Welcome to part two of my Disney World series. I LOVE Disney and I can’t wait to share my tips, tricks, and essentials for the happiest place on earth! PS- I jammed out to my Disney playlist the entire time I was writing this! I’m really in the spirit!
To make this easy, in my first post I shared the essentials, overviews and of course, included a handy packing list to help guide you to having the best trip of your life! If you missed part one, check it out here! In this post, I’m sharing my favorite in Magic Kingdom entertainment, dining and tips for your next visit! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update on Epcot! Plus, all this week I’m rolling out Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney World extras and ending on a final update!
This post is all about those top must-dos in Magic Kingdom! If you’re anything like my family, we like to have an idea going into vacation about what to do, insider’s tricks and of course the best places to eat. Have no fear, because whether you’ve vacationed to Disney World before or you’ve never been, I’m sharing my favorites that will hopefully help you on your next visit to Cinderella’s Castle.
Each park in Disney World is packed with an almost overwhelming amount of things to do! In this post, though, I’m sharing some tips from my few years experience vacationing to the Magic Kingdom. Undoubtedly the most iconic, Magic Kingdom is home to Cinderella’s Castle, Tomorrowland and those infamous Dole Whips found in Adventureland. This park has a very special place in my heart, but honestly, so does every park in Disney!
Magic Kingdom Entertainment
Disney World is entertainment enough, but each park has special events during the day, at night and of course rides! During holiday seasons, like Halloween or Christmas, they change up their schedule! During Mickey’s Holiday Party at Christmastime, you can expect special Magic Kingdom perks AND snow down Main Street. Talk about magic! In January though, the schedule goes back to normal! Be sure to check the daily schedule for times on parades, locations and special desert parties (paid for and RSVP one-two weeks in advance)! For rides, download the Walt Disney World App and open up a Whole New World! This magical app shows you wait times, allows you to make dinner reservations, schedule your Fast Passes and see the full park schedule during your stay. It even tracks your location, so no worries about getting lost and missing a reservation!
Top 5 Magic Kingdom Rides:
Space Mountain in Tomorrowland– this roller coaster is fun, dark and far-out!
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland– literally, I rode this ride one time with my mom 10 times in a row…it’s that good!
Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland– one of the most popular, you fly in a pirate ship over London and through Neverland! Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning!
Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square– the happy haunts of the Haunted Mansion are worth every single fear of having a ghoul come home with you!
Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland– I love Pirates of the Caribbean (movies + ride). This adventure takes you on a boat journey to find Captain Jack Sparrow! Along the way, you see sirens, Barbossa and a few favorites in Tortuga!
Of course, the TOP in entertainment is the Happily Ever After Fireworks show! This new nighttime spectacular replaced the old “Wishes” fireworks show. Still featuring some of your favorite characters, song mashups and more, Disney really outdoes itself with Magic Kingdom’s fireworks. This show is at the tip-top of my list, and I highly recommend you make arrangements to see this! Be sure to arrive plenty early before showtime, so you can be front and center of Cinderella’s Castle.
Magic Kingdom Dining
If you want some really fun character dining, I suggest first off that you make reservations with Cinderella’s Royal Table. That’s right you and your family dine in the castle with your favorite princesses who stop by during your meal for pictures and autographs. If you don’t want to wait to see Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora or Belle, go here! It’s $$$ in price, but it is definitely a treat! You’re treated like royalty from the start, plus the food is pretty good too!
Be Our Guest is tricky and this is why- you can either wait in line to do the quick service meal and still eat inside his castle or you can make reservations and character dine with your favorites from Beauty and the Beast. Honestly, I would suggest you visit them for lunch. You’re getting probably the best meal in the park, the experience (minus the character dining) to eat in his castle, and your paying half the price. This is my favorite place to eat! To face the facts, anytime characters are involved the price is marked-up because of the experience. However, if you pick and choose beforehand, you won’t be spending a ton out of pocket. Remember, characters are also splashed all over the parks, with a scheduled meet and greet times- so that’s another way to save dollars if you’re thinking about doing a character meal.
The last one that my family loves is unique in how they serve! Basically, at Liberty Tree Tavern, you’re family has a buffet of food brought to your table without you even getting up! The Patriot’s Platter comes with all the fixin’s (Southernism) for you to enjoy! From prime rib, turkey to mac ‘n cheese, someone is bound to be happy after their meal here!
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Caféis fun and filling! Try their Angus bacon cheeseburger or their 1/2 rotisserie chicken meal to be lifted among the stars in Tomorrowland!
FYI- I love Mexican food too much and thank goodness for Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café. This place is GOOD and if like burritos, tacos or fajitas, get here!
If you don’t do anything else while you’re in Disney, PLEASE do this one thing! Get yourself a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle! Made with your choice of soft serve ice cream and pineapple juice, this little baby is sheer heaven. I could live off of it and forget the rest.
I love Beauty and the Beast and I’m so thankful Disney added in a section devoted the beloved tale. Go to Gaston’s Tavern for a snack and if you’re lucky, see the famed Gaston in all his glory nearby at the fountain showing off his muscles and his endearing charm!
Shhhh- Main Street Bakery is my sweet spot in Disney. Why?! Well sure I love bakeries, but this bakery is Starbucks and what better combination than Starbucks and Cinderella’s Castle?! Grab your favorite beverage, and pull up a chair to watch the fireworks because that is perfection in a moment!
Magic Kingdom Tips
My first tip is, if you’re staying in the parks for several days and can afford to miss a night of fireworks, I would highly suggest roaming through Fantasyland, behind the castle, and riding everything you can. You can almost guarantee that for the hour the show is going on and the crowd is clearing out, you have from Tomorrowland to the Haunted Mansion to explore all the rides and see how many times you can ride them. Peter Pan on any given day is a 60-90 minute wait, however during the fireworks, the lines usually drop to around a 30 minute or less wait. This is the perfect time to catch up on everything you didn’t get to do during the day.
My second tip is, after the fireworks, normally the crowds start to push through to the entrance. If you’re one of those eager to leave the park, DO NOT go down Main Street, unless you love crowds! Instead, go across the bridge before going all the way into Tomorrowland, and turn right to follow through the eatery and sitting area of the ice cream parlor. From there you’ll be on the sidewalks of Main Street and can go through the shops all the way to the exit. Still not less crowded, but definitely less stress.
Lastly, this spans across every park, remember that if you’re staying on Disney property, any souvenirs you buy in the park can be brought to your room as a courtesy to their guests. Take advantage of this! If you’re not, or you don’t want to send your purchases to your room, have them hold your purchases at the front of the park. You can pick up whatever you purchase after your fun-filled day!