If you only have 1 day to spend at Magic Kingdom, then you need to know that you will not be able to see everything that it has to offer. There is a lot to see and do in the Magic Kingdom, but with 1 day you can still hit up all of the attractions that are the most worthy of your time. This itinerary is for a full day at the park, however you can take a break in the middle or cut the day short if you feel it is too long for your family. Just note that if you do not plan to spend the full day in the park, you will have to cut out some of the attractions on the itinerary.
If you plan to only spend 1 day in the Magic Kingdom, I highly recommend that you start your day as early as you can. If you are a Disney Resort guest, then you will have access to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland for 30 minutes before official park opening. With that in mind, aim to arrive at the park an hour before official park opening and be ready to head to your first ride of the day so you can maximize that extra 30 minutes.
If you are not staying on-site, then I recommend you arrive approximately half an hour before rope drop. Rope drop refers to the time that they officially open the park. For example, if the park is scheduled to open at 9 am, then it is recommended that you arrive at the Magic Kingdom gates for no later than 8:30 am. You will want to make your way down Main Street to the Castle Hub in time for the 8:55 am opening show in front of the castle.
**Make sure to check out my Magic Kingdom Rides Guide to help you pick out which rides you want to plan for at the park.
Lightning Lane Suggestions:
Genie+ comes in very handy at Magic Kingdom. Because this park has so many rides, I highly recommend purchasing Genie+ for your Magic Kingdom park days.
When scheduling your initial Lightning Lane selections, I would recommend trying to start them around 1 hour after park opening. That will give you a chance to ride other attractions on stand-by while they still have short lines during that first hour. After the first hour, lines start to get longer and that is when your lightning lane selections will come in handy. For your first Lightning Lane selection of the day, these are the ones that fill up the fastest:
- Jungle Cruise
- Peter Pan’s Flight
I also highly suggest purchasing the extra Lightning Lane access for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (only if you feel your child can handle this coaster, height requirement of 38 inches). This ride experiences the longest lines in the park, so this Lightning Lane purchase is highly worth it!
**You will want to make sure you know how to use Genie+ and how to purchase those extra Lightning Lanes for the premium rides. You can take a look at my tutorial at How to Use Genie+ at Disney World.
Early Morning Touring:
Depending on what you scheduled for your first lightning lane, you may need to change the order of this itinerary. Also, as you go throughout the day, the order may change depending on when you are able to grab additional Lightning Lane rides. Make sure you read my tutorial (linked above) and know EXACTLY when you can schedule your next Lightning Lane. The more Lightning Lanes you can schedule in the day, the less time you will spend waiting in lines.
If you are not using Genie+ and are a Disney Resort guest with access to early entry hours, this is the order of rides I recommend:
- Head immediately to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The line will appear long, but the actual wait time is usually about half of the posted wait time.
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- It’s a Small World
Sleepy Hollow and Liberty Square Market are two areas that I would recommend for your mid-morning snack/rest. They both offer some great options for snacks and seating areas to rest your feet. If you really want to indulge in a delicious snack, then you will want to select Sleepy Hollow for their delicious waffles, funnel cakes and ice cream sandwiches.
Late Morning Touring:
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
There are some great quick-service options in this area of the park that you can choose from for lunch. We would recommend either Pecos Bill or Columbia Harbour House. If you prefer to eat at a table service restaurant, then you will need to make advanced dining reservations. In this area, we would recommend either Liberty Tree Tavern or Skipper Canteen Navigation Co.
**If you are eating quick-service, make sure to place your order in advance using the Mobile Order feature in the My Disney Experience app.
This is usually the hottest time of the day, so this is the best time to slow it down a bit and try to catch some shows. Some of them are indoors, which gives you a great opportunity to rest and cool off from the hot sun. When the Festival of Fantasy parade returns, you will want to check the start time of the parade. The steps in front of the Liberty Tree Tavern are a good spot in Frontierland as it will give you better viewing to see above the crowds. Before and after the parade, this is what I would recommend to continue catching some shows and resting:
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Enchanted Tiki Room
Make sure to also check the My Disney Experience app for the schedule of the character cavalcades.
One of the most popular snacks in the Magic Kingdom is the famous Dole Whip. You can pick one up right next to the Enchanted Tiki Room at the Aloha Isle. Another popular snack location in this area is Sunshine Tree Terrace where you can pick up a delicious citrus swirl. Make sure to use the mobile ordering function in the My Disney Experience app!
Late Afternoon Touring:
- Fairytale Fantasy Hall to meet some Princesses
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Carousel of Progress
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
If you are looking for a quick-service option, then Cosmic Ray’s is in this area and it is one that I recommend. Cosmic Ray’s has a good selection of food and is probably the most popular quick-service option in the Magic Kingdom. Another quick-service option in Tomorrowland is The Lunching Pad, but their menu is very limited. Over in Fantasyland, Pinnochio Village Haus has some good flatbread pizza options.
If you prefer a table service option, then you will need to make reservations in advance. The most popular restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is Be Our Guest, but it is very difficult to get a reservation. You need to reserve it as early as you can, which is usually at the 60 day mark when reservations open up. Another very popular option at Magic Kingdom is Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is inside the castle. You also need to reserve that in advance, and it can be hard to book.
The end of the day is a good time to get in any rides in Fantasyland that you may have missed earlier in the day. This is the time we would recommend hitting up these rides:
- Barnstormer (height requirement of 35 inches)
- Mad Tea Party
End of Day:
As the end of day nears, you will want to start to stake out a spot for the castle/fireworks show. If you have more than an hour to go before Disney Enchantment starts, then you may want to get over to Town Square Theatre to meet Mickey Mouse. Once you are 45 minutes out from the fireworks, you will want to grab your spot. The best views are immediately in front of the castle, in the hub. You’ll want to try and stop in a spot that has an unobstructed view of the castle as most of the show is projected on to the front of the castle.
Once the park is closed, we recommend sticking around a bit to let the rush of people exit the park. Trying to exit right away will get you caught in large crowds. The shops on Main Street stay open for an hour after closing, so you can take the opportunity to peruse the shops while you wait to leave. Or you could just grab a seat on a bench and people watch as you reflect on the magical day you just had 🙂