A visit to a Disney theme park is a magical experience for families. Visiting the Magic Kingdom in Orlando is a big investment of time and money so it’s always a good idea to be prepared. In order to help your family to have the best day possible, here are our best Disney Magic Kingdom tips:
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Best 12 Disney Magic Kingdom Tips
1. Arrive at Magic Kingdom Orlando Prior to Opening Time
In hindsight, this seems really obvious, but it takes a lot of time to get from the Magic Kingdom parking lot to the Magic Kingdom park entrance.
Google Maps said it’d take 13 minutes to get from our Disney hotel to the parking lot. We wanted to be at the entrance before the Magic Kingdom opening time for the 8:55am Let the Magic Begin park opening show. When we left our Orlando hotel at 8:15, I naively found myself wondering how we’d kill the extra time at the Magic Kingdom park gates while we waited for the show. Well, that didn’t happen…
We parked our car in the Magic Kingdom Orlando parking lot – the 2nd largest parking lot in the world! From the parking lot we had to get in a tram, which then took us to the Disney monorail, which then took us to the Magic Kingdom park gate.
At the gate we had to go through the mandatory security check of our our bags before we were able to enter the Magic Kingdom park. Despite having planned to be at the Magic Kingdom 30 minutes before opening time, we actually arrived at the gates at 9:05 – a full 10 minutes late for the opening show.
If you want to see the Let the Magic Begin park opening show, we’d recommend arriving at the Magic Kingdom parking lot at least 45-60 minutes before.
Another benefit of arriving prior to the Magic Kingdom opening time is having very short line-ups for the Disney rides. Despite the initial rush to get into the Disney theme park, the lines for the Magic Kingdom rides are pretty short for the first hour or so.
Arriving at Magic Kingdom Orlando early on our first day allowed us to waltz right on to It’s a Small World and then the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel with only a minute or two wait time. Arriving early was part of our Disney FastPass+ strategy – we got onto several Disney rides really fast, allowing us to save our FastPass+ selections for later in the day, when the park was busier.
We repeated our FastPass+ strategy by arriving at Magic Kingdom Orlando early on the second day. This time we started our day with rides on the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin without any lineups. Getting to Magic Kingdom early allows is a great way to ride popular Disney rides without a lineup, thus saving your Fastpass+ selections for later.
Wondering which rides to include in your Fastpass selections or to go to first? Don’t miss this list of the best rides at Magic Kingdom!
Read this post for Disney Fastpass Secrets!
2. No Selfie Sticks Allowed
The Disney Magic Kingdom in Orlando is a place where you’ll want to take a ton of pictures of your family vacation. Despite this fact, be aware there are no selfie sticks allowed at Magic Kingdom.
We don’t often use a selfie stick, but we had one in our day bag for our Go Pro. If you forget and get caught (like we did), you can check it at one of the Magic Kingdom ticket windows and pick it up on the way out.
3. Beat the Heat at Magic Kingdom
It gets really hot in at Magic Kingdom park in the middle of the day, so it’s super important to make sure everyone stays hydrated. Disney’s safety guidelines recommends that everyone drink 4-6oz of water every 15-20 minutes.
To ensure our family stayed hydrated at Magic Kingdom, we brought a 100oz (2L) hydration pack water bladder in our daybag. There are, of course, lots of water fountains at Magic Kingdom, but the hydration bladder allowed us to get the kids to drink lots of water during our down times, such as waiting in the Disney rides line-ups, etc.
For other tips on how to beat the heat, check out our post on What to Bring to Disney.
4. Know Which Magic Kingdom Rides are Too Scary for Little Kids
I was shocked to discover that even the kiddy rides at Magic Kingdom Orlando can be scary. For example, the main theme the Winnie the Pooh ride was a trip through a scary dream. It legitimately scared both of our kids.
They are pretty resilient when it comes to being scared, but if you have a sensitive child, do some research on the Disney Magic Kingdom rides you hope to go on – they may not be as kid-friendly as you think.
5. Prepare Your Kids for a Visit to Disney Magic Kingdom
We didn’t show our kids much about Walt Disney World before our family vacation as we wanted the Magic Kingdom experience to be a big surprise. In hindsight, I wish we had shown them what a trip to Disney World is all about, as I felt our kids were a little too overwhelmed by it all.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but had we prepared them for the wonderful craziness of the Disney Magic Kingdom Orlando ahead of time, they may have been more comfortable with their first Disney visit a little earlier than they did.
6. Don’t Fear the Disney Gift Shops
This is subjective of course, but I was surprised at how reasonable the Magic Kingdom gift shop prices were. I mean, of course, things weren’t exactly cheap, but I expected the Disney gift shops to be really expensive. All things considered, I found the prices at the Magic Kingdom gift shops to be quite reasonable.
7. Learn about Disney Theme Park Safety
Before your family visit to Magic Kingdom Orlando, be sure to spend a little time on the Disney Wild About Safety webpage. Here you will find useful tips for parents and fun, printable coloring sheets & educational games for the kids.
8. Get VIP Disney Parade Seats
Disney offers VIP seating for the afternoon Disney parade. To get VIP seats for the Disney parade, all you need to do is make a reservation for Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package.
Included in this package are VIP Disney parade tickets plus a three course meal with a drink and dessert at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. Given the menu prices of the items we ordered, we essentially got the VIP parade tickets for free.
The VIP parade seats are under the flagpole on Main Street USA. We had AMAZING parade seats – front row with no one blocking our view!! There are enough parade viewing spots in the VIP seating area that you don’t need to get there super early, thus giving you more time to enjoy more Disney rides. This is a great deal!
9. How to Make FastPass+ Selections Early
When you stay at a Walt Disney Orlando resort you can make your FastPass+ picks 60 days in advance (vs 30 days in advance for everyone else). We made our FastPass+ picks exactly 60 days prior to our Disney family vacation and got all of our FastPass+ selections at the precise times we wanted them.
10. How to Make Disney Dining Reservations Early
Another great perk of staying at a Disney hotel is you can make your dining reservations 180 days before the first day of your trip (vs 180 days before your dining date for everyone else). This small nuance enables you to book your Disney dining reservations a few days ahead of the general public.
We used this Disney dining reservations trick to book the precise time we wanted for Cinderella’s Royal Table exactly 183 days ahead of time. This amazing Disney tip allowed us to make the hardest Disney dining reservation 3 days ahead of the general public.
11. Rent Your Stroller Ahead of Time
Strollers can be rented at the Magic Kingdom park, but why waste time renting your at the park when you can rent a stroller ahead of time. Using an Orlando stroller rental service allows you to to spend even more time enjoying the Magic Kingdom with your family. Amusement Park Rentals offers high-quality single or double strollers. They even deliver to your Orlando hotel!
12. Save Money on your Disney Hotel
We got a $30 Disney gift card in exchange for giving up daily housekeeping in our Disney Resort hotel room. We could still call housekeeping for anything we needed (fresh towels, etc). We’re not that fussy about things like made beds, etc. so we happily took them up on the deal!
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We are grateful to Walt Disney for their generosity during our visit to the Magic Kingdom. All opinions are our own.
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