Magic Kingdom One Day Touring Plan
It would be easy to spend months at Walt Disney World. Many locals visit the parks nearly every weekend, and never seem to run out of things to do. This may lead guests on a limited time schedule to wonder whether it is even worthwhile to visit. How could you possibly get your money’s worth in only one day?
While it is true that one day will not allow you to take in all of the available rides and Magic Kingdom attractions , it is certainly possibly to visit all of the highlights at the Magic Kingdom. However, in order to accomplish this feat, it is imperative that you follow a plan. While the details of your plan will vary according to your individual interests, some general guidelines and tips and tricks will apply to everyone.
Tips For Making the Most of the Day
- Purchase your Disney World tickets in advance. Lines at the ticket booths are extremely long early in the day, and waiting to purchase tickets will waste a large amount of time.
- Arrive early. An hour prior to park opening should be the very latest. Often the parks open prior to the listed time, and long lines form at the front gates.
- Once inside the park, do not stop to shop on Main Street. The shops of Main Street remain open for one to two hours after park closing. Leave your shopping for the end of the day.
- The Magic Kingdom is laid out in a circle. Most guests turn right, beginning the day in Tomorrowland. So turn left, visiting Adventureland first. This will keep you moving in the opposite direction from the crowds.
- Sometimes a queue line splits into two sections, make sure to look to see whether or not one side is much shorter than the other. Often guests completely miss one side being open.
- Use FASTPASS carefully. Some FASTPASS attractions get longer lines than others, making their FASTPASS worth more than others. In the Magic Kingdom, getting a FASTPASS for Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight will save you the most time.
- Unless someone in your group will be devastated by missing a parade, take advantage of diminished wait times to visit popular attractions during parades. But be sure that you are on the side of the parade route that you want to be on before the parade starts. The route bisects the park, and it is impossible to cross during the parade.
- If you need a midday break, take your break inside the park rather than leaving. Have lunch inside a counter service restaurant, then take a leisurely ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Or get sandwiches from Aunt Polly’s on Tom Sawyer Island, then spend some time playing checkers or enjoying the fort. There are plenty of opportunities to get away from the crowds and noise without wasting time getting all the way out of and back into the park. If buying lunch is a concern, pack sandwiches in a backpack and have a picnic.
- Most rides empty into a gift shop. Take a quick walk through to determine which shops you want to go back to, but do not spend a lot of time shopping during the crowded daytime hours.
- Pack a rain poncho. It rains quite frequently in central Florida. For some reason, most park guests do not plan adequately for the rain. Therefore, when the rain begins, guests scatter. Many leave the park, others hide in shops. Appropriate rain gear will allow you to continue your park tour, taking advantage of extremely diminished lines. Ponchos are widely available for purchase at the shops, as are towels, but they are quite pricey.
- Plan to stay late. The park empties out dramatically after dark. On crowded days, it is often possible to do more attractions in the last three hours than you did in the entire day. Most Kissimmee hotels and Lake Buena Vista hotels offer shuttle services up to 30 minutes after the park closes, so there is no need to rush out of the park.
- It is helpful to know which are the major attractions in each land. While your must-sees might vary, these attractions are commonly considered to be the highlights. Try to see these if possible.
Pirates of the Caribbean (a classic, now featuring Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa)
Jungle Cruise (an oldie, but made fun through the skipper’s wacky spiel)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (runaway mine train coaster)
Splash Mountain (log flume based on Song of the South, worthwhile for the storyline even if you hate drops)
Tom Sawyer Island (time consuming, but great for kids looking to blow off some steam)
Haunted Mansion (a true classic)
Mickey’s Philharmagic (spectacular 3D show)
Mickey’s Toontown Fair
Mickey’s House (great for guests who want to meet Mickey)
Space Mountain (a great indoor dark coaster)
Carousel of Progress (very historical, the ride most identified with Walt Disney)
Your family will likely want to add additional rides and attractions to this list, depending on your personal interests. However, the attractions listed above are those most often considered highlights by Disney fans. Putting together a touring plan before you leave home and following the tips and tricks listed above will help you to maximize your day at the Magic Kingdom. Above all, remember to have fun. It is your vacation, so make sure not to stress so much about your touring plan that you forget to enjoy it. You will not have time to see everything, so take the time to enjoy those things that you do see. There is always next time to see more.