The #1 question I’m asked when it comes to Disney World is how to get a lot done at Magic Kingdom.
I’d like to say we get a lot done because we spend at least two days here each trip, but truth be told, we get it all done on the first day, and leave the second for more of the same. We don’t come up with a strategy, or touring plan, and we really simply keep an eye on wait times and remain flexible throughout the day.
It’s also important to know when to go! I hate going to Magic Kingdom over a weekend, because no matter what, even during “low time,” it’s still pretty crowded. However, these are also some of the best times to go because the park is often open until, like, 2am (with extra magic hours). It’s just FUN to be in the park that late, and by then, hardly anyone is around. So, as much as I hate it, we typically utilize a weekend day (most likely a Saturday) as our “bonus day.” Sometimes we do a full additional day, and other times, we don’t get there until afternoon or even after dinner.
That first Magic Kingdom day, though – it’s ON. We usually pick a weekday in which the park is still open pretty late (usually that ends up being around 11pm, give or take), and we don’t pay attention to extra magic hours. Again, like I’ve said before, rope drop isn’t in our vocab, and as much as I’d love to see the opening show, I just can’t wake up that early. We typically end up walking through the gate around 10/10:30am.
Entering The Park
First things first: Main Street. The first round of castle pictures ensues. Also – shopping, at least to get my princess crown for the day.
Where To First?
EVERY SINGLE TIME thus far, we’ve hit Tomorrowland first. This trip, I wanted to change things up a bit, so we went to Adventureland!!! The excitement!
I have to admit, it was a really wise choice and we practically walked on Jungle Cruise.
The only bad thing is, we have our routine when it comes to Tomorrowland, and since we broke that, we were sort of all over the place. I thought I would HATE it – not really having a plan – but surprisingly, it didn’t bother me in the least.
Pirates Of The Caribbean was closed for refurbishment, which we knew about in advance, and I was SO ANXIOUS AND EXCITED to get on Splash Mountain that we immediately headed there next.
I couldn’t even think of anything else until we went on this ride. The wait was rather long (for the day) at 25 minutes, but it ended up being more like 15. We did Splash last year in Disneyland, but we haven’t been on “The World’s” version in FOREVER. I’m talking I haven’t been on since I was a child, since we always visit when it’s closed for refurbishment. This was a BIG deal!
We didn’t have breakfast, and were hungry, so next we grabbed a snack.
We still had time before our first fast pass of the day (which was Thunder Mountain), so we took a quick walk to The Haunted Mansion. There was no wait, so we let a ton of people on before us so I could finish my ice cream!
Since there was no wait, it was quick, and we STILL had time before our Thunder Mountain fast pass. We were fooling around taking pictures…
… and noticed Space Mountain was at a five minute wait, so we ran there real quick (it was 10 minutes by the time we got there – still not bad)!!!
Then, we proceeded back to Thunder Mountain and went on that. See what I mean by all over the place? Nevertheless, I’d rather be all over the place than wait on crazy long lines, so it worked.
So next we headed to Fantasyland to shop at my favorite Beauty & The Beast store, and to try and meet Gaston.
Oh my goodness did we have such a horrible experience trying to meet him! So the first time we went, the line was already closed. Bummer. The cast member said to come back in 30 minutes, but we wanted to ensure we got on the next line, so we walked on The Little Mermaid quickly and then headed right back to Gaston.
We got back just as people were getting on the new line, so we got on too. The same cast member was there, moving people up so we didn’t block the bathrooms. We were last on line, but made it! Yay! So the cast member got to the group in front of us and asked how many… they were 8 (!!!). Then, he turned to us and flat out said the line was closed. Despite the fact that we were already on it and had been for a good five minutes now! We were SHOCKED. Plus, we are ONLY two people and there was no one else behind us! I really thought he was kidding at first, because it was so crazy! I mean, he really couldn’t just let us stay? Really?! We came back early enough, and um, we were already on the damn line! The party of 8 in front of us was pretty shocked too. One of the super sweet ladies said, “Well they can just be part of our family!” I mean… so super sweet!!! But the cast member? He flat out said NO. The lady then felt so bad (and was shocked by the cast members attitude!) that she said, “Well, two of us don’t really want to meet him, so if we get off can they just take our spot?” Another NO. I swear, Josh and I clearly have personally wronged this man in some other life. What. The. Hell. So, needless to say, we did not meet Gaston, and did not go back to try again. We were just DONE. Instead, we headed to meet Ariel (the one with a fin).
While waiting in line, we got a text from my brother and his girlfriend that they were finally here, so after meeting Ariel, we headed to Pinocchio Haus to meet up for lunch.
After Lunch? Another Round Of Castle Pictures
I mean, it’s a thing, okay?
My brother’s girlfriend wanted to get a princess crown too, so after lunch they headed to Main Street while Josh and I set off for Tomorrowland. We decided to meet at Buzz Lightyear.
Even though we already went on Space Mountain, my brother’s girlfriend didn’t, and we could always go on again, so we did the 20 minute wait (which was more like 15).
When we got off, the line said 15 minutes (it was more like 10), so we hopped right back on! We LOVED riding the two “semi” different tracks back to back!
Once outside, we were sweating our butts off, so we did Tomorrowland Transit and got some ice cream before going on Carousel Of Progress, because we needed a break! Best relaxation move ever!
