Magic Kingdom Tips
With so many attractions to choose from, it’s important to pick the right FastPass reservations for Magic Kingdom. Which Magic Kingdom attractions are worth your FP+ reservation? Which are worth skipping? Find out in our complete Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Guide.
If you like rides and are planning a trip to Magic Kingdom, one of the biggest things is knowing what to FastPass. I decided to FastPass Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and a character meet and greet. Two other rides that you could FastPass would be Peter Pan's Flight or Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. I know you are probably wondering why we didn't fast pass Big Thunder and Splash Mountain, but there is a trick. Get to the park about an hour before it opens, and get your Magic Kingdom essential-rides when it first opens. A couple reasons why you should get there early is so that you can see the welcome show, and sometimes the park opens early. So as soon as the park opens head down to Frontierland and hop on Big Thunder Mountain: we rode this three times with no wait. When you are done with Big Thunder, head on over to Splash Mountain and you can ride that with no wait as well. After Splash Mountain I would go to the Pirates of the Caribbean, and then you have ridden three of the major rides in the park within the first two hours and then you are done with that area of the park. Then you can use your FastPasses later in the day for rides elsewhere. I hope this helps! Thanks to Hadlea for this tip!
If you were unable to get reservations to the restaurant of your choice, you might still get in. Just ask the hostess/host if they have had any cancellations, and sometimes you'll be in luck and be able to eat there. Last time my family of 7 went to Disney World, we asked the server at Cinderella's Royal Table and got in because of a cancellation. Thanks to Jessica for this tip!
We like to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night. We try to get in line so that we are on the ride when the Wishes fireworks are going on. It is an awesome view of the fireworks. We also have done Splash Mountain during this time and it is okay, but there are only a few opportunities to see the fireworks on that ride. Thanks to Matt Morisak for this tip!
If you're ever wanting to relax/take a moment to get away from the crowds, go stand on the boardwalk on the river right behind the Turkey Leg and Churro stands in Frontierland. It's super relaxing and has a beautiful view of Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island. Thanks to Abbey for this tip!
When watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade at 3pm, we stood on the side of the street under the train station at the front of the park. By doing so, we didn't get stuck with the crowd following the parade out of the park. We got out of the park easily and were one of the first ones to get on a monorail to Epcot. Thanks to Abbey for this tip!
Here is a great viewing spot for Festival of Fantasy that helps you avoid the crowds.
We have planned our last 3 visits to WDW to coincide with the Not So Scary Halloween Party because it is so much fun! A great tip is to make a priority seating for Liberty Tree Tavern for around 5:30 the evening of the party. Just tell a cast member you have a priority seating and they will let you go through. They empty the park starting at 6:00 for people without tickets to the party, which starts at 7:00. While the masses of people are exiting the park, you're having a great dinner. When you're finished eating, you walk out into the park refreshed and ready to enjoy the party! Also you can make your priority seating for Liberty Tree as soon as the Halloween tickets go on sale which is usually the end of April or early May. Thanks to Terri for this tip!
My wife and I went to Cinderella's Royal Table because she wanted to look at the menu for lunch. I told her that there was no way that we would get in because I thought that one could only get in by reservation. One of the hostesses came over and asked if we wanted to eat there. She just had a cancellation for 2! The meal was wonderful. The view was excellent. And it was worth every penny to get away from the crowds for a little while! So, the old cliché is true "It never hurts to try!" Thanks to Rusty for this tip!
This tip has to do with eating at Cinderella's Table for Lunch or Dinner. Make sure you make your reservations in advance but consider eating a late lunch as opposed to dinner. It is not quite as crowded. Your chances of getting a reservation close to your vacation time are much better (if not booked far enough in advance). Many of the menu items for lunch are on the dinner menu but are much cheaper on the lunch menu. If you book lunch around 2:15 you can see the 3:00 parade right after lunch. Dinner does not start until 4:00 but I believe the last reservation for lunch is 3:00. Thanks to Scott for this tip!
We booked Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween during my visit to Disney World. I have never known 5 hours go so fast. What a great night this was! Definitely worth checking out! Thanks to Steve for this tip!
If you are an old hat at Disney World and would like a little twist, ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain at night. We hit Splash Mountain late one night because we were avoiding the long lines, and, wow it was gorgeous and a little mysterious too. Big Thunder almost seems faster at night! Way more fun than in the day. Thanks to Sarah for this tip!
