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Magic KingdomThe Parks

15 Things to Know Before You Go to Magic Kingdom

It doesn’t get any more magical than visiting Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! Yes, Disney’s other theme parks are spectacular but Magic Kingdom – well, it just has that extra special touch of Pixie Dust that we can’t seem to get enough of no matter how many times we visit. As you prepare your Magic Kingdom visit, check out these 15 things you’ll want to know before you go!





 

1 – Parking

If you plan to drive to Magic Kingdom, you’ll first want to know that parking is actually NOT at Magic Kingdom at all, but rather at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) a few miles away from the park entrance. Once you’ve parked at the TTC, you’ll get on the Monorail or Ferryboat to be shuttled over to Magic Kingdom. Sometimes Disney also operates buses that will take guests from the TTC to Magic Kingdom, but this is typically only during the busier seasons.

2 – Closest Resorts

Not in the mood to tackle the TTC? No worries! Stay at one of Disney’s many resorts. The resorts offer bus transportation that will drop you off at the park entrance. Some of the resorts even offer boat transportation. The very best resorts to stay at if you’re looking to be close to Magic Kingdom is Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower, Grand Floridian Resort, and the Polynesian Resort. Just catch the Monorail for an easy ride to Magic Kingdom. If you stay at the Contemporary Resort or Bay Lake Tower – you’ll be able to WALK to Magic Kingdom!

3 – Tickets Prices Vary

As with any of Disney World’s four theme parks, the Magic Kingdom ticket price varies. The one 1-day ticket price for admission varies between $109 and $159 per adult (10+ years), plus tax. Disney sets the price of the ticket depending on the crowd levels expected. The less popular seasons are where you’ll pay the $109, versus something like Christmas day when you’ll spend $159.

The Cadaver Dans. Photo Credit: Disney/Ali Nasser

4 – Special-Ticketed Events

Editor’s Note: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are not taking place. Instead, in fall 2021, Disney After Hours Boo Bash and Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours are taking place. We hope that the regular parties return in 2022.

Looking for something extra special? Guests can purchase special-ticketed event admission at Magic Kingdom for select days (specifically during the holidays). The two special-ticketed events are Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both of these events are incredible and worth the admission price in our opinion! The parties begin at 7 pm on select nights so even if you are not planning on going to one of these parties, you’ll want to know which days they are as your general admission ticket will have you leaving the park by 7 pm on party nights!

5 – Six Themed Lands

Don’t let looking at a Magic Kingdom map overwhelm you! Magic Kingdom’s layout is almost like a wheel, with the Cinderella Castle at the hub. Each area is known as a “Land”. The six themed lands include Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Every land holds unique attractions, dining, and entertainment that matches the theme.

6 – Arrive Well Before Parking Opening

Magic Kingdom opens before the park officially opens. Ok, we know this sounds weird, but if Magic Kingdom opens at 9 am, you’ll be able to get into the park around 8 am – if not a little earlier. Guests are welcome to explore the shops on Main Street U.S.A. but are stopped from going anywhere past the Castle hub. At the official opening of the park, a show called “Let The Magic Begin” is held on the stage in front of the Castle. With all this excitement, if you arrive at the official park opening time, you’ll actually be behind the crowd of people already in the park.


 

7 – Go Left

If your Mama didn’t tell you this – we will now! Statistically, for whatever reason, in a crowd, more people tend to go right. Not only will this save you some time in the grocery store, but you’ll find this to also be the case for Magic Kingdom! While most people head right to reach Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Space Mountain, you’ll want to head left towards Adventureland. You’ll be surprised at how much you can tackle on this side of the park before the crowds reach you.

8 – Consider Lightning Lane Access

On busy days, you might want to consider purchasing access to the new Lightning Lane. There are two Lightning Lane paid options that include different attractions. First, you can purchase Disney Genie+ for the day of your visit. This costs $15 per day, per person. With Genie+ you can access the Lightning Lane at eight attractions at Magic Kingdom. See the list below for the Genie+ attractions at the park.

Disney Genie+ Attractions at Magic Kingdom:

      1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
      2. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
      3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
      4. The Haunted Mansion
      5. “it’s a small world”
      6. Jungle Cruise
      7. Mad Tea Party
      8. Magic Carpets of Alladin
      9. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
      10. Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor
      11. Peter Pan’s Flight
      12. Pirates of the Caribbean
      13. Splash Mountain
      14. The Barnstormer
      15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
      16. Tomorrowland Speedway
      17. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

A second option for purchasing Lightning Lane is the a la carte method. The two attractions below are NOT included with your Genie+ purchase and must be purchased separately. 

