Two of my best friends, Stu and Anna are heading to Disney World for the first time next month. They’re only going for four days so have asked me what they should see and what they should skip. As I had written up my suggestion for them, I decided to expand a little and turn it into a blog series. So here’s the first in the sequence – A Park In A Day; Magic Kingdom! The idea of these posts is to give a little light on my favourite things in the park that most people would also enjoy. If you can do everything, do it but these are my suggestions for if you’re limited on time.
Magic Kingdom is probably one of the most difficult parks to do everything in a day, especially if it’s really busy. You’d definitely need at least two without rushing, maybe more if you want to take notice of the smaller, more detailed parts of the park. First of all, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of making fast passes in advance. I’ve noted ones that you should get them for. The chances of you getting them for your entire group the day before on some rides are pretty slim.
A Park In A Day; Magic Kingdom
Wishes – You really can’t go to the Magic Kingdom and miss the firework show! This is actually changing to a new show called Happily Ever After on May 11th. Although I’m gutted about this, Disney don’t do anything by half so I’m sure it will be incredible. Be sure to try and get there early or book fast passes for a more private area. You can see the fireworks from most places around the castle and on Main Street. If you need a quick getaway, watch them from the Walt Disney Railroad Station at the front of the park.
Opening Show – Join Mickey, Minnie and loads of other characters as they open the Magic Kingdom from the Walt Disney World Railroad. If it’s your first time at Disney, this is a great attraction to see and gets you incredibly excited to go in. Make sure you arrive about 30 minutes before park opening and be careful to check there aren’t any early morning Extra Magic hours otherwise it won’t be running at that time.
Snow White and The Seven Dwarves (fast pass) – If you can’t get passes, go to this ride first thing. The queues can be up to two hours during busy periods. One of the newest rides in Magic Kingdom and is a really gentle roller coaster. Not your usual mine train and some great production inside.
Haunted Mansion – One of my favourite rides and a classic.
Thunder Mountain (pictured above) – Great in the day or at night but always seems more thrilling after dusk as you get to see the park lit up and it looks so pretty.
Jungle Cruise – Another classic but can be a little hit and miss. The jokes are cheesy in a good way but depends on your skipper and who else is in the boat. Participation makes it so much better.
The People Mover – A mini monorail above Tomorrowland and has some great views of areas nearby (pictured below). It also goes through Space Mountain and a few other rides. If you’re lucky, Space Mountain might break down and you can see how it looks in the light.
Space Mountain (fast pass) – One of the oldest rides in the park and is a timeless classic. It’s tame but terrifying if you’ve seen how it looks in the light. The build is all very enclosed but you will come off laughing so much.
Pirates of The Caribbean – Another classic ride and it’s recently been updated slightly. The animatronics are amazing inside, you would think that Johnny Depp is actually there.
Splash Mountain – Not your average log flume! It follows the story of Brer Rabbit from Song of the South – minus the racism! It’s a pretty long ride and you’re always waiting for the drop. The songs will get stuck in your head!
Food – Quick Service
Friar Nook’s (Fantasyland) – This is a really good value quick service in Magic Kingdom. They do Mac & Cheese with a twist. I would recommend the one with pulled pork or burger meat and bacon.
Sleepy Hollow (Liberty Square) – Something that’s really American but I thoroughly love; Fried Chicken & Waffles with maple syrup. It’s not served all day so check the times before going. You can also get funnel cake from here which is basically random swirls of donut batter. It comes with icing sugar on as standard but I think they also do one topped with strawberries and whipped cream. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love it!
Aloha Isle (Adventureland) – Did you even go to Magic Kingdom if you didn’t get a Dole Whip? Seriously though, Dole Whip is a pineapple sorbet and the greatest frozen treat.
Food – Restaurants
The Crystal Palace Buffet Breakfast – If you’ve only got a day in the Magic Kingdom, this is the one restaurant I would suggest to go to. Go for a buffet breakfast and you’ll be full for the majority of the day. It is a little pricey but they have a bit of everything along with Winnie the Pooh and friends visiting your table.
Starbucks on the Hub Grass – If you’re only going for a day, this isn’t necessary but if you just need five minutes away from the crowds, it’s the perfect place. Grab some form of iced drink from Starbucks (Main Street Bakery) and chill out on the Hub Grass.
Picture at the purple wall – I found out about the infamous purple wall whilst I was a cast member. It’s situated on the walkway between Tomorrowland and the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. It’s become an iconic photo point purely because the hue makes everyone look great.
So, I hope this post has helped you to plan your trip to the Magic Kingdom if you’re stuck for time. I’ll always say to do as much as you can but these are my favourite sections of the park and my recommendations for food.
Do you have any suggestions for A Park In A Day; Magic Kingdom?
Want some more suggestions? Take a listen to Episode 61 of the Theme Park Trader podcast where I chat with Ryan and Dan about my time in WDW.