Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Heather
We always talk about different Magic Kingdom tips and tricks in other posts. But I thought we would put a few tips and tricks together in one place to get the most out of your day at the Magic Kingdom.
But in this post, we’re going to talk about all of the Disney World tricks that only the insiders know. Insiders like Resort TV 1.
Recently they put up a video diving into all the things you need to know before going to the Magic Kingdom.
We’re going to go over them as well as a few other goodies that we thought to tack on.
So let’s dive in…
Tips For Getting There
First of all, let’s talk about how to get to Walt Disney World. Many people arrive by car, although there are many great ways to get to Walt Disney World.
But be sure to check out the western way that comes off of State Road 429. This avoids some of the Orlando traffic.
You can also get to Walt Disney World from a magical express bus from the Orlando International Airport or an Uber. We prefer Disney’s Magical Express, as it offers free transportation from the Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World for all Walt Disney World Resort guests.
You can get to the parks by car by Disney bus if you’re staying at the Disney Resort or by monorail or boat if you’re staying in select Disney resorts.
Magic Kingdom Parking
If you arrive by car you’ll have to pay to park unless you’re a Disney Resort guest. Disney Resort guests get free parking everywhere at Walt Disney World Parks. Although certain annual pass holder tiers also get free parking at the parks, where it is $25 per day for all other guests.
Your parking ticket is good all day at all four parks. Another great tip is to avoid arriving at the park between the hours of 10 AM and noon. Parking can get really crazy and the lines can get backed up.
During the holidays it gets much much harder to find a parking spot. Disney also offers preferred parking for an additional fee. However, Magic Kingdom’s preferred parking is usually not worth the money because it’s much more expensive and many times the parking isn’t that much closer.
Monorail or Ferry Boat?
If you’ve never been to the Magic Kingdom before it’s one of the few parks where the parking is actually not adjacent to the park itself. This means you have to take a monorail or a ferry boat to get to the park from the parking lot and the monorail and ferry boat are usually busiest from 10 AM to noon as well.
However, you’ll definitely want to ride both the monorail and the ferry boat at some point during your vacation because they are very scenic and a great way to just relax and unwind.
Be sure to have those cameras ready if you take this route as you approach the Magic Kingdom on the monorail; because you get great views of Cinderella Castle as well as the train station.
This also gives you a chance to scope out the park entry lines and see which ones are the shortest. The other option from Magic Kingdom parking to the park itself the ferry boat. It actually takes a lot more people than the monorail, but it does take longer due to docking and unloading procedures.
Tips For Getting Tickets
The lines at Disney World security are also the longest between the hours of 10 AM and noon each day. This can stretch all the way to 1:00 p.m. on some really crowded days.
Pro Tip: Buy your tickets online. Do not wait in these long ticket lines because you’re wasting your valuable Disney park time standing in line buying tickets. The lines tend to move very slowly.
We recommend going to Disney World’s Website in order to ensure a truly magical trip. They have a great staff that will work with you. Ticket pricing does change frequently, so it’s always best to check with them and get the best discount and package for the time of year you are going.
Disney will mail you your tickets, which come in the form of Magic Bands that you wear while you are in Disney World. That way you can go straight to the front gate of the park when you arrive and scan through.
If you take the bus from a Disney Resort to the Magic Kingdom you actually skip the transportation and ticket center altogether. They drop you right off in front of the Magic Kingdom itself. That’s a real time saver.
When You Get There
Many people love to get pictures in front of the Magic Kingdom train station and the Mickey floral arrangement as soon as they get there. But, keep in mind, this is busiest in the morning and it’s less crowded generally in the afternoon.
Once you pass under the train station and into the Town Square it’s a great time to pick a place to reconnect with friends and family if you do become separated throughout the course of the day.
Cell phones are great for that as well, but they don’t always work or people don’t always check them (ehem, hubby) so it’s great to have a place to meet just in case the family becomes separated.
I know you are in a rush to see Cinderellas Castle, but don’t simply bypass Main Street USA either. There’s a lot to see and do here including some great entertainment like the Dapper Dans and shopping like the Emporium.
Tips For Planning Your Day
So, let’s talk about a plan for the day. It’s actually best to arrive early for rope drop at the Magic Kingdom which is generally around 9 AM. That means you’d need to arrive at the Magic Kingdom around 8 AM to be sure you’re in the park before rope drop happens. This way you can avoid a lot of the lines for transportation security and even parking.
Then once the park opens at 9 AM, be sure to have a plan for which attractions you’re going to ride first. That way you can get those done as quickly as possible and before the crowds get too heavy.
Next, you’ll want to think about eating lunch. It’s best to eat an early lunch to avoid the lunchtime crowd rush. After lunch, it’s a good time to visit some of the less busy attractions.
Take A Break
One of the biggest regrets we have from some of our earlier trips is that we felt rushed. So sometime in the afternoon when everyone gets a little bit tired it’s a great idea to head back to the resort for a while.
Maybe swim in the pool a bit to cool off or just take a nap or just have some downtime in general. Then come back to the park later in the evening when it’s a little bit cooler. This should get you rested enough to stay until Park closing.
