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One of the most popular theme parks in the United States is Disney World and if you are visiting Florida, you really should take the time to visit at least one of the four Disney World theme parks. The main park is Magic Kingdom, and if you only can visit one park, that is the one to visit. We are lucky to be annual Disney World pass holders and have mastered the art of spending one day in Magic Kingdom.
One Day in Magic Kingdom Itinerary
The key to getting the most out of one day in Magic Kingdom is to get to the park early!
If you are staying at a Disney Resort, try to go to the park on a day when they have extra Magic Hours so that you can enjoy the park before regular guests.If not, arrive at Magic Kingdom about a half hour before the park opens.
Welcome Show at Cinderella Castle
The only thing open when you arrive to the Magic Kingdom before it opens is the Welcome Show at Cinderella Castle.
This is a cute show with all your favorite Disney characters and is a great way to start the day.
Ride a Popular Ride (that You DON’T have Fastpasses for)
After the show, I suggest you head straight to one of the popular rides at Magic Kingdom that you really want to ride, but don’t have a Fastpass for.
Our choice is usually Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. There will be a line, but it will move fast.
If you are hungry and need a quick bite to eat before heading to your next ride, consider grabbing a waffle at Sleepy Hollow Inn.
These are so good and while they aren’t exactly nutritious, they will at least provide you with enough carbs to help perk you up.
They come plain, with sugar & cinnamon or fruit and Nutella.
Need a good cup of coffee? You can find one at Starbucks on Main Street USA. Otherwise there is Joffrey’s which is Disney’s version of coffee. I’m not a fan.
Rides & Attractions in Fantasyland
When all you have is one day in Magic Kingdom, you are going to have a hard time being able to do it all. The fact is that you really need a few days to be able to do everything Magic Kingdom has to offer.
Hopefully, you were able to get some good Fastpasses for the more popular Magic Kingdom rides!
We suggest that you break your day up based on the different lands in Magic Kingdom.
Start your day in Fantasyland. It tends to be most crowded the later you get into the day.
Quick Service Lunch
When it comes to looking for a quick service lunch at Magic Kingdom, you are going to have some great choices.
No matter which land you are in, you are going to find a quality choice that offers a tasty, affordable meal and air conditioning.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Magic Kingdom has some great desserts, but our choice is always the Disney Dole Whip.
More Rides & Attractions in Another Land
At the end of your lunch, you should check the My Disney Experience App to see about wait times for some of the rides you are interested in going on.
Spend the next few hours riding rides & taking in attractions.
Magic Kingdom Parade Time
The Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom is the best parade at Walt Disney World and happens around 3pm every day and lasts about 20 minutes.
You will get to see some magnificent floats and many of your favorite Disney characters.
If you can’t be bothered to sit through a parade, I will tell you that it is one of the best times to go on rides at Magic Kingdom. With most people watching the parade, the lines for rides seem to be much less crowded.
Disney Character Meet & Greets
One thing you will want to make time for during your one day in Magic Kingdom is Disney Character Meet & Greets.
There are several and they will all be on the Times Guide that you will pick up in the front of the park.
More Rides & Attractions in Another Land
By afternoon, Magic Kingdom will be swamped with people. This is a great time to ride a few more rides in another area of the park.
My pick for afternoon is Liberty Square because there are a few things you can do that will have little to no wait times (Presidents Hall, Ride the Riverboat, Walk around Tom Sawyer Island).
Dinner in Magic Kingdom
There are so many different places to eat, you will have no trouble finding something.
You can choose to once again eat at a quick service restaurant or have a sit down meal at one of their table service restaurants.
While it is best to have a reservation in advance, you can always take a look in the My Disney Experience App to see if there are times available for you to show up (people do cancel reservations all the time).
Rides for After Dark in Tomorrowland
While most of the rides in Magic Kingdom are inside, there are a few you will appreciate even more at night. Our favorite part of the park for after dark is Tomorrowland.
Make sure you take time to ride Astro Orbiter & People Mover at night!
Cinderella Castle Night Show & Fireworks
At the end of your day in Magic Kingdom, be sure to watch the show in front of Cinderella Castle.
Disney does a wonderful job of ending the night with a fireworks show that is out of this world. Plan your day carefully so that you don’t burn out and miss seeing it.
The key to doing Magic Kingdom in one day is to plan your trip before you go!
Planning Your Magic Kingdom Day Trip
- Buy Your Magic Kingdom Park Tickets in advance. This was you aren’t wasting time standing in line at the park. There are plenty of places where you can buy discounted tickets, but our favorite is Undercover Tourist.
- Sign up for My Disney Experience (it’s FREE). This is the main planning tool to help your vacation run smoothly.
- Book Your Magic Kingdom Fastpasses (You can choose 3). If you are staying on Disney property, you will be able to book your Fastpasses 60 days ahead of your trip. If you aren’t staying on property, you can book them 30 days before your trip.
- Make Dining Reservations. If you are planning to have a table service meal or a meal with a character meet & greet, you are going to want to make sure you make reservations. Some of the more popular Magic Kingdom restaurants book up fast, so do this as soon as possible.
- Begin thinking about which rides & attractions you want to prioritize.
While ideally, you would have more time, you really can see a lot in a day if you plan out your day carefully. Most important is that you enjoy yourself and enjoy every moment you have while visiting Magic Kingdom for the day!
Have you been to Magic Kingdom in Disney World? What is your favorite thing to do there?
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