As part of my five-week series on navigating Walt Disney World, we are going to take a look at The Magic Kingdom. Over the years, I have certainly made a few miscalculated errors while navigating throughout the Magic Kingdom. It is my hope that you will get some tips on how to navigate the Happiest Place on Earth.
For most days at the Magic Kingdom, the rope drop is at 9:00am. Make sure that you arrive around 8:40am to watch the opening ceremony in front of the park. It’s a great way to start the day. Another thing that I like to experience is an empty park. Believe it or not, there are a few good ways to get into the park early if you are not interested in the rope drop festivities. One way is to take a walking tour such as the Key’s To The Kingdom tour. I highly recommend this tour for those who want to experience the behind the scenes magic. If you go, ask for Trent! It’s really neat to experience the rope drop from inside the Magic Kingdom. The second option is to make an early breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace for a character experience.
Either way, you can get some excellent pictures of Cinderella’s Castle or Main Street USA when no one is in the parks yet.
- New Fantasyland First & Grab Fastpasses As You Go
With new Fantasyland open, the attractions will fill up quickly. Most guests will go through Tomorrowland to get to Fantasyland. Why not grab Fastpasses for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin on your way to Dumbo, It’s A Small World, and Peter Pan’s Flight. These attractions will be a great way to ease into a very productive day in the Magic Kingdom.
If you are not using Disney transportation, it does take a while to get to Magic Kingdom. You first have to park your vehicle in the largest parking lot in the world. Tip: Be sure to take a picture of the parking area that you are in. After a long day in the park, it is very easy to forget where you parked. I am speaking from experience.
After parking in the lot, you then have to board either the Monorail or Ferryboat to get to the Magic Kingdom. It has been my experience that it takes about 20-25 minutes for both.
This is critical if you have reservations for dining or if you are trying to see a particular show.
- What Days Are Better To Visit?
My advise is not to visit the Magic Kingdom on a Sunday or Monday. Guests who arrive on Saturday, make this their first destination upon arrival. After all, the Magic Kingdom symbolizes what Walt Disney World is all about for most guests. I suggest picking another park and going there throughout the week.
- Shopping Within The Magic Kingdom
Get this done as early as possible. Remember if you are staying on property, your purchases can be delivered directly to your resort. After the final parade and fireworks are over, the Emporium is crazy busy up to an hour before park closing. The thought process for most guests, is that they will wait for some of the traffic to slow down before exiting the park. What better way to do that than to go shopping.
I always prefer to see the second parade of the day. There are two reasons for this. One, most guests will attend the first parade, making the popular attractions less crowded with shorter lines. The second reason, is that there are typically less guests in the park for the later parade, making for more ideal viewing areas.
- Getting From Point A To Point B
This is the final tip for navigating the Magic Kingdom. Whenever possible, use the Walt Disney World Railroad. This will allow you to move from one part of the Magic Kingdom to another part of the park. You can board at the train station on Main Street USA. There are two additional stations, one in Frontierland at the entrance to Splash Mountain, the other being in New Fantasyland by Dumbo. The train provides a great way to view the park and is also a great way to relax a bit.
Next week, Navigating Epcot.
You will want to check this out, as it offers a unique way to navigate this often challenging park.
Until then, Have A Magical Week Everyone!