One little tip is to look for Centre St., which is off Main Street USA. It’s a great little alcove to get away from the crowds and just relax and maybe even have a seat and enjoy a snack.
These little out-of-the-way places are great, even during the holiday season, you can get out of the crowd in a place like this.
You’ll want to make sure you pick up a times guide when you enter the park, or check the My Disney Experience app or (MDE) to find out showtimes. They have some really great shows like Mickey’s royal friendship fair.
Take time to enjoy the beauty of the parks, all the Disney parks have their own unique beauty and magic. Many times guests simply don’t take the time to enjoy the beauty because they’re too busy rushing to the next attraction. So if you slow down, you’ll have a much more relaxing and much less stressful vacation.
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Tips
Let’s talk about Magic Kingdom Fastpasses. Fastpasses allow you to skip the regular line queue for some attractions and have a much shorter wait time.
It would be more like a 10 or 15-minute wait as opposed to maybe an hour or two-hour wait.
Fast passes are definitely an important part of planning your trip to Walt Disney World. When you are in planning mode after you have booked your trip the first thing you’ll want to do is download the My Disney Experience app from your App Store.
With the MDE app, you can plan your fast passes ahead 30 days for regular guests, 60 days ahead for resort guests, or 90 days ahead for select resort guests.
The other way to get fast passes is at the FastPass plus kiosks located throughout the parks. The only problem with that method is that many of the most popular attractions will be gone by the time you get to the park.
So the best bet is to just use this as a back-up plan. You can go up to these kiosks and scan your card or Magic Band and you can see what attractions are available for a fast pass.
You can also check the current wait times on your my Disney experience app. I’ve even seen people be able to keep checking the app until your ride becomes available. But that can take some time.
Low Or No Wait Time Attractions
There are also many attractions at Walt Disney World that have little or no wait throughout the entire day like the Carousel of Progress. It usually doesn’t have a very long wait time.
For the most part, it’s 10 to 15 minutes at the most and sometimes less. Many of our trips we’ve been able to just walk up the stairs and get on and there are no height requirements.
Another great attraction with little or no wait time is the Liberty Bell Riverboat. This is an awesomely relaxing boat ride that goes all the way around the rivers of America and around Tom Sawyer Island. It’s open till about 7 PM most nights.
Tom Sawyer Island itself is another attraction with little or no wait times most of the time and it’s a great place to explore. Your kids will love it.
Another great attraction with low wait times is the Hall of Presidents. This is a great historical look at the presidents throughout the history of the United States of America.
Also, the Country Bear Jamboree usually has low wait times. It’s also a really fun show with all your favorite country bears singing and dancing to really catchy tunes. It’s a great way to spend some time and cool off in the afternoon.
Make sure to check online before your trip for attractions that are closed for refurbishment. Touring Plans has a great list of all of the currently closed or under refurbishment Disney World attractions.
You can see which attractions are closed and for how long. This can definitely affect your plans, and you can also prepare your kids if one of their favorite rides will not be open during your trip.
Let’s talk about the dining options available at Walt Disney World. There are several quick-service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World and these are the most popular with guests, due to quick-service being much faster than a table service restaurant.
However, food prices are fairly high even at quick-service restaurants so be prepared for that, but Disney does offer dining plans for Walt Disney World Resort guests to help make it more affordable depending on how much money you are budgeting for food at Disney World.
The bottom line with the dining plan is figuring out whether or not these plans will save your family money. Which depends on which plan you get, how much your family eats, and how expensive the items are that you get with each meal. So there are a lot of variables that you need to think about.
There are times during the year where you can book a Walt Disney World Resort reservation and get free dining plans for every guest in your party. Obviously, this is a huge money saver and is highly recommended if you can visit during the times when this is offered. Historically it’s been September through December, but it’s always good to check with guest services before you book your trip. Keep in mind that these reservations do fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.
Mobile ordering is now available at many quick-service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. You can order and pay for your food through the (MDE) My Disney Experience app and you’ll get to skip the regular line. Basically, when the app sends you a notification you go pick up your food. Another huge time saver.
Ending Your Day
Many attractions, like Pirates of the Caribbean, which are normally extremely crowded in the middle of the afternoon often slow down quite a bit later in the evening. Pirates of the Caribbean can be a walk-on ride in the last hour or two that the park is open. Many other popular attractions work this way as well.
If you are planning on watching the Happily Ever After Fireworks, we have found that the best viewing isn’t where you’d normally think.
If you stand back on the side of Main Street USA, you can actually get some great views or even from the train station near the entrance. No matter where you are for the fireworks it’s going to be busy, but there is a big difference from the Cinderella’s castle area and we feel it’s worth stepping back a bit to really enjoy this show.
Just remember to slow down and enjoy the beauty of these amazing parks. We hope you found this article helpful, and if you are looking for more tips and tricks, like how to save money at Disney World, check out some of our other articles. Also, make sure you check out the accompanying video from ResortTV1 below before you plan your trip to Walt Disney World.