How to Do the Magic Kingdom in One Day!

magic kingdom
If you think you are going to Disney World anytime in the future, bookmark or pin this post! It contains so much helpful information about the Magic Kingdom, regardless if you are going for one day or seven!

My sister is a Disney planning genius. She’s been multiple times and now lives in Orlando and goes to the parks at least once a week (her family will just go for dinner sometimes!). I am writing a separate post about her inside tips but, first, I wanted to share our exact Magic Kingdom itinerary since I had so many requests on social media.

This is a great itinerary to help you plan your day at the Magic Kingdom, especially if you want to pack a lot in and get the most for your money so to speak. We had children age ranges 3-10 and were able to conquer just about every popular ride. I am not exaggerating when I say we never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride (while watching so many people suffer it out if 60-90 lines!). We did this in the middle of the summer peak season, too.

Magic Kingdom in One Day Itinerary:

1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – All good Disney bloggers will tell you: ride the most popular rides first before the lines get crazy long (like 60-120 minutes long!) and this is one of those rides. Save your fast passes for later in the morning. If you happen to book a character breakfast for your family that morning (you can get into the park an hour early if you do!) perhaps one person can leave a little early to get in line. Or just be at the Magic Kingdom’s entrance right when the park opens at 9 am and head straight to this ride. Another tip: be ready to drop off your strollers a few yards ahead of the ride entrance as you walk in!

2. Winne the Pooh – We were close by so could check this off of our list. No lines. The little ones loved it.

3. Space Mountain (Fast Pass #1 – 9:30 am, I think! ) & Tea Cups – The older children and a few adults used our first fast pass to Space Mountain. My sister and I took our youngests to the Tea Cups and then – surprise! – we met Chip and Dale (no lines!) – as we were walking to meet everyone at the Buzz Lightyear ride.

4. Buzz Lightyear – Loved this ride! Again, just a short line.

5. Barnstorm Rollercoaster – So much fun and my three year old could ride (with a parent). No lines.

Magic Kingdom Dumbo Ride
6. Dumbo  – This is a popular ride. We waited in line for 15 minutes for these cute flying elephants.

7. Little Mermaid Ride – We were walking by and had time before our Cinderella Meet & Greet Fast Pass. We waited in line about 10 minutes. Loved this ride, too!

cinderella at Magic Kingdom
8. Cinderella Meet & Greet (Fast Pass #2 at 10:20 – 11:20) & Space Mountain – We didn’t want to wait in line to meet a princess so we used a fast pass. Since Space Mountain only had a 10 minute wait at the time, my newphews rode that again while the girls visited with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. (They usually have one extra princess at these meet and greets.) We were in and out in 10 minutes.

9. Carousel – We had time to spare before our last planned Fast Pass, so hopped on the carousel which is nearby.

** Sit down/snack break **

10. Peter Pan (Fast Pass #3; 11:30-12:30) – For some reason this ride always has super long lines. So my sister booked a fast pass. I remember “flying” to Neverland on this ride as a child – just the same!  Note: once you use your last fast pass you can book one more on your phone  – thankfully Thunder Mountain had an availability after lunch so my sister booked it.

11. Character Buffet Lunch at the Crystal Palace with Winne the Pooh and friends (12:50) – This was pricey. But in the 100 degree heat it was so nice to have a place to leisurely sit down and have a glass of iced tea. Plus, our children were starving after walking so much that morning; they went back to the buffet 3-4 times!

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire
12. Mickey’s Royal Friendsip Faire – (1 pm that day but check schedule). Right as we were leaving lunch this started up on the main stage in front of the castle. Such a darling (and free!) show with some favorite characters – including Anna and Elsa – who sings “Let it Go.” This was incredibly perfect for our family because my daughters go to “see” Elsa and so we didn’t feel so bad about not going to Epcot. Definitely work this into your day somehow!

13. Thunder Mountain – (Fast Pass #4; 12:50-1:50) I think we arrived in Frontierland at the latter part of our fastpass window. Afterwrads, we wanted to ride Splash Mountain at the time but the wait was 60+ minutes and the next available fast pass was at 8:30 that night. So we booked that and headed to Adventureland.

14. Pirates of the Carribean – We skipped Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride because my sister said it was not that noteworthy and headed for Pirates of the Carribbean. Just the same as I remember as a child, except now they have an incredibly lifelike Johnny Depp/Jack Sprarow in the ride. We waited about 15 minutes.

** Sit Down Break – Perfect time to get a Dole Whip in Adventureland as you saw on Instagram **

15. Haunted Mansion – It didn’t have a super long wait so we went, covering up our strollers with a plastic cover as it looked like it was going to rain. Everyone went on this ride, including my three year old. I think my six year old was more scared, but was over it a few minutes after we left!

RAIN!