Individual A la Carte Lightning Lane Attractions at Magic Kingdom:

      1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
      2. Space Mountain

Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase either of these options to enjoy these attractions.  

9 – Best Dining

There is no possible way we can pick just one favorite place to dine at Magic Kingdom! There are plenty of kiosks, snack carts, quick-service, and table-service dining options spread throughout the park. Two of the most difficult restaurants to get a reservation for include Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Both are spectacular which makes getting a reservation for them all the more important – but also much harder to obtain. Book your table-service dining reservations 60-days in advance from your Disney resort check-in date or dining date if a non-resort guest. If you don’t want to deal with table-service dining, be sure to use your MyDisneyExperience App to Mobile Order your food at quick-service locations so you can skip the lines. Did you know, you can even order a Dole Whip via Mobile Ordering?!

10 – Mostly No Alcohol

Unlike the numerous lounges and alcoholic-beverage drink carts situated throughout Disney World’s other three theme parks, alcohol is a lot tougher to come by at Magic Kingdom. Even though we enjoy to sip on an adult beverage from time to time, we appreciate that Disney is trying to keep Magic Kingdom an especially family-friendly place. Magic Kingdom used to be a totally dry park until alcohol was offered at Be Our Guest Restaurant and now several of the table-service restaurants.

11 –  Characters Galore

Editor’s Note: At this time, up and close character greetings are temporarily suspended. You’ll 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. Currently, the only character dining experience at Magic Kingdom is at Cinderella’s Royal Table (only Cinderella appears, not the other princesses). 

Of course, what would Magic Kingdom be without an influx of Disney characters! Several character meet and greets are available and include some of our absolute favorites like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Pooh, Tigger, Buzz, Ariel, and MORE. Looking to see several characters at once? Two restaurants in Magic Kingdom are character dining experiences including the Crystal Palace (Winnie the Pooh and Friends) and Cinderella’s Royal Table (Cinderella and many other Princesses). Be Our Guest dinner guests will also have a chance to meet the Beast.

12 – Flag Retreat

This one gets us every time! Get ready to feel your heart fill with sweet patriotism as Magic Kingdom celebrates a memorable Flag Retreat each day in the park. Typically at 5:15 pm (but be sure to check your Times Guide), gather at the large flag pole in Town Square on Main Street U.S.A. After a Pledge of Allegiance, the American flag retreats to the “Star-Spangled Banner” tune played by Disney’s band. A guest Veteran is then handed the flag to complete the ceremony. It’s really an incredible experience to see!

13 – Parades, Fireworks, and a Kiss Goodnight

Editor’s Note: At this time, the Festival of Fantasy parade is temporarily unavailable. However, you’ll see short character cavalcades throughout the day. 

We mentioned characters galore above, but you can see them in action at one of Magic Kingdom’s many entertainment options. The highlight of any day is the afternoon Festival of Fantasy Parade which features numerous characters, spectacular floats, and beautiful music. And then there is a terrific fireworks show at Magic Kingdom called Disney Enchantment. Last but not least, is a not-so-well-known special moment called A Kiss Goodnight. Many guests miss this 2-minute announcement and projection on the Castle as it takes place roughly 30-minutes after park closing. It’s Disney’s sweet way of saying, sorry – but you’ve got to go!

14 – Need More Than One Day

This is very true. There is simply no way to do all of Magic Kingdom in just one day. It’s easy to spend two days (if not more) at Magic Kingdom. This will allow you to try multiple restaurants, have six advanced FastPass selections, and hit all the entertainment, characters and attractions you may not be able to tackle in one day.

15 – Tron is Coming!

YES! It’s hard to contain our excitement, but a Tron attraction is coming to Magic Kingdom! If visiting Magic Kingdom now, you’ll already notice construction taking place near Space Mountain and Tomorrowland Speedway where Tron will be located. Shanghai Disney currently has the Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction and it’s known as the highest-ranking attraction there. We expect the same for Magic Kingdom! Get ready to board a coaster-like attraction where guests will sit upon a two-wheeled light cycle for the ride of a lifetime.

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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