdom after hours event is quickly growing in popularity. It is a special event that you have to purchase a separate ticket for, and it gives you access to Magic Kingdom with relatively low crowds.

The only downside to the Magic Kingdom after hours event is that it is really expensive and can wipe out a huge portion of your vacation budget.

Especially if you have a larger group and are paying for four or more tickets!

A lot people wonder whether the Magic Kingdom after hours event is worth the price of admission. It is, after all, basically the same price as a normal park ticket, but the event is only 3 hours.

I wondered the same thing as well the first time I attended the Magic Kingdom after hours event.

And I’ve attended a Magic Kingdom after hours event every time I’ve been to Disney World since!

In general, I 100% think the Magic Kingdom after hours event is worth the ticket price. You’re able to go on way more rides during the 3-hour event than you are during a normal park day, and to me that is worth it! You’re paying quite a bit for the after hours ticket, but your return on investment is sky high too!

There are, of course, situations where it doesn’t make sense to attend a Magic Kingdom after hours event, and I’ll go over some of those scenarios in this post.

I’ll also talk about the after hours event in general, how to maximize your time at the event, and answer your frequently asked questions.

So buckle up because this post will help you decide once and for all if attending a Magic Kingdom after hours event is right for you!

What Exactly is a Magic Kingdom After Hours Event?

Before I dive deep into the pros and cons of the after hours event in Magic Kingdom, I want to give a brief overview of the event in case you haven’t heard of it before!

Magic Kingdom after hours is a hard ticket event that gives you access to Magic Kingdom with basically no crowds.

The event lasts three hours, and you’re able to ride as many attractions as you want and meet as many characters as you want.

Included in your ticket price is also complimentary ice cream, popcorn, and bottled soda!

You simply walk to to a cart offering those items, take what you want, and leave. No money needed! It is pretty neat.

Tickets are currently $129 if you purchase them in advance and $139 if you purchase the after hours ticket on the day of the event.

You pay the same price whether you’re an adult or child so be sure to budget that in! You’re, unfortunately, not going to save any money by having a small human with you.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

How to Decide if Magic Kingdom After Hours is Worth the Price for You

I am completely aware that the cost of an after hours ticket is really expensive, and a lot of people simply can’t afford to pay for it.

Disney is essentially offering a paid upgrade to people who are affluent enough to afford to purchase time in Magic Kingdom with no crowds.

The company knows that enough people will be able to afford to buy a ticket, and they know they’ll make a fair amount of money on each after hours event. And they don’t really care that it is an elite service that many people can’t afford to participate in.

So the question is how do you decide if purchasing a Magic Kingdom after hours ticket is worth it?

There are a number of main points I think you should consider when deciding if an after hours event is worth it for you:

  • How big your group is
  • How long you have at Disney World
  • Your plans for the entire trip
  • Whether you’re able to stay up to enjoy the entire event

How Big Your Group is

It is a lot easier to have the means to purchase a ticket to an after hours event if you only have one or two people in your group.

It is still a lot of money, but it is doable for a fair number of people if they budget and save ahead of their vacation.

Affording Magic Kingdom after hours ticket becomes a lot more difficult when you have three, four, five, or more people in your group.

At $129 per ticket, a family a four is dropping over $500 on one event.

That’s a lot of money for most people and something that you should consider when deciding if you’re going to attend an after hours event or not.

There are a lot of other experiences you can have at Walt Disney World for $500!

Peter Pan's Flight

How Long You Have at Disney World

The length of time you have at Disney World is another important factor to consider, but it is often overlooked.

If you only have 2-3 days at Disney, going to an after hours event is a great idea!

You get so much done at a Magic Kingdom after hours event that you won’t need to visit Magic Kingdom again during the rest of your short vacation. This allows you to focus your time on other parks and experience more of them.

On the other hand, if you’re at Disney for a week or more, you’re not as rushed, and doing a lot in a short amount of time probably isn’t your deciding factor on whether you attend an after hours event or not.

If you’re at Disney for a longer period of time, you can use the money you save by not attending a Magic Kingdom after hours event and spend it on another experience like a backstage tour or fancy dinner.

Either way, you should take into account how long you’re at Disney when deciding if you want to splurge and go to an after hours event or not.

Your Plans for the Entire Trip

This is another deciding factor that often gets overlooked when people decide whether or not to attend an after hours event.

A lot of people who visit Disney World jam pack their days and go from rope drop to park close every single day while others are more laid back and take time to explore hotels and areas outside the parks.

The type of Disney traveller you are may impact if an after hours event is right for you.

If you’re busy and always going, then you might not have the stamina or need for an after hours event.

If you’re more laid back and spend more time outside of the parks than in the parks some days, you may get a lot out of an after hours event.

This is by no means a huge consideration to include when deciding whether or not to buy tickets to an after hours event, but you should take it into consideration.

You won’t enjoy the event if you’re too warn out from the rest of your busy trip to get the most out of the after hours event.

My recommendation (and what I normally do when I attend an after hours event) is have a resort day the day of the event and go to Epcot the day after the event.

This allows me to be relaxed and rested before the event, and the next day I don’t have to worry about getting up early because there isn’t anything I want to rope drop at Epcot.

Whether You’re Able to Stay Up to Enjoy the Entire Event

This one doesn’t apply to night owls, but if you’re a morning person like me, staying awake for an entire after hours event is difficult.

In my normal life, I go to bed at 9 or 9:30, so attending an event that sometimes doesn’t event start until after my “bedtime” is no easy task.

So you need to know yourself and figure out whether you have the stamina to stay awake and energetic(ish) for the entire event.

There is no sense spending over $100 on a Magic Kingdom after hours ticket if you’re only able to stay up for the first half of the event and then head back to your hotel to get some sleep.

The same goes for people travelling with children.

Is your child able to stay up for the entire event? If you don’t think you kid will be able to stay up for the event, then it probably isn’t worth the price of admission.

Minnie Mouse Magic Kingdom

How to Maximize Your Time During a Magic Kingdom After Hours Event

There are a lot of different ways you can maximize your time during a Magic Kingdom after hours event, and it depends a little bit on your preferences and priorities.

I’m going to share a few of my favourite ways to maximize my time at an after hours event.

I promise that if you follow these suggestions, you’ll get way more done in during the 3 hours the event rans than an entire day in Magic Kingdom.

