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How To Do Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom In 1 Day

Castle Pink

As the home of Walt Disney World’s signature castle and iconic Walt Disney statue, the Magic Kingdom might just be the most well-known park in the World. It is therefore expected that the average Disney-goer will require a day or two there. However, depending on your vacation length, one day at the Magic Kingdom might be all you have! For all you time-strapped visitors, here is a quick schedule for a fulfilling, efficient, and relaxing experience at the Magic Kingdom.

1) Keep weather in mind before your vacation starts.

The Magic Kingdom has many indoor rides and attractions, so undesirable weather does not necessarily translate to a wasted day there. If you do happen to see a rainy day coming during your vacation, the day can still be used at the Magic Kingdom! Even its open-air rides–like Splash Mountain–are surprisingly fun in the rain.

2) Have breakfast at your resort.

Yes, the “early-bird-gets-the-worm” adage is usually applicable at Walt Disney World, but the Magic Kingdom’s in-demand character breakfasts will probably mean an extra crowd in the morning. And besides, your resort needs some love, too; sleep in a little later to prepare for your day!

3) Head to the park–with some FastPasses.

An efficient Disney day inevitably involves some planning, so pick some rides that you know you want to do (such as Splash Mountain or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) in advance. Make sure you get only a few crucial FastPasses, leaving most of your time open; now, once you arrive, you can actually take your time on Main Street instead of hurrying through it like everyone else!

4) Have lunch in the park.

After you’ve gotten a few of your must-see attractions out of the way, head to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant for lunch (you should probably make a reservation for this meal). Eating delicious Italian food on Main Street–back at the beginning of the park–will help refresh you mentally so that you can jump right back into fun when you’re done!

5) Head out for more rides and attractions.

At this point (early to mid-afternoon), many other visitors are going to be losing steam due to heat, full stomachs, or sleepiness from their early morning. This is your time to shine, since you slept in longer! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, the Jungle Cruise–anything that wasn’t first on your list (or was crowded before) can be done now. Be sure to stop for snack breaks in the shade often!

6) Time for dinner.

If your resort is right across the Seven Seas Lagoon, you can probably afford to head back for a meal, but there are plenty of dining options within the Kingdom if you’re eager to soak up every minute there. By making some precautionary reservations you can easily eat at a location like The Plaza Restaurant; however, you’re going to be staying up late and snacking a lot tonight, so you might want to spring for lighter and quicker fare at a place like Tortuga Tavern.

7) Stay for the night.

Some of the best hours in the Disney parks are at night: everything, from rides to scenery to ambiance, becomes more exciting and–yes–magical. This also gives you plenty of bonus hours, as well as the spectacular opportunity to see the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular (a Disney World must). Many of the older indoor rides like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin can–and should–be enjoyed now. You should also try to redo bigger rides like Splash Mountain, if you can; open-air rides feel particularly exhilarating (and offer great views) at night! When you’ve snacked and ridden your way through the park, it should be just about time for Wishes! Take a spot behind Cinderella’s Castle or get a funnel cake at Sleepy Hollow for some particularly unique views of the fireworks show.

8) Take your time leaving.

If you haven’t gone into Cinderella’s Castle or ambled through Frontierland, now’s the time to do it. There’s no need to rush into joining the enormous exodus from the park, especially if it’s your only day there, so tag along at the tail end of the crowd and savor the magic!

Try at least a few of the classic attractions, ride the rides, and have lots of Disney snacks: this should leave you set for the basics on this Disney day. There are always a lot of fun opportunities at Walt Disney World, especially in the Magic Kingdom, but you do not have to experience everything, especially not on a time crunch. Relax; the most important aspect of a vacation is relaxation, after all, and you’re already at the Most Magical Place on Earth!

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