16. Mickey’s Philharmagic Movie – When it started raining, I suggested the Hall of Presidents (ha!) but that quickly got voted down. My sister led us to the Mickey’s PhilHarmgic 12-minute 3D movie. And it was fantastic! Many of your favorite Disney songs and characteres make an appearance. Be sure to read my next Disney post about what my sister to make it even more special for my girls!

17. Splash Mountain – When it storms at Disney World most people head to the indoor rides. After the 3-D movie, we went to Splash Mountain! As soon as the thunder lifted we wanted to be the first in line so we didn’t thave to wait 60-90 minutes. It was actually a nice break for our little ones. We waited under the nearby exit awning. When the rain slowed a bit, the sweet dads took one for the team and got in the short line. (Hey, they were going to get wet anyway!)  We were beginning to give up hope when they opened up the ride. Glad we were ready to hustle! Note: it was still raining when the ride opened up. Disney can run rides in rain, just not in thunder.

18. Splash Mountain! – When we got off, the line was still just 10 minutes so we hopped back in line. My three year old (she’s tall!) went on this ride and loved it. Since we weren’t going to use our 8:30 pm Splash Mountain fast pass, my sister booked one for Space Mountain (again!) at 8:40.

19. It’s a Small World – At this point, we were debating going home or staying for the fireworks. We had pretty much done all the rides we wanted to. (Iff you are staying at a nearby hotel and want to go home and rest before the fireworks this would be a good place to stop!). But for us, the rain had mercifully cooled everyone off and the rest at Splash Mountain had given us a boost of energy. So we went on Small World. (twice, actually).

Move It Shake It Dance Party
20. Move It! Shake It! Dance Party/Parade (5:45 pm on that day but check schedule)  – So much fun! And the characters from Zootopia were there! This is where children can go into the street and dance with their favorite characters. Afterwards, we walked down Main Street and went in the  Confectioners’ Shop. Girls loved seeing candy being made.

** Thankfully, my youngest fell asleep in the stroller during the parade and her nap got us through the rest of the day!**

21. Christmas Shop – We don’t buy a lot of souvenirs, but I do buy a Christmas ornament wherever we travel.

22. Dinner at Pinochhio Village House – Reasonably priced (we got two pizzas and breadsticks for $25) and cool. This also came recommded by several Disney employees I asked.

23. Dessert at Sleep Hollow – It’s right back by the Christmas shop where I had to return because I paid extra to have ours personalized. Get the Waffle Sandwich with Nutella and split!

24. Get a spot at the parade (& Space Mountain!) – We sat down abotu 8:30 but actually 8:15 would get you spots right on the sidewalk’s curb. The dads took the older children to Space Mountain. They returned right before the parade.

25. Electric Lights Parade  – I am so glad we pushed on through and stayed for this! It’s beautiful and the children get to see even more characters – Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Snow White and the Dwarfs, Goofy and more!

26. Fireworks!

Done! Seriously, we did so much more than I ever thought we could accomplish in one day at Magic Kingdom. Met characters, saw several parades, rode all the popular rides.

A few more tips:

  • Don’t follow the logical way of planning rides (which is by location). Our rides were grouped together for the most part but for some we were willing to walk back and forth between “lands” to avoid wait times.
  • Check the daily schedule of events to help plan your day.
  • Measure your small children at home to know if they are tall enough for rides to help you with planning your day. My tall 3 1/2 year old could ride nearly everything!
  • Oftentimes your fastpass will let you ride the ride a little early. If your fastpass is at 10:10 and you arrive there at 10:00, just try scanning your bracelet/card and if it flashes green you are good to go!
  • We packed most of the rides we wanted to ride in the first half of the day. If we had gone home then everyone would have been quite satisfied. The day was certainly more leisurely after the pressure was gone to ride certain rides!
  • Download the Disney app on your phone so you can manage yoru fastpasses and look at line times.
  • Need more get out of the rain/heat options? The Monsters, Inc. show came highly recomneded and is the one thing we didn’t do that I think we will do next time. The Hall of Presidents is cool (like temperature-wise!). The People Mover elevated train in Tomorrowland is a nice thng to do when you need to kill time/rest your legs.
  • The Riverboat, Jungle Cruise, and Tom Sawyer Raft thing take a lot of time. If you are there for multiple days, then work those in.
  • Here’s a printable map to help give you a visual.

**Be sure you are on my email list so you don’t miss part two of my Disney recap. It’s all the insider tips my sister has shared that helped make our day so much easier and more enjoyable!**

Please pin this post below if you have a Disney board (link is below right!). And I would LOVE for you to share tips for planning out a day at the Magic Kingdom below!

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Source: Minnie Mouse Bow c/o Well Bowed on Facebook

 

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One thought on “How to Do the Magic Kingdom in One Day!

  1. Thank you! This helps me so much more than reading anything else. Planning our first family trip to Disney and would love to read part 2/your sister’s insider tips too but I’m having trouble locating the link. Disney can be so overwhelming but you made it look manageable!

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