Even if you’ve scored the best Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options, you’ll still get more done during an after hours event!

Travel in a U Shape

This is my number one tip on maximizing your time during a Magic Kingdom after hours event.

Start in either Adventureland or Tomorrowland and work your way around the park in a single direction.

Your time during an after hours event goes by so quickly, so you don’t want to waste any of it walking from one ride to the next in no particular order.

Pick where you want to start (I always start in Adventureland) and then head to the ride that is directly next to it. Ride it if you want or keep walking to the next ride.

If you want to ride the same ride multiple times at the event, ride it multiple times when you get to it while travelling in a u shape.

Keep doing that until you’ve made your way around the entire park.

This technique is truly the most effective way to maximize your time. You’ll be able to ride so many more attractions this way than by wandering around riding whatever you fancy at any given moment.

Monsters Inc Scare Floor Magic Kingdom

Have a Plan

You don’t need a super intense plan going into a Magic Kingdom after hours event, but you should have some sort of plans.

Make sure you know the following before you attend the event:

  • What rides you want to ride
  • Any rides you don’t want to ride
  • What, if any, characters you want to meet
  • Where you want to get Photopass pictures taken
  • What land you want to start in

Having the basics of how you want your evening to look will help you maximize your time at the event and stay on track.

As I said, time goes quicker than you could ever image, so it is incredibly helpful to have a skeleton plan before the event begins.

I also recommend you have an exit strategy pre-planned. You’ll be tired at the end of the night, and the last thing you want to do is decide how you’re getting back to your hotel.

Are you going to splurge on a Minnie Van? Take the Disney bus system? An Uber? Drive back to your hotel if you have a rental car?

You’ll thank yourself later if you already have an idea of how you’re getting home after the event. No extra thinking required!

Eat Before the Magic Kingdom After Hours Event Begins

There are complimentary snacks and drinks included in the price of admission, but you should make sure to have your dinner before the event actually begins.

You don’t want to waste any of your limited time grabbing dinner. Your time is much better used by riding rides alllll night long!

Plus many of the restaurants aren’t open during the after hours event.

It is a long night, and you’ll probably get hungry during the event. So it is a good think Disney provides complimentary ice cream and popcorn, but you shouldn’t rely on it to keep you full for the whole evening.

You should plan to have a big dinner on the night of your after hours event. Whether you eat in Magic Kingdom before the event begins, at Disney Springs, or a hotel, you should be sure to carb up!

Just be sure to leave enough time to get to Magic Kingdom if you’re not eating in the park before the event begins. It would be a shame to miss out on even a minute of the event!

Splash Mountain Disney World

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m going to answer all the questions I had when I was preparing to attend my first Magic Kingdom after hours event.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, and I hope you’ll be better prepared for your first Magic Kingdom after hours event than I was after reading this section!

If you have a question about the event that I don’t answer here, please leave a comment below, and I’ll help you out!

What Time Does the After Hours Event Start and Finish?

Magic Kingdom after hours events starts at either 8pm, 9pm, or 10pm.

Every event (no matter when it starts) runs for three hours, so they finish at either 11pm, midnight, or 1am.

The start time of the events depend on the closing time for Magic Kingdom. Events start earlier in during the winter months and later during the summer months.

When Can I Enter Magic Kingdom?

No matter what time your party starts, you can enter Magic Kingdom at 7pm.

Your ticket allows you to enter Magic Kingdom at 7pm even though the event doesn’t officially start for a couple of hours.

You simply enter Magic Kingdom through the dedicated entrance. There will be signs that say after hours entrance, and you’ll clearly know where to go just by the way the entrance is set up.

What Rides are Open During the After Hours Event?

99.9% of the rides in Magic Kingdom are open during the after hours event!

The only rides that aren’t open during the event are:

  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • The Hall of Presidents

If you want to experience any of those attractions, be sure to do them when you first enter the park at 7pm before the official event begins!

Am I Able to Meet Characters During the After Hours Event?

Yes and no.

You’re able to meet the characters that normally have a Fastpass+ option, but there aren’t any characters roaming around the park and meeting guests.

This means you can expect to be able to meet the following characters:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Tinker Bell
  • Cinderella
  • Rapunzel
  • Tiana
  • Elena of Avalor
  • Ariel

You won’t be able to meet the characters that normally meet guests on Main Street USA like Pluto and Minnie or any characters that normally meet in specific lands like Peter Pan.

If you want to learn more about meeting characters in Magic Kingdom, be sure to check out this post. It has all the secret tips and tricks to help you meet characters in Magic Kingdom!

Tiana Magic Kingdom Characters

Are Photopass Photographers Out and About?

Yes! There are lots of Photopass cast members available to take your picture!

It is the perfect opportunity to get a picture in front of the castle with nobody in the background!!

Photopass photographers are stationed up and down Main Street USA, at various locations throughout the park, and with the characters!

You can even get the highly sought after photo with the Tangled lantern in Fantasyland! There is normally still a lineup for that photo opportunity, but it is much shorter than on a regular night.

How Long Can I Expect to Wait in Line for a Ride?

This is the selling point of Magic Kingdom after hours events!

You’re able to walk right onto most rides with absolutely no wait!!!

The only ride I’ve ever had to wait in line for was Seven Dwarves Mine Train and even then the wait was less than 15 minutes. When else are you going to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train with such a short wait time?!

Every time I’ve gone to a Magic Kingdom after hours event I’ve been able to walk onto any ride I want. I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railway 5 times during one event and didn’t wait in line a single time.

Sometimes on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin the cast members don’t make you get off the ride, and you can ride the loop as many times as you want.

That doesn’t always happen, but it gives you a sense of just how quiet Magic Kingdom is during an after hours event!

Where Can I Get My Complimentary Snack?

Before I attended my first Magic Kingdom after hours event, I watched a few YouTube videos reviewing the event who said it was difficult to get your hands on the complimentary snacks.

But I’ve never had a problem getting my fair share of snacks during the event!

There are popcorn and ice cream carts in every land, so you’ll naturally come across quiet a few snack stations while you’re wandering around the park.

Not every station has popcorn, but many of them do. All of the stations offer beverages and all but one of two offer ice cream.

You shouldn’t have any trouble getting your snack on during the event!

Donald Duck

Is There a Limit on How Many Snacks I Can Get?

Nope!