Save time at the Magic Kingdom by using the Express Stroller Rental. It is located outside the park entrance.
Take advantage of Express Stroller Rental.
Just wanted to give an update for scoring points on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. In the first room, aim for the left arm of the left robot for 100,000 points, and when you are on Planet Z and you see Zurg, hit the bottom target of his space scooter for 100,000 points. Thanks to Dan for this tip!
You wrote of the pleasures of viewing the fireworks from the plaza view terrace and we did that and it was excellent. We found, quite by accident, an even better place the following night. We were exiting Mickey's Philharmagic just as the fireworks began. The view from the area between Philharmagic and the Carousel is just phenomenal!!! Almost all of the fireworks explode directly above your head as you stand in an area that seems to be in broad daylight. Thanks to Jon for this tip!
We watched the Main Street Electrical Parade from near its starting point, near at Town Hall . When the end of the parade passed us, we raced to Adventureland . We were able to go on the Jungle Cruise and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets without waiting in line at all, because most of the people in the park were still watching the parade. Although we didn’t try it, you could probably apply the same principle and watch the earlier parade near Frontierland and run to find rides in that area as soon as the parade finishes. Thanks to Rachel for this tip!
During the fall and winter, Magic Kingdom hosts two ticketed parties: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These are held on select nights, and they close the park at 7 pm for non-party goers. If you are visiting Magic Kingdom September-December, pay attention to the dates of the parties. If you don’t have a park hopper, be sure to visit Magic Kingdom on a day that the party doesn’t occur.
We watched the fireworks at Magic Kingdom near Cinderella Castle, and my 7-year-old, who had been full of energy until that point, got very drowsy once we actually stopped running from ride to ride. Getting him through the crowds and out of the park after the fireworks was a challenge. For people watching the fireworks with kids, try this tip: watch the fireworks near Town Hall so that if the kids become very tired during the fireworks “downtime,” you don’t have too far to drag them to the monorail. It also still offers a great view! Thanks to Rachel for this tip!
If visiting Magic Kingdom on a hot day, don't miss the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square - there is rarely a long line, it's air conditioned, and honestly it's a great show! My 9-year-old loved it! Thanks to Steve for this tip!
Don't overlook the Hall of Presidents.
We just returned from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and were pleased in particular with Storybook Treats in Fantasyland. The ice cream sundaes were to die for and the prices were great! If your family likes ice cream, then this is the place to go. It beats the pre-made ice cream stands found all over the park. Thanks to Breanne for this tip!
Magic Kingdom’s fireworks are spectacular, but did you know that there are ways to see them outside of the park? The Contemporary’s California Grill offers its diners an amazing view from the top of the Contemporary, which is a definite bonus to getting a great meal. What about a couple of options that don’t require you to pay any money? The beach at the Polynesian offers a great view over the water of the fireworks, and, like the California Grill, they will play the music from the fireworks. Lastly, the by the ferry docks at the Transportation and Ticket Center is actually a great place to see the fireworks, and this option has the fewest crowds. If you time it right, you could even watch the fireworks while riding a ferry. All of these options offer something slightly different, so try out one of them next time you go to Disney World!
Is it your birthday? Be sure to wear your birthday button, available from Guest Services at each park. Cast members will wish you a happy birthday, you might get a free birthday dessert at certain Disney World table service restaurants, and the Dapper Dans might even sing you their rendition of "Happy Birthday to You." It's a great way to feel even more special on your special day. Thanks to Jennifer for this tip!
Here's a great tip for riding the 3 Mountains at Magic Kingdom! Get in line for the mountains later at night right before the parade and fireworks start, so probably around 7:30 the lines will die down somewhat because of people eating dinner and getting ready for the parade. Leave Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain for the night and ride Space Mountain during the day. This is a good plan, because standing in line for Splash and Big Thunder can get HOT during the day where as Space Mountain has an indoor line which is air conditioned. This will pay off because there are no lines during the Parade and the Fireworks at night on any of the Mountains! So hit the smaller rides during the day, and save the mountains for later at night! This really does save on time and you get more rides out of it! Thanks to Mark for this tip!
If you have no interest in watching the parade at Magic Kingdom, make sure you are in the area of the park you want to be when the parade starts. Traveling around the park, especially around the parade route, becomes next to IMPOSSIBLE. I was at the Haunted Mansion and needed to go to ride Splash Mountain because I had a Fastpass, and it took me at least 20-30 minutes to make that short trip simply because of the parade. Thanks to Chris for this tip!
