Planning a holiday of a lifetime in Orlando, Florida? I’ve just spent a few weeks exploring the theme park capital of the world and have come up with five handy tips to conquering Magic Kingdom.
Download the App
To make the most of the time at Magic Kingdom (and indeed all the other Disney Parks), I’d recommend downloading the My Disney Experience App. Here you can plan your days somewhat by booking fast passes for your party, making dining reservations and more.
Besides the enchanting Cinderella Castle and whimsical Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom is home to some of Orlando’s best restaurants, including Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be our Guest – located in Beauty and the Beast’s castle no less.
If you’re a foodie like me and want to see if the ‘grey stuff’ really is delicious at Be Our Guest, it’s worth booking a table in advance through the app as you’ll struggle getting a reservation on the day. You can always turn up like I did and chance it, but expect to wait (especially during lunch and dinner hours).
Each guest also has three fast passes to use in Magic Kingdom that you can book through the app. Whatever time you select, you’re given a sixty minute window to skip the regular line at that attraction or experience in an express queue. As you’d expect, popular rides will be snapped up quick.
I’d recommend visiting the Magic Kingdom later in the afternoon and splitting your time here over a few days (if you can of course). The temperature is much more comfortable in the evening during summer months and the popular rides seem to quieten down.
I think most people rush for the popular attractions first and move on to the rest later. I found ‘it’s a small world‘ and ‘Peter Pan’s Flight‘ had queues in excess of half an hour during the day, yet by 6/7pm I was able to walk on ‘it’s a small world’ on several occasions and didn’t wait very long for some of the others like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
Your fast passes are best used for meeting you/your children’s favourite characters as these are VERY popular as well as ‘Splash Mountain‘ (to cool off in the afternoon heat), ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’, the ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train‘ or ‘Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin’.
Remember there’s five “lands” at Magic Kingdom, so give yourself time between fast pass times so you don’t have to rush and use a park map to see if your selected experiences are close to one another.
Parade & Fireworks
The Main Street electrical parade starts by the park exit around 9pm. If you base yourself here you’ll get a great first view of the illuminated floats and watch them head down Main Street USA towards the glowing Castle.
Some guests headed upstairs to Main Street USA rail station for a birds eye view.
The advantage is when the parade and fireworks finish you can be one of the first guests to leave the park and catch your coach, monorail or ferry boat to the car park.
This brings me to my last point, if you drive – remember where you park your car! They’ve made it easy by giving your a villain or hero and row number, just make sure you note it down or take a picture on your phone.
Between the ferry boat or monorail, I’d recommend the ferry boat as it doesn’t take much longer. You cross the Seven Seas lagoon and have a wonderful view of the castle on approach – so exciting whether you’re a first timer or Disney geek (above picture).
So there’s my five tips to making the most of your time in the happiest place on earth! Please let me know if you’ve found them useful or have any questions. If you’ve recently been to Magic Kingdom, I’d love to hear some of your tips too!
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