You’re welcome to have as many snacks and beverages as you want!

Nobody is policing your snack and beverage consumption so go crazy!

You can ask for as many drinks and snacks as you want at any snack cart, so your whole group doesn’t need to go up and get snacks together. One person can get everybody’s snacks without a problem.

But Can I Take Snacks Back to the Hotel with Me?

You certainly can. Whatever you choose to do with your complimentary snacks and beverages after you get them is up to you.

I often grab an extra soda or two at the event to drink in my hotel room during the rest of my trip. I’ve even taken a half-eaten box of popcorn back to the hotel to finish the next day.

I wouldn’t recommend taking ice cream back to your hotel though! That would get awful messy once it started melting.

Plan the Perfect Solo Disney Trip

Conclusion

I love attending Magic Kingdom after hours events! They’re so much fun, and I love being in Magic Kingdom with basically no crowds!

You get soooo much done during a Magic Kingdom after hours event that (for me and many people) it is well worth the extra cost.

It isn’t some scam where you’re promised a quiet park and then have to fight the crowds. Magic Kingdom is truly dead quiet during these events.

I always recommend the Magic Kingdom after hours event to all my friends going to Disney World, and they all come back thanking me for the advice and saying they loved it!

A lot of things at Disney can be overpriced and not worth it, but this isn’t one of them!

I truly believe you get more out of the event than what it costs!

Attending a Magic Kingdom after hours event isn’t for everybody, and I hope this post helped you decide whether it is right for you or not.

Let me know in the comments below whether you’ve been to a Magic Kingdom after hours event before. And if you have been, how did you like it?!

9 Things to Know Before Meeting Magic Kingdom Characters

Magic Kingdom is an essential part of any trip to Walt Disney World! It is the most iconic Disney park, and there is so much to see and do. One of the most fun is to meet all the different Magic Kingdom characters.

You can meet all the classic characters at Magic Kingdom from Mickey to Pluto, Tinker Bell to Cinderella, and a number of characters that are exclusive to Magic Kingdom.

It is honestly so much fun to meet the Magic Kingdom characters, and I recommend everybody take a little time to meet a character or two.

You won’t regret it! It may even become your favourite memory from your trip.

It should be no surprise though that meeting characters at Magic Kingdom is a very popular activity, and the lines can get long. But there are ways to avoid long lines!

I’ll spill all the top tips and tricks for meeting Magic Kingdom characters in this post, so you’re a character expert even if you’re never been to Walt Disney World before!

So read on to learn everything you need to know about meeting characters at the most magical place on Earth!

1. Character Meals May Not be the Best Option

This one is a bit controversial. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of people say that characters meals are the best way to meet all your favourite characters.

While that may be true for some people, I recommend you think long and hard before booking a character meal.

So why do I say that?

There are three main reasons:

There are no Photopass Cast Members

This for me is the biggest reason I don’t think character meals may not be the best option for you and your group.

It is really difficult to get a nice group picture with the characters during a character meal.

You can get decent photos of part of your group with the characters, and sometimes you can get group photo by asking someone from another table to take your photo, but that doesn’t happen all that often.

If you really want to get a nice group picture with the characters, then you may want to reconsider paying for a character meal.

The exception to this is the dinner at Be Our Guest. There is a photopass cast member there to take a professional photo of you and your group.

If you’re dining alone, you’ll have to either take a selfie with the characters or ask a nearby guest to take your photo.

It is not ideal at all. I will probably never go to a character meal as a solo traveller ever again. I didn’t enjoy the experience at all, and I felt really self-conscious about being there alone.

Donald Duck

There are Always People in the Background of Your Photos

The background of every single character meal I’ve ever been to is ugly. There are always people and tables in the background. Not cute.

If this is your only chance to meet and get a picture with your favourite character, it is a bit disappointing to not have a really nice background like you would get at a meet-and-greet location.

The dinner at Be Our Guest has a dedicated area and backdrop where guests are able to meet Beast. I love this idea. It allows guests to meet a rare character, get a photo taken by a photographer, and have a really nice backdrop.

I hope this becomes more of a trend in more Magic Kingdom character meals!

It would be a game changer, and I would 100% go to more character meals and dine alone. Please Disney make this change. I’m begging you!

It is Expensive

Character meals at Disney World are expensive! Breakfast for a family of 4 at The Crystal Palace will easily run you $150USD and probably more with the tip.

And the food is pretty mediocre. You are served generic food that is not as good as you would find at any other table service restaurant and some quick service restaurants.

If you’re looking for a tasty meal, a Walt Disney World character meal probably isn’t where you’ll find it.

I would personally rather wait in a line to meet the Magic Kingdom characters than pay $42 plus a tip for a boring breakfast. It is also so loud and rushed at the character meals. They are not the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing meal in the Magic Kingdom.

Who Should Consider a Magic Kingdom Character Meal?

There are always people who enjoy character meals. That’s why they are normally booked full and hard to get reservations at!

So how exactly should consider going to a character meal rather than waiting in the normal line to meet the Magic Kingdom characters?

  • People with small children who don’t do well waiting in lines. A character meal may be the best option for your group if you have a small child, and you want to meet a lot of characters in one go.
  • Groups that have a limited amount of time at Disney World. A character meal may be the most efficient way to meet all the Magic Kingdom characters on your list.
  • You need to meet one of the characters, and that character doesn’t meet anywhere else in Magic Kingdom. This will be princesses like Snow White and Aurora. You can meet these princesses at other parks, but Cinderella’s Royal Table is the only place you can meet them in Magic Kingdom.

2. Have Your Stuff Ready!

You have at least a few minutes to wait in line before you meet Magic Kingdom characters so use that time to get all your stuff ready!

Have your autograph book and pen out, your ears on, and you camera ready before you meet each character.

It saves so much time and makes the line run more efficiently. The more efficient the line is, the more people can meet the Magic Kingdom characters!

I know it can be difficult to have everything you need in hand and ready to go while you’re watching your children as well, but it is really important! Have everything need in your hand or an accessible place before you get in the line to help you be prepared when you’re closer to meeting the characters.

The people behind you in the line will thank you for being organized and keeping the line moving!

Tiana Magic Kingdom Characters

3. Consider Meeting the Characters on Main Street Later in the Day

One of the first things you’ll notice when you enter Magic Kingdom is that some of your favourite characters are meeting on Main Street USA.

