You’re at Disney World and excitement is at an all time high! The first thing you want to do is go to the Magic Kingdom and ride all the rides, fill your tummy with ice cream bars, and have a chat with Mickey Mouse. However, as you ride the monorail around the lake, while squished between dozens of people you don’t know, reality sets in… Magic Kingdom is the most popular park, and everybody else on this monorail has the same plan as you. You have to beat each of these people to every attraction or you’ll spend the day in line explaining to your children that, “This is fun!”
Or, you can follow these few easy steps.
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Avoid days with Extra Magic Hours.
The first thing you need to understand is Extra Magic Hours actually draws more crowds to the park on that day. If you are a guest at a resort that participates in Extra Magic Hours (basically any Disney resort plus the Swan and Dolphin), then the lines aren’t that bad during the late Extra Magic Hours, as most people leave the park after the fireworks. However, if you are traveling with small children, chances are they’ll be dozing off as you finally take them to It’s a Small World at 11 pm. If the Magic Kingdom is having EARLY EXTRA MAGIC HOURS, you will probably want to avoid the park that day. Check out one of the other three parks instead. No way around it, it just gets crowded.
Weekends and Mondays are the most crowded.
Since Magic Kingdom is Disney World’s most popular park, most people start their vacation by spending a day there. This makes Weekends and Mondays the most crowded days for the park, since they are the most common days people arrive. We’ve found that Wednesday is actually the best day to visit Magic Kingdom, as we’ve always found the crowds to be the most managable then. The lesson here is the same as the first tip: pick the days you visit each park carefully.
Set up Fastpass+ reservations
Now that you have picked a day that you want to go, you should set up your Fastpass+ reservations. If you are staying at a Disney World Resort, or you are an annual passholder, you can receive a Magic Band and make your reservations in advance using Disney’s My Disney Experience website/app. If you are visiting a non Disney Resort, or have a day pass, you can still get Fastpass+ reservations by visiting the Fastpass+ kiosks located throughout the park.
When you make your reservations, keep in mind the layout of the park. You don’t want to make a 11 am reservation for an attraction in tomorrowland and a 12 pm reservation for an attraction in Frontierland. There are a high concentration of age appropriate attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. This is great because you can hit several things with minimal walking. When you are getting your Fastpass+ reservations, go for times when the park will become more crowded, like 11 am and later. Before 11 am, the park is usually still relatively not crowded, and lines are still managable, even for the most popular attractions.
Get to the park as early as possible.
Finally, get to the Magic Kingdom at the rope drop, aka as it opens. Unlike Hollywood Studios, there is not a mad rush of people at the opening of the Magic Kingdom. By getting to the park early, this will give you a few hours of very short waits for all of your children’s favorite rides before your Fastpasses become available. The lines in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are at daily lows for the first few hours, so enjoy as much as you can!
Using these tips will ensure you and your family have a fantastic, stress-free time at the Magic Kingdom. And, since you will have an action packed morning, those kids will be sure to take a great nap in the afternoon! You’re welcome.