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10 Do’s and Don’ts for Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom can be the most magical place on earth, but only if you go in with a little bit of knowledge first. Here are 10 Do’s and Don’ts to help ensure your trip to Magic Kingdom is full of fun and pixie dust.

Editor’s Note: We understand that with the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, some of the advice in this article may not apply if you visit while park hours are reduced, capacity limits and physical distancing are in place, and some of our favorite experiences—fireworks, parades, and character greetings—are temporarily suspended. (You can read everything you need to know about the phased reopening by clicking here). We will continue to share articles that give guidance on a “normal” vacation to Walt Disney World, along with any special changes or instructions you may need to be aware of during the phased reopening to provide the best tips we can regardless of when you are visiting. ~ Chad & Cindy

Click here for our guide to visiting Magic Kingdom during the phased reopening and what you need to know.





 

10 – Do – Arrive Early

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom does not open an hour early. Cast Members have told us they would like guests to arrive at park opening. However, they will open the gates early to avoid crowding, but it will not be at any set time. “Let the Magic Begin,” is not operating. 

The best time to arrive at Magic Kingdom is one hour before the posted opening time. Magic Kingdom opens its gates 60 minutes before park opening. Guests are now allowed to stroll up Main Street U.S.A and up to the Hub. This will enable guests to get pictures, get some shopping done, and eat breakfast in the park without losing time otherwise spent on riding attractions. Arriving early is the only way to see the brand new opening show, “Let the Magic Begin,” which opens the park 5 minutes before the posted opening time. A Royal Herald invites you to join Mickey and friends as they open the park in a magical way. This stage show takes place at the Castle Forecourt Stage. The show sets the tone for a special day at Magic Kingdom. Park opening is also the best time to visit rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Space Mountain.

Mickey and friends open Magic Kingdom with “Let the Magic Begin”

9 – Don’t – Expect to Do it All

Magic Kingdom is a park made up of six areas and lands, each with many attractions, shows, rides, shops, and places to eat. It’s impossible to experience it all in one day at Magic Kingdom, so have realistic expectations of what you can do and see during your day at the park. If you’re worried about doing everything while at Magic Kingdom, you may be disappointed, as opposed to enjoying all the wonderful things, you do experience.

8- Do – Set a Budget

Before setting foot in the park, set a budget for your day at Magic Kingdom. The first area of the park is Main Street U.S.A., which is lined with shops full of wonderful Disney souvenirs, not to mention the stores located throughout the park and all the food carts and dining locations. It’s easy to get caught up in all the items there are to purchase, and spending can easily get out of control. If you set a budget ahead of time, it’s much easier to keep your spending in check.

Emporium

7 – Don’t – Miss the Characters

Part of the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort theme park visit is seeing beloved Disney characters. With traditional parades and character greetings on hiatus to promote physical distancing among guests, theme park character experiences have been reimagined in new and different ways. At Magic Kingdom, you don’t want to miss the different cavalcades down Main Street, U.S.A.  Characters from dozens of favorite Disney stories surprise and delight guests across all four theme parks. Click here for more information on how to see characters during the phased reopening.

6 – Do – Take a Break

If you plan on arriving at the park for rope drop, and staying for the nighttime parades and fireworks, take a break during the day. Spending 10- 12 hours in the park, in the Florida sun, is tiring, and people can get cranky, and this can affect how much you enjoy the day. Take the time to return to your resort for a break. Take a nap or a dip in the pool. Or if you stay in the park, head out to Tom Sawyer’s Island to rest in the shade, or see a couple of shows.

5 – Don’t – Delay Your Mobile Order

Recently, Disney changed the process for Mobile Orders at quick-service restaurants. Rather than just being able to order and pick up your meal immediately, you now choose an “arrival window” when you order. Arrival windows are 30 minutes long and a new window opens every 15 minutes (i.e. – 12:00-12:30 pm; 12:15-12:45 pm; 12:30-1:00 pm; etc.). Disney now sets aside a select number of orders per  ‘arrival window,’ so once a time slot is full, no more orders for that time will be accepted. On particularly busy days, prime arrival window time slots will fill up quickly. So, if you go to order your food at 12 noon, the first arrival window you can choose may not be until 2:00 pm. For this reason, we strongly suggest that you order and choose your ‘arrival window’ early in the day and place your order for lunch and/or dinner as soon as you have an idea of where you’ll be dining. You can always modify and cancel your order if needed, so there is no risk in getting that order in early!





 

4 – Don’t – Carry Your Purchases With You

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, this service is temporarily suspended. 

If you make purchases throughout the day, you don’t have to carry them around with you. If you’re a resort guest, you can arrange for your items to be sent to the shop at your resort. If you’re not a resort guest, you can have your purchases shipped to a location at the front gate so you can easily pick them up as you exit the park. Just ask a cast member when making your purchases.

3 – Do – Ride Attractions at Night

Many of the rides at Magic Kingdom are worth riding again at night. The Jungle Cruise takes on a whole new atmosphere at night, and you may even hear different jokes. Big Thunder Mountain, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Splash Mountain are all mountains that you should tackle at night. The Peoplemover is also great at night, it gives you the chance to relax and admire the park lit up against the night sky.

Carrousel at Night

2 – Do – Make Reservations

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the dining booking window is 60 days. 

Table service restaurants are a great way to take a break and refuel at lunch or dinner. But the table service restaurants are very popular and book up quickly, so you can’t expect to walk up and get seated. Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance, and it is highly recommended to make those reservations as early as you can. Having a reservation will also help you make a plan for your day at Magic Kingdom.

1 – Do – Research

By doing even a bit of research about the park ahead of time, you will greatly enhance your experience at Magic Kingdom. Check out the menus before you visit, so you don’t waste time traipsing across the park to find a quick-service location everyone will enjoy. Knowing which attractions you simply must-do will help you have a plan and give your day a sense of direction. Doing research before arriving at the park will help you avoid wasting time, and you’ll feel like you’re doing the things you want to do, and not missing out.

Here are some Magic Kingdom Articles to get you started. Find more Magic Kingdom articles from the navigation above.

Time Savers: 10 Tips & Tricks to Make the Most of Your Day at Magic Kingdom

Headliners: The 10 Best Attractions at Magic Kingdom

Beyond the Headliners: 7 Can’t Miss Attractions at Magic Kingdom

Top 5 FastPass Picks for Magic Kingdom



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About Lauren Repei

Lauren lives in Hamilton Ontario, but dreams of one day moving to Orlando to be closer to the Magic Kingdom. In the meantime, she spends her days working for the family business as a barista and baker, being active in the independent theatre scene in Hamilton and working part-time as a professional personal assistant to a writer. Lauren’s most memorable Disney moment is by far when she became engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle making it her best Disney vacation to date.