It is very tempting to run into line as see as you see your favourite characters, but you may want to resist the temptation.

The characters on Main Street USA are there to tempt you and make the ride queues a little shorter in the morning. The morning is the very best time to jump on your favourite rides, so you don’t want to waste it standing in line to meet a character.

Magic Kingdom characters meet on Main Street USA for the majority of the day, so you can easily go back to the front of the park a few hours into your day and meet them.

Waiting a few hours to meet the characters on Main Street USA is beneficial becuase:

  • There is normally a shorter line for the characters later in the day
  • You get ride more rides in the morning when they have a shorter line

That is a win-win situation that is hard to beat!

So while it is very tempting to jump in line to meet Pluto at the front of the park, keep on walking! Avoiding the temptation of the front-of-house characters will be beneficial for you in the short term and long term.

Plus you’ll be able to go back and meet them later in the day when the lines for the rides are long!

Be sure to check your times guide to see when Magic Kingdom characters are meeting on Main Street USA.

There are certain times of days (during shows and parades) that the characters don’t meet on Main Street USA.

Chip and Dale Main Street USA

4. They’ll Lead the Conversation (If You Want Them to)

The fact that face characters will lead the conversation is a life-saver for me. Raise your hand if you’re an extreme introvert too!

I enjoy meeting face characters but was intimidated the first few times I interacted with face characters. I’m not great with small talk, and all I really wanted was a quick photo and to get out of there as quickly as I could.

I quickly found out there was nothing to worry about. All the characters were chatty and lead the conversation. I didn’t have to put in any work or feel too awkward about my inability to small talk.

Here are a few of the fun interactions I’ve had with face characters over the years:

  • Rapunzel complimented my Gelatoni (Tokyo Disneyland character) purse, and we chatted about animal sidekicks and how Maximus was still enjoying his apples.
  • Merida begged me to babysit her brothers until she found out I wasn’t terribly found of small children.
  • Anna was talking about how much she loved snow and was amazed to learn I am from Canada. (Note: this was at Epcot not Magic Kingdom.)

It gets easier each and every time you interact with a face character, but it can still be a bit uncomfortable at times if you’re an introvert.

There have been times where I don’t meet a face character because I don’t have enough emotional energy, but the majority of the time, I’ll wait in line to meet a face character without feeling anxious at all! It just takes practice.

If you’re an extrovert, then meeting face characters is probably a lot easier. Extroverts are more prone to being comfortable with small talk and interacting with strangers.

I don’t think my extrovert counterparts will have any trouble hanging out with face characters.

But What About Fur Characters?

Fur characters will lead your interaction as well. No words are said, but you can still communicate a surprising amount!

Communicating with fur characters takes a little bit more work than it does with face characters, but it is worth it.

I much prefer interacting with fur characters than face characters- it is so much fun!

Fur characters communicate with you by pointing, other gestures, walking around, and with the help of their character attendant.

I’ve had some of my most fun interactions with Magic Kingdom characters with fur characters rather than face. Who would have guessed?!

My favourite interactions with fur characters at Magic Kingdom include:

  • Dancing with Chip and Dale on Main Street USA
  • Goofy trying to take some of my Halloween Candy at MNSSHP
  • Mickey Mouse teasing my dad and convincing him to get in the photo with us

Hanging out with fur characters is the perfect first step in meeting Magic Kingdom characters.

It allows you to interact with the characters without the nerves of having to actually hold a conversation. Once you get comfortable meeting fur characters, you can work your way up to face characters!

Whether you’re meeting face or fur characters, they will always lead the conversation if you don’t feel comfortable taking the lead.

You don’t have to worry about any awkward pauses or uncomfortable silences. All the Magic Kingdom characters are great at holding a conversation and making your interaction memorable.

Rapunzel Magic Kingdom Characters

5. Take Advantage of Photopass Photographs while Still Using Your Personal Camera

Photopass is an amazing upgrade you can add to your Disney World vacation. I always purchase the Photopass option and get my money’s worth out of it. But not everybody add Photopass to their vacation package, so they use their own cameras to capture their memories.

Whether you buy the Photopass option or not, I highly recommend you use both the Photopass camera and your personal camera to snap pictures of you meeting Magic Kingdom characters.

There is always a character attendant with the characters along with a Photopass cast member. The Photopass case member will snap a bunch of photos of you and your group meeting the character, and the character attendant is more than happy to snap a few photos with your personal camera.

This gives you twice the opportunity to get the perfect photo and memory!

Be sure to ask the character attendant nicely to take a few photos with your personal camera. Their main job is to make sure the characters are safe, and they’re helping you take photos out of the kindness of their hearts.

Even if you didn’t purchase the Photopass option, you should get your photos linked to your magic band or Photopass card. You never know what photos the photographer caught, and you may fall in love with one.

You can purchase a single photo online through the website if there is one Photopass picture you can’t live without.

The price of a single photo is ridiculously expensive. Almost criminally expensive. Right now, each photo is almost $17USD, and I’m sure the price will only increase with time.

If you think you’ll want to buy more than 10 Photopass photos, I recommend purchasing the Photopass option before you arrive at the hotel.

The price of the Photopass option is slightly discounted if you purchase it before you arrive. You get unlimited photos, so you can really get a good bang for your buck. I normally leave a week-long Disney vacation with well over 200 photos!

If you’re partway through your trip and decide you want to buy a number of different photos, you can purchase a Photopass package. It is a bit more expensive than pre-buying the package, but it will still save you a ton of money compared to buying each photo individually.

The moral of this story is to use both the professional camera and your camera to ensure you get the best photos possible!

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

6. Consider Getting a Fastpass+ for the Most Popular Magic Kingdom Characters

A Fastpass+ essentially allows you to skip the queue and go right to the front of the line of an attraction or character meet and greet without having to stand in a long line. You’re allowed to pre-book 3 Fastpass+ selection each day you have a ticket, and they’re an amazing way to save a lot of time.

A lot goes into making the perfect Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections, and I have an entire post with tips and tricks to make the most out of your Fastpass+ selections at Magic Kingdom here.

I highly recommend you give it a read. It will really help you plan your Fastpass+ selections at Magic Kingdom. It even has some tips even the most experienced Disney World goer might not know.

Is it Worth it to Use a Fastpass+ Selection on Meeting a Character?

It definitely can be!

