Disney is kicking off the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World this Friday with another all-nighter at the Magic Kingdom. Yes, for the fourth year running, Magic Kingdom’s gates will be open to guests for 24 hours straight: from 6 am on Friday, May 24 until 6 am Saturday, May 25, 2015. While those visiting Disney World this Friday might feel a little envious of all the new things debuting at Disneyland for its 60th Anniversary (New parade, new fireworks, new World of Color show, new merchandise, new Hat Box Ghost, new Yeti… I’ll stop now before you book your ticket to Anaheim), there will still be a ton of fun, unique things to do at Magic Kingdom this Friday.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of that day and even marathon through the whole 24 hours.

Tips and Tricks to make it through the 24-Hour day at Magic Kingdom

Know about special entertainment, dining, and merchandise before you go

As with every 24-hour day at Magic Kingdom, Disney is providing unique dining, entertainment, and merchandise opportunities for guests. 24 hours is a long time, so these special events will help fill up the day and keep things interesting (especially if you’re a Disney die-hard and go often).

Highlights include:

  • Welcome Show with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff.
  • Frozen pre-parade before the 11 pm and 1 am performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Two late night PJ dance parties with Disney characters: Frontierland Dance Party from 2 am – 6 am near Country Bear Jamboree, and Up All Night Dance Party from 2 am – 5:45 am at Cinderella Castle.
  • Singalong screenings of Frozen – 12 am – 4 am at Tomorrowland’s Rockettower Plaza
  • Special 24 Hour Day shirt featuring Olaf that changes color when exposed to sunlight
  • 24 Hour Day cupcake featuring (you guessed it) Olaf at Main Street Bakery and Gaston’s Tavern
  • Blue lemonade and cotton candy

You can find out more from Disney Parks Blog:

Stock up on coffee

Main Street Bakery - Starbucks at Magic Kingdom

For generations, caffeine has been helping people stay up until ridiculous hours in the night. As an avid procrastinator in college, I am well versed in the caffeine-fueled all-nighter (thanks a lot for that, Writing 140 at USC). In my opinion, there is no better way to get a quick dose of caffeine than a nice cup of coffee. Thankfully, Magic Kingdom has upped its coffee game in the past couple of years with the opening of Starbucks on Main Street. With the variety of coffee and espresso drinks available, Starbucks is sure to be a popular destination once guests hit a wall of sleepiness around 2 or 3 am.

However, there’s another way to get your coffee fix that’s both cheaper and quicker.  My favorite way to always have quick access to coffee at Disney World is to bring a few Starbucks Via Packets with me. These instant coffee packets are surprisingly good. Is it as good as fresh brewed coffee? Not quite, but they are leagues better than other instant coffees I’ve tried. Not only are they relatively cheap (you can get a pack of 24 for around $14 at Costco), but the convenience is great. Just go to any counter service location and ask for a cup of hot water and mix the Via Packet in. I also ask for a cup of ice, so I can either cool down the extremely hot cup of water they give me, or I can make an iced coffee on the fly. It also works great with a cold water bottle.

Keep your phone alive

On an ordinary day, I get a full-day’s battery-life with my iPhone, but just barely. When I go to Disney World? I can be down to 10% by 1 PM, easily. Between checking wait times to texting other people in my party to taking pictures and video to posting those pictures and video to Instagram to playing really fun and addictive games while waiting in line (shameless plug: Check out One More Roll, a free iPhone game I worked on), a day at Disney World absolutely eats up my iPhone’s battery life. It’s hard enough to get through a regular 8-12 hour day in the parks. How can you make it through a 24 hour day?

One More Roll - Free iPhone Game for killing time in line at Disney Parks
Check Out One More Roll – A free game we designed for killing time in line at Disney World.

You could try to limit what apps you use like an animal, but what’s the fun in that? Disney rents charging lockers on Main Street that allow you to charge your electronics, but that costs money and means you have to be without your phone for a couple of hours. The solution is to get an external USB battery or power bank. These are small devices that you charge before you go into the park, and they allow you to charge any device via USB. I’ve actually used one I brought for my phone to charge up my Go Pro. The one I have is about the size of case of lipstick, and it carries at least two-to-three full charges for my phone.

As far as I’m concerned, a lightweight USB battery is essential for any Disney World vacation, and will be especially important to help you get through the 24-hour day at Magic Kingdom.

Stay dry, stay cool

The forecast for Orlando this Friday calls for a 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms. As if that’s not pleasant enough, it will be a high of 95° with 60-80% humidity. So it will be a hot, wet, muggy mess of a day.

I’d definitely recommend getting a poncho before heading into the parks. These will keep you dry, but they’re lightweight enough to keep you cool as well. There will be ponchos available to purchase in the park, but they are much more expensive than what you can get at a local Walmart. They also have the benefit of being very lightweight, so you won’t tire yourself out by carrying around your poncho.

Don’t carry around too much

Speaking of what you’re carrying, don’t overpack. If you are bringing a DSLR, maybe pack one versatile zoom lens instead of two or three prime lenses. Bring one water bottle and refill it instead of carrying around enough for the whole day. Avoiding carrying heavy bags will help you save your energy to make it through the night.

A locker might be a good investment for Magic Kingdom’s 24-hour day. That would allow you to pack a backpack full of clothes, snacks, water bottles, and other travel essentials without having to carry them around the park.

Party all night in style

Costumes are permitted for the Coolest Summer Ever kickoff, so if you feel like you need to rock your Disney Side, come dressed as your favorite character. However, going all out on a costume might be a bit exhausting after a few hours. Either bring a change of clothes, or consider Disney Bounding to join in on the fun. Disney Bounding is where guests use regular clothes to evoke the style or spirit of a Disney character (think wearing a blue and yellow shirt and red bowtie instead of a full Donald Duck costume). This is a creative way to express your Disney fandom without having to wear

Fastpass+ has a bedtime

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

There are no Fastpass+ reservations between 3 am and 6 am on Saturday morning. If you couldn’t get a Fastpass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, this might be a good time to check out the standby line, as crowds are sure to have died down by then.

Know your limits

Although part of the fun of a 24 hour day at Disney World is the idea of marathoning in the park for the whole 24 hours, there’s no shame in only checking out part of the festivities. Pick a schedule that works for you. Disney World is meant to be fun, and you don’t want to ruin the rest of your vacation because you completely exhausted yourself with one day at the Magic Kingdom. Pace yourself, and know that there’s nothing wrong with showing up late or leaving a little early.

Are you going to the 24 Hour Day this week? Let me know in the comments below!

(Disney Characters in Pajamas pictures – Copyright Disney)