During a parade at Magic Kingdom, if you want to avoid the crowds on the sidewalk - walk through the shops as much as possible. You can walk almost all of Main Street inside if you stay on the right hand side (right side as you are looking at the entrance). Thanks to Jennifer for this tip!
Bypass the parade crowds.
I just recently went to Disney World and I found that the best place to sit for the Main Street Electrical Parade is on the balcony of the Magic Kingdom's train station, right as you enter the park. Try to get there at least an hour before, because this is a popular spot. People take the chairs and tables that are up there. If you sit there you can see the castle for the fireworks perfectly, and you have a great vantage point for the parade. Thanks to Larry for this tip!
Don't miss Dream Along with Mickey, the show Disney World puts on in front of Cinderella Castle. You will see about 2 dozen of Disney characters, and after the short show they come down and walk around and interact with the guests. Thanks to Miros for this tip!
Many people will line up for the parade on Main Street or in the Hub, but the route goes through Frontierland as well. You can usually get a great spot there, and it’s much less congested than Main Street.
Do not visit the Magic Kingdom on a Monday. It is packed! For many people, Magic Kingdom is the first park they go to, which makes the days or day after most people arrive typically very crowded. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are always better for the Magic Kingdom. Instead, visit one of the other three parks on Monday, as they will be much less crowded.
Get to the “Mountains” at Magic Kingdom early: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The lines on these get long later on. These are also good attractions to get Fastpass+ reservations for, as they are three of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom.
If you plan to eat at the Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom, try and plan your dinner so that you are done 20 minutes before the parade starts. Just step out onto the porch for a great view. Thanks to John and Karl for this tip!
Liberty Tree Tavern is located right on the parade route.
At the Magic Kingdom, people usually leave right after the fireworks go off. The park usually stays open for a couple more hours after the fireworks. Since most people don't know that (or they just are tired), they leave once the fireworks are over. This leaves Magic Kingdom relatively empty until the real closing time. Thanks to Jeremy for this tip!
When everyone is leaving the Magic Kingdom, the monorails tend to get very crowded. Most people head toward the Transportation and Ticket Center monorail, which is the first monorail to the right. It is always crowded. Just past that is the Resort Monorail. Use the resort monorail! This takes you to the Contemporary but stay on and you'll get to the Transportation and Ticket Center a lot faster, and without dealing with all the crowds. Thanks to Evan for this tip!
If you want to experience Splash Mountain but don't want to wait in line or use Fastpass+, just go to other rides until about 10:00pm or later then come back to it. My friends and I walked right through with no one in front of us and got on. Sure it was a little colder, but worth it! Thanks to Ryan for this tip!
When entering the Magic Kingdom while the 3:00 parade is going on, hop on the train and take it to Frontierland and you miss all the crowds leaving after the parade. Thanks to Susan for this tip!
If you have a child, plan your trip so you are at Magic Kingdom when it opens. The crowd gets really heavy around 11:00 am. But it's amazing what you can do in those first two hours before the lines get long. When you get into the park, go straight to Space Mountain. You will have almost no wait! Then go to the Buzz Lightyear ride. You can ride that repeatedly with almost no wait until about 10:30am. Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear are two very popular attractions but if you hit them early, you can start your day with a bang without waiting in lines!! Thanks to Jerry for this tip!
A tip for dining at Magic Kingdom is to put off eating a dinner until 1 hour before the night parade. While you wait for the parade someone can go get the food and bring it back. That way you can have a nice meal and a place to sit during the parade. Thanks to Amanda for this tip!
Time your meal around the parade at Magic Kingdom.
When you go to the parks, get there about 30-40 minutes before the park opens because you’ll be able to ride all of your favorite rides before the crowds come. You’ll have very short waits for popular rides like Toy Story Midway Mania, Space Mountain, Soarin, or Expedition Everest.
A good way to cool off without going back to your hotel room: Head to the Hall of Presidents - 23 minutes of air conditioned relaxation. Another long, air conditioned ride: Ellen's Energy Adventure in Epcot. Thanks to Roger for this tip!
At the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, the shops stay open one hour after the last attraction has closed- so you can save your last minute shopping to the very last minute and not miss any late night rides! Thanks to Sue for this tip!
Here's a tip that works best at Magic Kingdom: If you want to save time, get to the park as it opens, and go to the rides in the back first. Usually there are shorter lines that way. Thanks to Diane for this tip!