Characters like Tinker Bell and the princesses can have really long lines. It isn’t unusual for their lines to be over an hour!

If you need to meet one of the most popular Magic Kingdom characters on your trip, you should consider getting a Fastpass+ to meet them. It could save you a lot of time!

Plus the waiting areas and queues to meet the popular characters are always really crowded and loud. I try to spend as little time in them as possible!

What About Mickey?

I mentioned Tinker Bell and the princesses as the two Fastpass+ selections I would recommend for Magic Kingdom.

Mickey Mouse also has a Fastpass+ option, but I don’t think it is the best use of your Fastpass+ selections.

You often have to wait over an hour to meet Mickey, but there are multiple times during the day that his wait is 30 minutes or under.

There have been multiple instances where I’ve waited less than 15 minutes to meet Mickey in Magic Kingdom! It is unreal.

I recommend you keep your eye on the My Disney Experience app and check every now and then to see what Mickey’s wait time is. Once it goes down enough, head over and meet him!

Minnie Mouse Magic Kingdom

7. Magic Kingdom Characters have Unique Outfits During Special Events

There are two special events at Magic Kingdom throughout the year: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP).

MNSSHP runs from August to October and MVMCP runs from November through December.

These parties are special for a number of reasons, but one of my absolute favourite things to do at them is meet a bunch of characters.

Magic Kingdom characters have special outfits at these two parties that you won’t find anywhere else!

It is so much fun to meet the characters during the parties. At MNSSHP they’re all wearing Halloween costumes, and they’re dressed up for the holiday’s at MVMCP. It is so adorable!

The first time I attended MNNSHP, I spent hours meeting every character I could. That is literally all I did! So worth it.

Some of the highlights at the parties include:

  • Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas
  • All Seven Dwarves dressed in either Halloween or Christmas outfits
  • Pooh and friends in the most adorable costumes I’ve ever seen

There are so many Magic Kingdom characters out and about during these parties. It is impossible to meet them all in a single night. Trust me, I’ve tried and failed.

You should do some research before you attend the party and decide which characters you need to meet and make that a priority.

Most of the characters have fairly long lines the entire night so be prepared to wait!

The most popular characters often have multi-hour long lines. Like three hours or more! Oftentimes people enter the park as early as they can, go straight to where the character they want to meet is greeting, and wait in line for hours.

The most popular characters include:

  • Jack and Sally
  • The Seven Dwarves
  • Stitch dressed as Elvis at MNSSHP
  • Pooh and friends

Sometimes these characters start meeting guests before the party officially starts to try to limit the wait time.

There is no guarantee they will start meeting guests early though so don’t plan your entire party strategy around that!

Even if you’re not a huge fan of meeting characters, I encourage you to take some time to meet a character or two at these parties.

It is such a unique opportunity, and you don’t want to regret missing out on it!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party MNSSHP Winnie the Pooh Walt Disney World

8. Dance Parties are an Unexpected Place to Meet Characters

Everyday there is a Move It! Shake it! MousekeDance It! street party in Magic Kingdom. It is mainly meant for children, but it is a great place to meet some characters you can’t meet anywhere else in Magic Kingdom.

MNNSHP and MVMCP also have a number of dance parties you can attend!

Meeting characters at dance parties is different than how you would normally meet characters in the park. There isn’t a queue, and you aren’t guaranteed an interaction with a particular characters.

Characters dance amongst the crowd and interact with the guests they choose.

Most of the time the guests they dance with are younger, but that isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Characters at the dance parties will dance with whoever they want for as long as they want!

It isn’t a traditional meet and greet, but it is the perfect place to get an amazing candid photo.

If you are travelling with a small child, dance parties are so much fun! Your children will love it, and you’ll get the most amazing photos and memories from them.

Magic Kingdom Dance Party

9. Know Where to Find Rare Characters

Every park at Disney World is home to rare characters, and Magic Kingdom is no exception. Outside of Epcot, I would argue that Magic Kingdom has the best selection of rare characters you can meet.

You just need to know where to look for them!

Most of the time rare characters aren’t listed in the guide and are wandering around Magic Kingdom rather than in a tradition meet-and-greet location.

This means you have to be on the lookout for them and jump in line to meet them as soon as you see them. They don’t stick around for long!

Some of the best rare characters you can meet at Magic Kingdom are:

  • Fairy God Mother, Anastasia, and Drizella (Cinderella) can be found in New Fantasy Land
  • The Country Bears in Frontierland
  • Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear, and Br’er Fox by Splash Mountain
  • Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee & Tweedledum, White Rabbit by the Mad Tea Party ride

On top of the rare characters you can meet on any ordinary day, the parties feature a number of rare characters are well:

  • Jane, Tarzan, and Terk
  • Lotso the Huggin’ Bear (Toy Story 3)
  • Moana
  • Genie (Aladdin)

The characters at the parties have dedicated meet-and-greet locations, so you don’t have to worry about have to track them down!

I love bumping into rare characters while wandering around Magic Kingdom. It is so much fun, and you never know who you’ll find!

Elvis Stitch MNSSHP

Conclusion

Meeting characters at Magic Kingdom is one of my favourite things to do! It is fun for everybody no matter your age.

Interacting with characters at Disney makes you feel young at heart even if you’re not longer a kid. Or at least it does for me!

I don’t think a Disney trip would be complete for me without meeting at least a couple of characters!

The 9 tips I went over in this post will help you meet and interact with Magic Kingdom characters like a pro even if you’re a newbie. You’ll be able to resist the characters on Main Street USA as you’re walking into the park and know where the rare characters like to hang out.

A trip to Disney really is magical, and the characters make it even more magical!

So say hi to Mickey from me next time you see him!

10 Insanely Useful Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Tips

Magic Kingdom is the most popular Disney park in the world with a staggering 20.4 million visitors in 2017! It is always busy, so you need a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy to navigate (and survive) the park.

The 10 Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ tips discussed in this post will help you make the most out your Fastpass+ selections, save time in the parks, and avoid standing in long, hot lines for hours on end.

Nothing is worse than standing in an hour-long line and watching the people with a fastpass basically walk onto the ride. It makes me soooo jealous.

Of course, you’ll have to stand in some lines because fastpasses aren’t magic and take all the waiting away, but they can significantly reduce your wait time if you have the right Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy.