My brother and his girlfriend were actually supposed to be at Thunder Mountain with us earlier, but they were late and missed the fast pass time. My brother’s girlfriend REALLY wanted to ride, so we headed back that way and waited on the 15 minute line. 15 minutes for Thunder?! I’ll take it!
Fantasyland! Gosh, I love the shops here, especially the new(ish) big circus tent!
I may have also gotten a cake pop here.
After that, we did all the adorable Fantasyland things – Dumbo, Barnstormer, the Carousel, Merlin’s sword, PhilharMagic, and the stores near Cinderella’s Castle (RANT: These used to be some of my favorite stores and now it’s all Frozen stuff – ugh!). Here are our super cheesy Merlin’s sword pictures!!!
As I’ve said before, my brother and his girlfriend booked their trip last minute, so they couldn’t get their Seven Dwarves Mine Train fast pass until this evening, while Josh and I had ours for right about now. They went off and did Haunted Mansion/Jungle Cruise/Little Mermaid/some of the other rides Josh and I did earlier in the day, while we went on mine train for the first time ever!
IT. WAS. AWESOME.
We got done really quickly with our fast pass. It was so fast, which is good, but I’m so bummed we missed seeing the actual line, as I heard it’s done really well! Anyway, my brother and his girlfriend were still on other rides, so we checked out Enchanted Tales With Belle, which we’ve never done before!
Then we all met up again at It’s A Small World.
Next it was time for our third fast pass of the day – Peter Pan! Definitely a favorite!
After that, my brother and his girlfriend didn’t get a chance to do The Little Mermaid from earlier, and since Josh and I already did, we went to Winnie The Pooh.
While Josh waited on line, I ran and got a 4th Fast Pass for Splash Mountain (I’m obsessed!). There were a TON of fast passes still available this late in the day (it’s now after 7pm). Then, I paused to take pictures of the back of the castle (also a thing!!).
So we all met up again for dinner at Be Our Guest, which you can read about here.
After dinner, we rushed to catch Wishes, and honestly, this is one of the things we planned on catching over the weekend, so we didn’t care if we missed it. Plus, we already saw it from the rooftop at California Grill (read about it here). However, we were close enough to the castle, and we had time, and, well, I can’t pass it up. Side note: Are these not some of the coolest Wishes pictures ever?!
After Wishes, Josh didn’t want to go on Splash Mountain again and risk getting soaked, and my brother didn’t want to ride Mine Train, so the guys went off to Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, etc, while my brother’s girlfriend and I did Mine Train, Splash Mountain x2, and Thunder Mountain!
We were literally the last car on Thunder Mountain, and the guys were at the exit waiting for us, since by now the park was closed. We were SO bummed to be leaving, but luckily we had another day here planned for this weekend!
Then, as we were making our way to the exit, we saw the ropes, but figured the Electric Parade already happened while we were on rides, but then… the music started!!! LUCKY LUCKY US!
And of course, we always stop to take a castle pic on our way out!
Magic Kingdom Day 2
By now we were no longer staying on Disney property and were at the Marriott. We ended up having an awesome dinner (which had us arrive at the park later than we anticipated), but we still caught the tale end of Wishes.
Honestly, we didn’t know how much we could pack in from now until 2am, but we were desperate to try!
When you buy a certain amount of days at Disney, another day ends up being something like $20 more, so it would be stupid not to add on the additional time. I would pay $20 for an extra hour at Magic Kingdom, and we still had 5-6 hours. We missed our first Fast Pass, but made it just in time for our second at Space Mountain.
Then, we went on Space Mountain a second time because there was no line, which already made tonight a hit in itself.
Next, we used our third Fast Pass on Seven Dwarves Mine Train (we determined it’s better in the dark). I don’t know what it is about this ride, but we were almost always put in the front. Seriously 2 out of the 3 times I rode it I was in the very front. So weird!
Next, since we “used” all three Fast Passes, we were able to go to the kiosk and get a 4th.
We used it for Splash Mountain.
By now, it was around midnight and the park was closed to non-Disney resort guests. What’s awesome about this is while technically we were already staying and checked into the Marriott, we technically checked out of Animal Kingdom Lodge this morning, so that made us still “guests” of the Disney resort. Therefore, we were able to utilize the Extra Magic Hours. All they ask is to see one Magic Band. My brother and his girlfriend never stayed on Disney property – only Josh and I did. Also, we had friends with us who are from Orlando, so Josh and I were sort of the queen and king that night as we always utilized one of our magic bands whenever someone asked, and then we were ALL good to go!
So next we did Thunder, followed by Splash Mountain again about 4 more times. Rides were literally WALK ON.
We hit Haunted Mansion on our way back to Fantasyland.
One of the things we spotted was the Anna and Elsa meet and greet, which up until now seriously did not dip below 90 minutes. It was listed as five minutes. None of us really love Frozen (in fact most of us don’t even like it), but just because the wait was so crazy the entire day(s) we were here, we thought what the hell, and off we went.
I honestly didn’t think we would make it until 2am, and while I don’t know how, we did.
We ended up not even going on that many rides after Anna & Elsa. We really just enjoyed a near-empty park, because it’s so rare.
We hung out by the castle, and had a really relaxing shopping experience at the Main Street stores.
Gosh, Magic Kingdom, I just love you so!