PlanningTrip Planning 101

Trip Planning 101: 9 Tips for Planning Your Days at Magic Kingdom

Are you a Magic Kingdom newbie or semi-rookie? It’s overwhelming, right? Everyone talks about Magic Kingdom and how incredible it is, so you don’t want to miss a beat. But, when you start to explore the park it can be hard to navigate through all the options. Here are a few planning tips we hope will help you begin your Magic Kingdom trip planning for an exceptionally “magical” visit.


1 – Six Lands To Explore!

The first tip to planning Magic Kingdom is having a basic understanding of the park. Go ahead and look up a Magic Kingdom map and start exploring the layout of the park and the numerous things it has to offer. From a vast list of attractions to entertainment around every corner and unmatched dining – Magic Kingdom has it all! The easiest way to begin your understanding of Magic Kingdom is by being sure you have a grasp on all six lands held within this one park. The six lands include: Main Street U.S.A, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. Understand their theming, their attractions, restaurants, characters – the works. You’ll start to see that breaking the park down into six separate areas makes it easier to understand.

2 – Two Days is Better Than One

Absolutely! If you can swing two days at Magic Kingdom, we promise your experience of the park will be a much better one. Two days takes away the stress of rushing around and trying to tackle everything that honestly isn’t possible to defeat in one day. This will allow you to spread out your must-dos among two days and really explore the park at a steady pace.

3 – Parties are a PLUS

Editor’s Note: In 2021, an all-new Disney After Hours Boo Bash will take the place of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Also, an all-new Disney Very Merriest After Hours will take the place of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We are hopeful that the parties will return in 2022.

We suggest you schedule your visit around a special ticketed event like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While this is an extra ticket fee, the bonus time in the park with special entertainment, characters, and more is well worth the cost in our opinion. The more time in the park, the better!

Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train

4 – Use My Disney Experience App

Go ahead and grab your phone now and download the My Disney Experience (MDE) app if you haven’t already. This little app is literally the key to the Kingdom and you don’t have to be in the park to start exploring it. Download and check it out well before your trip so you’ll have no trouble navigating the app once in the park. Use this as your park map, your Times Guide to character meet and greets and entertainment, check wait times, Mobile Order food, make dining reservations, see your PhotoPass photos, and more!

5 – Arrive BEFORE Park Opening

Magic Kingdom allows guests to enter the park about an hour early. Guests can walk all throughout Main Street U.S.A. to shop and grab coffee and treats. Cast Members line the Castle hub to keep guests from going into the different lands. About 5 minutes before the official park opening time, “Let The Magic Begin” is presented as a sweet welcome show on the stage in front of the Castle. Arrive well before park opening and enjoy unwinding on Main Street U.S.A. before the rush of the day!


6 – Dine in the Castles

Editor’s Note: At this time, Cinderella Royal Table is offering a modified dining experience without all of the princesses. 

While Magic Kingdom has a great selection of both quick-service restaurants and table-service restaurants, our must-do for dining here has to be dining in the Castles! Cinderella’s Castle is one of the most iconic images in the world and you have a chance to dine within it at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – all great meals here! With Princesses visiting your table and the incredible décor and views, this is definitely a must-do restaurant. The second castle is Beasts’ Castle. We highly recommend dining in this castle at the restaurant known as Be Our Guest. Be Our Guest makes you feel like you’ve literally been swallowed up into the Beauty and the Beast film. Lunch and dinner is a prix fixe meal. Keep in mind these two Castle reservations go extremely fast. Book 60-days in advance to snag a reservation.

7 – Mobile Order a Dole Whip

No trip to Magic Kingdom is complete without a Dole Whip! The place to grab this refreshing, ice cream style treat is Aloha Isle in Adventureland. Even better, use your MDE app to Mobile Order your Dole Whip. After ordering on your phone just let them know when you are there and enjoy a delicious Dole Whip!

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

8 – Characters Galore

Editor’s Note: At this time, up and close character greetings are temporarily suspended in most locations. However, you can now enjoy “individual time” with Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater and the Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall. The characters are roped off, so no hugs at this time (and autographs), but you’ll have time to greet Mickey and get a selfie from a distance. You’ll also still see characters come through on special cavalcades throughout the day. You may also see characters pop up at different locations throughout the parks and greet guests from a distance. Finally, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is temporarily suspended.

Magic Kingdom is the perfect park for characters galore! Several Disney favorites are spread throughout the park including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and so on. Let’s not forget about the incredible line up of Princesses like Snow White, Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel, and more! There are also a few unique characters that can only be seen at Magic Kingdom such as Merida and Elena of Avalor. It’s good to be aware that characters don’t typically wander around the park, but instead are in the designated meet and greet locations. Keep in mind, a great way to see loads of characters all at once is by watching the daily Festival of Fantasy parade.

9 – Fireworks (with Dessert!)

As if the nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment, isn’t enough… Magic Kingdom hosts three different Fireworks Dessert Parties. If you make a reservation for a Dessert Party, you’ll have the opportunity to dine on loads of incredible desserts before, after, or even during fireworks! The cost for each dessert party varies so be sure to check this out when making reservations.

  • Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: Disney Enchantment Treats and Seats: has reserved seating in the Tomorrowland Terrace with great views of the Castle and fireworks right from your seat.
  • Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: Disney Enchantment Pre-Party will let you dine on desserts in the Tomorrowland Terrace before the nighttime spectacular happens. Just before the show, you are guided out to a reserved standing area in the Plaza Garden to view the show. This one has the best views yet!
  • Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: Disney Enchantment After-Party offers the reverse of the above. You’ll still have a reserved viewing area but then be guided to the Tomorrowland Terrace for desserts AFTER the fireworks. Let the crowds leave the park while you enjoy desserts!

Got these 10 planning tips down? Let’s get to planning the most “magical” Magic Kingdom day yet!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Mike & Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire as many MagicBands as possible while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 13 years and are blessed with two children - our 8-year-old daughter and soon to be 2-year-old son. As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.
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