It has been years since I waited in a line longer than 15 minutes at Magic Kingdom, and this is all thanks to knowing and implementing the fastpass tips and tricks discussed in this post.

I’m sharing my insider secrets with you, so you don’t have to waste away in a line in the hot Florida sun for nothing.

1. Book Your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Choices at Strategic Times

Certain times during the days are better for booking a Fastpass+ than others. You don’t want to book it too early or too late.

There is a sweet middle spot that allows you to optimize your time.

You lose out on short queues if you book your fastpasses for too early in the day and don’t get the most value for them. Book them too late in the day, and you miss out on the opportunity to get additional fastpasses as the day goes on.

Thus a delicate balance between booking too early in the day and too late in the day exists.

I recommend booking your first Fastpass+ sometime after 10am and your last one before 3pm.

Booking all three of your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options between 10am and 3pm gives you the best chance of optimizing your time in Magic Kingdom.

This time window, of course, may not work for you if you have children or are a late riser who doesn’t get to the parks before noon, but it should work for the average guest.

2. Book Your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Selections as Soon as Your Booking Window Opens

You can either book your Fastpass+ selections 30 or 60 days in advance of your trip.

The difference in when you’re allowed to book your Fastpass+ choices comes down to where you’re staying.

If you’re staying on Disney property, you’re able to book your fastpasses 60 days in advance. If you’re staying off property, you can’t book your fastpasses until 30 days before your trip.

This means there is a huge advantage to staying on Disney property, and you’re more likely to get fastpasses for the most popular attractions.

It is possible that fastpasses for the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions like Seven Dwarves Mine Train will already be sold out when people staying off property can book their Fastpass+ selections 30 days in advance.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re staying on property or off property. The best practice is to book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection the second you’re able to. This gives you the best chance of booking a fastpass for the ride you want at the time you want.

You’re able to start booking your Fastpass+ selections for your entire trip either 60 or 30 days in advance of your trip at 7am EST. This means many people in different time zones will have to wake up super early to book their fastpasses (I certainly do), but it is 100% worth the effort.

You won’t miss that extra sleep when you’re riding all the best Magic Kingdom rides with no wait time because you scored the best Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options a month or two earlier.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

3. There Aren’t Tiers, but there are Good and Bad Choices

Every other Disney World park has a Fastpass+ tier system that allows you to only get one Fastpass+ for a ride that is very popular, and your other two fastpasses are selected from a group of less popular attractions.

The tier system makes it incredibly difficult to choose what Fastpass+ you want form the top tier, and the top tier fastpasses often sell out very quickly. Sometimes even people selecting their Fastpass+ options 60 days in advance can’t get a fastpass for their top choice in tier one.

Magic Kingdom is the only Walt Disney World park to not adhere to the tier system.

This means you’re able to choose three extremely popular rides and get a Fastpass+ for them all. It also means that it is easier to get a fastpass for some of the more popular attractions because there is a larger pool of attractions to choose from.

While there is no tier system when it comes to Magic Kingdom Fastpass+, you still have to choose what rides you want to get a fastpass for wisely.

There is no sense getting a Fastpass+ for an attraction that normally doesn’t have a very long wait time.

You want to use your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections on the rides with the longest wait times.

Good Fastpass+ Selections

Here is a list of rides that are good Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections. They normally have a long wait time, so you will save a lot of time by securing and using a fastpass:

  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • The Jungle Cruise
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Meeting Rapunzel and Tiana
  • Meeting Cinderella and Elena
  • Meeting Mickey Mouse
  • Meeting Tinker Bell
  • Meeting Ariel

I consider these all to be a good use of a Fastpass+ selection because they often have the longest lines. It is nearly impossible to walk up to any of the rides on this list and not have at least a 30 minute wait.

You don’t want to needlessly waste 30 minutes if you can get a Fastpass+!

That is clearly a long list, and you can’t get a Fastpass+ for every single attraction on that list, but it is a good place to start.

There is also a lot of variation on that list in terms of how long a line can be and how difficult it is to get a Fastpass+ for a particular ride.

The three mountains and Mine Train are the most popular, and they run out of fastpasses the quickest. If you want to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain, get yourself a Fastpass+ as soon as your booking window opens.

The Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin are the easiest rides to get same-day fastpasses for.

You can sacrifice not getting a Fastpass+ for any of those rides in order to get a Fastpass+ for one of the big rides and feel confident that you can snag a last-minute fourth Fastpass+ on the day you visit.

Bad Fastpass+ Selections

Just as there are a number of good choices you can make when making your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections, there are a number of bad choices you can make.

Here is my list of worst choices for Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections:

  • Mickey’s PhilarMagic
  • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
  • It’s a Small World
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid

Every ride on that list has one thing in common: it rarely has a wait time over 10-15 minutes.

You don’t want to waste a Fastpass+ selection on a ride that has such a short wait time when you can use it for a ride that has a wait time over an hour.

That simply isn’t optimizing your time.

I’m not saying any of the rides on this list are bad. I love a number of rides on this list, and, in fact, never go to Magic Kingdom without visiting Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid.

You just don’t need a Fastpass+ to enjoy the attractions on this list, which is great! The fact that these rides have such a short wait time is amazing for you and your family.

You get to experience some outstanding attractions without a long wait and without burning up a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

4. Get Fourth Fastpass+ Selection after You’ve Used Your First Three

You may have noticed that in the last section when discussing good Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options, I mentioned that you were able to get some of the good rides as a fourth fastpass on the same day quiet easily.

The exciting things about Fastpass+ at Disney World is that you’re able to make an unlimited number of additional fastpasses once you’ve used up your original three in a day.

This feature is another reason I recommend you booking all your Fastpass+ options by mid-afternoon.

You can only make one additional Fastpass+ at a time, and you must use it before you can book another one.

For example, if you use your third Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ at 2:30pm, you can get a fourth Fastpass+.

Let’s say your fourth Fastpass+ is for 5pm. You’ve used your 5pm Fastpass+, you can get a fifth Fastpass+. And so on and so forth until there are no more options left.

You normally can’t get more than one or two additional Fastpass+ selections in a day, so don’t base your entire Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy on the expectation that you can get a ton of additional fastpasses.

But if you’re struggling to decide between four rides what you should get a Fastpass+ for, keep in mind that some rides are easier than others to get a same-day Fastpass+ for.

The key to optimizing the additional same-day Fastpass+ selections is selecting a ride you want to ride that has the earliest Fastpass+.

If you want to ride both Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, get a Fastpass+ for the ride that has the soonest Fastpass+ return time, use it, and then get a Fastpass+ for the other ride.

That is the best way to approach your additional same-day Fastpass+ selections.

5. Change You Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Selection if You’re Going to Miss You Return Window

A lot of people lose their Fastpass+ selections because they don’t realize that they can alter their plans.

If you’re going to miss your Fastpass+ window for any reason, you can and should alter your Fastpass+ selections.

You can change the time and selection of your Fastpass+ directly through the My Disney Experience app.

You have to alter your plans before the end of your Fastpass+ window so be sure you don’t miss that deadline.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to change your Fastpass+ selection to the same attraction or exact time you want, but at least you won’t lave a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection on the table.

In fact, for the most popular attractions, you probably won’t be able to get a Fastpass+ for the same attraction.

You will probably have to select a different attraction.

That is why it is best if you can make the Fastpass+ return window for every ride you have one for, but things happens. Especially if you’re travelling with young children.

Peter Pan's Flight

6. Use Rope Drop and Extra Morning Magic Hours to Your Advantage

Before I go any further in this section, I’m going to define what rope drop and extra morning magic hours are. Just in case you’re not a Disney nerd and long-time Walt Disney World goer like I am.

Rope Drop

Rope drop is basically Disney-speak for when a park opens. You queue up before the park opens, and you’re there for rope drop.

It is, in my opinion, the best way to get as much Disney in as possible with little to no crowds.

Walt Disney World parks normally open around 8am or 9am, so a lot of people are still tucked away in their beds sleeping. This means the people who are at the parks right when they open are treated to little to no crowds and can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

I’m an early bird. Like naturally wake up at 6:30am on a Saturday early bird, so taking advantage of rope drop is perfect for me.

It is honestly my favourite time to be in the parks!

But I can see how many people recoil at the thought of being at Magic Kingdom right when it opens. You have to be up and going far earlier than 8am to get to the parks for rope drop.

You have to leave time for getting to the parks, getting through security, and being at the parks 15-30 minutes before they open to ensure you’re on the first people in.

I get that rope drop isn’t for everybody, but if you’re a morning person, be sure to take advantage of it!

Early Morning Magic Hours

Early Morning Magic Hours is when a particular Walt Disney World park opens an hours early to people staying in a Disney hotel or on property at a select non-Disney hotel.

A basic rule of thumb to figure out whether you’re eligible for Early Morning Magic Hours is this:

  • You’re eligible if you were able to book your Fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance
  • You’re not eligible if you had to wait until 30 days in advance to book your Fastpass+ selections

Early Morning Magic Hours are similar to rope drop, but they are much quieter.

Not everybody is allowed into the park during Early Morning Magic Hours, so you’ll encounter even smaller crowds than at rope drop.

This is the perfect opportunity to ride the most popular attractions with little to no wait time. It is amazing how much you can get done in a single hour!

The last time I was at Magic Kingdom for Early Morning Magic Hours, I rode Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and met all the princesses.

And it only took me 45 minutes to do all that!!

So while you have to get up quite early, it is well worth it if you have a limited amount of time in Disney World and want to get the most out of your time.

A word of warning though.

Only Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are open during Early Morning Magic Hours.

You will have to wait until the rest of the park opens to explore the rest of the park.

How to Take Advantage of Rope Drop and Early Morning Magic Hours

Everybody flocks to Seven Dwarves Mine Train as soon as the park opens. It is the most difficult ride to get a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for and is extremely popular with children and adults alike.

If you weren’t able to get a Fastpass+ for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, I recommend you flock to it with the rest of the guests. The queue will be the shortest first thing in the morning.

If you were able to get a Fastpass+ for Seven Dwarves Mine Train or don’t want to ride it, this is your opportunity to take advantage of a very quiet Magic Kingdom.

I suggest riding the most popular attractions you don’t have a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for or meeting any popular characters you want to meet.

Your strategy will depend on whether you’re there for rope drop or Early Morning Magic Hours.

Your options will be limited to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland if you’re there for Early Morning Magic Hours, but there are tons of popular things you can do in those two lands before you’re allowed into the other lands.

You should, of course, choose what you prioritize first thing in the morning based on your personal preference, but I recommend riding Peter Pan’s Flight, the three mountains, and meeting characters during rope drop and Early Morning Magic Hours.

You will only be able to ride Space Mountain during Early Morning Magic Hours so keep that in mind.

No matter what your personal preferences are, be sure to ride the most popular rides that you don’t have a Fastpass+ for first thing in the morning. It will save you a lot of time standing in line throughout the day, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’re able to do in a short amount of time.

Monsters Inc Scare Floor Magic Kingdom

7. There is a Short Grace Period

A lot of people don’t realize that there is a short grace period for using your Fastpass+.

You can typically use it 5 minutes before your return window starts and 10-15 minutes after your window ends.

If you show up outside of that grace window, you probably won’t be able to use your Fastpass+ selection unless you plead your case to the cast member at the fastpass queue, and they are kind enough to let you in.

Don’t rely on that strategy though!

I personally try to take advantage of the short 5 minute grace period before my Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection. This is especially true if it is my third fastpass of the day.

The sooner I redeem my Fastpass+, the sooner I can book my fourth Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for the day!

I’m also just naturally the type of person who thinks you’re late if you show up 5 minutes early. I’m normally hovering around the ride I have a Fastpass+ for about 10 minutes before my return time begins.

This short grace period is perfect for people who are rushing across Magic Kingdom to get to their next Fastpass+ and get bottlenecked because there is a parade or stage show. Or for people who are rushing to use their Fastpass+ after a meal or hopping over from a different park.

If you’re hungry and want to grab a bite to eat but are worried about being late and missing your Fastpass+ window, I suggest eating at a quick service restaurant rather than a table service restaurant.

It is a nice feature that Disney includes, and really helps to keep the parks running smoothly and guests happy.

8. Choose Rides that Make Sense for You

I’ve made a lot of statements about what rides you should try to get a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for and what rides aren’t worth getting a Fastpass+ for.

But it really comes down to what you value and want to experience.

My mom suffers from motion sickness, so she can’t ride any of the rollercoasters, so it doesn’t make sense to get a Fastpass+ for them.

If you really want to ride something on my list of bad fastpasses, then go ahead and get a Fastpass+ for it. I may not think it is a good use of a Fastpass+ selection, but you may.

Don’t let yourself get pressured into thinking you’re wasting your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections if you don’t get fastpasses for the most popular attractions and choose medium popular attractions instead.

It boils down to what you personally find value in.

That’s how you’re going to get the most out of your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.

I personally despise Splash Mountain. I hate drops, and I hate water. So I never get a Fastpass+ for the ride. I have friends who think I’m stupid to get a Haunted Mansion fastpass over a Splash Mountain fastpass because Splash Mountain normally has a very long wait time.

But, to me, getting a Splash Mountain fastpass makes no sense. I get no joy out of it, and I get a lot of joy out of riding Haunted Mansion.

Splash Mountain Disney World

The Bottom Line

Try to think of it that way when trying to decide what Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections you’re going to make.

Decide what attractions you really want to ride and a list of attractions you definitely don’t want to ride.

From there, try to figure out how to get the biggest benefit from your Fastpass+ selections. once you know what you want to ride, try to get a fastpass for the most popular attractions within that group.

This way you’ll be maximizing your time and using your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections wisely.

There is no sense getting a Fastpass+ for something you don’t like just because it is a popular attraction, and you feel pressured into getting it!

9. Don’t Forget About Characters!

A lot of people neglect characters when deciding on their Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.

There are a lot of different characters in Magic Kingdom that you can get a Fastpass+ for, and many of them have a long line to meet them.

You should definitely consider getting a Fastpass+ to meet a character if that is really important to you. It can be a huge timesaver in the long run.

Popular characters like Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse, and the princesses can have wait times for over an hour. That is just as long as some of the popular rides!

Decide whether meeting characters in the Magic Kingdom is an essential activity for you. If it is, you may want to use a Fastpass+ selection to make sure you meet your favourite character.

10. You Can Use Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ when Attending the Halloween or Christmas Parties

This is a bit of a complicated Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ feature and needs to be done in a very specific way in order to work.

The short way of explaining this is that you’re able to make Fastpass+ selections from 4pm to 6pm on the day you have a ticket to either the Halloween Party or the Christmas party.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts in August and ends in October. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs in November and December. Parties are only held on certain nights so be sure to check the events calendar in advance!

The parties start at 7pm, but you’re able to enter Magic Kingdom at 4pm. Cast members start to clear the park of people who do not have a ticket to the party at 6pm when the Magic Kingdom officially closes for the day.

The process for booking a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ before a hard-ticket event differs depending on whether you’re visiting another park that day or not. I’ll explain both methods seperately.

If You’re Visiting a Park Before Attending the Party

The process of booking a Fastpass+ before a party is pretty straightforward when you’re visiting another park the same day as the party.

Essentially, any fastpass you have for the party will be a bonus Fastpass+ selection you can make after your three original fastpasses are used up for the day.

You follow the same process as you would for booking any same-day Fastpass+.

You can book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ through the app on your phone, but you’ll only be able to make one Fastpass+ selection at a time as you’ve already used your original three Fastpass+ selections for the day.

If You’re Only Attending the Party

Booking your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections becomes more complicated if you’re only attending that party for the day.

You’re able to book multiple Fastpass+ selections because you don’t have any selected for that day.

You probably will only be able to book two Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections before the party. This is because you’re only allowed one Fastpass+ per hour, and you can only book them from 4pm to 6pm before the party.

That may sound simple enough, but you have to book your Fastpass+ selections in a very specific way in order for it to work.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ before the party if you’re not visiting any other park that day:

  • Be sure you have purchased your ticket
  • Book your Fastpass+ selections for every day you have a park ticket. This means if you have four days’ worth of park tickets, you need to book all 12 Fastpass+ selections
  • Select your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections for before the party

It is ESSENTIAL that you book all your Fastpass+ selections for regular park tickets BEFORE you book Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections on the day of the party.

The system gets very confused if you don’t book all your regular park ticket Fastpass+ selections before your party selections. It thinks you’re booking regular Fastpass+ selections rather than pre-party Fastpass+ selections.

The system will think you’ve made all your Fastpass+ selections and are out of Fastpass+ entitlements if you try to book a Fastpass+ for the day of the party when you haven’t selected your Fastpass+ options for every other day you have a park ticket.

You must also have your party ticket purchased before you’re able to make Fastpass+ selections on your party day. Your party ticket essentially signals to the system that you’re entitled to make those pre-party Fastpass+ selections.

Pooh and friends at MNSSHP

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

The fact that you can get a few extra Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections before a Halloween or Christmas party is great! I love taking advantage of this little loophole and booking the extra fastpasses.

There are a few reasons why booking the extra Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections may not be the best option for you:

  • You want to meet some of the popular characters in their party costumes. If you want to meet the most popular characters at the parties, you have to line up for it early. Like as soon as you get to the party early! It wouldn’t be worth your time to book the extra fastpasses in this instance.
  • You don’t want to be rushed getting to the party. Many people have a relaxed resort day or spend time at Disney Springs before the party. Getting to Magic Kingdom for a 4:15pm Fastpass+ can really eat into your day, and you may not want that pressure.
  • You’re travelling with a small child. The parties run late into the night. You may want to let your small child nap a little later into the afternoon the day of the party, so they can stay up a little later to enjoy the party.

Tips for Visiting Disney World Alone

Conclusion

Making your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections may seem easier than in the other three Disney World parks because there is no tier system, but that can actually make it more difficult.

You have to have a thorough plan about what you want to get a Fastpass+ for and what you’re willing to stand in line to ride.

You can’t get a Fastpass+ for everything you want to ride, so you have to make difficult choices.

I highly recommend you do some research on each of the attractions you can get a Fastpass+ for. Figure out what you want to ride and determine what Fastpass+ strategy will work best for you.

Be sure to take into account what you’re able to ride at rope drop and during Extra Morning Magic Hours. Try to create a Magic Kingdom plan that allows you to maximize quiet times in the parks and the Fastpass+ system.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can do and see in a single day in the Magic Kingdom if you have a solid strategy and maximize your Fastpass+ selections.

I hope this post has helped you plan your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy. These tips should help you make the most of your day in Magic Kingdom and understand the Fastpass+ system a little better.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you have an amazing Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ tip you want to share!